Hostels and Inns
MNL Boutique Hostel Welcomes You to Manila
Renzelle Ann Palma | Apr 17, 2013
Sharing bottles of San Miguel and local gin, I said hello to my new friends: Luke from Australia, James from South Africa, Jeoung from South Korea and a Filipino sailor from Baguio.
Wooden tables were set up outside MNL Boutique Hostel, my home for the night, for a BYOB (Bring-Your-Own-Beer) session. Here, at a relatively quiet corner of Makati, new acquaintances are made every day, laughter sporadically ensues and stories are shared of travels and of life. All these, in a Filipino setting.
“We want our guests to experience the Philippine hospitality”, said Maica, one of the owners of MNL Boutique Hostel. “Us Filipinos, when we have guests, we go all out. We want them to experience how we welcome and entertain them. And, we also want to infuse culture in their visit. We set up outside, it’s like our own version of ‘tambay sa kanto’”. Thus, the impromptu BYOB setting we enjoyed that night.
MNL Boutique Hostel is the brainchild of travel buddies Maica and Celina who were inspired by the hostels they stayed in their trips abroad. “We loved the cultural exchange, the activities and the community vibe of a hostel, talking to our foreign roommates and sharing a room with them.” described Maica of their hostel experience abroad. And now in their very own hostel, they emulated just that.
The hostel experience is all about sharing, learning and having that social and cultural exchange only one gets from travelling. Backpackers and travelers from all over the globe are in constant search of the unknown and new experiences. And if they consciously get lost, they can comfortably get lost at a hostel such as MNL.
Quality beds, high thread count linens and rain shower heads are some of the lux points at the hostel. A common bathroom boasting a rain shower head is a luxury rarely seen in hostels. Everything is squeaky clean which is something the foreign guests I talked appreciate.
Maica said thay they aim to change the mindset that hostels are low quality accommodations, thus the conceptualization of a “Boutique Hostel”.
With 12 private and shared rooms, MNL can accommodate 40 people at a time. The rooms are decorated with Pinoy inspired artwork painted by Gonz, one of Maica and Celina’s partners.
Wifi is also available for guests, but the signal reception is strongest at the common room, a strategy so guests are encouraged to get out of their rooms and mingle with fellow travelers at the comfortable sofas in the said spot. Books, DVDs and a computer are also available for everyone’s use.
Maica and Celina make sure that their guests are personally attended to. “Most of the travelers come without any plans so we post recommendations of what to do and where to go” said Maica, “Since Manila is a drop off, we recommend the beauty of the Philippines and its islands.”
But sometimes, Manila is considered only as the gateway of the country to its luscious natural reserves. MNL’s goal is also to encourage foreign guests to explore the city. Intramuros, Fort Santiago, city tours, shopping at Greenhills and “the experience to buy your seafood at a market setting and have it cooked” at Dampa are some of the recommended itineraries of MNL. Manila is not only a jump off, but also a metropolis worthy of attention.
MNL Boutique Hostel is a beautiful experience in itself. Being able to interact with foreign travelers and listening to their stories, sharing your own over the best Filipino beer or a movie is a perfect opportunity to learn from each other. Me, laughing over Luke as he ran away from the wonders of balut, James’ crazy world in South Africa and Jeong’s stories of progressive Seoul are one of the most fun and one of the best learning experiences I’ve ever had. To top it off, I gained new friends from around the globe, inspired by their travels and was able to share what my beautiful country really is. It is a social exchange that can only occur in the community vibe here at MNL.
MNL BOUTIQUE HOSTEL
Official website: www.mnlboutiquehostel.com
Email: [email protected]
Like them on Facebook: www.facebook.com/MNLBoutiqueHostel
Phone: +639064465617 +632 5117514
Special thanks to Maica and Celina for welcoming us at MNL BOUTIQUE HOSTEL. BYOB night again soon! :)