Marco Polo Davao is the first five-star hotel in Mindanao inaugurated in 1998 has 12 function rooms and 245 elegant guest rooms. The rooms are categorized as Superior, Deluxe Rooms & Suites, Premier Rooms & Suites, and Cabana Rooms & Suites. They also have Continental Rooms & Suites, Marco Polo Suite, and the Presidential Suite. The hotel was home to almost all visiting presidents of the republic and lots of local and foreign dignitaries.
The hotel has a strategic location amid the business district of the city. It has exquisitely designed rooms with breathtaking views of the Davao Gulf and Mt. Apo. And it became a testament to the city’s economic growth and was a crucial driver to the rise of the local tourism economy.
Marco Polo Hotel Davao was awarded the ASEAN Green Hotel Recognition because of its proactive involvement in environmental conservation through its energy conservation initiatives.
Surviving the Challenges
The Marco Polo Hotel Davao had witnessed some challenges that the city underwent for its twenty-two years of operation.
In 2000 and 2003, during its maiden year of operation, Marco Polo Davao witnessed the conflict in south-central Mindanao that brought a slight instability in many economic activities in the archipelago. And in 2004, a terroristic act confronted hometown Davao, with the bombing of the airport and the seaport in March and April consecutively.
Later in April of 2016, the most horrible bombing happened at the Roxas night market located right across from the hotel. This caused a dreadful panic to guests, hotel staff, and everyone around the vicinity during that eventful night. And finally, Marco Polo sustained martial law in Mindanao from May 2017 to December 31, 2019. Marco Polo Hotel Davao conquered all these together with other minor atrocities.
And it was not until May 2020 that the economic fallout brought about by the COVID-19 pandemic prompted the management of Marco Polo Davao to announce an indefinite cessation of operation. Now, the twenty-two-year-old landmark hotel will temporarily stop running the business effective June 15, 2020. It will close its doors to guests as it waits for some viability of the situation to reopen, said the management.
The Management of Marco Polo Hotel Davao
At the forefront of all the challenges, pitfalls, and victories encountered by the hotel is the successful management that brings enormous business success. On the lead is Francis Ledesma, the President of Halifax Davao Hotel, Inc.- the holding company of Marco Polo Davao, was named Owner Representative of the Year in 2018, recognizing the professional excellence of an individual in the hotelier industry in Asia.
Behind the very powerful, strong, and successful operation of the hotel is Carlos Garcia Dominguez III, the owner of Marco Polo Hotel Davao.
Know the Owner
Marco Polo Hotel Davao is owned by Carlos “Sonny” Garcia Dominguez III, and his family. Born on September 16, 1945, Sonny Dominguez is a Filipino Businessman, is an alumnus of the Ateneo de Manila University who earned his Master’s Degree in Business Administration and attended the Executive Management program at Stanford University.
Dominguez has over forty years of managing experience in public and private organizations. He became the former chief executive of Philippine Airlines. He was a board chairman, a member, or a shareholder of various corporations in various industries like real estate, power, agriculture, and mining. He was also involved in banking, investment, and hospitality,
Some of the notable positions he held in the government were Cabinet Secretary of the Environment and Natural Resources and the 31st Cabinet Secretary of the Department of Finance of the Duterte administration. The well-rounded leadership of Sonny Dominguez put a mark on the history of tourism in Mindanao when he built the symbol of tourism, the figure of hospitality for the whole island, the premier destination in the country, the remarkable Marco Polo Hotel Davao.