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Accommodation

Outpost Beach Hostel – The Most Popular Backpacker Hostel in El Nido

“Hey,” a tall blonde guy in our room greets me as I walk inside the mixed-dorm room.

“Hi,” I reply, feeling a bit unsure if he’s addressing me even when I’m the only who just entered the room.

He walks pass me, out the door with his companion, “See you later,” I hear him say.

This same guy would always enter our room greeting everyone like a ritual. He and his friend checked in on our second day in the hostel. They didn’t bother putting their things inside the lockers under the double-deck beds; their backpacks, gadgets, clothing, a dingy mess on the floor. I gazed at their belongings, wondering if they didn’t have anything of real value that could explain their sloppy behavior. My OC tendency was triggered, but I just looked on and tried my damnedest to hide how much I cared. I told myself that it’s a price I have to pay for choosing to stay in a social accommodation called, Outpost Beach Hostel.

Just to clarify, I didn’t hate Outpost Beach Hostel, in fact, I could verify their claim for being one if not the best hostel in El Nido. It is so jampacked that my friend, Alchris and I arrived at 3:00 in the morning and we were not able to do an early check-in. All rooms were booked and during our stay, there was never an empty bed in our dorm room. As soon as somebody checks out, another guest checks in. To me, it only means that the place is very popular and well recommended by the people who’ve stayed there. 

Outpost Beach Hostel, is owned by four foreigners. It has only been opened for 5 months but already, it is considered as the top hostel choice among foreign backpackers.

How did I discover Outpost Beach Hostel?

Through an online search. I took it upon myself to arrange this trip for me and my friends, finding our accommodation being part of the task. I browsed through the listings in Hostelworld. I always have 3 considerations when booking for an accommodation: 1) It should be accessible (not too far from the commercial area); 2) it should be affordable; and 3) it should have good reviews. The only thing that OBH checked on this list is number 3. It has high ranking in Hostelworld and garnered rave reviews from it previous guests.

The review that stuck to me the most is the one left by an American traveler,

“If you don’t stay here, you’re a fool. This hostel has all the positive vibes you could ever hope for. I met some of my best friends and had a great time on their tours! I would live at Outpost if I could.”

If it only met one of my requirements then why did I choose it? Well, the reason is a bit complicated, nah, it’s ridiculous. You see, being the only single in the group, my friends are always on my case about finding someone for me. Every time they learn that I have an upcoming trip, they would pull out a to-do list so I could get a boyfriend. One of the things that they like to advise me is to stay at hostels because it’s the easiest way to meet people. They tell me to stay in mixed dorms, not in an all-female room. So when I found out that OBH is a social hostel, I thought, this is it, maybe this would help me get my friends off my back and finally meet prince charming (or a frog).

How to get to Outpost Beach Hostel?

Going to El Nido, inform that driver that you are going to Outpost. You will be dropped off along Sitio Lugadia National Highway, there is a big sign of Outpost on the side of the road so it’s easy to spot. It is located in the sunset beach of Corong-Corong, about 5 minutes away by tricycle from El Nido town. You need to climb down the wooden stairs, walk along the seashore for about 2 minutes to reach the hostel. Don’t worry, it’s not hard to find.

Room accommodation & amenities

OBH has private rooms, the lowest rate is about PHP 2,400 (USD 47.48) per night. If you’re on a budget go for the dorm rooms but don’t expect an all-female or an all-male room; there is none. They only offer mixed dorms; 4-bed, 6-bed, 8-bed, and 12-bed. We stayed in a 12-bed room as it is the cheapest option, PHP 650 (USD 12.86) per night. They provide a towel and blanket but you have to pay a deposit of PHP 1,000 (USD 19.78), which they will return to you during check-out.

It has an in-house bar and restaurant downstairs where the guests like to hang out for a drink. As with the food, it’s a bit pricey and leaves much to be desired. There are nearby restaurants in the areas so I suggest that you just head outside for food.

The shower areas and toilets are shared, but it’s fine because apparently, foreigners are not big on showering. Imagine, the hostel is filled with guests yet never did we find a hard time using the bathroom or the restrooms. These areas are also well maintained by the staff; they never run out of toilet tissue and liquid hand wash. Moreover, the showers have heaters and the toilets have bidets.

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The rooms are equipped with both air-condition units and ceiling fans. Each bed is equipped with its own bed light, electrical outlet, and locker. Ok, let’s talk about the locker; in the previous hostels that I’d been too, I’ve always had an issue with the lockers as they are always too small for my backpack. Whoever thought about building the lockers has ostensibly considered that backpackers usually carry huge backpacks. The lockers are so big and spacious you could fit an entire backpack in it. They don’t provide a padlock though so remember to carry one if you’re staying here. They sell padlocks, but PHP 150 (USD 2.97) for a padlock is tad too much don’t you think? 

Oh yeah, if you’re booking a dorm room, bring earplugs and eye mask. I cannot emphasize enough how much you will be needing these as it could get noisy at night. I remember my friends complaining that our roommates were talking loudly one night that they had a hard time sleeping. Thanks to my earplugs, my sleep was not disturbed.  

Join the Sunset Shot and Full Moon Party

What’s the best thing about Outpost Beach Hostel? Definitely the view of the sea. This is a beachfront accommodation and waking up to an amazing view each morning and being able to watch the beautiful sunset in the late afternoon made our stay worth it. OBH holds a sunset shot daily, in which everyone is given a free shot of rum coke when the sun begins to set. Everyone is invited to gather in the common area (be sure to sit by the balcony for this), then one of the staff would lead the ceremony. It’s nothing big, he would just ask everyone to let out an awoo, the louder the better, and then people would raise and take a swig from the shot glass. It was rather brief, nevertheless, it was fun. What a clever way to have everyone get together for a single drink.

The bar is open only until 10:30 PM. It closes early because the nearby hotels complained about the noise of the guests who were drinking so late in the night. As soon as the bar closes, the tourists would usually go out in groups to continue their drinking in the town.

We extended our stay in the hostel for the Full Moon Party. Alchris decided to sleep it off while Lara, Lou, and I decided to join the fun. I have always wanted to attend a Full Moon Party so I didn’t let the opportunity past. It was held at the Las Cabañas beach in one of the bars there. There is no entrance fee, and OBH provided a van to transport their guests to the beach.

Lou was having some love dilemma so she was gloomy the entire night. Only Lara was able to meet some people, being the only sociable person in the group. Me? The only part of the party that I loved is watching the fire dancing presentation; it was seriously mind blowing. But if I have to be honest, I didn’t have fun. It wasn’t like the Summer Siren Festival, which to date is the only party or event I have ever enjoyed.

In the Full Moon Party, I didn’t meet anyone or talk to anyone. I had a little drink but didn’t get drunk. I danced a little with my friends, but the space that we were standing in was so small it all felt so awkward. I do love my friends’ company, but my conclusion is, if I want to party, they are the wrong people to be with. Alchris and Lou are reserved, Lara would go off on her own to talk with people. And I, well unless you get me drunk I would be that girl with a perpetual pissed off look on her face. So yeah, for the four of us, partying shouldn’t be in our agenda.   

What to expect with the crowd?

OBH is not so popular with the Filipinos, but it is crazy famous with foreign backpackers. In fact, my friends and I were the only Filipino guests during our stay that we looked like we were the foreigners. Expect to meet people of different race who are somewhere between early and late 20s. 

Our trip was sponsored by Sea Land Venture so we didn’t avail of the package tours of OBH. I heard that their tours can get really rowdy and fun, which I do not doubt considering the fact that most of OBH’s guests are young people who are out looking to have a great time.

How to know if Outpost Beach Hostel is for you?

Easy; if you are young, wild, and knows how to have a good time, OBH is for you. The hostel has a good vibe, the staff are nice and friendly, the guests are eager to socialize. When you go here don’t be like me. Don’t sit in the sidelines, don’t be lost on your cellphone, don’t overthink. Wear a smile and talk to people. This is a social hostel after all.  

To my friends, sorry to disappoint, my social hostel experience in El Nido was a failure.

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34 Comments

  • Reply
    Katchutravels
    August 24, 2017 at 1:10 AM

    This place El-Nido looks fun to stay in. I love hostel life and cities with backpacking culture. Is there a full moon party happening every month here?

    • Reply
      Marjorie Gavan
      August 24, 2017 at 10:01 AM

      The party is being held every full moon.

  • Reply
    Agness of aTukTuk
    August 5, 2017 at 5:24 PM

    I really hope to cross El Nido off my bucket list soon, Marjorie! Your post is truly motivational. I always choose to stay in a hostel and this one seems awesome. What time of the year would you suggest going to El Nido?

    • Reply
      Marjorie Gavan
      August 7, 2017 at 2:32 PM

      Hi Agness, most foreign visitors go to El Nido in the summer, that’s from March to May. I personally, don’t advise going in these months because there are more tourists and the prices are high. The best time for me is the later part of June or early part of July.

  • Reply
    celine
    July 27, 2017 at 10:29 AM

    Ey! This sounds so cool. Too cool, in fact. I have never been to the beautiful beaches of Palawan which we plan to remedy soon. and never tried hostels too. More of Airbnb people 🙂 How often do they have the full moon party? Your fire dance photo is amazing.

    • Reply
      Marjorie Gavan
      July 27, 2017 at 2:51 PM

      The full moon party happens every full moon, so once a month. 🙂

  • Reply
    Harini
    July 19, 2017 at 11:36 AM

    This seems like such a fun kind of hostel and tbh it doesn’t look like a hostel to me it looks like some sort of resort.I am glad you guys didn’t have an issue with the washroom because we have always faced issues with bathroom sharing in hostels as most girls spend too much time there lol.

    • Reply
      Marjorie Gavan
      July 19, 2017 at 7:37 PM

      I’m surprised too, I mean the hostel is packed to the brim but we never had to wait in line. I’m not sure if the foreigners are just not fond of taking showers haha..

  • Reply
    Sandy N Vyjay
    July 19, 2017 at 5:32 AM

    The Outpost Beach hostel seems to be a really vivacious and active kind of a place with lots of energy. Definitely not the kind if you are looking for some peace and solitude. But definitely the place to head to if you are looking for some fun and camaraderie. The beach party too sounds like fun, the fire dance picture had me enthralled.

    • Reply
      Marjorie Gavan
      July 19, 2017 at 7:43 PM

      Oh yeah, the energy is pulsing in that place. It’s definitely advisable for people who like to socialize.

  • Reply
    SindhuMurthy
    July 18, 2017 at 7:28 PM

    Marge, I always love reading your post because they have a personal touch. I love the way you interleave stories as you write. I wish you had found your prince charming at the OBH so that you wouldn’t have to try out mixed dorms again 🙂 Frankly, I wouldn’t choose to stay in a hostel ( especially mixed once) because I m not very comfortable staying with strangers. Btw, I really love the picture of the fire dance. It’s a pity you didn’t like the full moon party.

    • Reply
      Marjorie Gavan
      July 19, 2017 at 7:38 PM

      Thank you so much Sindhumurthy. That’s so nice of you to say. 🙂 Yeah, I am bad at attending parties actually, oftentimes I feel so out of place.

  • Reply
    Swati
    July 18, 2017 at 4:57 PM

    This looks like a nice and cozy hostel, if hostels are your thing. I can totally understand why it can be a favorite, it is like going back to college (and hostel). BTW, loved the signage “You are a perishable item , live accordingly” – Uber cool 🙂

    • Reply
      Marjorie Gavan
      July 19, 2017 at 7:38 PM

      I know right! I just had to take a photo of that sign.

  • Reply
    Gillian
    July 18, 2017 at 10:11 AM

    This seems like such an amazing experience. I have yet to stay in a hostel as I rarely travel alone and I have safety concerns. but the view here is certainly gorgeous!

    • Reply
      Marjorie Gavan
      July 19, 2017 at 7:42 PM

      You can stay in a hostel with friends if you are a bit hesitant but still want to give it a try 🙂

  • Reply
    Jerny
    July 17, 2017 at 3:41 PM

    I have heard of OBH and even considered staying previously but then we had some good stuff going on when we were there so it’s not an option by then. Also, I hope you had fun on your tours! Well, waking up to a beach view and drinking by the sunset is definitely a thing to consider especially for backpackers (or just those people who want to have fun and make friends!)

    • Reply
      Marjorie Gavan
      July 17, 2017 at 3:43 PM

      Hi Jerny, yeah we had a grand time during the tours. Thanks for hooking us up with Sea Land!

  • Reply
    Ambuj Saxena
    July 17, 2017 at 11:31 AM

    Thanks for an utterly honest review of OBH. I loved the tips for travelers at the end especially the “Dont be like me” part. Actually, just like you, even I take a bit of time to open up and socialize so maybe hostels aren’t the place for me. But I’ll try OBH for once!

    • Reply
      Marjorie Gavan
      July 19, 2017 at 7:39 PM

      I’m beginning to think that hostels are not for me since I am so bad at socializing, but then the price cannot be beat so yeah, I’m not giving them up anytime soon.

  • Reply
    Suruchi
    July 17, 2017 at 7:54 AM

    A very well written detailed review. I liked their rooms and those views can make my whole day. Having good Lockers is really essential for staying in a hostel and if they have big lockers to fit the whole of the backpack, that is awesome.

    • Reply
      Marjorie Gavan
      July 19, 2017 at 7:40 PM

      Oh yeah, that has got to be the best locker I have ever seen in a hostel. All hostels should really consider installing big lockers especially if most of their guests are backpackers.

  • Reply
    Kenneth Ephraim Surat
    July 16, 2017 at 3:28 AM

    Wow I love hostels. I didnt know that there’s a good one in El Nido. When I was there, I thought your only option is the crazy expensive hotels.

    • Reply
      Marjorie Gavan
      July 17, 2017 at 2:07 PM

      I thought the same years ago but now, the hostels are coming in and I’m glad that they do because the hotels in El Nido can get really expensive. It’s nice to have a cheaper option.

  • Reply
    Blaine is Lost
    July 15, 2017 at 2:46 PM

    The vibe is somehow similar to Flotsam and Jetsam in La Union. I agree about bringing your own ear plugs or sleeping mask, it really helps me stay asleep each time I stay in a dorm room filled with different travelers. The party looks simple but I do want to witness their fire dance performance. I will consider this hostel if I will visit El Nido in the future.

    • Reply
      Marjorie Gavan
      July 17, 2017 at 2:05 PM

      Yes, it’s a little bit like Flotsam and Jetsam. The fire dance show is awesome, you should see it!

  • Reply
    Indrani
    July 15, 2017 at 7:24 AM

    I love rooms with great views and you seem to be lucky to stay in one such room. With gorgeous sunrise and sunset views the day is made! I fully understand the locker problem with back packs. Looks like an ideal place to make new friends.

    • Reply
      Marjorie Gavan
      July 17, 2017 at 2:06 PM

      Actually no, we don’t have a room view, but the hostel itself has that view if you go to their balcony.

  • Reply
    neha
    July 15, 2017 at 6:18 AM

    The rooms look specious enough. I have not stayed in a hostel yet but going through your post has made me quiet aware about what to expect and what all to look for in a hostel. I will try hostel stay one day for sure

    • Reply
      Marjorie Gavan
      July 19, 2017 at 7:41 PM

      Hostels are not for everyone but I think it’s worth trying at least once.

  • Reply
    Thelittlelai: Beyond limitss
    July 15, 2017 at 5:32 AM

    Wow, this is so timely since I’ll be in El Nido on September. I always find Hostel as the best place to stay, aside from its innate cheaper price, you’ll get to meet a lot of backpacker travelers as well. I like how detailed this post is and very well elucidated. Very well written review indeed. Thank you so much for sharing this with us.

    • Reply
      Marjorie Gavan
      July 17, 2017 at 2:07 PM

      If you like socializing then this hostel is for you Lai. Hope you have a fab time in El Nido.

  • Reply
    BrendaPomponio
    July 14, 2017 at 12:31 AM

    I have never stayed in a hostel before but should I consider it you tips are most valuable. When our children are a little bigger I really want them to experience this type of travel so they can meet other families. This hostel certainly has thought of a lot of features needed for back packers and what stunning view!

    • Reply
      Marjorie Gavan
      July 19, 2017 at 7:41 PM

      I haven’t seen a family friendly hostel but I’m sure there is one out there.

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