It looks like Manila is becoming more tourist-friendly by the day. If a few years ago, your only choices for accommodation are hotels and motels, there are now a bunch of hostels in Manila, and cool ones at that.
Hostels have had a reputation for being the backpacker’s choice of lodging – cheap, basic and oftentimes sketchy. But recently, many concepts have cropped up that help other kinds of travellers to warm up to hostels. Some hostels now include hotel-grade amenities, tastefully-designed spaces, and even host activities for guests to enjoy.
Here are the hip hostels for your next visit or staycation in Manila:
Don Pedro Street, Makati
Trip Advisor Rating: 4.5 stars (181 reviews)
Z Hostel calls itself a luxury hostel and it’s clear from the moment you step in. The bright, airy space and tastefully designed industrial interiors instantly make you feel like you’re in a boutique hotel. Though Z Hostel caters mainly to backpackers with their dorm-style accommodations, they do have a few private rooms at their top floor. The dorms come complete with a vanity, lockers and an electric socket for each bed.
There is a café at the lobby with self-serve complimentary breakfast. The theatre room also makes up for the lack of cable TV – its complete with a flat screen TV, a turntable and even a DJ console. At the top floor is their famous roofdeck bar with views of BGC and Ortigas, where you can enjoy a cold bottle anytime, or join their nightly events.
|HIP FACTOR||Hotel-grade amenities and clean, industrial décor gives the space a modern and Zen feel at the same time.|
|FACILITIES||Offers mixed and all-female dorms with bunk beds that can house 4, 6 or 8 guests (with electric sockets, lockers, and a reading lamp), and private rooms that can house 2 guests.
– Self-serve restaurant and cafe
|CONTACT||Website: zhostel.com / Facebook
Address: 5660 Don Pedro Street, Makati, Philippines
Tel No: +632 856-0851 / +63 927-965-2692
Email: firstname.lastname@example.org / email@example.com
|PRICE RANGE||₱749 – 2,430|
P. Burgos, Makati
Trip Advisor Rating: 4.5 stars (49 reviews)
If you’re looking for a hostel with an edgy, urban style, Lokal Hostel is it. The space takes inspiration from Philippine street culture, with its walls serving as an evolving canvas for Filipino artists like We Will Doodle and Egg Fiasco.
You can also choose from dorm-style accommodations or a private room for 2. They have a well-stocked pantry and a TV room if you want to stay indoors, and a roofdeck which is great for mingling. If you’re taking foreign guests around, Lokal is a great starting point for a food-hop as it’s near the burgeoning Jupiter Street.
It may be located along Makati’s Red Light District, but don’t let that dissuade you – former guests say the place is completely safe and free from noise at night.
|HIP FACTOR||Graffiti and street style art works rendered by Filipino street artists; efficient, friendly staff who represent Filipino hospitality well.|
|FACILITIES||Offers mixed dorm with 4-6 guests and private room for up to 2 guests. Choose between fan or air-conditioned rooms.
– Travel desk
|CONTACT||Website: LokalHostel.com / Facebook
Address: 3/F, 5023 P Burgos, Makati City
Tel No: +632 890 0927
|PRICE RANGE||₱500 – 1,400|
MNL Boutique Hotel
Trip Advisor Rating: 4.5 stars (156 reviews)
A project of well-travelled backpackers and friends, MNL Boutique Hostel’s theme and amenities are distinctly Filipino. From murals of pop icons, national heroes and banig inspired patterns to hand woven blankets by indigenous tribes, every corner of the hostel was given a Pinoy touch.
A standout feature of the hostel is the COOL-Cierge and Tour Desk, where staff can help travellers with local knowledge and assistance in booking tours. The hostel also regularly organizes educational sidewalk activities like lambanog tasting, Filipino street food sampling and Pinoy card games to keep guests entertained. A great choice if you’re hosting first-time visitors!
|HIP FACTOR||Designed with today’s travellers in mind, they throw in a FREE hangout, which lets you use their shower and internet before check-in and after check-out.|
|FACILITIES||Dorm Rooms are available in 2, 4, 6 and 8 bed mixed and 6 bed female. All airconditioned.
– Common Room with HD TV, Surround Sound
|CONTACT||Website : MNLBoutiqueHostel.com / Facebook
Address: 4688 Valdez cor Santiago St. Poblacion, Makati
Tel No: +63 2 511 75 14 / +63 917 812 5707
|PRICE RANGE||P924 – 1,525|
Trip Advisor Rating: 4.5 stars (75 reviews)
If you’re the creative type, Junction Hostel would instantly appeal to you. The quirky space makes like an art museum with its upcycled furniture, typography details and quote-ridden walls. It doubles as a coworking space during the day, so whether you’re a digital nomad or a local artist, a stay here will help ideas flow easily.
Big groups can be accommodated in their dorm-style rooms that can sleep up to 10 people, while private rooms can accommodate solo travellers or pairs. Meals are served in their Truck cafe – an artisanal cafe by day and a dive bar at night – that is made out of an old container van!
|HIP FACTOR||Doubles as a coworking space, making it ideal for digital nomads or even Manila-based freelancers|
|FACILITIES||Mixed dorm with 3-10 guests, all-female dorm for up to 4 guests, and private room for up to 2 guests. Choose between fan or airconditioned rooms.
– Coworking space
|CONTACT||Website: JunctionHostels.com / Facebook
Address: Annex Matheus Bldg. Gen. Luna Corner Don Pedro Street, Poblacion, Makati
Tel No: +632 501 6575 / +632 501 6578
|PRICE RANGE||₱580 – 1,800|
Pink Manila Hostel
Don Pedro St, Malate
Trip Advisor Rating: 4 stars (125 reviews)
The all-pink interiors may be too quirky for some, but it surely doesn’t bother the tourists and locals who hang out here. The hostel is open 24/7 and their poolside bar entertains guests until the wee hours.
Like most hostels, Pink Manila has a very chill atmosphere. You’ll normally find guests lounging or watching a movie at the common area, or hanging out by the bar and pool. If you’re looking to make friends, head over to the roof deck where they host themed nightly events like movie or karaoke nights. You’re also welcome to hang out even if you’re not staying at the hostel!
If you’re spending the night, the rooms range from a fan dormitory that can fit 16 people (their most popular) to airconditioned eight-bedroom dorms, and one double-bed private room.
|HIP FACTOR||All pink interiors and a myriad of events and activities to choose from|
|FACILITIES||Penthouse that sleeps 12 (fan only), dorms that sleep 8, private room that sleeps 2.
– Fully equipped kitchen
|CONTACT||Website: PinkManilaHostel.com / Facebook
Address: 2551 Don Pedro St. Cor. Bautista St. Malate, Manila
Tel No: +63 2 484 31 45 / +63 905 573 0736
|PRICE RANGE||₱450 – 1,800|
Tambayan Capsule Hotel
Bocobo St, Malate
Trip Advisor Rating: 4 stars (7 reviews)
Perhaps the most uniquely designed of the lot, Tambayan combines Japanese-style capsule beds with traditional and modernized Filipino interiors all throughout. The hostel used to be an old, restored mansion in Manila and the owners did a good job of blending the Old Manila feel with modern amenities that every traveller needs.
Upon arrival, you’ll be greeted by a grand chandelier at the lobby and a receptionist clad in Baro’t Saya. Photos of Old Manila, stained glass art and murals of daily scenes during the colonial era adorn the walls. Once you get inside the rooms though, you’ll be greeted by a calming, clean and sparsely decorated space.
Accommodations range from private rooms for 2, mixed and all-female dorms that can host 2-8 guests, and the 7-double decker capsule bedroom which can host 14 guests. There’s a café and gastropub at the second floor, too, that hosts DJs on rotation.
|HIP FACTOR||Well-thought out concept and clean, modern interiors|
|AMENITIES||Both mixed or female-only dorm rooms are available. They have private group rooms (2-8 beds) available which can be booked by parties of 2, 4, 6, or 8 persons.
– Rooftop Cocktail Bar
|CONTACT||Website: TambayanHostel.com / Facebook
Address: 1607 J. Bocobo Street, Malate, Manila
Tel No: +632 521-8850
|PRICE RANGE||₱530 – 2,500|
Prices quoted above are subject to change. Please book directly with the hostels using the websites mentioned above.
Main image courtesy of Tambayan Capsule Hostel.