Although I bounced around the Philippines a lot in the last 6 months I didn’t actually spend heaps of time in the capital of Manila – I was too busy soaking up the beach life and surf of places like Siargao and Coron!
I did however stop over there for 2 nights before bouncing onwards to Australia and Tara discovered Manilas latest (and quite possible greatest) new hostel for us to crash in – Z Hostel.
Based about 20 minutes from the airport (standard for Manila) Z Hostel is slap in the middle of a rather eclectic area of Makati City, it’s primarily the business district but is also home to the Red Light District of P Burgos Street.
Although this is a short walk away don’t let it put you off in the slightest – it’s less sleazy hooker ville and more crazy nightlife – much like Soy Cowboy in Bangkok!
The result is a bustling nightlife of travellers, heaps of bars and a great array of restaurants to choose from.
I ate at some great Mexican and South American places there and there was an amazing vibe where locals and tourist mingled and enjoyed salsa music, good food and cold beers!
Although we didn’t venture around the city much Z Hostel is a short cab ride away from a few shopping malls, cinemas and food courts and there are plenty of things to do in Manila – so there’s plenty to keep you busy!
Stylish From The Start
My first impressions of Z Hostel set the tone for our entire stay – as we pulled up in front of the place two of the staff opened the taxi door, greeted us and even took our luggage through to the reception. I honestly don’t think I’ve ever experienced that before, let alone in a hostel!
As you’d expect from a new hostel everything is shiny and tidy – but Z Hostel also has that air of elegance, things have been finished off beautiful and the entire architecture and structure of the building has been designed to look good and function beautiful.
From the array of time clocks above check in, to the wall maps and even custom built, light up beer pong table this place has all the finishing touches that make an amazing place to stay!
With all these finishing touches you can guess that it comes with all the facilities you’d need too. A free breakfast at the in house cafe (which even boasts a bespoke ‘Z Hostel’ coffee blend!), wifi throughout, travel booking service and even a rooftop terrace and bar – the perfect place to take in the nighttime cityscape, enjoy some beers and even enjoy some live music at their Sunday Slowdown Sessions!
In fact I don’t really think anything was missing!
Without a doubt the biggest draw of Z Hostel are the room – they’ve been designed from scratch to be the perfect backpacker room…whether you choose a private or a dorm.
All the dorms are fully air conditioned (seriously you’ll be pleased with this!) and come kitted out with heaps of little things that add up into a great hostel experience, including en suite in every room!
It’s also refreshing to see they’ve made sure there’s a window in EVERY room too, you’d be surprised how many places I’ve stayed in that lack natural light!
Stuff like extra height bunks so you can actually sit up properly on the bottom bunk, individual lockers with lights and super sized for suitcases and big bags chalkboards to right notes to your dorm buddies on all create the perfect backpacker pad.
Each dorm bed also has its own individual locker, light and power socket too, so there’s no scrambling around for somewhere to charge your stuff. The lockers have power points inside too so you can leave your valuables locked up and charging!
They really have taken the time to think things through and you can tell their passion for travel and backpacking has paid off!
The female only dorm even comes kitted out with hair dryers and a vanity section with mirror and hair straighteners…perfect for a night on the town (I’m relying on Taras opinion of this!).
The privates are spacious and come with a desk, ensuite and even bathrobe and slippers!
All the flash packer additions also come with a flash packer price tag and dorms start at 990PHP (roughly £15) with privates coming in at 2,700PHP (around £40), which compared to a double fan room on Coron at 400PHP is quite a jump!
However if you’re looking for a higher standard of accommodation and comfort it’s well worth the price tag. For me it was the perfect treat before leaving Asia – somewhere clean, tidy and comfortable to regroup and finish my trip.
I had an epic stay with the team at Z Hostel and I’d even go as far as saying it was the nicest hostel I’ve stayed in in South East Asia. Sure the price tag is slightly higher than I’m used to, but you really do get what you pay for! If you’re passing through it’s the perfect place to treat yourself, relax before or after a long haul flight and enjoy some awesome flash packing vibes!