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Korea’s Yanolja doubles down on ZEN Rooms to create future of hospitality in SE Asia

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ZEN Rooms, one of the leading economy and mid-range hotel franchises in Southeast Asia today, announced that it had signed a definitive agreement with travel group Yanolja regarding additional investment, acquisition of early investors’ stakes, and the signing of a wide strategic alliance. Yanolja is the leading travel group in South Korea, backed by Booking Holdings and GIC, among others. Yanolja was the lead strategic investor in the company’s US$15M funding round in 2018, with rights to invest further. Early investor Asia Internet Holdings (Joint Venture of Rocket Internet and Ooredoo Telecom) has agreed to exit its stake to Yanolja. RedBadge Pacific and SBI Korea remain investors, and Access Ventures join as co-investors.

The alliance of ZEN and Yanolja creates the leading economy and mid-range hospitality group in Southeast Asia. It combines ZEN’s top-rated budget hotel franchise business with Yanolja’s scale, hospitality technologies, and the backing by the global leader in online travel and booking holdings (behind Booking.com, Agoda, Priceline.com, Kayak etc.). This grants ZEN unique competitive advantages in both hotel technology and sales distribution. The groups will work to heavily deploy automation technology to enhance customer experience, further reduce  budget hotels’ operating costs, and reinvent budget hospitality across Southeast Asia.

ZEN Rooms is today one of the largest hotel franchises in Southeast Asia, with 13,000 rooms under franchise. Since Yanolja’s investment in mid 2018, ZEN has grown revenues 400% and became the largest hotel chain in fast-emerging Philippines in 2019, with 5,500 rooms under franchise. 

Today, Southeast Asia is the world’s fastest growing travel market, fueled by exponential domestic and regional demand of young travelers and millennials (e.g. the number of Chinese visitors has quadrupled in the past decade). Yet, the value-for-money proposition of its budget hotel sector has historically been defective, plagued by several issues: fragmentation, poor hygiene and safety standards, and lack of training and low technology use.

ZEN was founded in 2015 to improve the state of budget hospitality and bring much needed operational and technological efficiency to the estimated 2 million independent economy rooms in the region. Thousands of hotel owners have since joined ZEN’s franchises to improve their revenue, optimize their cost base, and increase the long-term value of their property. These efficiency gains ultimately benefit travelers who can enjoy safer and better value-for-money stays. 

With a deep emphasis on customer satisfaction, ZEN franchisees have enjoyed the best average guest ratings on Booking.com for two years in a row.

“We started ZEN exactly 4 years ago to make budget accommodation in Southeast Asia safer and more affordable. We have proudly built ZEN into the top-rated budget hotel franchise in the region and we are honored to be Yanolja’s 1st international investment. With this strategic alliance, we are joining forces with one of the most technologically innovative travel groups and its unique backers Booking Holdings to create the first full service budget and mid-range hospitality group in SEA. We can deploy world-class technology infrastructure in IoT R&D automation, hardware, and software to all hotels in Southeast Asia. This alliance will greatly benefit our ability to serve our hotel clients and ultimately the travelers of the entire region,” said Nathan Boublil, co-founder and CEO of ZEN. 

Jongyoon Kim, CEO of Online Business at Yanolja, also shared his thoughts on the agreement. “Since first investing in ZEN, we have shared the same vision of operational excellence and customer centricity to radically improve the Southeast Asian hospitality market. In the last 12 months, the ZEN team has taken major steps to fulfill this vision and has grown exponentially while displaying top inventory quality. With this exciting agreement, Yanolja plans to fully support ZEN to solidify its status as the market leading full-stack hospitality company in the region.”

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Destinations

Fisher Mall launches first roller skating rink in Malabon

Malabon’s first and premier roller skating destination. Located on the 4th floor of Fisher Mall Malabon, RollerDisco combines the energy of roller skating and the nostalgia of disco, offering an opportunity for everyone to create lasting memories with family and friends.

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Promising an exhilarating experience for all ages, Fisher Mall is opening the newest location of RollerDisco, Malabon’s first and premier roller skating destination. Located on the 4th floor of Fisher Mall Malabon, RollerDisco combines the energy of roller skating and the nostalgia of disco, offering an opportunity for everyone to create lasting memories with family and friends. 

“Roller skating brings back memories of my father teaching me how to skate at rinks in Frontier and Baguio,” shares Raymond Del Rosario, President of Fisher Mall Group of Companies. “Our team wanted to bring similar experiences to everyone here at Fisher Mall. Since the opening of RollerDisco back in 2021, we’ve seen a demand given the passionate responses we’ve received from skating communities, enthusiasts, and beginners. We wanted to improve their experience further through our new venue, which we hope will provide more joy and fulfillment.” 

The new RollerDisco venue features the renowned engineered wood flooring and beloved 80’s retro vibes that patrons have come to love. Visitors can also expect colorful neon lights that pulse to the beat of lively disco music, with mirror balls and retro-themed artwork adorning the walls to enhance the vibrant and energetic vibe of the space. 

The rise of e-commerce in the evolving retail landscape has challenged the relevance of traditional retail spaces. Colliers, a leading company specializing in property management, urged mall operators to leverage on the unique advantage of physical retail: enhanced customer experience. There is a need for retail spaces to establish itself as a third space for consumers to enjoy quality entertainment. 

RollerDisco is just one example of Fisher Mall’s response to this. Identifying the need to reinvent retail, the company transformed traditional retail spaces into dynamic community hubs by offering a unique blend of entertainment and social interaction. Fisher Mall regularly hosts events and programs that invite the community to interact with each other and participate in activities that enrich their lives, from creative exhibits to outreach events. These initiatives aim to foster a sense of unity and collaboration among residents while providing a diverse range of experiences that extend beyond typical shopping experiences.

Visitors of all ages skate to the lively music. 

At the heart of Fisher Mall RollerDisco is its mission to serve as a platform for self-expression and creativity, aiming to enhance community well-being and happiness through the promotion of an active lifestyle and positive social interactions. 

“As we transform retail spaces, Fisher Mall strives to create an engaging environment that resonates with today’s consumers,” concludes Del Rosario. “Whether you’re a seasoned skater or a beginner, we invite you to join us at Fisher Mall Malabon RollerDisco for an unforgettable roller skating experience.”

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lyf Malate Manila curates perfect weekend getaway

From lyf’s chic accommodation to nearby historical landmarks, delectable true-Filipino cuisine, and vibrant social events, lyf has curated an exciting journey to help you make the most of your stay. Whether you’re a local seeking a quick getaway, or a traveler exploring the city, break out of the norm and change up your lyf-style!

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lyf Malate Manila has curated the perfect weekend getaway for your urban stay. From lyf’s chic accommodation to nearby historical landmarks, delectable true-Filipino cuisine, and vibrant social events, lyf has curated an exciting journey to help you make the most of your stay. Whether you’re a local seeking a quick getaway, or a traveler exploring the city, break out of the norm and change up your lyf-style!

Step outside lyf Malate Manila and dive into the vibrant streets of Malate. Begin your journey at the Metropolitan Museum of Art, where the city’s rich culture unfolds before your eyes. Explore the historic Rizal Park, where lush landscapes and national heritage converge. Indulge in local experiences like kalesa rides and delicacies such as dirty ice cream for an authentic taste of Manila’s charm. Afterwards, venture to Adriatico Street to discover the bohemian side of the city, where quaint cafés like Café Adriatico serve up original flavors perfected over 35 years. From Jim’s Pares Mami to Wok-Inn, and a variety of street food stalls offering isaw and taho, the culinary journey continues to unfold with an array of street food delights that capture the essence of Manila’s distinct street culture.

As the sun sets, delve into the local art scene with lyf Malate Manila’s curated cultural events, where artists and enthusiasts gather to celebrate creativity. These immersive experiences offer opportunities to connect, engage, and immerse yourself in Manila’s ever-evolving creative community. With lyf’s artistic space and social events, the property transforms into a cultural crossroads where individuals from diverse backgrounds unite to share, learn, and celebrate art and heritage.

Start your second day with a hearty breakfast at nearby eateries in Remedios Circle, or create your very own delight in lyf Malate Manila’s “Bond” kitchen and serve it at “Hangout” which are both located at the roof deck. Here, you can socialize with other travelers and locals while overlooking the sunrise and crafting your own specialties. For those exploring a unique side of flavor, you can explore an array of Spanish restaurants in the area such as Casa Armas, an authentic Spanish restaurant. Let your taste buds dance to the harmonious flavors of Spain, right in the heart of Manila.

Discover the rich cultural offerings of Manila, from the renowned performances at the Cultural Center of the Philippines to the priceless art and artifacts showcased at any of the four National Museums nearby. Take advantage of lyf Malate Manila’s strategic location to explore nearby attractions like Escolta, home to the historic First United building, a masterpiece of art deco architecture hosting vibrant art events in Ermita.

Moreover, lyf Malate Manila caters to the needs of bleisure and business travelers alike with its array of facilities. Whether you’re blending work and leisure or focusing solely on business, the property’s innovative spaces like Connect, a coworking and communal lounge area, and Nook, private working spaces, provide the ideal environment for productivity and collaboration. 

“We always try to make our amenities lively and accessible, and we do our best to bring all sorts of social events into the scene here at lyf. From mixers, live music, and art events, we make it a must that our guests have a unique lyf-style breakthrough in every stay, accompanied by a truly unforgettable Manila experience” said Joyce Pascual Agsaway, lyf Malate Manila’s lyf Champion (Residence Manager). 

Your weekend getaway is thoughtfully designed to accommodate your needs, merging rich, cultural nuances with value for comfort. You can fully indulge in one of the property’s standout features: a myriad of spacious and generously appointed room options. The “One of a Kind” 1-bedroom units are tailor-made for solo travelers and couples, while the expansive allure of the All Together 2-bedroom and 4-bedroom units are primed for families and groups of friends ready to explore the vibrant city. Their fresh and fun architecture and interior is a unique take on modern luxury stays, and perfectly reflects the richness of Manila’s lifestyle.

From the art-adorned common areas to the communal spaces that beckon conversations, every inch of lyf reflects the city’s heartbeat, telling stories that go beyond words. These spaces aren’t – just designed; they are conceived to be platforms for exploration, leisure, and rest as you stay at lyf Malate Manila. 

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Lanson Place Mall of Asia offers venue for weddings

The newly opened Lanson Place Mall of Asia offers a charming blend of modern sophistication and timeless elegance, perfect for bringing dream weddings to life, from the grand entrance to the intimate moments, we ensure that every wedding is a distinct and unforgettable experience.

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Every couple has envisioned their perfect wedding, meticulously planning every detail from the outfits to the rings. The venue is such a vital element, and we’re thrilled to offer an option that might be just what you’re looking for.

The newly opened Lanson Place Mall of Asia offers a charming blend of modern sophistication and timeless elegance, perfect for bringing dream weddings to life, from the grand entrance to the intimate moments, we ensure that every wedding is a distinct and unforgettable experience. 

A Bespoke Wedding Experience

Lanson Place Mall of Asia’s attraction is the Saffron Grand Ballroom, a beautiful space perfect for a dreamy wedding celebration. It has a classic elegance and offers a versatile setting that fits any style, making it a great venue for all sorts of events.

The Saffron Grand Ballroom is a spacious, pillarless, high-ceiling ballroom that spans 676 sqm. It features a dedicated lobby, with a grand staircase that leads seamlessly into the ballroom where the magic unfolds. Couples and their wedding entourage can use private dressing rooms, equipped with vanity mirrors and a sizable lounge area, as they prepare for the special day. Couples can also customise the Saffron Grand Ballroom, tailoring the venue to their heart’s desires. 

In addition to the ballroom, the Courtyard, a tranquil oasis on the third floor, provides a harmonious backdrop for intimate wedding ceremonies, seamlessly blending the sophistication of contemporary architectural design with the warmth of nature’s embrace.    

“Every wedding should reflect the couple’s unique story,” said Rheinna Laberinto, Assistant Director of Events. “We want to make sure that each wedding is as distinctive and memorable as the couples themselves.”

Exceptional Management and Service

At Lanson Place Mall of Asia, personalised service begins the moment couples start planning their wedding. Lanson Place’s team of event specialists collaborates closely with each couple to curate a tailored wedding experience that caters to their particular needs and desires.

From hand-picking the perfect menu and overseeing table layouts to managing guests on the big day, the Lanson Place dedicated event specialists meticulously consider every element of the wedding. They make sure the big day is flawlessly executed, allowing couples to focus on celebrating their love. Whether couples envision a lavish ceremony or an intimate gathering, the team of devoted hosts is committed to making every wedding day stress-free and memorable.

“We understand that weddings are one of the most important days in a couple’s life, and we are honoured to be part of that journey,” said Laurent Boisdron, Vice President & General Manager. “Our commitment on your special day is all about you and we pay much attention to detail to ensure that every wedding at Lanson Place Mall of Asia is not only beautiful but truly unforgettable.”

Design a wedding as unique as your love story with Lanson Place Mall of Asia Manila. Discover how Lanson Place Mall of Asia Manila can craft the wedding of your dreams by visiting Lanson Place Mall of Asia Manila’s booth at the Themes and Motifs Bridal Fair this 22-23 June 2024. Avail of the best bespoke wedding packages and make your special day truly unforgettable.

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