The highlight of the Azure Urban Resort Residences is pretty obvious, between the man-made beach with (mostly) fine white sand imported from pristine beaches in the Philippines. And of course – The massive wave pool. I spent about 4 weeks here while looking for a permanent residence in Metro Manila.
I leased a studio unit on airbnb.com, great discounts are offered by some of the owners. I’ll detail all of this as well as some of the somewhat restrictive rules and potential hidden costs.
The Azure Beach Bar and restaurant hangout in the middle of the Azure resort is pretty chill, Breezy, comfortable. With a basic menu and cold beer & other beverages. It also houses a DJ deck for tunes during the day and acoustic singers, or night parties.
The beach playground has a water play area with fun kiddie slides and water features for kids to splash and spray around in.
The Vlog video on YouTube also features the gym, the roof deck and a walkthrough of the grounds.
So – It’s Manila which means nothing is ever exactly as it seems, for the most part that isn’t always a great thing.
Especially of you are into a smooth and seamless vibe. Where you might wonder does the Azure beach resort fall into these little cracks in the Philippines?
It is true The Paris Beach Club is definitely a one-of-a-kind beach club in Manila.
The Azure website states it “integrates world class dining, relaxation, and entertainment facilities into one seamless, tropical-inspired experience.”
Well… Maybe the Miami facility can live up to that rap, but the Manila resort certainly does not incorporate any classy type of dining. It has a decent, limited menu at the outside beach bar; and there is a (group) banquet dining option available, but no indoor ala carte restaurant operating at this time. It looked like there was an area of the beach club set up as a full resto, there was signage indicating it was on the 3rd floor – but it was closed up and hard to tell if it had been shut down, or was never operational. As the Pinoy say “Wala”.
Maybe the aforementioned world class entertainment facilities are the banquet and function hosting areas. I did happen upon a private event or two. One appeared to be professional, there was a large projection screen. And plenty of seating with the long tables tables holding heating trays of food, salads, plates and utensils for a standard self-serve banquet luncheon.
There was some light entertainment at the pool bar a few nights during the week and weekend.
Acoustic performance, singers, mixed in with a DJ other nights. Not too loud thankfully, the pool bar staff was super friendly, polite and mostly efficient. The bill for dinner for two did not include a service charge (Usually 10%).
The Paranaque location is near Manila Bay, and there is often a nice (if not cool), at least a refreshing breeze coming off the water; so outdoor seating is pretty comfortable at night.
There is definitely a tropical and relaxing vibe from the amenities at the Azure staycation residences.
The resort was designed by style-icon and world traveler Paris Hilton. She was part of the planning for the look, feel, and exotic vibe of the building, as inspired by her experiences at many of the world’s best beach getaways. The result is an allegedly stunning, highly personal blend of color, décor, and activity. This reflects the fun nature of Paris Hilton as well as the modern tastes of today’s sun-loving residents.
Whether or not it lives up the level of “stunning” and the maarti Paris hype, it definitely has a big shot of wow factor.
The place is Big, the wave pool is huge, and even when it is packed, there is plenty of room to splash and jump around. I loved the 20 meter lap pool, (you can actually swim some serious laps) it is only open to residents (or) long term guests. The guard will ask anyone not wearing the proper beach tag to vacate the pool if they happen to venture it during a visit. I swam twice a day, and almost always had a whole lane to myself.
Personally – For the most part, i thought the pools were a bit on the warm side. In all fairness It was the height of summer (April/May), and the sun is blazing from about 9am to 2pm when it slips behind the St. Tropez tower. For the most part the water was still cool enough to be refreshing. And lounging about in the shallow areas of both pools was very, very relaxing.
There are two new towers under construction, and this tends to make things a bit noisy for most of the day and early evening. When these towers are completed, the resort will be a much more tranquil and relaxing environment.
There are some rules and regulations to manage.
This is both good and not so good. Most of the rules apply to having visitors, all guests need to have paperwork submitted on their behalf. Signed off on by the PMO office, and then filed at the tower of residence. When the visitors arrive, the guards check all the paperwork. Then a quick stop at the tower desk to trade your official ID for a guest badge. Then off to enjoy the beach, or the wave pool. (But not) the lap pool or Paris Beach club which includes the gym, the game room, and the movie theater room. Those amenities are reserved for long term residents.
I kind of liked that the paperwork process makes it tough for short, long term or permanent residents to invite “casual friends” or say personal massage therapists onto the premises.
The red tape can only be filed 9 to 5 or so. So any late night impromptu visitors that do not have pre-approval are not granted entry. It helps keep the community secular, and maintains a family friendly environment. Extrapolate this a bit and it basically means there is no singles pick-up scene happening at the beach bar. It is not open to the public.
Guests at one point during my stay had to pay a 20 peso fee for a beach tag. But that got jacked way up to 500Php which caused a bit of grumbling to say the least. It sure cleared out the weekend crowd in the pool!
How can all of this be yours for just $22.00 a day – I’ll tell you of course. Find the right host/unit at Azure on www.airbnb.com for example, I got a great deal from my wonderful host and her lovely studio condo . She offered a weekly discount of 33%, and/or a monthly discount of 57% (That my friends) is the ticket!
Now there are one or two other things that i wasn’t so keen on, Paranaque itself is South of Metro Manila which makes it feel like it is a bit of the boondocks. The only place that is really accessible is the SM Bicutan. It’s nice and all, has a hypermarket, and a bunch of mediocre at best restaurants (with one exception – The Thai resto “Silam”).
It can take as little as 15 minutes and 100 pesos to travel to Makati. Or it can take an hour (or more) depending on the time of day, and which day.
You will also have to pay for a toll (each way) 40Php for the lower skyway, 72Php for the speedier upper deck. Round trip the toll can be more than the taxi fare. Coming back from Makati during the evening (uber or Grab) gives you the “peak times” nonsense; and fares can be between 200 and 350Php – Kind of a ripoff.
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