The music? House. The vibe? Chill. The amenities? Out of my price range.

You can’t afford to sit here.
Photo: Jacob Andrzejczak/IS Photography

There was a severe lack of silicone and tribal tattoos on Saturday. The music wasn’t making people grind like an X-rated frat party and you could—gasp!—carry on a conversation with someone two feet away. But wasn’t this technically the grand opening of a “pool party”?

Xania’s sneak peek of the Palazzo’s Azure alluded this wouldn’t be a “party,” per se. Instead, I found a welcome reprieve from the boozed-up, chlorinated, simulated orgies of days past (and present and likely future).

I suggest we coin a new phrase for our daylife dictionaries: boutique pool (size-wise, Tao Beach would also fall into this category). As my roommate Kalynn joined me at the grand opening, we took note of the pool’s miniscule size. I’m fairly certain, however, no one with a destination of Azure intended on swimming laps. This is more of the “see and be seen and get bronzed” set.

With high foliage framing the area, the Azure landscape is full of quaint surprises hidden in a relatively simple labyrinth: Past one wall of shrubbery is an even smaller pool; beyond another on the opposite side, a Jacuzzi. Then there’s the shaded rotunda with a view almost as attractive as the staff. Kalynn harmlessly drooled over the host who guided us to the media cabana and almost walked directly into Mario Lopez in the process. We agreed the staff is probably one of the best looking in town.

But the first thing that really made us take notice was the music. Aussie DJ Marc Thyssen provided a cool, mellow vibe perfect for relaxing. “It’ll be all house, all electronic,” he says of the music format for every day Azure is open.

Chilling in a cabana Saturday, Kalynn and I attempted to make lunch out of samples of Wolfgang Puck’s poolside cuisine without seeming ravenous. The Mango Flow frozen cocktails filled up my tummy a bit better, and I speculated on how long it would take to glue the mirrors on the disco ball ice bucket.

A perfect spot to unwind, Azure does a day at the pool the way it was meant to be, with no risk of getting slammed in the head with a beach ball or a flying yard-long margarita container. The champagne on the rocks massage would, no doubt, be delightful and the air-conditioned cabanas were heavenly while I avoided lobsterfication. The fashion show too was enjoyable (as was overanalyzing the models’ ability to strut around the pool), and I got the itch for retail therapy.

Mario Lopez @Azure Pool

But somehow, the day was bittersweet.

At $195 a pop for the signature massage, a $20 membership fee just to hang at the pool, $85 to have sunscreen applied and I can only begin to guess the price of the couture, it’s unlikely we’ll be able to enjoy Azure again in the near future. My credit card is maxed out, I’ve got student loans up the ying-yang, and there’s no news of an unexpected inheritance on the horizon. Oh, and there’s that recession thingy, so you may be in a bit of a crunch, too.

Still, if you have expendable income, grab your Gucci glasses and Louie Vuitton swimwear and head to the Palazzo. The invitation did say, “Come celebrate where the high-profile, keep a low profile.” So next time, we’ll be on the outside looking in… just the way Azure probably intended it to be.

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