Cramped beds. Long lines to the bathroom. Crowded common rooms. These are some of the things one would usually think of when you hear the word “hostel.” Don’t get me wrong—despite the unexceptional qualities of some of these so-called budget accommodations, I still love staying at hostels. As a traveler myself, I think hostels beat fancy hotels any day. Hostels are intimate, fun, and there are always stories waiting to be uraveled in every corner. Stories you can see in the friendly eyes of other travelers just waiting to make friends.
But what if you could have both? What if you could have both the luxury of a hotel, and the homey vibe of a hostel? Wouldn’t that be rad?
This is exactly what the owners of Z Hostel, the new hip hostel in Makati, had in mind when they put up the place. “It’s the first luxury hostel in the Philippines,” Will, one of the owners of Z Hostel, tells me. “There’s nothing like it yet.” And truthfully, that, I think, is actually the best way to describe Z. There really is nothing like this hostel yet.
Z Hostel Philippines: The Place, The People, and The Perfect Vibe
Stepping into Z Hostel, what will welcome you, aside from the very friendly staff at the entrance and reception, is a spacious, light-filled lobby that instantly impresses. Z Hostel’s interiors—a casual yet tasteful “unfinished look”—is very pleasing to the senses.
Beside the comfy couches is the book exchange area—a common hostel tradition wherein you can leave a book and also take one to bring with you to your travels. That is until you get to the next hostel and again leave your finished book there to take another one. The bottom line is this: the books travel. Just like you.
For those who travel without a laptop, there are two flat-screen computers available in the lobby as well to help you plan and book your trips.
There are a variety of room types in Z Hostel modeled to cater different kinds of travelers. There are the private rooms for travelers who prefer some privacy, and these come with a queen size bed, two bathrobes, and two hotel slippers. Priced at 60 USD a night.
There is also the all-female dorm, or the “Stiletto Room.”This is made especially for chic lady travelers who know that sacrificing style is not always necessary to be a backpacker. Like Z Hostel, you can break the stereotype. You can be that glam backpacker. The 6-bed Stiletto Room comes with a dresser with a vanity mirror, a full-body mirror, and bigger locker space for your clothes and shoes. Priced at 30 USD a night.
There are three types of mixed dorms at Z Hostel, on the other hand. A 4-bed, 6-bed and 8-bed mixed dorms priced at 24, 28, and 22 USD, respectively. I’ve personally stayed at Z for a few days, at an 8-bed mixed dorm, so you can take my word for it when I say that the rooms at Z Hostel are top-notch. Aside from the obvious and important factors like wide and comfy beds, good airconditioning, safety (CCTV in the halls and the doors use a key card feature), lockers, electrical sockets, and an ensuite bathroom, it is actually the little things that caught my attention and made the biggest impression.
Every bunk bed, for example, has its own reading lamp, a small shelf, and a socket and usb hub for charging. There is a pantry with a sink so you can wash your hands or brush your teeth even when the bathroom is occupied. There are equal numbers of clothes hooks on the wall to the number of beds in the room, so you all have a place to hang your towel. The lockers are tall enough to fit a luggage, and even has a smaller shelf inside with an electrical socket so you can charge your gadgets safely. In the bathroom, hot and cold water is available, and so is toilet paper. And the most amusing thing I found, this tiny pinnacle of luxury when you’re a backpacker—a bidet for the toilet.
With these little albeit significant details, it is apparent that the design of the rooms are well thought of to really meet the needs of travelers. Most especially the needs travelers didn’t even realize they had until Z Hostel provided it.
All rooms come with free breakfast, and fast and free wi-fi is available throughout the 7 floors of Z Hostel.
THE COMMUNAL AREAS
There really is one simple and central reason why young travelers love staying at hostels—to make friends. Hostels have become especially convenient in this aspect, being cheaper and more homey than hotels, because more and more people are embarking on solo travel and they would all eventually need a place where they can converge, share their travel stories, make travel buddies, and to simply connect.
Z Hostel has a couple of amazing common areas for their guests, which are, of course, nothing like you would ever see in any other hostel in the country. Here’s a look:
A nice cozy reading area for the bookworms and for laptop use.
A game room for the crazy nights with your new friends. Pool? Card games? Or beer pong, perhaps? Z Hostel’s beer pong table was customized especially for you, thank you very much.
A bar and cafe to share your free breakfasts with other travelers in, and to get drinks from for the nights in the game room, which is right in the mezzanine area above.
A theater room for all your entertainment needs. A flat screen TV to watch movies in, a turntable and some LPs for your listening pleasure, a DJ console to channel your inner Skrillex on, a gaming console (PS3!), and a black light at nights for the extra fun.
Technically, the roofdeck also is a communal area where you and your new traveling friends can hang, but you have to experience Z Hostel’s epic roofdeck to know that this is an entire story on its own. I mean, just look at that view.
Z Hostel Philippines: The Place, The People, and The Perfect Vibe
I always seem to get this nomadic feeling of belonging when I’m staying at a hostel in some foreign place miles away from home. But, somehow, despite Z Hostel being right in the middle of a city I have known all my life, I still get that same familiar nomadic feeling whenever I’m at Z. There’s just a vibe there that’s undeniable.
Even when you’re standing in the middle of the floor on Z’s famous Sunday Slowdowns surrounded by strangers, you never feel out of place. I’ve brought friends to a few of these parties, and they see it, too. While the city lights of Makati glimmer bright in the background, the deck, on Sundays, would be swarming with people just as bright, with their drinks and their jolly dancing. And I would see my friends happily observing it all as I sometimes do, too. And, with light in their eyes and a grin in their faces, my friends would always turn to me and they would tell me the same thing—
“There’s something about this place.”
And always, I irrevocably agree.
Z HOSTEL PHILIPPINES
5660 Don Pedro St., Brgy. Poblacion, Makati City
(02) 856-0851 / (+63) 927-965-2692