The so-called “University Belt” in Manila is probably one of the most popular places in this colorful city. It’s as if the Mighty Creator intentionally designed the area to be specled with schools offering all sorts of popular courses. The area naturally became populated with students and soon, apartments, dormitories and boarding houses sprouted from everywhere. The “University Belt” has one major street which has the most number of schools, dorms, boarding houses, restaurants, bookstores and “what-have-you’s” that students need to make it through graduation and this is “Claro M. Recto Avenue”.
Even before the war broke out in 1941, Recto Avenue is already one of the major streets in Manila. So it is no wonder where “The Best” of whatever may be found in this particular street and one such “best” is the Laperal Apartments – a very imposing and beautiful art deco inspired structure which was a prime apartment/commercial space building. Eventually, the passing of time took its toll on the building BUT, thanks to a group who knows the value of “heritage buildings” who gave the structure a total “make-over”. Today, the Laperal edifice sprung to life like a phoenix from the ashes, more beautiful than ever with a new name – “Youniversity Suites”. It is a commercial center where students will find shops and restaurants as well as rooms for their accommodations while studying in Manila.
Address: 2119 CM Recto Avenue, Manila, Philippines
Facebook Page: https://web.facebook.com/YouniversitySuites
Contact Number: +63 2 586 1446
The group responsible for its renovation made some fabulous and trailblazing changes in its exterior and interiors. The building at night is well-lit and is the brightest in its area. There are shops on the ground floor facing the sidewalk which are really nice. Inside is a four-story high ceiling with a wonderful surprise for its visitors. An Albatross fighter plane floats in the middle of this area!! Honestly, I gasped when I first saw it. I mean, it’s not everyday that you see a World War 1 icon hovering above your head, right? It was pretty impressive.
The interior design is definitely “industrial” and modern, quite an attractive fusion which “millenials” will definitely love. In all these floors, a hodgepodge of stores selling everything that a student needs are waiting to be explored.
Reminiscent of the building halcyon days are the dramatic black and white checker flooring on the ground floor. This is so classic and timeless…
These charming wooden barrels welcomed us as we entered the building. It’s a unique fountain and the sound of splash it creates sort of gives a soothing, calming effect – a most welcome feeling coming from a busy street like Recto Ave.
Now let’s go check the rooms…
Here’s how the apartment room looks like: it’s floor area ranges from 24-27 sqm with a sink and counter-top, toilet and bath. Includes an air-conditioning unit. Semi-furnished with two bunk beds, tables and chairs for four and large cabinets. It’s designed for four people, and that would be 22k per month. This is not a bad deal, to think that you are just within spitting distance from your school, you are sleeping in a secured building, you are a stone’s throw away from places of worship, a breath away from restaurants and living right smack at the heart of Manila. This is, as a matter of fact, a steal for its Php 5,500 per person price.
It’s ideal because it’s new, and we trust that the management will be able to maintain the beauty and charm of this vintage building. It’s perfect for people who are studying at the university belt. More information may be found at their website: http://www.youniversitysuites.com/apartments
Restless students looking for something to do after school may have a game of billiards. It’s within the building so parents may rest assured that their children are safe here.
And yes, to those who want to be fit while studying, residents can use the gym area and its equipment for a minimal membership fee.
At the ground floor, there’s a small store dedicated in selling basic amenities and toiletries. It makes life very convenient and if you want more options, Watson’s is also present beside the building entrance.
I entered this area that is packed full of chips and snacks for sale. OMG! Heaven for local and affordable sitsirya lovers! This is actually inside a vintage “trailer van”.
When it comes to food choices, Youniversity Suites has a lot to offer. The Japanese restaurant at the ground floor offers affordable Jap dishes, just look at the price list for their rolls, super mura right?
Another great find: this store at the ground floor offers something Italian – – gelato scoops that are sooooo affordable. Super cheap compared to the ones that can be bought in other malls. Nice one!
Have you tried the Hot Star Taiwanese large fried chicken? It’s as big as your face, and I bet it’s a guaranteed busog meal! In fairness, it’s not just about the size. It’s well seasoned and the sauce is so good (our faves are the BBQ and Teriyaki flavor). The meat is tender, best consumed a few minutes after deep frying. Good thing it’s not so pricey!
Another favorite: we all know Tokyo Tempura. It’s so affordable and fast and their shrimp tempura is what we always crave for. It’s good to know that they have a stall here at the Youniversity Suites.
There’s a shawarma stall as well for those hungry students who are on the go and love Middle Eastern food.
Who would have thought that there’s a Vietnamese stall in Youniversity Suites Recto Manila? This deep fried spring roll is one of our faves!
When it comes to drinks, Nitro 7 captured our hearts. We are really iced tea addicts and powdered and sugary iced tea drinks are a total turn off! In fairness, Nitro 7 offers super legit iced teas, especially the passion fruit flavor! Tamang tama yung timpla and really refreshing! They also have party packages for your coffee and iced tea needs! Visit their FB Page: https://www.facebook.com/nitro7.coffee/
To end the night, we listened to live music by Up Dharma Down. Grabe solid! Everybody enjoyed this one of a kind event. Super happy and fulfilled! Check out their FB page for schedule of gigs and shows here at Youniversity Suites
To the parents with children studying or will be studying in Manila, don’t think that the rates of Youniversity Suites are expensive. IT IS DEFINITELY VALUE FOR MONEY. There is no more need for transpo allowance, no fear that your children will get hungry, no worries about them having a hard time catching a ride, no fear about their safety and security, no anxiety of them sleeping in run-down boarding houses that are also “fire traps”. Parents, Youniversity Suites is the best address your kids may have in Manila. Just check it out and you will see what we mean.
This review is the opinion of the author based on actual experience. The establishments may have changed in terms of ownership, prices, decor, service, food preparation and food presentation after the posting of this review. This is not meant to influence the reader’s decision.