Wednesday, March 13, 2013

Solaire Resort and Casino Manila Sneak Peak [Photos]

One of the most advertised and talked about upcoming opening is Solaire's resort and casino located in the entertainment city near Mall of Asia in Paranaque city.

It's not yet currently open to the public but we were lucky to be invited in their media viewing. It is set to open this Saturday, March 16, 2013 and as per info, the Philippine president will be there in the opening scheduled at 2:28pm. The resort and casino will be open to the public at 3pm.

They expect around 10,000 guests a day for their phase 1 project and since Solaire's mall is not yet open, they will cater first to the adult gaming crowd. Their phase 1 is not yet kid friendly as you have to be 18 years old and above to gain access in the casino.

In the gaming business, they have no "Cost of Goods sold" per se but their counterpart for that are the perks and privelege like free meals and drinks, superior room service and an entertainment package you can only find in Las Vegas or Macau.

Having visited both Macau and Las Vegas casinos, I can truly say that Solaire is world class. You will forget you are in Manila once you step inside. The ground floor gaming area caters to a wide variety of clients and the second floor area is for VIP gamers. They are the serious gamers that casinos call high rollers. They have high initial bets, no limits and they are serious in their business. You will need a VIP ID to gain access to the 2nd level gaming area. We cannot publish casino photos yet as requested so we'll just post the gaming stuff on Friday late at night.

For VIPs, they recruited veteran employees in the gaming industry from Macau so that the VIP high rollers won't be hassled by newly trained ones. Also, this is the first hotel in Manila that would have the ability to airlift guests from its own hangar to the hotel. They also have two Lear jets and a helicopter.

Because of our favorable tax rate in Manila, they are very optimistic that Solaire will help a lot of sectors bringing in more money and investments and their goal is to pull in the gaming crowd as this will help bring an influx of foreign funds. High rollers can get incentives like free accomodation and meals, ultra-VIP services and maybe a trip to Boracay or two. An advantage Macau or Vegas doesn't have.

They will not charge entrance fees as they have learned from a famous gaming hotel in Singapore where they charge an entrance fee. Because of that, people tend to stay longer to "maximize" the fee they paid and this will eventually hurt them.

There are 6 restaurants inside the first phase of their project and one food court with 6 stations that offer a variety of quick-serve dishes. No outside concessionaires and all will be in-house except for an exclusive watch store, "Lucerne". There's a buffet restaurant called Fresh. It's where everything will be really fresh. They are not about focusing on the "number" of dishes served but how unique and special each dish will be. This is where we had lunch that day and I can testify to that statement. They also have Yakumi (Japanese), Finestra (Italian), Red Lantern (Cantonese), Strip Steakhouse, Lucky Noodles (Asian selections). There's also Dragon bar, Sunset bar and grill and Eclipse (24-hour bar) with an extensive list of unique cocktails.

Getting a chance to talk to some employees, I was surprised to know that Solaire took an effort in bringing back what is rightfully ours, our prized OFWs. They are valuable because they are the ones that excel in their fields abroad and now, they can excel here in Manila because of Solaire's competitive packages for them but the real kicker for them is being able to be here in the Philippines with their families.

As they open, I will write more about Solaire because the media day took more than half a day and there was just so much information I want to share. Enjoy the sneak peak photos below!
(Tip: You can click one and just use the left or right arrow key to navigate)

Mall tycoon Mr. Henry Sy was also seen looking around the casino complex.

They offer free membership but you can just walk-in, sit down and play! All their machines can be used to get credits and at the same time dispense money when cashing out.

Mr. Razon was involved in the selection of every little detail inside Solaire including the smallest detail like the table napkins. Mr. Razon also mandated that the restaurants MUST serve the best food in the Philippines.

They separated the gaming floor for int'l customers and the local customers. The int'l customers they are referring to are mostly Chinese and they are serious in their game while Filipinos, as per survey, would enjoy a Las Vegas style casino more.

Related articles:
Fresh Buffet inside Solaire Resort and Casino
Solaire Resort and Casino photos
Solaire Manila's VIP gaming and casino floor photos

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