From 4-Star Boutique to a Formidable Chain of Hotels: How SEDA Attains Success in the Hospitality Industry

SEDA Hotels The Business Manual

With hotel and staycation demands on the rise, SEDA Hotels up the ante with world-class services and amenities that put them on par with international brands.

Reeling from a two-year pandemic, revenue in the hotel market is on an upswing and projected to reach $1.7 billion (around PHP 94.24 billion) in 2023. What’s more, revenue is expected to show an annual growth rate of 6.48%—resulting in a projected market volume of $25 billion (around PHP 1.39 trillion) by 2027.

Although the aforementioned numbers show promise, the hospitality industry in the country is still in the recovery phase. “Our hotels are performing much better than last year but we have not achieved 2019 business levels, especially in rates,” states Melissa Carlos, Senior Group Head of Sales and Marketing of SEDA Hotels.

“The last quarter of 2023 has been strong which makes up for our leaner months, with room occupancy averaging 90%. On the whole, however, while there is demand for domestic leisure and staycations, the international business and leisure segments are not yet back,” she adds.

On its 11th year of operations and on the precipice of opening its 13th hotel in the country, the chain’s current most senior executive takes a look back to discuss how SEDA Hotels has grown and evolved through the years.

A Proudly Local Hotel

Culling its name from the Tagalog word for silk to symbolize its commitment to providing guests with a seamless hospitality experience, Ayala Hotels and Resorts Corporation (AHRC) opened the very first SEDA Hotel in Bonifacio Global City, Taguig.

AHRC, a division of the country’s largest property developer Ayala Land, Inc., wanted to build a local hotel that would be at par with dominant international brands. It adopted a business model offering a quality product combined with exceptional service at excellent value in a prime location.

“I joined Ayala Land back in 2012—at the preopening stage of Seda. At that time, there were only 3 or 5-star hotels in Manila,” Carlos recalls, noting that star ratings are given by the Department of Tourism based on industry standards.

“We positioned Seda as a 4-star business boutique hotel targeting business travelers mainly because the hotel [and all others built after] were located in the central business district,” she adds. “A little later on, with the right mix of product and pricing, we realized that we could evolve into something bigger. So in 2017, we opened our first big hotel Seda Vertis North in QC which performed outstandingly.”

Fastest Growing Local Hospitality Chain in its Category—SEDA Hotel is a fully-owned and managed hotel by Ayala Land Hotels and Resorts Corporation. In the past ten years, it has expanded to large-format hotels, serviced residences, and resorts.

The SEDA Factor

To compete with the established hotel brands, Ayala Land, Inc. knew that it had to increase the presence of SEDA, widen the target market, and offer more amenities. Exploring bigger platforms and providing more upscale amenities while still staying true to its commitment to highlighting Filipino talent and excellence became its goal in the last decade.

More specifically, Melissa Carlos attributes the following factors as the main drivers for the brand’s success:


Being an integral part of Ayala Land’s mixed-use development, all SEDA hotels enjoy enviable prime locations. Guests have everything within reach once they step out of the hotels. While they experience the hotel’s amenities, dining and retail options are within walking distance or situated nearby.

Value for Money

Aside from location, guests look for the best prices in the market. SEDA fills the gap between luxury and budget hotels at very competitive stay rates. It offers amenities like modern and space-efficient guest rooms, suites and ballrooms in selected hotels, in-room massage service, onsite restaurants and bars, executive lounges, function rooms, a gym, a pool—and even a mini golf course at Seda Manila Bay.

In addition, Its loyalty program allows frequent guests to enjoy a wide range of privileges and rewards.

Consistency and Quality of Service

“Our unwavering commitment to exceptional service has been a cornerstone of our operations. We ensure that our guests get unparalleled care throughout their stay,” says Carlos.

The staff also receives continuous skills development, coaching empowerment, and various training sessions to hone professionalism and deliver service at par with global standards.


The diverse food and beverage offerings have proven to be a major attraction both for stay-in guests and walk-ins.

In-house restaurant Misto features a delightful blend of international dishes and local specialties. Straight Up, on the other hand, has become a sought-after bar destination for people who like listening to music as they unwind. All the kitchens are headed by Filipino chefs who are responsible for creating distinct culinary masterpieces daily.

Home of the Filipino Hospitality—SEDA BGC features in-house restaurants that cater to a myriad of audiences with international dishes, specialty mixed drinks, and local specialties.

The Unassuming Lady Boss

Behind the success of the SEDA group of hotels is a soft-spoken executive whose modest ways belie the capable way she runs the business. Having been with the company since its inception, Melanie Carlos credits the healthy work atmosphere where she has nurtured solid relationships as she built her career.

“A lot of us have been with the company since the day we first opened. Aside from our astute business practices, it is the people of SEDA who have made it into what it is today,” beams Carlos. 

When asked to describe her management style, Melissa says, “I believe in granting autonomy to my team, allowing them to make decisions and occasional mistakes. When mistakes do occur, I apply a highly proactive approach. It is my role to provide guidance through a process of validation. On the one hand, I do uphold certain non-negotiables such as adherence to deadlines, compliance with company guidelines, and punctuality.”

Moreover, Carlos says that having an open-door policy where team members can readily approach her has been useful in fostering deeper understanding and effective management.

As for her thoughts on women in the hospitality industry holding key positions? “In the Philippines, many marketing and sales directors happen to be women. I think this is due to our adeptness at fostering team cohesion—akin to a nurturing leader. The ability to unite and lead, because and not despite our gender, is what makes us highly effective in our roles.”

Feedback and ratings are important tools for hotels. “There’s always room for growth and improvement. We listen to what the guests have to say and try to resolve any issue at once. If the service is excellent, guests will post about it on social media or leave good reviews on our site. That’s a plus for us.”

“After all, we take pride in not only providing accommodations, but in crafting a seamless experience that leaves a lasting experience of comfort, efficiency, and the renowned warmth of Filipino service,” enthuses Melissa.

Seasoned Hotelier—Melissa Carlos considers having a strategic vision (having foresight focused on achieving top-line revenues and its proactive adaptation to a dynamic business environment), strong communication skills (inspiring action and collaboration through clear articulation with team members, stakeholders, and clients), and adaptability (swiftly responding to market shifts, formulating strategies, and embracing changes to maintain a competitive edge.) as essential characteristics of a business leader.

Forging Ahead

This year alone, SEDA has won three awards: Philippines Leading Hotel Group (World Travel Awards), Wellness Company of the Year (Asia CEO Awards 2023), and Best Hotel Group (Haute Grandeur Awards 2023). These awards are added to past accolades garnered throughout the years, solidifying the local hotel’s stellar reputation in the industry. 

What’s more, the construction of more hotels around the country is in the planning stage with SEDA One Ayala—set to open by 2025. 

In the meantime, the hotel is ready to welcome friends and families this Christmas season. Guests can avail of holiday restaurant offers which include abundant specialty buffets and menus at Misto and Straight Up Bar. Seda Christmas hams and Yuletide hampers may likewise be availed of for gifting.

SEDA BGC is located at 3oth St., corner 11Th Avenue, Lane P, BGC, Taguig. For inquiries and reservations, you may contact them at (02) 7945-8888.