Imagine this, a night shared with fellow wanderlusts over a bottle of cold beer or a lighted cigarette, talking non-stop about the places you have been to, people you have met along the way and the best and the worst experience you have had. Or a night in your room or the common area, lounging and reading some good books, searching the cheapest flights on the net or doing some errands for your blog. Whatever you choose, you can be both the Mr/Ms Congeniality or the socially awkward introvert in MNL Botique Hostel.
Situated on the financial center of the Philippines and Makati’s tourist center is a hostel that is founded by two Filipina backpacker and their friends. Trying to change the landscape for travelers and proving that Manila is more than just a jump-off point they established a hostel, put some Filipino love and hospitality and voila – the birth of one of the hippest hostels in the country.
How to get there:
If you are coming from Ninoy Aquino International Airport, you can take a yellow cab and tell the driver to take you to A. Venue Mall. MNL is located at Valdez cor. Santiago St., Poblacion, Makati City just beside Barrio Fiesta. If you prefer to commute via public transportation, you can take the airport shuttle all the way to MRT Taft. Take the MRT until Guadalupe Station. From Guadalupe, ride a jeepney (8 php fare) plying JP Rizal – Ayala and tell the driver to drop you off at A. Venue Mall or Barrio Fiesta. From there you can easily locate MNL.
They just opened last January 15 but they already established a name for themselves. Aside from catering the need of travelers for an accommodation, their hospitality is also well-known. There are 12 rooms available, six are of dorm-type and six are private. The shower room and the bathroom is shared but it has five shower rooms below, 2 above, four comfort rooms below and 2 above to accommodate everyone. This March 9, they will be having their launch so better mark your calendar.
For the prices, room availability and if you want to book a room you can check it here.
Day 1: Am I home?
Being the only Filipino that night except for the owners and the staff, turned my world upside down. At first, I felt like I was the stranger in my own homeland. I was surrounded by Europeans, Americans and some Asians. It was like a get-together of all nation and I sat there representing the Philippines as I check on my social networking accounts. Not a good representation I know. An hour after, a french couple came, I assumed since they are together. I tried to talk with them and we were able to have some conversation. They are on a backpacking journey and it is their 8th month on the road. They started in USA and traveled to places in South America, Europe and Asia. Unfortunately, it was only a short conversation as they were heading at the airport to catch their flight to Thailand the following day.
Day 2: A perfect Sunday waking up to the smell of bread and fruit jams.
Continental breakfast is free of charge in here. You can munch on those breads while talking to a new found-friend. That day, I am supposed to have my tour but unfortunately since the hostel is full I wasn’t able to take pictures of some rooms but luckily I was able to have a glimpse of it.
With my stay, I was able to embrace the happiness in solitude. I was able to realize that sometimes you also need a lone time with yourself. It never failed to give me the backpacker-fun vibe though I just sat there most of the time, observing the people around me. If I am to sum up my experience it would be just like what their password says, MNL rules!
Thanks to MNL Botique Hostel for hosting me for a night and to the people behind it: Celina, Gons and Maica for their hospitality.