The SM Super Malls are the most visited and the most famous malls here in the Philippines. These super malls are located everywhere throughout the country. Here in the capital alone, there’s a bunch of them. Actually, from our home, there are 3 SM Super Malls that are just 15 to 30 minutes away and they all have pretty much the same look and ambiance. More and more SM Super Malls are being built and just last May 17, 2013, they finally opened SM’s luxury mall, The SM Aura Premier.
SM Aura is located in Fort Bonifacio Global City. It’s quite accessible and if you have a car, it has a spacious car park and the roads leading to it doesn’t usually experience heavy traffic. Although, during rush hour, moderate to heavy traffic may be inevitable since Fort Bonifacio has lots of commercial establishments, condominiums and offices. If you’re going to use public transportation, you can ride taxis, jeepneys and buses. Their terminal is located just beside SM Aura, within the compound of a competing mall, Market! Market!, and they’ll take you straight to the main thoroughfares outside Fort Bonifacio Global City.
SM Aura is huge and the building design is quite peculiar. But when you go inside, you’ll feel that familiar ambiance of an SM Super Mall. It is quite spacious and the place has potential for lots of very good establishments. When we went there, there were only a few stores open. As you can see on the pictures we took, most of the establishments were still closed. I’m not sure right now, at the time you are reading this, if more stores have been opened.
On the top floors, you’ll see designer shops and high-end stores. At the topmost floor, you’ll find the cinemas and the food court. I was quite a bit shocked since the food court doesn’t have the usual line of food choice that is common to other SM Food Courts. The restaurants there are quite expensive. However, if you’re on a budget or practically fair-priced food, you’ll find local restaurants and fast-food chains on the lower floors. The supermarket is also located on the basement. And as we expected, most of the shoppers are located on these bottom floors. People on the top floor, where the high-end shops are, are scarce.
And last but not the least, you’ll find the SkyPark on the rooftop where you can just sit and relax on an open space. I’m not sure if they’re going to do the same thing they did for SM City North Edsa where they opened the Sky Garden along with a number of restaurants and a small theater.
I sure do hope that what happened in SM Manila doesn’t happen to SM Aura. The last time we were in SM Manila, since the mall is quite big, the top floors aren’t visited much and a lot of the shops there have closed. It wasn’t really a good feeling when we strolled around the mall with shops that are closed. You’d want to at least window shop while you’re in a mall, right?
For now, since SM Aura is still new and I’m sure more and more shops would open soon. Market! Market!, for now, is still undoubtedly much better when it comes to consumer choice and price. They even have a “tiangge,” or a slew of small stalls, that sell bargain items like local delicacies, clothing, electronics, a variety of accessories, toys, etc.
But like I said, SM Aura Premier has the potential to be a top SM Super Mall. However, I do think they should put in more homegrown choices for shops and food because that’s what people usually expect. For now, we’ll just have to see how things would turn out in the future when more shops open and when improvements are made.