Get Inspired at The Picasso Boutique Serviced Residences

When I was a kid, I would draw on my sketchbook for hours on end. I loved watching cartoons, and my favorite characters always wound up in my sketches, translated from television pixels to pencil strokes. Longer times were spent during summer breaks, and sometimes my sister, who also loves to draw, would sit next to me—she and her rock star portraits. We never got into fine arts. I studied signals and waveforms; she memorized taxation laws and balanced worksheets. But I guess, as I dabbled on another art form which is dancing, I never lost the artist in me.

Imagine my delight when my friend from Pinas Muna invited me to a weekend staycation at The Picasso Serviced Residences—one of the well-known artsy hotels in the metro. I have never painted—nor have I studied art history and so I know very little of Pablo Picasso aside from the fact that he popularized Cubism—but the thought of being surrounded with so much art excited me. I guess it’s a way of reconnecting with my old self, or of igniting what remains of the artist pushed down the depths of my being. But whatever it is, this weekend stay tugged something inexplicable within me.

Located in the heart of Salcedo Village in Makati, The Picasso is a stylish boutique hotel that caters to travelers seeking for a respite within the busy city—an 8-story edifice inspired from the works of the Spanish painter and sculptor. The 136-room hotel boasts of artfully designed spaces and functional common areas, and while it acts as the home mostly of long-staying expats assigned in Manila, it is perfect for weekend staycationers as well. Managed by Hospitality Innovators Inc.—the same group handling Azumi Boutique Hotel—The Picasso fuses artistry and comfort, a hotel that both inspires and relaxes.

The level of artistic thought and scrupulous planning given to the hotel is instantly evident upon stepping into the lobby, where curious pieces can be seen: from the checked floors and vibrant walls to the quirky installations and bespoke fixtures. It was a feast for the senses; not only was this entryway and receiving area a delight to look at, it was also a spectacle to the nose—the hotel fragrance was so alluring, that one could only get excited of spending the whole day inside.

Within minutes we were checked-in and issued our key cards, and up we went to the 8th floor to experience one of the most relaxing weekend staycations we’ve had. Keep on reading to find out more about the art immersion that is The Picasso.
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------


The Madrid Studio

The elements taken from Picasso’s art continues to be showcased in the hotel accommodations, such as geometric furniture, striking contrasting colors, and arresting accents. Looking around, I remember one article I read about one of my favorite films, Moulin Rouge; the writer said, when the movie didn’t win its much-coveted award, that it might not have been the best directed, but it certainly was the most directed.

Named after the city where Pablo Picasso first studied art, the Madrid Studio is a 45-sqm. room with a Queen-size bed, an en suite bathroom, a workstation, a kitchenette with mini bar, and a private balcony. The interiors are of a red, green, and white color scheme—consistent with the use of vibrant pieces prevalent in the entire hotel.

Unique to The Picasso is the seamless fusion of art and function—striking colors, lovely patterns, and interesting details combine with cutting-edge amenities designed for modern comfort. The Madrid Studio includes plug-and-play docking stations, high-speed Wi-Fi, and fancy lighting that allows guests to just wallow in the beauty of the room while still enjoying convenience and a bit of luxury.

I found that the red walls agitatedrather than pacified—me, good thing the Madrid Studio’s bed is so comfortable, providing me my much-needed rest. It took some time to calm me and stop me from observing all the room details, but eventually I did lie down and slept, LOL.

I really loved the wall opposite the bed—which contains the flat screen HD TV, framed by a wooden installation that doubles as a sitting area, and yes, shelf space. It connects to the desk that artsy folks would definitely find minimalist yet conducive to getting some work done.

The en suite bathroom has a vanity area, a toilet area, and a walk-in shower, and is equipped with wonderful toiletries. Water flow is, of course, excellent and the toilet has a bidet installed. I find the bathroom design so masculine as it’s full of edges—not much rounded corners and embellishments. 

Long-staying guests can cook their own meals inside the studio which comes fitted with a microwave, a stove, dinnerware, and fine china that are available upon request. This is especially ideal for those with strict dietary needs (i.e. vegan, vegetarian) and those who can’t just eat out anywhere.

With this mix of form and function, The Picasso definitely delivers the quality of stay that it promises—a total immersion, and at the same time, an indulgence in simple pleasures.


Other Rooms

We were invited to check out the other room types at The Picasso, and I must say that each one screams with character. The Barcelona Suite—a spacious 88-sqm. room with separate sleeping and living areas, two balconies, a kitchenette, and an open-style bathroom—has bright yellow and purple colors that I found so cheery and invigorating! I wish I had stayed in this room, haha!

The Picasso Loft, on the other hand, boasts of expansive living and dining areas, a kitchenette with a bar, plush floor-to-ceiling windows, and a bedroom with a luxurious bath located on the loft level. At 93 sqm., this accommodation is desirable for families or VIPs who are hosting some guests during their stay.








All room categories come with the basic services offered by The Picasso, including daily housekeeping, room service, 24-hour front desk service, free use of the gym, access to the art gallery, and free shuttle to Ayala Center and Makati CBD. The last one is so valuable—especially for business travelers! 


Dining

Checked-in guests can enjoy complimentary breakfast served at the hotel’s onsite restaurant, Pablo. Situated at the lobby level, the casual-chic bistro serves a hodgepodge of multi-cultural cuisines inspired by European bistro fare.

Pablo showcases contemporary interiors with traces of old-world Europe. I really love the sophisticated hardwood parquet floors that perfectly blend with the intricate furnishings. Subdued lighting dominates the space—a nightmare for Instagrammers but good thing there are huge windows on one side of the restaurant. The rugged walls give off a very relaxed feel, making the bistro more casual without losing that upscale ambience.

There’s a small selection of breakfast sets to choose from alongside a buffet spread of breads, cheeses, cold cuts, cereals, salads, fruits, and drinks. I tried a Filipino-style breakfast plate with corned beef, scrambled eggs, and fried rice, while my friend got himself the bangus (marinated milkfish) served with fried rice and topped with a sunny side-up. Both come with a choice of coffee or tea.

Maybe the interiors are just too good, but the food didn’t quite match the loveliness of the restaurant. I was expecting more for something this well-presented, but the food was, to be honest, average. Maybe it’s just the breakfast—perhaps I should try Pablo’s a la carte menu or grab some drinks on the bar sometime.


Other Amenities

As an advocate of art, The Picasso naturally has a gallery in one of its beautiful nooks. The Altro Mondo Arte Contemporanea, located on the 4th floor, will seduce art lovers with its well-curated collection of paintings and photographs created by different artists.

The collection changes every 2 to 3 months and feature different Filipino creators. From abstract works to drawings that contain social commentaries, each frame here will surely intrigue one’s mind, provoke feelings, and make him imagine more.

They also conduct photography sessions here, so if you’re interested to become a model (nude, anyone?) or to practice your captures, what better way to do it than mingle with like-minded artists?

On the 5th level is the Gym which houses state-of-the-art facilities. Exclusive to in-house guests, the fitness center ensures that guests get their much-needed exercise, especially long-staying ones.



There’s a Function Room on the 7th floor which can accommodate up to 50 people—perfect for business meetings, seminars, parties and other gatherings. It comes equipped with a projector, a sound system, flip charts, writing boards, and stationery. The space also doubles as a Movie Room when the weather doesn’t permit a film screening under the stars at the roofdeck.

The hotel also has a wellness spa, a salon, and a Wi-Fi lounge. Check out their website for more details.


The Picasso: Where Art and Passion Live

Hotels like The Picasso may seem like merely a novelty, but when this unconventionality converges with travelers’ expectations of a worthwhile stay, then you have here something one-of-a-kind—a hotel that deserves attention not only because of its brightly-colored walls, but also because of the exquisite service and attention it gives its guests. The Picasso is as warm as it is inventive, as fresh as it is familiar. What it truly is: a gem in the midst of busy Makati City.

I’ve never encountered a place before that couples the hotel experience with a fascinating exploration of art. Whether you’re someone appreciating art for the first time or a seasoned creator yourself, you will find yourself transformed as you enter the walls of this old-building-turned-hotel—walking on bumpy canvas and treading through paint that has been dried by time, seeing new colors, finding new meanings, and watching as things you’ve never seen before come to life.


~*~
The Picasso Serviced Residences
119 L.P. Leviste St., Salcedo Village, Makati City
+632.828.4774
reservations@picassomakati.com

Criteria
Facilities
Service
Dining
Ambience
Location
TOTAL
Rating
4/5
5/5
3/5
4/5
4.5/5
4.1
Comments
The rooms are spacious and artfully designed with modern conveniences.
Attentive and very friendly hotel staff.
The food is average: not bad but nothing to rave about.
Every corner fascinates; the hotel really immerses you in art. A unique experience!
Within Makati CBD and in a relatively quiet neighborhood.
A great choice for both long-staying business travelers and weekend staycationers, with a special appeal for lovers of art.

Points for improvement:
  • Add more breakfast options in Pablo.

----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Recommendations (Click on the image below for full, printable size):





Do you love art? What do you think about The Picasso?

My stay was sponsored by The Picasso Serviced Residences. All opinions, however, are my own.

If you like my posts and would love regular updates on travel photos, food finds, restaurant reviews, dance articles, and drunken tales, follow Pepe Samson on Facebook!

pepe samson

About Pepe Samson

This is a short description in the author block about the author. You edit it by entering text in the "Biographical Info" field in the user admin panel.
    Disqus Comment
    Facebook Comment

0 comments :

Post a Comment

Let me know what you think!