I had the privilege to meet Paul, he is the manager of Where 2 Next Manila Hostel. In his early 20's, Paul is young, hip and energetic, a personification of what the hostel exudes. It was late afternoon then and Paul was busy chatting with his guests he accompanied earlier to Binondo for a food + cultural walking tour. Although tired, he greeted me with so much optimism. I also learned during check in that they just left the hostel a few minutes before our arrival. That is when I asked about the tour posted on their board if how much they charge for it. I was surprised to learn that they don't charge their guests a cent.
For now, what the hostel wants is to create an opportunity for their guests to experience Filipino culture by simply chipping in for the food they consume and the fares to and from Binondo. Paul told me that the group spent around 300+ pesos for the experience, that is for several restaurants they tried. Such is a showcase of Filipino hospitality. And I could tell that Paul is so into the fun of the experience. He enjoys every bit of it as his guests does. In the process, he makes friends from all corners of the world, lasting bonds that money cannot buy. I see why he enjoys his job so much.
Remember Malate-Ermita area? The glory days of this tourist district is coming back. Thanks to the return of entertainment establishments, restaurants and with it are hotels for all budget. So far, we have tried Amelia Hotel, Pink Manila Hostel and recently Where2Next Manila.
-Spacious, Cozy, Living, Inviting.
A simple breakfast consisted of toast, egg and fresh mango (or fruit in season) is included in the room price. Unlimited coffee too. Other than the hearty breakfast, the dining area reminds me of the palengke tour the hostel offers every Wednesday when guests are accompanied to a traditional market (palengke) to buy fresh vegetable, seafood or meat to bring back to the hostel to be cooked. Guests are then taught to cook simple Filipino dishes like adobo or lumpia by hotel staff. I find this a very fun and immerseful activity indeed.
It was also here where we saw a Korean guest (Bora), eating together with hostel staff. They were eating adobo prepared by the hostel cook and they were happily chatting like a scene from a happy family meal you see in movies except that this one is real. We were invited over but we were about to check out at that time to catch another appointment so we managed to stay for a few minutes to taste the adobo after I was eagerly handed a fork to try eat. I couldn't resist. Bora was so at home I felt that she found a family here. My only regret is that I failed to snap a shot to capture that surreal moment.
Where 2 Next - Manila Hostel has 4 dorm types available
They also offer private rooms for 2-3 people, and all of our rooms are air-conditioned, so you can have a comfortable and pleasant sleep. We also now offer private rooms with fans instead. It's having your privacy on a budget! Our hostel can sleep a total of 52 people. Shared toilets.
We stayed in a private room for 1,300 pesos per night. We originally booked this for 1000 pesos and I though it includes airconditioning but not so we were offered to add 300 pesos for it. Not bad. Two single beds, divide the cost for two pax and that is around 650 pesos. A small difference for dormitory rooms of around 500 pesos per pax for added privacy.
Shoyu -60 pesos
Miso -80 pesos
Shio - 70 pesos
Tan-tanmen -90 pesos
One major discovery, bingsu! This popular Korean shaved ice refreshment similar to our halo-halo I've been dying to sample. I thought only Cafe Bene with only a few branches in Metro Manila offers it but two blocks away from the hostel is Cafetaly which sells breads, pastries, bingsu and even chimaek or chicken + maekju (beer).
Thanks to the help of the hostel we were able to find hawker food in an adjoining street where we enjoyed popular food on stick on a sidewalk table set up for its customers.
Makchang Korean Restaurant
As I mentioned, Cafetaly also sells chimaek, half chicken sells for around 359 pesos then you order the beer separately. We thought of going back the next day to try it but we opted for a Korean restaurant indeed. Just below Where 2 Next is a Korean Restaurant with very clear glass walls that i salivate each time I take the stairs to and from the hostel. We opted for another Korean Resto also net to the hostel, Makchang!
Above, I recounted the authentic hospitality the hostel extends to its guests. Below are photos I grabbed from their Facebook page showing the manager enjoying touring his guests. Such memorable experiences sets Where 2 Next Manila Hostel from the other accommodations in the area I tried. Keep up the good work guys.
WHERE 2 NEXT MANILA HOSTEL
Call: +63 917 804 0434