Tired and Bedraggled. We trudged up Z Hostel’s entrance stairs and into its spacious lobby. Not far behind me and my 6 year-old Luna was Dong of Eskapo, lugging our 75L hybrid pack. He waited three hours at the airport for our arrival. No, our flight from Cebu wasn’t that delayed, but delayed enough for me to feel that I am forever indebted to him.
Approaching the reception counter, amidst a flurry of backpackers, I spotted two other familiar heads. Their bodies plonked on a couch at the lobby. They too, had been waiting for a while. Over an hour, I believe.
I couldn’t say sorry enough.
In between phrases of my explanation to the group, I checked in. It was swift and painless. Luna and I were to bunk in a four-bed dorm, the whole room to ourselves. Not cause I was on a splurge, but because Z Hostel guests who wish to bring their kids under 16 years of age must book a private room or the whole dorm with children under the age of 7 staying for free (You wouldn’t want the young one to be woken up by drunks stumbling into the room in the wee hours.). After being given the WiFi password and an RFID bracelet to use at the Z Roofdeck bar (bar doesn’t accept cash payment), I excused myself from the group and headed to the lift.
Out the lift and up a flight of stairs — yes, the elevator pours out to a landing — I hauled our luggage. And finally, into our home for the night.
Z Hostel Rooms
8 Pax Mixed Dorm at USD 17 (PhP 749)
6 Pax Dorm at USD 19 (PhP 849)
4 Pax Dorm at USD 21 (PhP 949)
(Prices include breakfast)
The dorm’s customized bunk beds are a little wider than ush, and every berth has its own electric socket and reading lamp. Each also has its own towel rack. Lockers are pretty spacious as well. What I like most about the rooms, each has an en-suite. No need to do the groggy trip to the hallway for the loo.
All Female Dorm
The all-female dorm is a 6-bed dorm. It’s got a dresser and a vanity mirror. And a bathrobe for each guest! The lockers are a tad bigger than those in the other rooms. Hair dryer and iron plus board are available upon request.
USD 20 (PhP 899). Also includes breakie.
Z Hostel’s private rooms, located on the top floors, feature a queen size bed with duvet and an en suite bath. Also got bathrobes (pretty nice touch). No tellies in all rooms because Z encourages guests to go out and mingle.
USD 52 (PhP 2,430), includes breakie.
Our 4-bed dorm room was spotlessly clean. And although the beds looked so inviting, there were people to meet (well, they were already waiting downstairs) and places to see and food to eat. After all, Z Hostel’s location is tops.
Yes, the red light district — the erm, kind that caters to foreigners (don’t tell me you’re put off by that because hello, Khao San Road ain’t innocent either) — is just around the corner. But this also means there’s a plethora of outstanding restaurants and buzzy drinking holes nearby. Don’t be intimidated by the seedy appearance of the streets that lead to the hostel. The area is generally safe.
A couple of malls are of short walking distance, in case you want to encapsulate yourself from dirt and soot.
If you don’t feel like going out to “go out” (you got that, right?), then there’s Z Hostel’s Roofdeck. Actually, it is THE place to hang out. Some nights there’s an acoustic performer and some nights there’s a DJ putting on tunes to put you in the mood (if the ambiance fails to do so, which I doubt). You may not find the view very Instagrammable, but hey, that view is better than staring at walls. And the night breeze is a refresher, no matter how polluted Manila is.
I didn’t get to hang out at the roofdeck that eve, for I was with a grumpy, sleep/rest-deprived child, but I did come back some weeks after even if I wasn’t a guest. Because yah know, non-guests could. If you are missing them good ol’ backpacking days (or nights) Z Hostel can give you that feel. The language barrier. The cultural differences. The YOLO vibes.
And oh, there’s a cafe downstairs adjacent to the lobby if you want something more private and quiet. Cafe serves authentic local dishes worth giving a go.
Luxury Travel On A Budget
PhP 700+ – PhP 900+ for a dorm bed. Not exactly Southeast Asian cheap, but it is travel luxury on a budget. Z Hostel’s chic, with-a-touch-of hipster-quirky interiors is screaming boutique. The spaces, facilities and amenities are of two-thumbs up quality. The luxurious bed singlehandedly won this perpetually haggard mum over. I didn’t get to try the breakfast but I’ve been told they offer a good selection — I had been craving for a couple of Filipino breakie dishes that’s why I went elsewhere.
Z Hostel is HQ of good vibes. Good vibes for the younger and young-at-heart crowd though, me reckon. It ain’t for everyone (specifically for those wanting very peaceful nights), but aren’t all accommodations?
5660 Don Pedro St.
Brgy. Poblacion, Makati City