Monday, May 03, 2010

picasso (not the painter)

remember blanco apartments on leviste street in salcedo village? if you've been involved in the publishing and/or fashion business for at least, say, 10 years, you may have some memories of the place. if you or a colleague (or colleagues) didn't live there, then possibly a photographer, designer, stylist, hairdresser, or makeup artist you knew or worked with did. rent was cheap, location was ideal, and there was a community among its tenants. well, that building is no more. actually the building is still there, intact—but has recently been reinvented as the picasso boutique serviced residences. it opened early this year and we would always pass it but had never gone in—till a week ago when it had its formal opening. such a posh place! it's hard to feel nostalgic about blanco now because they did a pretty good job with the tasteful renovation. we don't know anyone who has actually stayed here, but people say the food at the ground-floor resto, brasserie boheme, is good and affordable (and the place turns into a bar/hangout at night). and if you're a guest and get sick of it, why, you can just walk over to tons of eateries around the area! (like elbert's steak room ;-) the picasso is described as thus (edited press release):

The designer serviced residences took inspiration from the artistic genius and great visual master, Pablo Picasso. While Picasso transformed the way we looked at the world, The Picasso is transforming the look and feel of serviced residences, offering guests the ambiance of a five-star hotel but with friendly and personalized service that makes one feel right at home, while offering beautiful and stylish interiors.

Delightful canvas of lines, stunning patterns, and eclectic palettes are seen all over the property. The studios and one-bedrooms are luxurious in terms of space at 45 and 88 square meters, respectively, complementing the extended windows from floor to ceiling and wall to wall, and with a large balcony to boot, making it ideal for both short- and long-term stays.

Positioned to be not just another property with art but as an engine for art, the lobby and common areas exhibit works by modern and avant-garde Filipino artists. There is also a dedicated art gallery space on the third floor that hosts openings, workshops and art talks. All the works in the building are appointed by Art Cabinet Philippines as an in-house curator, changed every two months, and for sale.

that evening, guests were given a tour of the place by the general manager himself, chad davis, who used to work at makati shangri-la. this is called the madrid studio (photos below), which looks like a typical hotel room but very spacious, with a generously-sized bathroom, and even has a kitchenette. size is 45 square meters. (and take note of the print of the bed runner—it's a version of picasso's massive and moving "guernica" painting):
this is the montparnasse suite, which has a separate bedroom and living/dining area (but looked like it was missing a dining table—quite bare). at 88 square meters, it also has a kitchenette and a huge bathroom. oh and lookie, a balcony too!
then there is the "loft," which they call the picasso suite. sigh, we could live here. our doggy will get some good exercise running up and down the stairs. there is a "real" kitchen downstairs plus an extra bathroom. size is 93 square meters—ideal for a party!
and look at the room number signs, they look like little artworks themselves:
the picasso boutique serviced residences, 119 LP leviste street, salcedo village, makati city, tel (2) 828-4774, email,

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