Though my home is closer to Metro Manila compared to other provinces, it's still a hassle to go back and forth especially when you have consecutive events or special things to do there. I usually book a stay in a budget hotel when I go to Manila but thanks to Ana Gonzales for posting about Z Hostel! I now have a cheaper accommodation to stay in my next trip.
I honestly didn't know what to expect. It would be my first time to stay in a hostel and it would also be my first time to stay in a dorm type room. I actually had mixed emotions the day before my check-in. I was excited and worried; somehow, I was wishing I'd be alone in the all female (6pax) room. And though it came true, I regret wishing it. Why? Read on!
◢ the Lobby ◣
I arrived late for my check-in time because of the heavy traffic! Though I have advised them several times of my delayed arrival, I still hurried to the hostel; I'm a punctual person and I hate being late. The traffic caused me to have a bad mood but when I got to the hostel, my mood quickly changed when I saw their lobby.
|Monica (one of the guests who I met during my stay) at the counter|
Their lobby is very spacious, very minimalist and welcoming. The staff were very cheerful too which helped change my mood. They were very accommodating to my endless questions since it was my first time at their establishment and I really have no idea how things go in a hostel.
In their lobby, there's two computers you can use to check emails, browse the internet and update your Facebook status. Haha! They have free wifi but for some reason, Windows laptops or phones have a hard time connecting to their network. It shows connected but it doesn't show the homepage of their website where we can enter the wifi password given upon check-in. Luckily, I have my iPhone to use when the computers on the lobby were occupied.
They also have a comfortable lounge for hostel guests and visitors (not checked-in). Visitors of the establishment are only allowed at the lobby and at the rooftop at night for their night parties. Both guests and visitors need an RFID bracelet which you will know more later.
◢ the All Female Room ◣
I was assisted to my room where I was initially (subconsciously) booked in bed A (top bed). I requested if I can be placed on the bottom part of the bunk bed and they quickly granted my request since I was the first one in the room.
I was surprised that the room was spacious. I expected it to be a little tight since that's what I saw from other hostels but I'm glad it wasn't like that. It kind of made me feel like I'm still booked in a hotel but in dorm set-up.
Because Philippines is currently experiencing El Niño, I was very happy that their air conditioning didn't disappoint me. We even turn it off at times because the room became too cold during midnight.
The beds were very comfortable and are of good size; at least for me. But I think it's still a good size for foreigners who are much taller or larger in terms of built. I love how it has a bed lamp on the side which we can use at night and the power sockets! Yes! Each bed has two power sockets! Guests will no longer have to worry where to charge their gadgets.
I was surprised to find a small kitchen in the room. I checked the drawers on what it consist of but I didn't find any utensils or plates. I thought we can just bring food and eat it in the rooms. That's what Katy, a girl from Scotland who came later in the afternoon, also thought. That's why she bought a cup of noodles at the convenience store near the hostel but unfortunately, she didn't find an electric kettle she can use for her noodles. Until now, we wonder what's the use of that small kitchen. Hehe.
Aside from the two body mirrors in the room, there's a vanity mirror in the corner of the room. I think this is only available for all female rooms. Since I'm not the kikay kind who puts makeup, I didn't use this that much.
It's true! Their lockers were big! As you can see, my medium-sized luggage fits plus my large knapsack! The top part of the locker is a small space were you can place your laptop, your valuables or any of your items that you will constantly use during your stay (ex: toiletries, etc) so you can easily get them without having to take out your bags every now and then. The lockers have one (1) power socket you can use to charge your gadget while you're on the shower, at the cafe eating breakfast or going out to buy something at the convenience store.
If you have a lock, you can bring one instead. But if you forgot to bring one or if the one you have doesn't fit the locker' hole, you can easily buy one from the front desk which costs Php150 or roughly US$3.22.
The bathroom aren't as impressive as the interiors of their lobby and rooms but it's decent and functional. I don't know if I just didn't know how to use their shower (promdi mode) or the room really didn't have a hot shower. Haha! I was too shy to ask the front desk so I didn't bother the cold shower in the mornings.
They have bath towels, blankets and robes for each bed. Because Z is a Hostel, they do not supply toiletries so you have to bring your own. In case you forget something, don't you worry; the hostel is near a Ministop (a convenience store) where you can buy whatever toiletry you forgot to bring.
Their cafe is located at the lobby, near the elevator. It's small but it has a very cute set-up. Because of the limited chairs and tables, guests are somehow encouraged to share their tables with other guests which eventually makes guests meet new people and make new friends!
I read from another blog that their adobo flakes was a must try so I did. Unfortunately, because I was really hungry that time, I forgot to take a picture! Haha. My verdict? It did taste good!
They don't really have much variety of meals to choose from but their offerings were enough for guests who are too tired to go out for brunch or dinner.
You will see this sign as you step up to their front door. This hostel really give out good vibes to their visitors and guests! Great and consistent branding, if you'd ask me!
If I'm not mistaken, every night, they have a party up at the rooftop. Below is panorama photo I took at one part of the rooftop. There's another area at the other side were the DJ booth can be found.
Around the hostel, you will find quotes or words that encourages you to meet other people. For someone like me who doesn't go to night parties, I found it awkward at the beginning but when I finally knew and experienced how to approach a stranger, it felt really good and I feel like doing it again!
To be able to buy from the cafe or bar, you need to avail an RFID bracelet which costs Php50 (US$1.07) plus a minimum initial load of Php150 (US$3.22). The bracelet is transferable and no expiration date. As long as you don't damage it. It also serves as your pass for the parties at the rooftop.
Francois, my friend who came with me at Satchmi's Birthday Party, wanted to hang out at the hostel however, the cafe was closed for a private party so we went up to the rooftop. We really have no intentions of buying drinks or staying long because we're not the party goers kind. But because it was really awkward sitting and chatting there with no drinks on our hands, we were forced to buy. Haha! Later on, we met Monica, Kathlyn, Ben, and Jonas. Just at the time we were telling stories, the rain poured! The party was moved to the game room and later on, down to the cafe.
|Party with DJ Paul Caranto|
I honestly don't really drink especially on bars but this was an exemption. Besides, it's not really a club or bar, but just a clean chill party. I didn't want to stay up late because I have a #NIVEASlidefest event the next day but I'm glad I did stay up longer. If I didn't, I don't think I would have met wonderful people in the pictures above.
I didn't know what to expect and I did wish to be alone in the room. When Katy came, it actually made my stay exciting. I got to meet a new good friend from Scotland whom I went with the next day to Intramuros. She shared her life stories with me and so did I. I even taught her tagalog words and phrases until 4AM! Haha. However, she had to leave for Baguio. After she left, I was left alone in the room for the rest of my stay. Whenever I saw girls at the lobby checking-in, I found myself hoping they'd be placed in the room I'm in. That's why I regret wishing to be alone; it was more fun to have someone new in the same room as you.
The main purpose of my stay in Z Hostel was to have a place to stay in during the night. But it gave me more than I expected: I met new friends, I heard different stories of different people from different countries and most importantly, it gave me a memorable long weekend staycation to share to my family, friends and blog readers.
I will be back for sure! Not only for their service but for the experience again.