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Manila is one of the most underrated and coolest cities in Southeastern Asia. The capital city of the Philippines overlooks Manila Bay in the South China Sea. It might be a cliche to call Manila a city of contrasts, but it’s true. Gleaming malls and skyscrapers sit beside bucolic shantytowns and urban parks. Yet, the Asian megacity hides a creative soul beneath that metropolis veneer. It has lively music scenes, edgy galleries, and some singular artisan markets. Clearly, you need more than a few days to explore this ‘Pearl of the Orient.’ The best hotels in Manila, Philippines are a unique blend of culture and indulgence. Quirky boutique hotels give way to luxury with a revered history. In fact, two of Manila’s hotels even made it to Conde Nast Traveler’s list of best hotels in the world in 2019.
So, you’re spoilt for choice when it comes to accommodation in this gorgeous Asian city. These 11 best hotels in Manila, Philippines will make your holiday as comfortable and memorable as it gets.
Where to Stay in Manila
The thriving Manila is one of the world’s most populated and visited cities. So, choosing where to stay in the city can be a daunting task indeed. To begin with, the Spanish walled old city of Intramuros is Manila’s oldest district. It’s also home to Manila’s ancient and historic sights and sits on the banks of the Pasig River. Makati, which is Manila’s financial district, is the most popular area with travelers. Not only does it have hotels suiting every budget, but it’s even a center for nightlife, dining, and shopping. The hip and happening Quezon City sits to the northeast of the city. It’s an absolute hipster haven with Bohemian cafes, fashion boutiques, and more. Moreover, it’s also home to the most boutique hotels and hostels in Manila, Philippines.
The up-and-coming Fort Bonifacio has wide boulevards, green spaces, a pulsating nightlife. If you’re looking for upscale hotels, this is where you’ll find them. Finally, the modern, colonial-era Pasay south of the city is a great place for staying close to the coast.
Makati Junction Hostel
If you’re looking for a hip urban hostel in Manila, there’s no place better than Makati Junction Hostel. The zany hostel has whimsical industrial-inspired interiors and is an instant charmer. It sits in the heart of the lively Pobacion neighborhood in Makati. Thus, it makes for the perfect base for delving into its exciting nightlife.
The hostel radiates a casual vibe with its energy-efficient design. The communal areas all feature energy-saving bulbs, upcycled furniture, and restored window frames. What’s more, the ‘restaurant’ is an upcycled truck! It serves all-day breakfast and transforms into a lovely bar come evening. The hostel is also a popular coworking space with a cool world map way to plan your next escapade over coffee. The TV room has a Filipino pool table and cozy seating and is perfect for kicking off interesting conversations. Moreover, the hostel has book exchanges, bar-hopping routes, and beer pong events.
The icing on the cake at Makati Hostel is the immaculate shared dorms and private rooms. Ensuite bathrooms, individual reading lights, and locker storage making staying here a breeze.
The Manila Hotel
The Manila Hotel is the “Grande Dame” of the city and has a history of more than 100 years. The hotel has hosted many world-famous personalities, including The Beatles and Michael Jackson! It lies right next to Rizal Park and overlooks Manila Bay. Moreover, it’s a stone’s throw from many of the city’s historic highlights.
The lobby radiates old-world elegance with marble floors, mahogany furniture, and brass chandeliers. Despite the classic, old-world appearance, the hotel has aged well. The staff in traditional Filipiniana gowns is helpful. Five on-site restaurants and bars serve everything from breakfast to nightcaps. What’s more, the hotel has a heavenly pool and a fitness center overlooking the bay. With a pool bar and sun loungers, it’s the best place to unwind after a long day. The icing on the cake is the relaxing spa.
All rooms and suites feature earthy hues and carved wooden furniture. Classic Filipino touches include mother-of-pearl wall panels and woven rattan chairs. Finally, luxuriate in the massive bathrooms that have bathtubs and even in-built TVs!
Makati Shangri-la Manila
Makati Shangri-la is one of the Manila hotels featured on CN Traveler’s list of best hotels in 2019. The hotel is part of the cluster of branded hotels right in the middle of Makati. So, lots of bars, restaurants, and entertainment establishments are a short walk away.
Don’t let the hotel’s brutalist concrete exterior alarm you. On the inside, it’s a glitzy lobby with floral tapestries and gold hues that welcomes you. The classic, dulcet tones of a violin orchestra waft across as the staff quickly check you in. On the fourth floor, palms fringe the outdoor pool, which is great for both a swim or a soak. Get some R&R at the spa, or work out at the 24/7 fitness center. Besides, the hotel serves one of the largest breakfasts in the city. To top it all, there are two outdoor tennis courts as well.
On the other hand, rooms are simple but spacious to boot, along with light-marble bathrooms. A lovely local touch is the turndown treat in the form of a dried mango snack.
Tambayan Capsule Hostel & Bar
Tambayan Capsule Hostel & Bar is one of the best hotels in Manila, Philippines. The name comes from the Filipino word “Tambay,” which means “hangout.” The hostel lies near Intramuros, two streets from the promenade overlooking Manila Bay. Location-wise, it makes for an excellent base to explore the Top 10 Things To Do In Manila.
The hotel lies in a gorgeous mansion that was earlier a Chinese merchant’s home. The place boasts vintage touches like detailed wall trimmings and polished wooden banisters. Hence, its lobby is the grandest hostel lobby you’ll ever see, with an antique chandelier. Interestingly, the staff don retro 80s outfits. Moreover, the hostel celebrates Filipino culture with wall murals, photographs, and stained glass. A second-floor common area with books and games is a great place to meet fellow travelers. What’s more, Tambayan is one of the few hostels in the country that serves breakfast. Finally, the stylish rooftop gastro bar is a great place to spend evenings.
Rooms at the capsule hotel are named after popular Filipino heroes. They bring in the Japanese ‘capsule’ living concept, which is a pod with a bed. These include dorms and four-capsule private rooms, all chic and immaculate. Dorm beds have comfy mattresses, along with reading lights.
Hotel Conrad Manila
Overlooking Manila Bay, Hotel Conrad is one of the best hotels in Manila, Philippines. It’s no surprise that Conrad sits on CN Traveler’s list of best hotels in 2019. For one, its eye-catching design is reminiscent of cruise ships that dock at Manila port. What’s more, the hotel boasts a groundbreaking and award-winning sustainable design.
Swish interiors feature neutral hues, striking sculptures, and shining marble floors. The many public spaces make the most of the bay vistas. With outdoor terraces and floor-to-ceiling glass windows, you’re sitting right by the water. Moreover, there are modern chandeliers, water features, and chic metalwork everywhere. Amenities abound at Conrad, of which the best is the gorgeous swimming pool setup. Set in a sun-kissed terrace, it also sees unending cocktails and snacks served by a pool bar. Many international restaurants, a gym, and an elegant spa complete Conrad’s offerings.
All rooms and suites are spacious with floor-to-ceiling windows and luxurious mod-cons. Upgraded rooms and suites even have balconies and lounge areas. The highlight, though, is the smart room lighting which changes according to the time of day.
City Garden Hotel Makati
If you’re looking for a good budget hotel in Makati, the City Garden Hotel is perfect. An excellent location and upscale amenities make it one of the most value-for-money hotels in Manila, Philippines.
The City Garden Hotel might not be Manila’s most stylish hotel, but it does offer stellar views. An airy lobby with huge two-story windows overlooks the buzzing Makati Avenue. Mirrored walls and contemporary furniture in brown, black, and grey add modern touches. For a budget hotel, the well-equipped gym is a pleasant surprise. Two on-site restaurants dabble in both local and international fare. Moreover, there’s even a small spa where you can relax after a day of exploration. However, it’s the rooftop pool that is the showstopper. The deck with loungers is a quiet respite and boasts stunning views of the city.
Rooms at the hotel might be on the smaller side, but huge windows with sweeping city views make them worth it. Standard mod-cons and well-maintained bathrooms make staying here a comfortable proposition.
The Bayleaf Intramuros
There’s no better hotel than The Bayleaf Intramuros for exploring the historic center of Manila, Philippines. The hotel sits at the edge of the old walled city and is within walking distance of all Manila’s historic sights.
The sleek hotel is juxtaposed with the 16th-century historic structures around. On the inside, a stylish and spacious lobby is as inviting as it is gorgeous. A white mural with the eponymous bay leaf design and a stylish staircase make an immediate impression. Since it lies right in the middle of the old city, it doesn’t have a spa or a pool. That said, the hotel’s mainstay is food. The rooftop bar is very popular with locals and guests and offers panoramic views. Aside from the main international restaurant, there’s a dessert bar and a pizzeria.
You can choose from stylish rooms with mod-cons and huge windows with splendid views. Plus, they also feature large bathrooms, contemporary decor, and comfy furnishings.
One of the newest additions to Manila’s hostel circuit is the modern and sleek Z Hostel. Located in Poblacion in Makati, it’s the perfect base for exploring the best of Manila.
For a bargain price, you can choose from a host of living arrangements. These include four/six/eight-bed female-only and mixed-dorm rooms. In addition, they have private rooms for those who want a bit of privacy. Also, there is a window in each room, allowing the lashings of natural light to pour in. Furthermore, the huge individual lockers and extra-height bunks make it an ideal backpacker pad.
What makes Z Hostel so appealing to budget travelers is that it includes an excellent breakfast in the price. Although, what sets it apart is the famous rooftop Z Bar, which offers beer as well as beautiful views of the city. Come evening, and the bar comes alive with music, bites, drinks, and the laughter of people. Plus, their Sunday Slowdown Sessions with live music are very popular indeed.
Citadines Salcedo Makati
Citadines Salcedo in Makati is one of the most popular hotels with long-term travelers in Manila, Philippines. The upscale serviced apartments are close to all dining and entertainment in Makati. Additionally, it is famous for personalized service, making it a great temporary base in Manila.
Despite being a serviced apartment, Citadines offers a whole lot more than just accommodation. The staff not only pays attention to your needs but is genuinely interested in solving your problems. Gym rats have a fitness center to work out during their free time. Get some downtime at the semi-outdoor pool and hot-tub, which is the most chilled-out spot on the property. What’s more, there’s even a dedicated floor for female travelers. Finally, you can order off a reasonably-priced menu from a restaurant right across the street.
Units at the Citadines all feature modern Filipino artwork, a slew of mod-cons, minibars, and a full kitchen. Plus, floor-to-ceiling windows offer great views of ritzy Makati.
The Cocoon Boutique Hotel
The Cocoon Boutique Hotel is one of the trendiest hotels in Manila, Philippines. It lies in the equally hip neighborhood of Quezon City. Further, the hotel is eco-friendly and yet elegant to its last brick.
The hotel is made entirely of recycled materials and is truly green in nature. The lobby, for instance, has an ancient yet classy pianoforte. The place has booking agents and bellhops, which is unheard of in hotels today. A lovely rooftop swimming pool is a great perk, as is the adjacent hot-tub with mood lighting. The rooftop bar sits right next to it and is a great place for a sundowner with sunset views of Manila. What’s more, the Filipino breakfast is a real treat. Apart from a fitness center, the hotel even offers massages at the salon next door.
Rooms at the Cocoon Boutique are even better than you might expect. Besides all usual amenities, they boast plush beds and spacious bathrooms with a bathtub big enough to fit in two people!
Red Planet Manila Binondo
If you’re a culture buff, foodie, or a shopaholic, then Red Planet Manila Binondo is the place for you. The hotel sits in the world’s oldest Chinatown in Binondo, which is a foodie, cultural, and shopping haven. Also, this newest Red Planet hotel is one of the nicest budget hotels in Manila, Philippines.
The hotel makes a great first impression with a minimalist lobby lounge and monochromatic art pieces. It exudes a character and vibe that make you feel like you’re in Chinatown. Even though it’s a budget hotel, there are numerous amenities. They include a business center, free newspapers, free Wi-Fi, a 24-hour desk, and even free parking.
That said, the highlight at the hotel is the rooms, which are divided into two categories. Moreover, every room is chic in grey, black, and white hues and contemporary mod-cons.
Recommended Restaurants / Bars / Food Tours in Manila:
- Manila Food Tour – Introduction to Philippine Street Food: This tour takes you through the streets of Bonifacio Global City. Here, you can dig into delicious Filipino street food.
- Ilustrado: This 30-year-old fine-dining restaurant is known for its delicious Filipino-Spanish cuisine.
Recommended Activities In Manila:
- Manila – Full-Day City and Museum Tour: This well-rounded tour gives you a glimpse into the city’s rich cultural past.
- Full-Day Manila City, Tagaytay Taal Volcano and Lake Tour: Explore the gorgeous Tagaytay Taal Volcano and Lake on this full-day tour.