Sunday, July 28, 2013

Pink Manila Hostel Review: The Hostel Of Awesome

It must have been my fourth bottle of the night.

I bummed a smoke off an American and invited myself to a circle of conversation about Caucasus and how blatantly Middle Eastern the other American guy's nose is. The guy himself revealed his Armenian heritage later on which led us to the touchy discussion of genocide in which I unexpectedly babbled about the Ottoman Empire much to the surprise of everyone. Me included.

Up until that point, I was merely lurking around the group. Occasionally smiling and raising my eyebrows to acknowledge a sentiment that I agree with, which could have made me look like some local trying to hook up with anyone.  

Thank goodness that fourth bottle spoke for me.

Bar by the pool. Photo from Pink Manila Hostel's site.
We were all hanging out at the bar by the pool of Pink Manila Hostel. At one in the morning, everyone was still sane even though collectively we've downed countless bottles of the infamous Red Horse. We guffawed at each other's comical backpacking moments. And we professed our obsession over the Silk Road, with more serious faces.

I remember the sign in the lift that says, "There are no strangers at Pink Hostel.". That night there were really none. Even the resident kitten was single and ready to mingle.

Try their Thrilla in Manila!
My stay in Pink Manila Hostel was a sponsored one, long overdue cause I was a continent away when Valerie's (the manager) email invite came through my inbox months ago. In all truthfulness, I kept my expectations quite low. Because I am familiar with its location, I blanketed the whole concept of having a backpacker hostel in this university hood with skepticism. The hostel is pretty young, having operated for just about half a year.

I wondered, is it keeping its head afloat?

The manager's artwork adorn the walls.
The answer's a bit of a surprise as the hostel was only a few guests short of a full house when I checked in on a Monday. The reception opens out to a vast communal area with couches and bean bags. In the corner is a billiards table. Then there's  undoubtedly the star of the hostel the dip pool. Cause hello, how many hostels have one?

Before I was ushered to the eight-bed dorm room, the manager let me laze by the pool 'til I felt like touring the property. For a local guest like me, Pink Manila is not only an accommodation, it is a backpacker's state of mind. I'd say it ain't for everybody, but aren't all hostels like so?

It is for the fun. For the socially adventurous. For those who find humor in imperfection. Keep this in mind so as you don't ruin your stay or someone else's.

Pink Manila Hostel's "chill lounge". Photo from Pink Manila's site.

Pink Manila Hostel has four dorm rooms. A bed in Dorm A (sleeps 8), Dorm B (sleeps 6), and Dorm C (sleeps 6) costs P580 ($13-14). Dorms ABC are air-conditioned, each has en suite bath. In-room lockers as well. WiFi could reach this level but sometimes connection is wonky.

Penthouse dorm sleeps 12. En suite bath, in-room lockers. Fan-cooled. P450 ($10-11) a bed. 

Twin room is P1,600 ($37). Air-conditioned. Private locker, en suite bath.

If you got a long layover in Manila, the hostel also offers a Chill Out @ Pink Package for P250 that allows a guest to use the shower, swim in the pool, play billiards, connect to their Wifi, and maybe even pass out on one of the bean bags.

Overnight rates include a breakfast of toast and coffee. A bigger brekkie can be ordered at P100 ($2.50). Drinks are sold at the reception. Beer at P50 ($1.20).

Every evening, the management organizes a little something that encourages all the guests to bunch up. It could be an all-nighter at some nearby pub or a reggae party just by the pool. If you are in dire need of sleep, this could be an issue. Try to request for a more quiet nook and cross your fingers there's space.
May look messier in real life with its occupants. But hey, it's a dorm!
Other facilities:

24-hour reception
Free WiFi
Fully equipped kitchen
LCD TV, DVD player at the common area
Left luggage facility 
Rooftop with hammocks

They also rent out the rooftop for parties.
Now how to get there? Okay, that can be a challenge. If you're coming from the airport aboard a cab, just mention the address 'Estrada St. corner Arellano, Malate' for they are the more known streets within the area. Pink Manila Hostel is about a couple of blocks down. Have a map handy in case you need to navigate your way on foot. The hostel is housed in an 8-story light yellow building, its smallish sign made of tarpaulin faces Don Pedro St. where the gate is. 

If you arrive in the wee hours you may find the gate closed  but it is not locked. There should be a security guard on post. Take note, ride the lift because the staircase doesn't go all the way to the 5th floor where the reception is. 

Hope this helps. Screenshot from Google Maps.
Is Pink Manila Hostel something I'd recommend to fellow travelers? Although I didn't shower this review with colorful confetti (as you might expect of a sponsored post), I'd say yes, I highly recommend Pink Manila Hostel. Its staff is attentive. And this kind of treatment wasn't just geared towards me, the invited guest. I watched the manager dress a guest's wound  after he slipped by the pool (had too much booze). That's a kind of service you won't easily find anywhere else.

So yeah, I agree that Pink Manila hostel is the "Hostel Of Awesome". A backpacker's kind of awesome.

Pink Manila Hostel
2551 Don Pedro St. Cor. Bautista St. Malate, Manila
Tel. No.: +63 2 484 31 45
Mobile: +63 919 235 69 39


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Mai_Flores said...
July 28, 2013 at 10:21 PM

That was a nice review, Gay! I always thought that Pink Manila Hostel only allowed foreigner guests.. pwede rin pala tayong locals. :) said...
July 28, 2013 at 11:34 PM

Of course Pinoys are very much welcome! Para rin may makakwentuhan si Valerie at si Tita Helen :)

Mai_Flores said...
July 28, 2013 at 11:36 PM

I don't know where I read it, pero nabasa ko ata exclusive for foreigners only.. hehe! Good to know na locals pwede rin magStay sa Pink Manila! :) I first heard about it from a friend who used to work for them. :) said...
July 29, 2013 at 12:09 AM

Oh really? Maybe it was for some time? Will ask. Some Benilde students even went there just to hangout so I think it's very open.

soloflightEd said...
July 29, 2013 at 12:43 AM

Sana mas dumami pa ang hostels na 300 Php and below for a bedspace. hehe. - naghahanap pa rin ng mas mura.

But considering there's a pool and the other amenities, the 450 Php is actually cheap. Great review GayE!

Micamyx|Senyorita said...
July 29, 2013 at 1:01 AM

I read about this hostel in one foreign travel blog at medyo nabigla ako dun sa pool part. Glad totoo siya hehe :D

I think the bar, pool and the artworks are enough to check this place out. Buti dumadami ang hostels sa Manila although puro sila sa Malate area ah. I'll check it out pag-uwi ko :D said...
July 29, 2013 at 8:50 AM

Let's go tambay when you're back, sweetie :) said...
July 29, 2013 at 8:51 AM

Yeah, kaso mukhang mahirap makahanap nyang P300 in Manila. Hihi. Oks nako sa 450 basta may pool!

Mai_Flores said...
July 29, 2013 at 9:52 AM

Very open nga! :) said...
July 29, 2013 at 3:51 PM

pool and beer?! now who needs a dorm bed huh? :) said...
July 29, 2013 at 3:59 PM

Haha! Sooo true! said...
July 30, 2013 at 2:42 PM

P450. with a pool not bad, will definitely consider Pink Hostel next time. Love the artworks! said...
August 1, 2013 at 10:28 AM

Yeah. I also heard they got a lean season promo now :)

Pepe Alas said...
August 2, 2013 at 5:30 AM

Those Hostel horror films of the last decade gave me a creepy impression of hostels until after I've read this blogpost. =)

paul | walkflypinoy said...
August 23, 2013 at 11:47 AM

While I'm definitely glad to see more quality hostels popping up in my city, the budget traveler in me winced at the 13 USD price tag. Lol. Then again, there's a pool and it's centrally located. So the extra 3 USD might be worth it. Haha.

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