Thursday, December 13, 2012


Chic, modern, and no-frills. These are the qualities of the new iSuites Hotel, a 33-room, 5-story boutique hotel located on Imperial St. in Cubao. But if it were up to its chief executive officer, Mikaela Singson Mendoza, she would rather use the description: “personalized and original.” In the original blueprint, the hotel building was initially constructed as an apartment. At the time, the idea of a business that would bring in monthly income sounded more appealing and lucrative to Mikaela’s family. It was Mikaela’s mom, Sheila Singson, who thought of converting the apartment building into a hotel.

“My mom thought that I would be a right fit for this job,” narrates Mika. “I am studying Hotel and Restaurant Management at Treston International College. My dream was to be an F&B director of a big hotel. Never thought that I would be actually opening up a hotel of my own.” That sudden change of plans, consequently, brought forth big changes in the design and layout of the building.

“That’s why it took us three or four years to finish the whole thing because this was supposed to be an apartment. We had to knock down walls, re-do the floor layout, and other stuff,” Mikaela says. Deciding what theme to apply to the hotel interiors came easy. Mika and her mom just took a cue from the building’s location.

“This hotel is located on Imperial St. When you say Imperial, parang it sounds Japanese. So we thought of using Imperial Suites, but since there’s already an Imperial Suites in Quezon City, we just thought of using iSuites, and as we were building the hotel we unearthed bullets” explains Mikaela.

iSuites, still according to Mikaela, sounds younger, fresher, and up-to-date. Mikaela says that this is really how they want their hotel to be perceived by the public: a vibrant, modern hotel that knows the real needs of travelers.

“We just made the ‘i’ in the logo look more Asian, Oriental or Japanese, so that people when they see the logo, they would immediately think that the hotel is Asian-inspired,” she adds.

In keeping with the Japanese theme, Mika decided to assign certain terms that are associated with the Japanese culture to the hotel rooms instead of numbers.

“We didn’t use numbers. We call our rooms Kimono, Mikado, Sakura, Zen, Taka, Geisha, Shinden, Haiku, Emeperor, Shogun, Sake, and Geta,” explains Mikaela.

The Kimono rooms, the simplest of all the room types, have a double-sized bed, a false veranda and LCD TV with HD channels. Rates for this room start from P1,500. Mikaela says the Kimono room is for the no-frills type of guests, who just want a good bed to sleep in.

“It’s really simple. But of course, we wanted it to look good,” she adds. “Our rooms are personalized, they’re really designed with the needs of the guests in mind,” she says.

Guests staying in premium rooms (Sakura, Zen, Taka, Geisha, Shinden, Haiku, Emeperor, Shogun, Sake, and Geta) and the Mikado room, have safety boxes where they can keep their valuables. The Geta rooms and Sake rooms, whose rates start from P4, 900, are actually two-level units. They are equipped with their own living room, kitchenette, dining, mini bar, HD TV, double-sized beds and single beds and toilet and bathrooms.



All rooms come with free Wi-Fi access and with complimentary breakfast meals at the hotel’s restaurant, Tatami. At Tatami, guests can partake of Japanese food fare and other Asian dishes. “On weekdays, we have a lunch buffet serving home-cooked dishes, priced around P60 to P90 per dish. So it’s very affordable,” says Mika. “We also want to tap the officeworkers, because we’re very near the Araneta center, where there are lots of banks, call centers, and other offices.”

Good old Vigan favourites have also found their way into the Tatami menu. Mika, who hails from Ilocos Sur, says that the restaurant also offers bagnet, Vigan longganisa, and pakbet. “It’s nice when you have these dishes. There’s variety!” adds Mika.

iSuites also offers extended stays and long-term monthly rental accommodations. Rooms for this type of rental come with their own electric meters, so guests can monitor and take charge of their expenses on utilities. “What’s good about it is that guests can enjoy the same in-room services: housekeeping, cleaning, and all. We clean your room, we replenish your towels, we make your bed. So it’s like you’re living in a serviced apartment,” adds Mikaela. “Plus, we have huge discounts if they choose to stay longer than six months. After their sixth month, we’d give them a discount of up to forty percent.” Discount starts on the first month.

But the best selling point of iSuites, still according to Mika, is not seen. It is felt.

Mikaela believes that it’s their personalized service that would set them apart. “I want everything to be personalized. I am very hands-on. Even if I am still studying, I would take care of the little details. I would teach the housekeeping, the front office, tell my staff what to do and how to do things right,” says Mika. “That’s how we really want it. Personalized service.” For inquiries, bookings, and reservations, call 376 4750 or visit

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