The Innkeeper: Dr. Sandra Sarabia-Gomez

Dr. Sandra Sarabia-Gomez is the Innkeeper of Sarabia Manor Hotel & Convention Center

It may be difficult to believe that the elaborate and imposing structure that is the Sarabia Manor Hotel and Convention Center began its life as a school project.

“It’s true,” smiles Dr. Sandra Sarabia- Gomez, the Hotel’s current president. “We have a rather large family, and we used to live right here on the lot. Even then, we were used to entertaining guests and visiting family and friends. My father was the visionary, my mom was the industrious workhorse who was the ‘wind beneath his but wings’ but it was through my brother Dong’s graduate thesis that it professionally became a hotel.”

Dr. Sandra Sarabia-Gomez
Dr. Sandra Sarabia-Gomez | Photo Scanned from Ilonggo Initiatives published by Iloilo Business Club (2011)

Flash forward 39 years, and through trials, great and small, including a controversial tenancy by the Casino Filipino in the 1980s and an ever-unpredictable tourist economy, Sarabia Manor continues to lead in its industry as one of the premier hotels in the city, always at the ready to serve.

“The secret is in the personal touch,” confides Sandra. “The small gestures you would think to be insignificant – the smallest acts of service – can sometimes lead to the greatest reward.” She recounts to several chance meetings with guests which have turned into lasting relationships for the business and lasting friendships for her. “The bonds we have forged with our returning satisfied customers only prove that the littlest details do matter, and it is a quality that we at Sarabia Manor can proudly call our own.

Indeed, it may be difficult to believe that the hotel has retained its prominence based on such simple principles. But perhaps, that may be precisely what makes it unique; that for Sandra, business can be personal; and for all its grandeur, to the thousands of guests who have graced its hallowed halls, Sarabia Manor is and will always be a family home.

Source: Ilonggo Initiatives published by Iloilo Business Club (2011)


Sheila is a digital marketing enthusiast. She is a kdrama fan, a dog person and a certified foodie!

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