Before Airbnb and its ilk became the go-to destination for budget travelers, hostels were the first option. Known for its affordable shared spaces, a hostel experience is unique because it enables you to meet new people in a new place, while also making you feel at home because of the intimate atmosphere it generates. Today, Manila is littered with hostels, each trying to give their own spin on the hostel experience. It’s not just for travelers anymore—hostels also function as restaurants, co-working spaces, and event venues. Here are some of the best hostels in Manila.
1| Lub d Philippines
Lub d is an international hostel chain, with properties in Thailand, Cambodia, and locally, Poblacion, Makati. It is said to be the largest hostel in Manila, boasting of a modern, sophisticated aesthetic more closely resembling small hotels than its fellow backpacker-friendly contemporaries. Aside from spacious, well-lit sleeping areas, the hostel also offers a chill lounge, a co-working area, and a rooftop bar and restaurant. Perfect for those looking for luxury on a budget.
7820 Makati Avenue, Barangay Poblacion, Makati; lubd.com/makati
2| Bahay Kubo Hostel
Bahay Kubo brings the outdoors indoors, filling its interiors with a wide variety of plants. Its common room is top to bottom green, from the plants stashed in every nook and cranny to the hanging pots on the walls and the vines lining the ceiling. It provides a relaxing contrast to the busy streets of Manila where this hostel is located—guests will find themselves quite near to major attractions such as the National Museums, Rizal Park and Intramuros.
1717 M. Orosa Street Malate, Manila; facebook.com/bahaykubohostelphilippines
3| Makati Junction
Well-lit and colorful, Makati Junction’s industrial-inspired interiors exude a welcoming, vibrant ambiance that has led to it appearing in many "top hostels in Manila" lists through the years. The hostel is committed to sustainability, using energy-saving light bulbs and upcycled fixtures throughout its space. It also boasts of an open-plan co-working space that is available for both hostel guests (free) and walk-ins (hourly, daily, weekly rates apply).
Annex Matheus Bldg. Gen. Luna Corner Don Pedro Street, Barangay Poblacion, Makati; facebook.com/Junction-Hostels-1495325597414780/
4| Z Hostel
Upon arriving at Z Hostel, the staff will readily greet you at the entrance and assist you with your luggage. It’s hotel service at hostel rates, offering a lot of conveniences you don’t necessarily expect at relatively cheaper prices. The rooms are famously spacious, with the top bunks supposedly higher to enable the bottom bedspacer to sit comfortably underneath. But perhaps the biggest draw to the location is the rooftop deck, where Z Hostel holds their Sunset Sessions from 6 p.m. onward. Guests can enjoy the skyline view and mingle with fellow guests, maybe with a free cocktail in hand.
5660 Don Pedro St. Brgy. Poblacion, Makati; zhostel.com
5| Tambayan Capsule Hostel
As the name suggests, Tambayan Capsule has capsule-style bunk beds, similar to those you’ll find in Japan. While guests can also opt for the private rooms, the capsule beds each come with their own pull-down blinds that can create the semblance of privacy. Despite the seemingly modern concept of capsule sleeping, the general aesthetic of Tambayan is very Old Manila, as the location retained the original furnishings that came with this former mansion. Staff is dressed in Spanish-era garb, and rooms are named after Filipino national heroes. Fitting, then, that it’s located around a mile away from Intramuros, an area that exudes the same modern-meets-past feel as this space.
1607 Bocobo Street, Malate, Manila; tambayanhostel.com
6| Haven Backpackers
Haven Backpackers is a simple, homey space filled with common areas where guests can hang out and meet fellow backpackers. Many reviews often call Haven a “home,” thanks to the welcoming atmosphere and fun activities for guests. Keep an eye out for Sniff the Beagle, the hostel dog who never fails to brighten everyone’s day. Haven is also ideal for those who just need a place to crash for the night before heading to an early flight. On a good day, travelers can get to the airport in as quick as 15 minutes via the Skyway.
3416 Guernica Street, Palanan, Makati; facebook.com/HBHostelManilaPhilippines
7| Crossroads Hostel Manila
Blink and you’ll miss it—from the outside, Crossroads looks more like a regular house than a hostel for travelers. Inside, the space contains six shared rooms for a group of four, six, or eight guests. It also offers baggage room facilities, heated showers, speedy Internet connection, and free locker space. Crossroads also boasts of a fully equipped kitchen, which serves free continental breakfast every morning.
76 Mariveles Street, Highway Hills, Mandaluyong; crossroadshostelmanila.com
8| Our Awesome Hostel
Our Awesome Hostel’s convenient location and budget-friendly rates are perfect for travelers who want their coin to get far. A stone’s throw away from BGC, the hostel is ideal for travelers who want a taste of Manila’s busiest, liveliest, most cosmopolitan hub. Reviews constantly commend the hostel’s friendly staff and owners, who are friendly and always ready to assist guests. Our Awesome Hostel encourages guests to mingle and have fun, offering activities such as free tours, swimming parties, club hopping, as well as weekly events held at its garden roof deck.
ABBA Building, 5756 Kalayaan Avenue, Pinagkaisahan, Makati; facebook.com/ourawesomehostel
9| Zula Hostel
This newly opened hostel on Poblacion has only been around for several months, and yet, has already garnered high ratings on major hostel booking platform Hostelworld. Interiors are bright and colorful, sprinkled with affirmations on mirrors like “Oh yes you’re cute!” and “Think beautiful, feel beautiful.” Its in-house restaurant has an equally vibrant aesthetic, with patterns upon patterns of Machuca-esque tiles adorning the walls to give off that Mediterranean feel. Food include healthy fare such as Fried Cauliflower with its signature Zula sauce and tahini, and Labaneh Wrap, a lafa wrap enveloping a filling of grilled artichokes, tomatoes, spring onions, strained Greek yogurt, and more.
7840 Makati Avenue corner P. Guanzon Street, Poblacion, Makati; zula-hostel.getmanilahotels.com/en
This story originally appeared on Esquiremag.ph. Minor edits have been made by the Preview.ph editors.