Hostels and Inns
Z Hostel: Affordable Doesn't Mean Cheap
Aris Mape | Jun 03, 2016
Z Hostel's all-female room (Photo by Louischelle)
The lobby's computer area (Photo by Louischelle)
Worried about skyrocketing hotel rates for your stay in Manila? If you make smart choices, even a long stay in the posh districts of the capital can turn out to be a great experience. Sure, there are plenty of hotels to choose from, but think again, the money you spend for a five-star accommodation can already buy you a lot of experience—perhaps a trek to Taal, a boat ride to Fortune Island, or an admission to the Mind Museum.
As much as possible, I travel the backpacker way. I’m OK paying for food, transpo, rides, and adventures, but never an expensive room. As someone put it, when you look back to your life many years from now, it’s not the days you’ve spent sleeping that you’ll remember anyway. So, by all means settle for inexpensive—but not cheap.
I left no stone unturned—websites, blogs, Airbnb—checking my options. Just a decent room for two nights. When I've almost scoured the lists, from A to Z…. Baaam! I found Z Hostel, a luxury hostel right in the middle of the bustling Makati City.
Z Hostel is on 5660 Don Pedro Street in Barangay Poblacion, Makati. Coming from the Ninoy Aquino International Airport, it’s best to take a taxi and ask the driver to take Kalayaan Avenue via EDSA Northbound, exiting to Rockwell. At the corner of Kalayaan Avenue and Don Pedro is a Ministop store. Make a right turn on that narrow street, Z Hostel is just a few blocks away. The trip from the airport can take about 80 minutes without traffic and the fare is about P400 in a yellow airport taxi.
Nightlife on Burgos Street (Taken with Huawei Mate S)
Party at the Roofdeck Bar (Photo by Louischelle)
The neighborhood of Z Hostel has a lively multicultural atmosphere. You won’t miss fun because you’re in the vicinity of Burgos, known as the city’s red light district. There are many restaurants, bars, cafes, and establishments that will give you the zest of life in the metro.
Within walking distance, there’s Tambai, a yakitori snackhouse and my favorite El Chupacabra if you want to go Mexican with a lively street vibe. Señor Pollo is another happy place known for Latin-inspired murials and a laidback ambiance. Of course, there are coffee shops around, and a lot more choices for foodies. Z Hostel is also close to Rockwell Mall and Century Mall. If you want a different kind of entertainment, Ringside brings you their talk-of-the-town midget boxing.
ROOMS & RATES
A hostel is an establishment that provides inexpensive food and lodging for travelers and has common areas including bathroom, lounge, and sometimes a kitchen. A luxury hostel is something like Z. The concept is hip and modern; the style is minimalist yet lively. With more than 120 beds and a variety of rooms, it caters to all kinds of travelers, backpackers, and the millennial party-lovers both in the international and local market.
On the 6th floor are air-conditioned private rooms that provide easy access to the roofdeck bar. Each room has a queen-size bed and a private bathroom. The hostel has an all-female dorm too, which is great for backpackers and a classy in-house party for your friends.
Private Room (Photo by Z Hostel)
During my stay, I booked a bed in their mixed dorm. There were four double-deck beds, a toilet and bath, and a locker for each occupant. The room was clean and well-kept, air-conditioned, well-lighted, and most important, didn’t have any bad smell. The room also has a sink for basic necessities like brushing your teeth. The bathroom had hot and cold shower. A towel is provided to each guest, but toiletries are not covered in the rates. Each locker has its own electric socket so you can leave your gadgets to charge. Each bed has an adjustable overhead lamp, good for a late night reading or reviewing your next day’s itinerary. Just like your good old college dorm, Z Hostel is a perfect place to meet and interact with other travelers.
The Mixed-Dorm (Photo by Z Hostel)
All-Female Dorm (Photo by Louischelle)
THE Z EXPERIENCE
I walked in to Z late in the evening after a tiring tour in the metro and was greeted by a group of guests who were playing Jenga in the lounge. This is a happy place, I told myself. At first look, it’s easy to notice that the hostel is popular to foreign travelers. There were big wall clocks showing five different time zones, a bulletin board with essential Tagalog expressions, and of course, a number of foreign guests. On one side of the lounge, there was a shelf full of books and board games. On another side, there were two flat screen computers, perfect for checking emails and researching your travel destinations. After I paid the refundable deposit of P500 and purchased a padlock for my locker, I was handed my towel and keys, and then proceeded to my room.
The Lounge (Taken with Huawei Mate S)
Books and board games! (Taken with Huawei Mate S)
The Reception Desk (Taken with Huawei Mate S)
The room was full, except for that single bed reserved for me. Two of my roommates were fast asleep. One guy dashed from the bathroom, and we exchanged greetings. He pointed me to the second deck on the far side of the room, and I got settled. I had to refresh right away and then walked to the nearby El Chupacabra to meet some friends.
On my second night, I checked the roofdeck bar, which is known for its vibrant party scene. True enough, I think you haven’t experienced Z if you don’t get to experience their bar. Good music, good place to meet new friends in the company of that cold bottle of beer. In the background, enjoy the scenic view of Makati’s skyline bathed in colorful lights.
The Roofdeck Bar (Taken with Huawei Mate S)
Next time you need a place to stay in Manila, no need for a long A to Z list. If you’re after quality accommodation that gives you a good run for your money, jump right away to Z.
$52 / P2,430 / 15 sqm
$20/ P899 / 30sqm.
8 Pax Mixed Dorm: $17 / P749 / 30sqm.
6 Pax Dorm: $19 / P849 / 30 sqm.
4 Pax Dorm: $21 / P949 / 15 sqm.
8 Beds Room: P5599
4 Beds Room: P3599
6 Beds Room: P4799
Bachelorette Party: P5099
- Rate per night includes breakfast (except for party package)
Free: Linen & Towel / WiFi
Services: Luggage Storage / 24 Hour Reception / Tours & Travel Desk / 24 Hour Security / Housekeeping
Food & Drink: Bar / Cafe / Tea & Coffee Making Facilities
Entertainment: PlayStation / Games Room
- Others: Wheelchair Friendly / Security Lockers / Key Card Access / Common Room / Elevator / Air Conditioning / Hot Showers / Outdoor Terrace / Reading Light / Safe Deposit Box
- Terms and Conditions
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