Metro Manila has a booming business for high-end and budget hotels. But for shoestring travelers, these rates are still out of bounds especially if they try to extend every cent from their travel fund. Most foreign travelers visiting the Philippines decide not to spend a night in Metro Manila because of two main reasons; congested roads and taxi scams. But if you had no choice and needed to find a place to spend a night in Manila, here are some of Manila hostels to consider.
These accommodations are located within Makati City, the central business district of Metro Manila. Most hostels on the list provide towels but only a few offer free breakfast.
Manila Hostels for Budget Travelers
Junction Hostel Makati
The first ever hostel I’ve stayed in Manila when the industry was still slowly adapting the travel trend. Numbered bed bunks with metal and wood finishing equipped with oversized mattress and massive pillows were the main catch. Junction Hostel wants to embody a place for people to meet as its name suggests.
The entire property was littered with colorful bean bags and quirky labels. Shower rooms and toilets are enough to cater dozens of travelers. What makes them a standout from the other brands on this list is their common space on the ground floor. Junction Hostel is indeed a nice place to relax after long hours of traveling to the Philippines. Book here. Address: Annex Matheus bldg. General Luna St. cor., Don Pedro, Makati City
An upscale version of shared accommodation is what Z Hostel wants to promote to its guests. With that, expect that the rates are significantly higher than the other backpacker dorms in the city. The lounge in the lobby is big enough to accommodate travelers waiting for check-in. The hostel organizes biking tours to Intramuros and food tours in Binondo but the group needs a minimum number of participants.
If you’re into parties, Z Hostel has its own roof deck club open for guests and walk-ins. This makes other facilities of the hostel open for non-guests. If you’re a light sleeper, it’s better to request a room assignment on the lower levels for you to avoid the loud bar happenings. The hostel also implements an RFID way of payments for their café and bar. You can reload the bracelet at the reception for cashless transactions. Book here. Address: 5660 Don Pedro, Makati City
On the third floor of a building near the food scene of Poblacion, Makati is another budget accommodation, Lokal Hostel. The reception at the lobby looks like a main reception of a sketchy clinic. But local tours, shopping, and food and bar suggestions on the wall plus a colorful graffiti make you confirm that the place is indeed a backpacker accommodation. On the rear part of the floor are lounge areas and the pantry. The hostel provides free drinking water and free use of oven toaster and microwave oven. Breakfast is not part of the rate but there’s a convenience store just across the road.
The mural paintings on the lounge areas depict some Filipino heroes and stuff that represents the local culture. The rooms have the common wooden bunk beds and wooden lockers. Lokal Hostel has a roof deck as colorful as the hostel’s common areas. Book here. Address: 5023 P Burgos, Makati City
Our Melting Pot
Same with Lokal Hostel, Our Melting Pot is situated in a street accessible to the red light street of Makati. Coffee shop, bars, and restaurants are also within reach from the hostel. It’s one of the cheapest hostels in Makati but you get what you pay for. Wooden bunk beds, an air-conditioning unit not properly ventilating the entire room, and lockers located along the hallways.
The working crew talks out loud that disrupts everyone working in the common areas. Nonetheless, the crew is reactive to requests and needs. A simple breakfast is provided despite the affordable rates offered. Water supply during my stay was a bit weak that other guests wouldn’t able to flush the toilets. I know, it was gross. If you’ll be staying in Manila for a longer time, need to stick with your budget and not picky, then Our Melting Pot is a good place to consider. Book here. Address: 3rd Floor Wang Mart Building, Street, 37 Polaris, Makati City
MNL Boutique Hostel
If I remember it right, MNL Boutique Hostel was the first hostel in Makati who created a buzz in promoting shared accommodations in Manila. With their partnerships with local artists for their graffiti and murals, and using online and traditional media for marketing the brand, it became a hot spot for backpackers. MNL Boutique Hostel’s lobby lounge is a bit tight with only 4-5 people that can stay at a time. There’s a pantry where guests can use appliances and cutleries. Same pantry for the complimentary breakfast.
As for the rooms, mattress and bed facilities are just basic but a locker, that requires a personal lock, is available. The only downside of staying at MNL Boutique Hotels is the presence of long-term staying guests. These people, working within Makati, are a bit intimidating for short-term guests since they’re residing at the property for quite some time already and made friends with the management. There was a time when I was working at the table at the pantry, because the lounge is filled with people (sometimes just the working crew), and was asked by a lady to transfer because she will be having a breakfast with her group. Book here. Address: 4688 Valdez St. Cor. Santiago St. Poblacion, Makati City
Compared to key cities of Southeast Asia like Singapore, Kuala Lumpur, and Bangkok, Manila hostels are not forefront yet in terms of facilities and services. You can rarely find a travel desk for your travel needs, free cookies and biscuits all-day, or day trips organized by hostel management. Social activities within the hostel for travelers to get to know other travelers are not usual. But if a night is only intended for Manila, these hostels are already enough to have a dose of culture shock.