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Monday, March 25, 2013

Good Vibe + Good Crowd at MNL BOUTIQUE HOSTEL

Consider it a dry run for my upcoming Southeast Asia backpacking trip.Three Countries,Six days.It's gonna be an Amazing Race kind of tour.I though about travelling light and on a budget.That means staying in the cheapest accommodations possible without sacrificing comfort and vibe.I have tried staying in hostels in two occasions ----the first in Macau and the second in Penang.It was more of minimal-interaction-with-fellow-travelers though.That's why last weekend,I decided to check MNL BOUTIQUE HOSTEL to feel the vibe of being around backpackers and interact with them.

I felt the good vibes the moment I stepped in the place. Lakas maka-"foreign feel" ng hostel na to!.In my head I was thinking, "what took them so long?".We need more cool spaces like this in Manila and yes, all over the country.

MNL Boutique Hostel

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the vibe of MNL BOUTIQUE HOSTEL


MNL Vibe

Branding is still a major challenge for Philippine Tourism.It is therefore refreshing to see a "hostel with a character" right next to the country's premier business district.It has a modern,city feel but it has incorporated "Pinoy Art" with it.The paintings,the bright colors,the fresh feel.All in-sync with the bubbly and friendly character of Filipino people.

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CHILL ATMOSPHERE

The owners of the hostel are young.They bring with them an enthusiastic vibe that you can immediately feel upon check in.They are very friendly and they go out of their way to help guests.If you lost for directions or if you need some help with local shops or cheap places to dine and party,they have the sorrounding area mapped for you.

The place is well maintained.It's clean.All guests would have to share a common restroom but that's no problem at all,6 showers (w/hot water) and 6 toilets.Enough to cover everybody.And the restrooms are clean.That's what I like about the place.Cleanliness is not an issue.The dining area is nice.Good vibes is extended there.Continental breakfast is included too!
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And my favorite spot (other than the room where we stayed which smells fresh) is the lounge.This is where you want to hang out and meet other travelers.Really a nice spot to chill.This also where you can watch tv or surf the web.Wifi is fast and free.There is a computer here too just in case you didn't bring your own gadgets.

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THE ROOMS

Room Facilities:
8-inch spring matress, Hotel grade linen and pillows, Duvet for all private rooms,Personal console per bed- lamp, folding table and electrical socket.Lockers for dorms
Room Inclusions:
Continental Breakfast (Toast, Jam, Coffee, Tea)​,Towels,Linen.
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We stayed in a private room with a queen bed.They only have two (2) of these for those who prefer to have it more private.The other one being twin bed.I though about staying in a dorm room but I had to call some clients early the next day so we opted for a private space.I would love to try the dorm rooms the next time I check in though.I remember staying in one in Macau a few years ago and it's a different experience.What I like about the place is that there's no curfew.You can come in and out any time.
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#1 in Tripadvisor

It has opened only in January 2013 and it is already the #1 Specialty Lodging in Makati in Tripadvisor ----now that is a statement! Tripadvisor of course is the world's largest travel site with 100 Million reviews and opinions.The rise of Manila Boutique hostel to #1 in the reviews of its guests is indicative of how good the place is.

Outstanding Atmosphere Award
Hostelbookers.com


And it has recently been awarded by customers of Hostelbookers.com OUTSTANDING ATMOSPHERE.Good job!
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Location, Location, Location

I initially thought MNL Boutique Hostel is located somewhere near Makati Medical so I was thinking like "what is a hostel doing there?".It's a relief that it is not there.Instead,it's along Makati Avenue which is known for its vibrant night life.The area is packed with restos from fine dining to cheap ones,shops,pubs and even massage salons.In this area, there's something for everybody. MNL Boutique Hostel is literally across the street from A-Venue Mall.

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HOW TO GET TO MNL Boutique Hostel:
From Ninoy Aquino International Airport

The most convenient way to get to our hostel is to take a taxi from the airport and give the driver the following instructions:

1. Ask the driver to take you to A. Venue Mall on Makati Avenue
2. You will see a Barrio Fiesta Beside A.Venue Mall.
3. Walk into Valdez St. and MNL will be at the next corner (Santiago St.)

Distance is about 8.5km, trip takes about 20 mins, traffic-free and approx. 1 hour during peak times.

Here's the MAP.
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THE CROWD

It doesn't matter if you travel solo or not,you can easily find somebody to talk to,ask for directions, talk about your adventures and share your views on a whole range of topics ----even on current events.The first person I talked to at MNL Boutique Hostel was Francisco who is a young cool guy from Argentina.You don't get to talk to somebody from Argentina that often (sa kabilang bahagi ng daigdig na to!).We talked about so many things as I was so eager to know more about his country.Francisco happens to have the same name with the new Pope (Pope Francis) who happens to be from Argentina too! Hahaha.


with Angelina from the US

Also met Angelina from the US who is young and adventurous.She was thinking of going to El Nido,sleep in a hammock,rent a kayak and go around the islands alone.She actually even thought of renting a motorbike from Puerto Princesa to El Nido!Then there's Manon from Switzerland who has been traveling around the world for 6 months now,and she is set to travel for a year so she has 6 months to go!Wow.How I wish I can do that.Manon has been to El Nido and had a great time there.Most of the people at the hostel during my stay have been to El Nido and good thing I am booked to fly there on April 4.I would have died of envy then and there! Lol
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Socialize!

One good thing about MNL Boutique Hostel is that it is not in the main road being Makati Ave.Although there is a small sidewalk in front of it,it's not really that busy so one can request for portable tables and chairs if you want to stay outside and drink.I joined the other guests for a drink after a quick pizza snack with my wife.She was not feeling very well that night so I left her at a massage salon next to the hostel while I socialized with the other guests over vodka and tequila.

Had a great time conversing with a couple from Dubai (the guy is German and his wife a Filipina from Isabela), a doctor from Norway, a student from England, a retiree from Norway who has been staying in Iloilo for a few years now, a young lady from Canada (originally from Taipei), a young woman from the US and a guy from Sweden.I love the crowd here at MNL Boutique Hostel!!!!
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What is a local doing here?

Some of the guests asked about my Nationality on certain occasions and they were surprised to know that I am a local and that I actually live in the outskirts of Manila.Some thought I am Thai or something.Maybe because of my spiky hair.But yeah,what is a local doing here?For one I noticed a few locals that night.

Well,I wanted to feel the place.I wanted to simulate what is going to be the kind of atmosphere I will have comes May.And as I said,lakas maka-nasa ibang bansa -feel ng hostel na to.Here,you would feel you are the minority.And I mean that in a good way.I think I will be frequenting MNL Boutique Hostel should I feel like meeting new people,having a good conversation with other travelers, or simply if I want a change of environment.During my overnight stay at MNL Boutique Hostel,I learned a lot from the travelers/backpackers I interacted with.I will surely be back for more!

PS: To the owners of MNL Boutique Hostel, please create more cool spaces like this.We would love to see more of em!


___________________________
Address: Valdez cor. Santiago St., Poblacion, Makati City
http://www.mnlboutiquehostel.com/
call: +63 2 511 7514 / +63 906 446 5617​

4 comments:

  1. ang cute namn nung place at daming forenjer ahh hahaha
    nakakanose bleed makipag interact dyan haha

    ReplyDelete
  2. WOW! What a great discovery! I love the exterior color, parang grafitti lang~! The feel is like a local filipino home. I think, they thought you were Thai because of the looks, parang slightly chinito. Well, I'll be going to Manila soon, I will surely check this out! Thanks and more power to your entries!

    ReplyDelete
  3. that' s so cool! considering they just opened this year and they already have a very good review only means they are indeed a must-try.

    ReplyDelete
  4. This place looks great! So hipster. My friend was the DJ for the street party they hosted a few weeks ago. I hope they organize another one soon! :)

    ReplyDelete

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