(SPOT.ph) Hostels, a popular type of accommodation abroad, are becoming more common locally with their enticing budget deals and no-frills set-ups. They might seem less private than a regular hotel, but backpackers and young travelers love the dorm rooms and communal areas that are perfect for hanging out and conversing with like-minded guests. To add to this tambayan vibe, some hostels give you a dose of art through colorful walls with well-thought out designs and picture-perfect interiors.
We round up 10 hostels hidden in the busy streets of Metro Manila that are worthy of an Instagram photo!
3/F 5023 P. Burgos Street, Poblacion, Makati City
Rates start at P399++
Lokal Hostel is definitely Pinoy—from the hospitality of the staff, to the homey vibe in the common room, and to the "Made in the Philippines" mural that welcomes guests. Adding to the IG-worthiness of the hostel are wall paintings that portray Filipino scenes, colors, and icons by local talents like Ang Gerilya, Dex Fernandez, and Tokwa Peñaflorida. It was in December 2013 when Lokal Hostel opened shop in what used to be an office space. Since then, young entrepreneurs Andrew Licaros and Don Bautista have been making their mark in the neighborhood of P. Burgos, Makati through the hip boutique hostel. Its accessibility to local shopping malls, unique concept bars (such as Mexican restaurant El Chupacabra, a classic dive bar called Handlebar, and 24/7 diner Filling Station), and public parks are some very good reasons for budget travelers to book a room at Lokal.
5660 Don Pedro Street, Poblacion, Makati City
Rates start at P649++
Z Hostel is a luxury hostel and party destination rolled into one. It welcomes everyone, even non-guests, to evening parties on the sixth floor rooftop with a great view of the skyscrapers of Rockwell and Ortigas. When there's no one performing in its intimate space, strangers can get together, sit and stretch on the plastic grass carpet, and just while the afternoon away with a bottle of beer on hand. Inside, all the bunk beds are equipped with an electric socket, reading lamp, a towel rack, and individual lockers.
Tambayan Capsule Hostel & Bar
1607 Bocobo Street, Malate, Manila
Rates start at P649++
Tambayan Hostel combines the old with the new. The restored 1960s mansion has a colonial-styled facade, chandeliered lobby, and hardwood floors, but the rooms suit the millennial traveler looking for a perfect tambayan. The dorm rooms are filled with rows of bunk beds that look like capsules, thus the name, each equipped with a reading lamp, a mini fan, a mirror, electrical and USB outlets, and roll-down curtains for privacy. A stay at Tambayan Hostel comes with a light complimentary breakfast: pandesal, jams, and coffee or juice. The second floor veranda of the hostel also has a 24-hour Tambayan Gastrobar.
Red Carabao Manila
2819 Felix Huertas Street, Santa Cruz, Manila
Rates start at P498++
Red Carabao Manila is more than just a hostel. It becomes a temporary home for backpackers who want to experience the best of the Philippines by hosting out-of-town trips to amazing destinations, photo walks around Old Manila, and camping trips to the country's islands. During the lean months (July and August), Red Carabao opens its doors to foreign volunteers working for NGOs in Manila's poverty-stricken areas. The family-owned hostel opened in July 2009 and has since promoted volunteer tourism and socially responsible travel.
The Fort Budget Hotel
5756 ABBA Building, Kalayaan Avenue corner Northbound EDSA, Bonifacio Global City
Rates start at P700++
The Fort Budget Hotel is a breath of fresh air in otherwise upscale Bonifacio Global City. Just a five-minute walk to main landmarks like the Buendia Station MRT or The Fort, it's an oasis in the bustling Metro. The roofdeck is furnished with couches for lounging around, a television set for entertainment, and lots of greens for a relaxing feel.
Our Melting Pot Hostel
4/F Mavenue Building, 7844 Makati Avenue corner Guerrero Street, Makati City
Rates start at P750++
Like most hostels, Our Melting Pot has coed dorm rooms, exclusive suites, and common bathrooms. But what makes it feel more like home is the kitchen where guests can make their own hearty meals and share their food with other travelers. It also has a pool table, foosball table, and darts for some fun downtime activities.
2855 Danlig Street, Pinagkaisahan, Makati City
Rates start at P499++
BGC Hostel is a newbie in the hostel business, but the latest addition to Makati's accommodation landscape is too artsy to resist. It uses vibrant colors of pink and yellows on its doors, funky geometric shapes on its furniture, and bold typography on its walls. Guests need not worry about their privacy as all the bunk beds have curtains.
Pink Manila Hostel
2551 Bautista corner Don Pedro Streets, Malate, Manila
Rates start at P450++
Pink Manila Hostel makes sure that its guests never get bored. They have reggae nights on Sundays, movie marathons on Mondays, club-hopping on Wednesdays, a pool party on Saturdays, and endless drinking sessions on days in between. Traveling alone is not a problem as you'll probably end up with a whole group of friends once you check out. For some downtime, they have hammocks on the rooftop where you can just read a book or doze off under the blue sky.
Matheus Building Annex, Gen. Luna corner Don Pedro Sreets, Poblacion, Makati City
Contact: 501-6576 or 501-6576
Rates start at P698++
Junction is a designer hostel with artsy lights installation, upcycled industrial materials, and walls with bold graphics and typographical statements. Their comfortable couches and hammocks, a cable TV, and a local version of the pool table in the common room would make you think twice about going out on an unbearably hot day (or headache-inducing rainy day). Aside from the private rooms, all-female suite, and coed dorms, Junction Hostels also has a co-working space with WiFi, unlimited brewed coffee, and a scan/print/photocopy station, which you can access with a day pass worth P600.
MNL Boutique Hostel
Valdez corner Santiago Streets, Poblacion, Makati City
Rates start at P400++
Since MNL Boutique Hostel opened in 2013, it has been known for BYOB (bring your own bottle) nights, your tambay-sa-kanto kind of thing, which is very Filipino. "We share with them lambanog, to give them a glimpse of local produce. Since we do BYOB nights on the street, we also patronize the local balut vendor and give our guests that balut moment," shared Celina Cruz, one of its managing partners, in a previous interview with SPOT.ph. Inside the two-storey hostel are facilities that promote camaraderie among guests, such as a book exchange area and a common room with comfortable couches and free WiFi.
Photos from the official Facebook pages and websites of Lokal Hostel, Z Hostel, Tambayan Capsule Hostel, Red Carabao Manila, The Fort Budget Hotel, Our Melting Pot Hostel, BGC Hostel, Pink Manila Hostel, Junction Hostels, and MNL Boutique Hostel.