Hotels Philippines

5 Makati Hostels [which one provides best value for money]

I don’t know why but I suddenly grew a fascination over Makati hostels last year that I spent most of my weekends in Poblacion. In the process, I gained insights and experiences that I had been glossing over with my friends and colleagues. There is hardly to say if you are alone in a room but in a dorm shared with strangers, oh boy that’s a different story. From slob roommates, confused staff, to tiny roaches, I have almost seen it all. And today I am going to rank these hostels from my least favorite to the best. Before we begin, let me just say that this ranking is based on my personal experience and preference. The opinion is mine and mine alone.

5. Junction Hostels

I stayed at Junction Hostels during the election weekend last year. Just to give context, I now live in Pasig, but I am still a Makati voter. I booked this hostel to get to the precinct with no hassle. I was further persuaded by how good it looked on photos, the design looks right out of a dystopian novel. Also, it is super cheap, you can book a bed in a dorm room for as low as Php 400.

This, however, is a perfect illustration of expectations versus reality. It’s not that they posted fake photos, it’s just that it is no longer the best representation of its current condition. The hostel is in badly need of maintenance. During my stay, the second floor’s bathrooms were not working that I had to go to the third floor just to shower. There were broken toilet seats, non-working pipes, and it was all made worse by the water crisis that affected many parts in Metro Manila during that time. Unfortunately, the hostel didn’t have the facility to deal with such crisis.

But the most terrible experience that I had is dealing with a slob roommate. I was not prepared to see the amount of junk and stuff that she had when I entered the room. She was practically living there; all her stuff scattered everywhere. Because her things were in the middle of the room, it felt like I was walking through a maze every time I made my way to my locker. This girl was also setting the thermostat between 25° to 28°C that I had trouble sleeping from sweating up all night. Note that this happened during summer season, it was very humid and hot.

I know that unpleasant guests are beyond the control of the management., however, since she had been staying there a long time, the least they could do is advise her to put her stuff away. She was, after all, staying in a shared room, that kind of behavior is only acceptable if she had been staying in a private room.

Despite being the last in this list, I have noted some of the good things about Junction Hostels. As I mentioned, the rate is cheap so it’s best if you are on a budget. It is also near the gimmick spots in Poblacion. Their WiFi connection is reliable and they have a common area where guests can hang out or do some online stuff. Lastly, the hostel staff is nice and polite.  

Book Junction Hostels here

Quick Info

Address: Annex Matheus Building, General Luna corner Don Pedro Street, Poblacion, Makati
Dorm room rates: Php 400-1,400
Deposit: Php 1,000
Toiletries: Not available
Blow dryer: Not available
Bed curtains: Not available
Locker: Bring your own padlock
Free breakfast: Not included

Click here to get $24 off your first airbnb booking

4. Bunk 5021 Hostel

Located in Poblacion’s “Red District,” Bunk 5021 Hostel is on the least ideal location among all the hostels in this list, at least in my opinion. It’s not because I’m prude, it’s because it stands on the side of the road, which would make sleeping a bit of a challenge from all the noise coming from the bars as well as from the passing vehicles below. This might be an issue for light sleepers, but nothing that a pair of earplugs cannot solve. So that’s a tip, if you’re staying here, bring earplugs.

There’s been a problem when I checked in; I booked a 4-bed shared room for my 2-day stay yet when I arrived, they put me in a 6-bed room. They reasoned that the a/c in the room that I booked has problems and apparently, the other 4-bed room is fully occupied. I found this disappointing because…

  1. This is not my problem. At the very least, they could have informed me about the room issue before I arrived so I could manage my expectations.
  2. The 4-bed room is slightly more expensive than the 6-bed, yet they didn’t even offer to refund me.

I hope next time they prevent this from happening.

Generally, my stay at Bunk 5021 has been good. The bed is comfy and they have the best locker; spacious and digital, it can be opened and locked by the same card key that you will use to enter the room.

They have an entertainment area with a co-working space on the top floor. I think it’s smart that they decided to separate it from the restaurant as the latter could get noisy quickly.

Their in-house bar and resto has delicious but inexpensive food. Try their chicken popcorn and the pancit lucban, they are very savory.

Lastly, the staff is attentive and willing to provide guests what they need. For example, on my first day, I had a bad luck of being bunked in a room with two men who didn’t have the decency to step out to puff their cigarettes. They did it inside the bathroom, I even saw cigarette ashes on the toilet seat, oh the horror. Because of this I had difficult time sleeping having to breathe in all that smoke. I immediately reported the matter to the receptionist first thing in the morning. When I requested that they move me to another room, they readily obliged, and this time, they put me in a room that I originally booked.

Book Bunk 5021 here

Quick Info

Address: 5021 P Burgos, Makati
Dorm room rates: Php 500-600
Deposit: Php 500
Toiletries: Available
Blow dryer: Not available
Bed curtains: Available
Locker: Digital lock, no need for padlock
Free breakfast: Not included

3. Lub D

Lub D is a hostel chain from Thailand and the Philippines’ branch was opened two years ago in Makati. In Trip Advisor, Lub D is the top-ranking Makati hostel, but for me, it only holds the third spot. Let me expound.

Facilities wise, Lub D is the clear winner. It has over 163 rooms, a good number of which are private rooms. At 36 square meters, their rooms are the most spacious I’ve seen in a hostel. The bed is also the most comfortable and big for a single bed. Each bed has a night light, a tiny cabinet that you can lock your personal effects with, and universal sockets and USB ports to charge your devices. There is a curtain, but it can only cover half of the bed.

There is a locker area inside the room but in a secluded area, thereby minimizing the disturbance to other guests should one need to get something from their bag. Okay let’s talk about the locker because whoever designed it seemed to have forgotten the purpose of it. It is by far the weirdest and the worst locker I have ever seen in my life. I mean, just look at the photos below, the door is short and doesn’t cover the bottom part. This is only good for huge luggage but if you have a smaller bag, it is useless to lock it in there. Anyone could just easily pull out your belongings from under.

The shared bathroom and toilets for dorm rooms are down the hallway. There’s hot and cold shower, shampoo, and liquid body soap. There’s a sink area and powder area, both are equipped with large mirrors. There’s a coin-operated washing machine and a small area for hanging clothes. Cottons, q tips, and blow dryer are also provided for. My only problem with the shower area is the drain always clogs up that the floor is usually flooded.

Another good thing about Lub D is the reliable WiFi, you’re always connected no matter which floor you are on. On the second floor is the reception area, the co-working space, a private conference room, game/entertainment room, Skype booths, as well as a small cinema. They have a rooftop bar and resto, unfortunately, not only is the food pricey, the taste leaves much to be desired.

With all these descriptions, you might be wondering why Lub D isn’t on the top of this list. The answer is poor customer service. I have been to many hostels here and abroad, but the staff at Lub D, at least some of them seem off. First, they don’t even show as much as a smile and have this perpetual bored or pissed look on their faces. I find this off-putting as they are working in the hospitality industry. That and this one incident that I would never forget.

This is going to be long, so please bear with me. My friends and I booked for a night and since our number could easily fit in the 8-bed mixed dorm room, we called Lub D to know if they can put us all in the same room. We provided our names as well as our booking reference numbers, and thankfully they agreed to this arrangement. If they told us that this is not possible, I would have been more understanding, but they agreed, hence I’m sharing the story.

The first booboo that they did is putting one of our friends (let’s call him JM) in another room when his name and booking number were clearly included in the list that we provided. This means that suddenly, we have one free bed in our room. We let this go because JM has already settled in and didn’t want to move to our room anymore.

We have another friend (let’s call her LD) who had no previous booking. Since there’s a vacant bed in our room that JM didn’t take, we advised her to tell the receptionist to put her in our room. She did just that and they gave her a card key so we were all under the impression that she has been booked already.

Further into the night, we went back to our room after barhopping on Poblacion. We didn’t sleep right away and was chatting in our room when all of a sudden, the door opened. One of the receptionists and a security guard came in. The woman said that the room is not exclusive to us. We were naturally confused, there are 8 beds in the room, and there’s 8 of us, what did she mean by that? 

I went downstairs with 3 of my friends where we spent like 10 minutes discussing with the receptionist. She told us repeatedly that we can’t have the room all to ourselves. I couldn’t for the life of me understand what she meant when our number was complete and all of us booked the room. I even wrote down all of our names, showed it to the her, yet she maintained that the room is not ours without being able to explain why. Then something clicked inside my head that I turned to LD and asked if she paid already. She said no, so that explains it. If this has been the issue all along then…

1. Why didn’t the receptionist tell us so? She wasted so much time telling us that the room is not exclusive to us, when she could have just easily told us that LD is in fact, not yet booked. I even showed her the list of our names, she could have checked which one is not included.

2. Why did they give LD a card key to begin with? I asked the receptionist, “Do you really provide non-guests a card key?” To which she replied, no. If that is so, then why did they give her a card key?! I waited for an answer, but the receptionist looked as confused as we were.

The issue could have been prevented if they didn’t put one of our friends in another room. I think the problem here is their lack of due diligence to check all bookings. Had they been meticulous about it, they never would have overlooked it. It is worth repeating that we asked them nicely in advance if they can accommodate our request and they agreed, it’s not like we just demanded the arrangement on the spot.

Lub D is not my top choice because I place high importance on how the staff treat their guests and this incident was just unbelievable to me.

Book Lub D here

Quick info

Address: 7820 Makati Avenue Barangay Poblacion, Makati
Dorm room rates: Php 600-750
Deposit: None
Toiletries: Available
Blow dryer: Available
Bed curtains: Available
Locker: Bring your own padlock
Free breakfast: None

2. Zula Hostel

My second favorite is one of the newest in the game. Zula Hostel opened in July 2019 and already it has been gaining a great number of positive reviews from previous guests. It is located along Makati Ave.

I asked the staff what Zula means but nobody was able to answer me. So I googled, and I’m not sure if this is where the owners based the name, but Urban Dictionary defines it as a place where you are happiest and relaxed or a place you’re most where you are most.

Zula Hostel has an elevator, an in-house restaurant and café, and a rooftop bar. There’s free WiFi use, they will give you a voucher for access details upon check-in.

All rooms have their own bathrooms. The beds are comfy equipped with a night light and power sockets.

In the morning, they deliver breakfast to the rooms. They put them in a brown bag and it usually contains a fruit, bread, and juice.

If there is a competition for the warmest staff, Zula’s personnel would win hands down. They will always greet you with a warm smile, say hi whenever you pass by, even offer you their food if you happen to see them having their break. They will bend over backwards to ensure your stay will be as comfortable as possible.

A good example of this is when I was about to go out to meet my friends one night and found that it was raining outside. I had no umbrella, so I asked the staff if they have something to lend for their guests just like in other hotels. They don’t, but instead of leaving it at that, one of them let me borrow her personal umbrella. I was genuinely touched because it was unnecessary on her part, yet she did it anyway. What a good display of going out of your way to help someone.

Book Zula Hostel here

Quick information

Address: 7840 Makati Avenue corner P. Guanzon Street, Makati
Dorm room rates: Php 400-700
Deposit: Php500
Toiletries: Available
Blow dryer: Available
Bed curtains: Available
Locker: Bring your own padlock
Free breakfast: Included

1. Z Hostel

My top choice for Makati hostel is a surprise even for me. I don’t really like staying at party hostels as they are usually noisy and filled with guests, however, Z Hostel ticks many things that I usually look for in a hostel.

First is the location, it is at the heart of Poblacion, which is one of the best gimmick spots in the metro. My friends and I like to frequent this area and so I find that staying at Z to be most convenient when I know we would stay out late.

Facility wise, it is not as good as Zula or Lub D, but it is pretty well-maintained. It has a very spacious reception area equipped with huge and comfortable couches to lounge on, two computers that guests are free to use, as well as some books for reading.

The dorm rooms have their own toilet and shower and if you are a woman, I highly suggest you book an all-female dorm as it equipped with things not found on mixed dorms, such as a vanity mirror, q tips and cotton, blow dryer, and robes. Also, I find it hard to share a room with men as they tend to be more negligent with their stuff. Another reason is the possibility of seeing people having sex, which a friend of mine has unfortunately witnessed a couple of times in a mixed dorm.

There are no toiletries so make sure to bring yours. If you get cold easily, you may request for a fleece blanket from the reception at no additional cost, just make sure to return it to them alongside the RFID and the bath towel upon checkout.

Speaking of RFID, this bracelet will be given to you when you check in. This is what you use to record your purchase made at their roof-deck bar or at the café. The minimum top-up amount is Php 300. You will settle the payment during check-out, and if there’s balance left, you will be able to refund it.

Z’s roof-deck bar is among the best spots to drink and party in Poblacion. It is always filled with party-goers especially on Fridays and Saturdays. Guests have free access to this bar with one free drink that they can claim from 6:00 to 7:00 in the evening. Non-guests, one the other hand, must pay Php 300 to gain access.

Not gonna lie, you will hear the music in the room from the roof deck so if you don’t have earplugs and you’re a light sleeper, this may pose a problem for you. I deal with the noise by my ever-reliable ear plugs.

But the thing that I love most about staying at Z Hostel that makes it a good value for money is the buffet breakfast inclusion. There’s toast bread, a Filipino noodle dish (e.g., lomi, sopas, pancit) or sometimes, porridge, and there are fruits and cereals. There’s also brewed coffee and tea, and fruit juice. I don’t usually eat breakfast but when I’m staying at Z Hostel, I make it a point to get up and eat.

Book Z Hostel here

Quick information

Address: 5660 Don Pedro St., Barangay Poblacion, Makati
Dorm room rates: Php 500-980
Deposit: Php500
Toiletries: No
Blow dryer: Yes (available at ladies’ dorm or upon request)
Bed curtains: Yes
Locker: Bring your own padlock
Free breakfast: Yes
Other perks: One free drink at the rooftop bar from 6-7pm

Ranking based on hotel booking websites

Here’s how these hostels fare on hotel booking sites. Interestingly, it looks like I am on the same page with Hostelworld users.

HostelsAgoda  Booking Hostelworld
Junction Hostels8.1  7.55.9 
Bunk 5021 Hostel 9.2 9.28.5
Lub D9.1 8.9 8.8 
Zula Hostel9.2  8.89.1 
Z Hostel 8.6  8.59.1 
There’s A New Hostel In Poblacion That Promises Luxury Accommodation [Unwnd Lux Hostel Review]
Connector Hostel, is it worth the price?

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