What Happened to Durian Hotel Davao


In 1994, a twelve-storey building, an elegant and imposing structure, rose in the main thoroughfare in the downtown area of Davao City, along J.P. Laurel Avenue – the beautiful Durian Hotel.

The property is situated in fifteen adjoining commercial lots with an aggregate floor area of 16,500 square meters that consists of three buildings.
The original building which was primarily used for commercial purposes
The annex building which has six floors used for parking, function halls, the grand ballroom; and
The twelve-story main hotel building with one hundred and twenty six guest rooms.

The Location

The twelve-story business hotel was home to many travelers, foreigners, and locals alike. Aside from its strategic location, guests enjoy their comfortable stay because of its complete amenities, spacious rooms, fancy restos, entertainment, and proximity to several establishments.

Guests enjoyed the hotel’s short distance to a shopping mall, a walking distance to church and cathedrals, minutes away from fine-dining restaurants, entertainment, and sports facilities. It was then a top choice of many to stay at the Durian Hotel.

The Business Downturn

While guests were still enjoying a great time at the hotel, the Durian Hotel started to endure the Asian financial crisis in mid-1997. The crisis badly gripped the economy of East Asia and Southeast Asia, where many businesses were severely affected, sparing not the Durian Hotel. There was a rapid recovery in the economic crisis, but it was unfortunate that the Durian Hotel could not bounce back then.

Finally, in 2001, the hotel closed its operation when it could not surmount a series of crises, including the property foreclosure by its lender, the Metrobank and Trust Co, due to unpaid debts.

Other Factors of the Closure

While the hotel was forced to fold up to its lender, other factors contributed and aggravated the crisis sustained by the hotel back then. It was hard for hotels to afloat the business, resulting in meager occupancy rates and high operational costs. The situation further crippled the economy, resulting in the closures of companies, including the hotel industry.

This dilemma caused by the Asian crisis was worsened by the unstable peace and order situation in the Mindanao archipelago. The massive hostilities between the government and the Moro rebels added to the distress, which became a significant factor in the hotel’s closure.

Aside from that, there were kidnappings by the extremist Abu Sayyaf which shook the economy, causing a slowed down of tourists arrival, a worst-ever economic slowdown, and severe reduction of economic opportunities. And all these did not spare the operation of Durian Hotel.

The Future of Durian Hotel

Rising from the past, surviving a series of economic and environmental crises, the building of Durian Hotel still stood almost unscathed structurally. And in 2015, it was reported that a new owner acquired the property from Metropolitan Bank and Trust Company at 400 million pesos.

And in 2020, the new owner started the rehabilitation and renovation that will transform the landscape of the business into a premier boutique hotel. And this is a much-awaited development that the people of Davao City are looking forward to seeing a grand return of the old landmark into a new landscape of the then Durian Hotel Davao.

The Impact of Global Pandemic on Hotels

With the current business situation, many establishments are suffering due to the global pandemic’s impact; hotel businesses are among the worst-hit industries. And in fact, two of the famous hotel landmarks in Davao City had closed operation without notice of business resumption as of yet.

But hopeful of the situation, hotels are complying with the operation’s readiness in terms of health protocols in preparation for the re-opening of business operations. And hopefully, this would also see optimism for the resumption of the halted rehabilitation of the Durian Hotel Davao.

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