A series of flashing bulbs always lit up inside my brain each time I hear the term 'boutique hotel' - as a veteran of sleeping in dingy hotels devoid of management's proper planning and an architect's imagination, I welcome the idea of staying in a fancy nest. So, coming to Azumi Boutique Hotel in Alabang the day of the 2014 Globe TattAwards (where this travel blog was a finalist for the third straight year), my expectations are sky high. Home and hotel interiors always look better in pictures, so I was curious to see how Azumi would look like in actuality.
Opting to walk than get baked inside the jeepney under the hot sun on a torrid traffic jammed Alabang - Zapote road, I saw the towering Azumi from a distance. The dark colored building exterior with a rubber and plastic green lawn outside immediately ignited a spark of approval in my head. The interior is much more impressive, the lobby ranks among the best I've seen of any hotel I've ever been to. (I've hanged out like a runaway juvenile on quite a lot of 5 star hotels in the past, just because. Hotel-crasher).
The post-modern furniture and couch are carefully chosen and are styled with a fusion of an industrial and royal theme, each filling the space perfectly as it also compliments the shelves filled with framed pictures of visually enticing photographs. The 'photographer'-wannabee in myself felt instantly right at home. The transaction at the front desk was clock-work. I handed my passport since I've no other ID's and people would easily mistake me for actor Liev Schreiber. So the receptionist, instead of addressing Mr. Naomi Watts, just simply said "Welcome Mr. Mark(y)...." and quickly handed me my key card.
Up on the 14th floor, I discovered a more spacious room than I expected. Because budget and other minuscule boutique hotels offers just enough space to stretch your legs and put your backpack down, in here - my room dishes out a well ensemble space complete with a fridge, a sink, microwave, a big closet, a working station and a see through bathroom that has all the aesthetics, design and planning that my architect brother would approve of.
My room has a balcony that offers a view of the city with the Alabang Town Center clearly visible as well as fancy lofts in the neighborhood. Azumi's in-house dining place is the ultra-cozy and stylish Romulo Cafe, whose walls proudly displays framed images of the late Carlos P. Romulo. iPhone generation who doesn't have any idea of who he was, better brush up on your history pronto!
Me and my girlfriend tried the Filipino breakfast buffet and it's nice to sit around a fancy place taking your time digesting all those Pinoy comfort food and sipping a hot coffee surrounded by a little bit of Philippine history. There is a rooftop swimming pool which is ideal for a few laps of swimming, but unfortunately I wasn't able to take a dive on it. The water and the view atop looks inviting though.
Over-all my short stay at Azumi was a very relaxing one, aside from being caught up in the dreaded Alabang traffic on my way to MOA for the Globe TattAwards, I was so glad that we came back to a very comfortable place to rest and cap the night. Right now, I already miss the bright Earth colors of my room and the visually stimulating lobby which as I've said is one of the best I've seen. Azumi Boutique Hotel definitely deserves to include the word 'boutique' in its name. Hats off to the all the minds who contributed to the finished look of this place.
To know more about their promos and booking inquiries please "Like" their Facebook page and check out their website.