We are lucky that we only need to go on a short plane ride to experience the fine sand of Boracay Island's White Beach in Aklan or the unspoiled hidden gem of Pagbilao, Quezon's Puting Buhangin, among many others.
But there are still people who find the thought of traveling by air and taking a short boat ride a bit inconvenient. That's when the "wild idea" of creating a beach in the middle of the city came to life.
A first in the country, Century Properties Group's resort-themed Azure Urban Resort Residences is a 6-hectare prime property in Parañaque City that features nine residential towers, a sprawling man-made beach with fine sand from Balesin Island in Quezon and undulating waves and an infinity pool that overflows into the private beach coves.
"It's in our DNA to over exceed and outdo ourselves, so we thought of a wild idea to create a beach in the middle of the city in a bid to make the Philippines more recognized in the map, and to inspire people and other developers to take a risk," said Century Properties co-chief operations officer John Victor Antonio.
"We have envisioned Azure to be an urban paradise, wherein residents can enjoy the beach and resort amenities without having to leave the city 365 days a year," he added.
To top off the luxurious tropical experience in the residential development, the real estate firm signed a partnership with Hollywood socialite, designer and businesswoman Paris Hilton in 2011 to design the multiple-level Paris Beach Club, a focal attraction right in the middle of the Azure Residences.
As someone who grew up in a successful real estate business, it seemed a no-brainer to collaborate with the 33-year-old Hilton Hotels heiress in designing the beach club. But aside from her involvement in the industry, it was her love for and exposure to the world's top beach destinations that made her the right choice to further the premium resort experience in Azure.
"It was actually my wife who thought of partnering with Paris," Antonio revealed. "She said, 'Paris loves to go to the beach and Filipinos loves to go to the beach' so we thought she could share her experiences in the best beaches in the world and put it all together into one here in the Philippines."
For the beach club, Paris said she has brought together the elements she saw and experienced in her favorite travel destinations (the top 5 are: Ibiza, St. Tropez, Fiji, London, and the Philippines) into one concept. Thus, the Paris Beach Club is a result of the fusion of her travels in the most luxurious and celebrated places on earth, her flair for design, and her real estate pedigree.
As her first real estate venture, Paris was hands-on in designing the beach club. According to Antonio, the Century Properties' design team exchanged ideas with her for several months through computer generated images.
"For this project, Paris gave us 15 design books—like a bible—as a guide in designing the beach club," said Antonio.
And early this month, she returned to the country to officially unveil the beach club bearing her name.
In a press launch last week, Paris said she was happy with how the project turned out and to see her name as a real estate brand for the first time.
"The feeling is indescribable! When I was young, I always really admire my great grandfather (Conrad Hilton) who founded Hilton Hotels. And this beach club is one step for me to achieve that milestone," she gushed.
Designed for the exclusive use of Azure residents and their guests, the Paris Beach Club features a stylish lobby with comfortable velvet chairs, an ice cream and candy bar, a social lounge, exclusive spa areas, indoor and outdoor restaurants, fitness center, game room, theater room and daycare amenities for kids.
With the addition of the beach club, Paris affirmed that Azure Urban Resort Residences is going to be an "incredible place to live in."
"I really love the concept of Azure because I thought of how cool it is in the middle of the city to have a man-made beach that is so beautiful and breathtaking," she said.
"I'm planning to return here every now and then and hold parties here."
For more details, log on to www.azure.com.ph and www.century-properties.com.
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