Alphaland raises the bar with
The Makati Place
MANILA, Philippines - Philippe Bartholomi, the general manager of The Makati Place, Alphaland’s latest leisure and residential project, is beaming with excitement these days.
In a recent interview with The STAR at the cozy Tabacalera cigar lounge of Alphaland’s Southgate Tower, Bartholomi shared his plans for the high-end residential and luxury project, which would have residential units, an exclusive City Club, mall and a hotel.
“The Makati Place is very unique. You have a mall. You have a private membership club. You have the hotel tower and all of those put together really make it a unique one-of-a-kind-project,” says the Belgium-born Bartholomi.
Strategically located at the corner of Ayala Ave. and Malugay St. in Makati, The Makati Place will partly open in April this year with the formal launch of The City Club. The three towers – two residential towers and one hotel – will be completed by 2014.
Bartholomi’s job is to make sure the project would go as envisioned by the Alphaland Group, a joint venture between the Ashmore Group of London and RVO Capital Ventures Group of former Trade Minister and now business tycoon Roberto V. Ongpin.
“I’m here to implement the final plan that was approved. I’m here to make sure that all the areas in the City Club are properly coordinated. I have to produce a world-class service not just to City Club members
but also to residential unit owners and even to mall shoppers,” Bartholomi says.
Bartholomi is no stranger to luxury and in the fine dining business. He graduated with a degree in hotel and restaurant management at Ecole d’Hotellerie de la Ville de Liege in Belgium.
He was the general manager of the elite Manila Polo Club before joining Friday’s Resort in Boracay in 2003 and worked as general manager of the deluxe 500-key Century Park Hotel Manila from 2008 until December 2012.
Part of ensuring the project’s success is to keep a well-trained staff to handle all aspects of the business, he says.
He is happy to be handling an all-Filipino team, saying that Filipinos are good at what they do.
“You have a lot of Filipinos who have a lot of experience who work in luxury establishments abroad, some have worked on ships so there is no problem in getting the best of the best,” Bartholomi says.
The task isn’t easy but Bartholomi is up for the challenge.
The City Club will have three floors with a total area of two hectares. It will have fully-equipped, state-of-the-art complex that includes an indoor tennis, basketball, squash and badminton courts.
It will have three swimming pools, children’s playground, learning center, game rooms, high-end spas for male and female as well as banquet rooms for private functions.
“It will probably be the biggest club in Metro Manila. We’ll have all the sports facilities including huge gyms and state-of-the art equipment. You will be able to do your work and communicate with your office while you’re on the treadmill,” Bartholomi says.
There will also be separate areas that offer Pilates, yoga and aerobics, he adds.
For golf enthusiasts, Bartholomi says the club will offer an indoor area with simulators where players can choose to virtually play golf in their favorite golf courses around the world including the one in Scotland, one of the oldest golf courses in the world.
“You can go and play golf there. You have a big screen there. You can choose your favorite golf course. If you want to play in St. Andrews in Scotland you can play the course there,” he says.
He says the project is perfect for dynamic executives, young families, and upwardly mobile singles and expatriates.
“I believe this is a perfect venue for them by buying a unit, they are automatically a member of the club. They will have access to all the facilities of the club,” Bartholomi says.
The residential units, meanwhile, will be atop the six-story podium, which will house the City Club. The bottom three floors of the podium will be a shopping center.