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Family and Folklore define pioneering Hotel design at South Palms Resort Panglao Bohol-MGallery

Family and Folklore define pioneering Hotel design at South Palms Resort Panglao Bohol-MGallery

Design team of award-winning culturalists, storytellers and community-first advocates collaborate to put “adaptive reuse” at the heart of the new Accor hotel on the island of Bohol, Philippines 

With craft, community, and a deeply held intrinsic value for the cultural mores and history of the island, South Palms Resort Panglao Bohol – MGallery is shaping up to be anything but a cookie cutter hotel.

Six world-class innovation and sustainability leaders in architecture, interior design, and green development have gathered to create a hotel like no other. They are weaving the folklore of the destination into the fabric of the project and into the hearts of the community of artisans proudly crafting a living history for guests when the hotel opens as part of the Panglao Shores masterplan in Q4 2024.

PATRICK KEANE, Founder of Enter Projects Asia, analyzing a traditional loom weaving in Bohol

Adaptive Reuse

Patrick Keane, founder of Enter Projects, is an artist and master of “native material” design. He is working with Boholano craftsmen to create spaces of celebration. “Here is a community deeply entrenched in generations of arts and crafts,” he said. “We are using local materials such as recycled woods, weaving basketry and weaving fabrics. In addition to these are traditional techniques passed down through generations. We also incorporate performance-based materials such as solar and sustainably engineered materials. As a project it is breaking new ground.”

The concept of “adaptive reuse” extends the lifecycle of architecture through creative upcycling. It ensures history lives on and folklore traditions are maintained, courses through the project. Hazel Wu of White Jacket has been at the forefront of the reuse of materials from former ancestral homes. She ensures materials are utilized and cherished.

HAZEL WU of White Jacket (Singapore), checking wood quality of a former disused ancestral home in Bohol

“A piece of Bohol will be featured in every room. This includes wooden walls that previously formed part of village dwellings. It also includes natural materials that tell the story of local artists and artisans. This is a tale of culture and folk tales. Stories that will be told throughout the hotel,” said Wu.

Located on a 6.4-hectare site, the hotel is a story of collaboration and re-discovery of the roots of Bohol’s cultural heritage. It is led by the owners’ passion and love of the destination. The personal journey of Hope Uy, daughter of the founder of owning company, Alturas Group of Companies (AGC), is at the core of the creation of the 188-key resort.

The heart of the Project

Developed by AGC, with the support of renowned Asian hospitality consultancy C9 Hotelworks, led by industry icon Bill Barnett, the design of South Palms Resort Panglao Bohol – MGallery also instils the timeless tales of family into every aspect of the hotel, says Uy.

“Ensuring that this DNA was at the centre of the hotel was everything for me,” she said. “This is the heart of the project. I was born in Bohol and it is vital for me that the spirit of our history, culture, and sense of family comes through all aspects of the design creation. I hope it will also inspire others. Also, I feel that we have a responsibility to respect our land and our heritage. And, we should make it everlasting and relevant to new generations.”

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Chris Singer, Founder & Managing Director of SCSY Studio calls upon his 25 years of master-planning, architecture and design expertise. This is to provide conceptual and technical recommendations for South Palms Resort Panglao Bohol – MGallery. Phillip Pond, Founder & Director of Atelier Pond is developing the concept, planning, and detailed design for the four restaurants and bars on site. It comprises an array of F&B experiences for guests. Phillip also believes in aesthetics informed by cultural heritage and environment; a concept he brings to life through natural materials.


Every aspect of the project will be developed in line with eco-building standards and materials. These include high-performance glass, natural ventilation, and solar harvesting, along with smart technologies, electric transport, water treatment and waste reduction. John Farrell, Founder & Director of XCO2 Energy is a specialist in low-carbon projects. Moreover, his input is instrumental in helping South Palms Resort Panglao Bohol – MGallery to be operationally eco-friendly.

(right) DREW ANDERSON of TOPO with resort owner HOPE UY (left), honing farm-to-table planting ahead of launch

Destination landscape and sustainability specialist, Drew Anderson, Managing Director of TOPO Design Studio Singapore has been drafted in due to his vast experience in working in some of the most eco-sensitive resort locations globally such as Fiji and the Maldives. He also brings decades of expertise in agricultural tourism and developing sustainable food resources. Examples of these are hydroponics and farm-to-table farming for hotels. Furthermore, these help AGC harness natural resources and integrate community communities into the project.

Construction of South Palms Resort Panglao Bohol – MGallery is currently underway in Phase 1 of Panglao Shores with completion scheduled in Q4 2024.

Bohol is one of the most exciting destinations for investment and tourism in the Philippines. The island is served by the new Bohol-Panglao International Airport, the first eco-airport in the Philippines, with the building orientated specifically to make the most of natural light and ventilation, complemented by extensive solar power implementation, utilization of a photovoltaic power generation system and state-of-the-art waste disposal and waterworks systems – further adding to the credentials of Bohol as a truly sustainable destination.

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