Ever since the doors of Z hostel opened, I knew that the Philippines was slowly starting to catch up with its other neighboring countries in Southeast Asia in terms of the travel industry. Being one of the first modernly designed hostels, Z has established itself as an icon amongst the traveling community and in the local Manila crowd as well. Known as the “Home of Good Vibes”, this hostel is the perfect base for travelers going to Manila as not only are you bound to have a comfortable stay, but you are also bound to meet some pretty awesome people at the start of your trip.
Modern Amenities: Is this even a Hostel?
When I first mentioned the word hostel to my parents three years ago when I started backpacking around the world, their immediate knee jerking worry was that I would be staying in some random shack in the middle of nowhere sharing beds with random strangers. While I’ve stayed in my fair share of questionable dorm rooms ($2 bunks in Cambodia), thankfully, most hostels nowadays are no longer like that.
With Z Hostel being one of the leading proprietors to modern hostel living, a night with them ensures you a good nights sleep. When we walked in our private room, there was a large comfortable bed, a colorful yellow chair by the desk which added a burst of color, and more importantly, a private clean bathroom. The rooms were fairly spacious and although the hostel is located in a busy part of Manila, you could hardly hear anything from the room, allowing us to catch up on some much-needed sleep.
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The Dorm Rooms & Breakfast
While we couldn’t chance upon any of the dorm rooms that weren’t booked, we quickly took a peek inside and found wide spacious beds that were equipped with individual sockets and reading lights. Little details like towel racks and hooks for your clothes are also part of the package, making sure you’re as comfortable in your dorm bed as possible. Z Hostel has 8, 6, and 4-bed dorm rooms, including an all female dorm room which has awesome added features like robes and a large vanity mirror. The best part about Z Hostel has to be the added features like the option to pay for a breakfast buffet in case you’re feeling too hungover to venture anywhere else or the fact that you can request for a late check-out. The buffet breakfast was ample and worth every penny, serving a variety of cereals, an egg station, coffee, juice, and bread.
The Amenities of Z Hostel
Apart from the clean and comfortable dorm rooms, Z Hostel also offers a co-working space, a 24-hour cafe which serves awesome Filipino dishes. We spent a good amount of time in the cafe which also doubles as a co-working space as we had a bit of work to catch up on. While good internet is generally a frustration of mine when in the Philippines, especially since my partner and I run our business online, I am happy to say their internet at the co-working space was awesome!
For travelers looking to socialize and meet people, the Z Roofdeck has slowly become a staple in the Manila nightlife scene. Offering incredible views of the Manila skyline topped with good music and cold beer, this rooftop bar is a great place for travelers to mingle with fellow travelers and locals alike. Despite it being my first time to stay at Z Hostel, I have gone to their rooftop bar a few times whenever I am in town. What can I say, cold beer and good music are a few of my favorite things! Everything in the hostel is also super modern, where you use RFID wristbands to pay for anything from your meals to booze. The RFID bands are refillable and refundable by the front desk.
The lobby of Z has a large notice board which has schedules of important events and activities happening around town. They also have a fun activities page on their website which lists all the tours and activities that you can book with them making it easy to find fun things to do in Manila.
A few years ago, the area where Z Hostel is was considered as the main red light district of Manila. While there are still a few sleazy bars here and there, the Poblacion area is currently going through a grassroots movement where good restaurants, bars, and cafes are opening up left and right. It’s an electric vibe, full of energy and something I was very much excited to see in my hometown. A night out touring the many awesome bars and restaurants is a must while in Z!
Overall Experience at Z-Hostel
Although our stay at Z was short and sweet, I’m glad I finally got to experience this hostel for myself. Being an advocate of traveling around the Philippines, I know that Manila is always the first stop for most travelers and although I found Manila to be too chaotic for my liking these days, I’m glad I can now fully recommend a hostel that I know will show travelers the real side of the Philippines. Happy exploring!
For more information on Z Hostel, check out their website below