The hotel where a 23-year-old flight attendant was found lifeless last Jan. 1 received a written warning one month prior that it was not cleared for staycations, the Department of Tourism said Tuesday following public uproar over the incident.
City Garden Grand Hotel in Makati City received the warning in mid-December 2020 against accepting staycation bookings since it operates as a quarantine hotel, said Tourism Secretary Berna Romulo-Puyat.
A copy of the advisory dated Dec. 14, 2020 issued by Metro Manila tourism regional director Woodrow Maquiling Jr. reminded quarantine hotels to comply with DOT rules on their operations.
Apparently, the hotel applied for accreditation to accept staycation bookings but opted out, Romulo-Puyat said.
"City Garden initially applied but backed out and opted to stay as a quarantine facility," the tourism chief told reportr in a message.
"A hotel has to apply for staycation because you cannot mix quarantine and leisure."
The hotel has been issued a show-cause order after the DOT said it received information that flight attendant Christine Angelica Dacera's demise occurred during a New Year's Eve "party" in the establishment.
“We understand based on reports that several individuals have checked-in or spent the evening in one of your rooms on the said date,” Metro Manila Tourism Regional Director Woodrow Maquiling Jr. wrote.
Reportr sought City Garden Grand Hotel's comment on the matter but was told by one of its staff that they cannot comment yet on the issue.
A quick look on the hotel's Facebook page however shows that the hotel has been promoting leisure activities such as dining and even events hosting for parties.
The tourism department, in a subsequent Jan. 5 letter, said the hotel made an "apparent misrepresentation" that it could accommodate clients for leisure purposes despite being a quarantine facility.
Following the incident, Romulo-Puyat said the DOT could "remove the accreditation" of hotels found to be in violation of COVID-19 protocols.
"DOT is on heightened alert as the COVID variant poses a new threat and will have zero tolerance for even the slightest violation of health protocols," she said.
So far, these are the only hotels in Metro Manila that can accept staycation bookings:
- Grand Hyatt Hotel
- Makati Shangri-La Hotel
- Okada Manila Hotel
- Shangri-La at the Fort
- Nobu Hotel
- Joy Nostalg Hotel & Suites Manila
- EDSA Shangri-La Manila
- Solaire Resort & Casino
- Hyatt Regency City of Dreams
- Nuwa Hotel City of Dreams
- The Peninsula Manila
- Aruga by Rockwell
- Sheraton Manila Hotel
- Hilton Manila
- Hotel Okura Manila