Saturday, March 11, 2017

Saturday, March 11, 2017
Junction Hostels Makati (Photo by Aubrey Gacer)









Makati City has long been a well-served area in Metro Manila for its proximity to the Ninoy Aquino International Airport (NAIA) and major commercial centers. It still holds a hospitality luster because of how accessible its Central Business District is from the metro's major thoroughfares like EDSA. After all, it's exactly where most of its prestigious hotels are located, although its fringes have also recently seen the operation of new players. Even in the suburbs, a few budget lodgings have found their distinct spot to lure travelers on layover and experience the city in a new light, local scene and all.





Should you be spending a night or more in Makati City with a specific budget in mind, it's wise to zero in on a matching accommodation so that you won't have to unnecessarily hotel-hop given the bad traffic situation every single day of the week. Here are 13 lodgings that I've categorized based on their types -- Luxury, Mid-Range and Budget. And since the hospitality scene has changed so much in recent years, I've added a couple of brands that do hosted stays or long-term rentals, plus a hostel brand that can change the way you experience a layover in the city.

Luxury Lodgings

Discovery Primea
Discovery Primea
1) Discovery Primea
Area of Interest: It's a stroll away from Greenbelt.

Discovery Primea is The Discovery Leisure Company's newest hotel in the Philippines. The prestigious Filipino hospitality group finally has a home waiting for pleasure-seeking travelers in Makati, particularly across Glorietta. After shopping, one can retire to a booked Primea Suite or take a plunge in the 20-meter heated infinity pool overlooking the city skyline.

Book now.

Read about my stay at Discovery Shores.
Read about my stay at Discovery Suites.


City Garden Grand Hotel
City Garden Grand Hotel
2) City Garden Grand Hotel
Area of Interest: It's no more than 15 minutes from the high-rise grid of Ayala Avenue and Rockwell Center.

The luxurious pulse is authentic at the corner of Makati and Kalayaan Avenues where 300 well-appointed rooms of the City Garden Grand Hotel rise above the bustling skyline. The hotel guest experience starts at the lobby where one can make a grand entrance past the opulent decors made of onyx, hardwood, and marble. It's something similar to be expected when staying at any of the hotel’s suite which is elegant, stylish, and functional.

Book now.

Read about the hotel's Spice Cafe.


Mid-Range Lodgings

Y2 Residence Hotel
Y2 Residence Hotel
3) Y2 Residence Hotel
Area of Interest: It's right in the middle of Makati City's pulsating entertainment district.

The kooky and frenzied area where Y2 Residence Hotel is can initially be intimidating as it's impossible to spot a building when you're on foot or directing a clueless taxi driver along the busy Makati Avenue. This is probably why one side of the hotel was designed to reflect the ancient Oriental concept of Yin and Yang (Y2) -- two opposing, but equal forces depicted in a tight embrace that exudes balance and harmony. The design approach extends from the hotel lobby all the way to its rooms -- more than 160 in total -- that range from studios to three-bedroom suites. It has a little bit of everything from a kitchenette inside the room to a swimming pool access at the roof deck that a frequent traveler can appreciate.

Book now.

Read more about Y2 Residence Hotel.


KL Tower Serviced Residences
KL Tower Serviced Residences
4) KL Tower Serviced Residences
Area of Interest: It's a 10-minute stroll away from the corporate expanse of Ayala Avenue.

KL Tower Serviced Residences can be a storied landmark in the high-end business district of Legazpi Village. Surrounded by an uneven skyline of attractive skyscrapers, the modern contemporary residence-hotel can tell tales to make you listen intently. With a park fronting the stretch of the establishment’s Gamboa Street entrance, the area is fortunate to be a suite-filled serenity within a bustling grid of business, boardroom meetings, and banquets. And, oh, it has an indoor swimming pool which is sensational for quick dips even during the rainy season.

Book now.



The Picasso Boutique Hotel
The Picasso Boutique Hotel
5) The Picasso Boutique Hotel
Area of Interest: It's a stroll away from the Salcedo Weekend Market and the city's sub-district, the Ayala Triangle, which is terrific for morning jogs and afternoon walks.

This 136-room hotel is designed to make stays both interesting and relaxing. With an obvious predilection for wide spaces, its studio rooms and suites are sensational for solo travelers and families with kids. Equipped with a modern kitchenette that has an electric stove, microwave oven, and electric kettle, each stylish guestroom is great for long stays even if the area is a dining destination in itself. Its loft is so spacious at 93 square meters that staying in Makati City is guaranteed to rid anyone of travel listlessness despite the busy skyline.

Book now.

Read more about The Picasso Boutique Hotel.

City Garden Hotel Makati
City Garden Hotel Makati
6) City Garden Hotel Makati
Area of Interest: It's less than an hour from NAIA International and Domestic Airport. With Greenbelt, Glorietta, Power Plant Mall & Rockwell being less than 30 minutes away, shopping for supplies is quite convenient.

City Garden Hotel Makati makes it easy for mindful travelers like me to choose it over a glut of options because it's just one of three hotels in Metro Manila I know that doesn't have service charge in its room rate. At the same time, a stay at this 160-room high-rise feels like it's first class when it's actually just mid-range. As a result, guests are rewarded with wonderful surprises from useful room features to elaborate service when least expected. And because there's adequate staffing for its mid-range coverage, staff members are highly responsive and guests tend to feel secure in its home-away-from-home ambiance. If that's not enough balance between affordability and luxury, I don't know what is!

Book now.

Read more about City Garden Hotel Makati.


Budget Lodgings

Hotel Durban
Hotel Durban
7) Hotel Durban
Area of Interest: It's smack dab at the center of Makati Avenue's stretch of amusement establishments.

Hotel Durban confidently stands as a foreigner-favorite crib in Makati City for its surprisingly affordable room rates. Formerly called Durban Inn, it's still where it first became a reliable home-away-from-home for foreign tourists way back in the '80s in the eclectic night life of the city. After necessary renovations, it's now newly-dressed up to appeal to the refined sensibilities of modern living sans the decadence of opulent decors and pretentious amenities.

Book now.

Read more about Hotel Durban.


Hometown Hotel Makati
Hometown Hotel Makati
8) Hometown Hotel Makati
Area of Interest: It's along EDSA at the border of Makati City and Pasay City, making it quite accessible to the SM Mall of Asia and the Makati Central Business District.

Hometown Hotel is a new budget-friendly lodging that just opened four months ago. With affordable room rates that are complemented with decent room features, the 19-room hotel is easily a sought-after layover by foreign backpackers who are mostly from European countries, the United States, Japan, South Korea and China. Some of them have stayed at the brand's other relatively new branch in Bacolod City which is actually the original one. And most guests are always on their way to a local destination in the provinces either to surf or simply see the Philippines' various natural attractions.

Book now.

Read more about Hometown Hotel Makati.


AurumOne Makati
AurumOne Makati
9) AurumOne Makati
Area of Interest: It's right across Aling Luring's Bodega, a thrift shop of antique collectibles.

From quirky shops and hole-in-the-wall restaurants, Makati City's first district sticks out for having Bangkal as a village where a budget hotel stands in all its whitewashed 7-storey glory against a plethora of industrial and residential colors. This mid-market hotel is starting to get rave reviews from most of its guests who stay on layover or have an important business to transact in the area that's bordered by Pasay City and the main thoroughfares of EDSA and South Super Highway.

Book now.

Read more about AurumOne Makati.


Red Planet Hotels Amorsolo
Red Planet Hotels Amorsolo
10) Red Planet Hotels Amorsolo
Area of Interest: It's a stroll away from Ayala Avenue and the stretch of the Sen. Gil Puyat Avenue (Buendia) where a lot of interesting restaurants are.

There are a couple of Red Planet Hotels in the city, but the one in Amorsolo is certified to be better in terms of location and housekeeping (this is based from personal experience). For affordable rates that match reliable features, it's definitely value for money. It's got the same power shower that I enjoyed in its other branches in Pasig City (Ortigas) and Davao City. The same custom-made beds and crisp linens are present along with basic add-ons like hair dryer, hangers for wardrobe, a folding table that can fit a laptop and a few more gadgets and flat screen TV. Unlike other budget hotels that drown out the reality of the world, Red Planet has a charming window for a view of the scene outside. In this Makati City branch, it's a distant fence-like lineup of high-rise buildings that light up at night.

Book now.

Read more about Red Planet Hotels Amorsolo.


Hosted Stay Or Long-Term Rental

Alcoves Philippines
Alcoves Philippines
11) Alcoves Philippines
Area of Interest: The high-rise where my accommodation is booked is just a stroll away from Greenbelt.

Alcoves Philippines seems to be amping up the tourism scene in the country with its unique approach to hosted stays. My accommodation check-in involved being welcomed by an Alcoves host directly at the penthouse past the building lobby which felt more personal than hotel-like, but as soon as I closed the door, any further correspondence was up to me. A phone for outgoing calls was available at the penthouse for emergencies or other inquiries, but it was really up to me if I'd bother myself with it.

Foreigner love it and locals on long-term stays appreciate the unique concept.

Read more about Alcoves Philippines.


Splice Spaces from SpliceSpaces.com
Splice Spaces from SpliceSpaces.com
12) Splice Spaces
Area of Interest: Sen. Gil Puyat Ave. and Ayala Ave. are just a stroll away.

Pegged at half the cost of a hotel room rate, Splice Spaces is a cross between a budget hotel stay and a hosted stay. Its remarkably decent guestrooms can be found at Suite 2515 of The Linear Makati Tower 2 which has unobstructed views of the city for being a few blocks away from the heart of the central business district. This means that nights are more quiet.

The hospitality brand employs high school and college students who have been enrolled at its "Made In The City" program that enables out-of-school Filipinos get a leg up with their finances which is something that redefines a traveler's stay.

Check the official website of Splice Spaces.


Hostel


Junction Hostels Makati
Junction Hostels Makati
13) Junction Hostels Makati
Area of Interest: It's surrounded by thrift shops, cozy coffee shops, and bars at the gentrifying village of Poblacion.

This refurbished three-storey building cleverly punctuates the residential and commercial Poblacion landscape with its muted violet facade. Operating as Junction Hostels, the property beguiles to be noticed from blocks away. Having opened its doors to backpackers, iconoclastic travelers, and intrepid tourists two years ago, the designer hostel has managed to enjoy returning and referred guests on long stays and necessary stopovers from the US, various European and South American countries, Australia, Canada and neighboring Asian countries.

Book now.

Read more about Junction Hostels Makati.


Where to dine out in Makati City?

The Truck "delivers" the delicious in Poblacion
• The affordable steakhouse called Cow Dadi
• Local coffee, desserts and art at Art Circle Cafe
• The romantic Top of The Citi By Chef Jessie
• The cosmopolitan Museum Cafe
• Exquisite dishes at Restaurante Pia Y Damaso
• City Garden Grand Hotel's Spice Cafe
• The inventive Kabila
• The upscale Terraz
• Go Japanese at Saboten Philippines

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