Z Hostel – A Backpacker’s Luxury Hostel Right in the City

A hostel is the usual accommodation of choice for backpackers or people who travel light and on a very inflexible budget.  The word “hostel” brings to mind a small to average sized type of accommodation for backpackers, usually students and others on a budget. Hence, you expect to find a dormitory type building with cramped rooms shared with several other guests. Usually, a hostel room contains simple furniture and minimal or absent decors, no television or microwave, and only a common external bathroom shared by all rooms on one floor.  Staying in a budget hostel means doing away with comforts like air conditioning, hot water, Internet access, and in-room bars.

Then, here comes Z…

Just arrived at Z @zhostel Watch out for more pics later #hostel #hostellife #hostelworld #hostels

A photo posted by Mark Conrad (@planyourtripnow) on

This ingenious little backpacker hostel in Makati is conveniently situated right in the middle of a hip and progressive community called Barangay Poblacion teeming with multicultural but affordable dining establishments, a night market, bars and street food outlets, and two shopping malls just a stone’s throw away. There are even more exciting developments in the near future so watch out!

In fact, Z Hostel is the first and biggest luxury hostel to be opened in the country as a response to a new trend of travel accommodations which combine comfort and high standard with the social-oriented concept of shared rooms.

This unique Makati hostel has 128 beds, a cafe and a roof deck bar.  There are three types of rooms to choose from — private room, female dorm room, and mixed dorm room.  Private rooms cost about $52 and accommodate up to two people, while dorm rooms are only $17-$21 and can house anywhere from 4 to 8 people.  All rooms have free wifi access and dorm rooms have individual lockers to secure your luggage and valuables, especially if you choose to share a room with complete strangers. There is even a socket right inside your locker so that you can leave your gadget locked securely while charging it.  Hostel guests also get free breakfast.

And unlike other hostels where you have to go out of your room and even fall in line just to take a shower, the 4 pax Z Hostel dorm room has its own bathroom, shared only by the occupants of the room.  Lockers in dorm rooms are also bigger than average, so you have enough space for all your valuables. Each bunk bed in dorm rooms has its own lamp and socket for your convenience, as well as a towel rack to hang your towel. All rooms have no television, but this is for the main purpose of allowing guests to interact with each other. If you really need to watch TV, there’s one in the café.

power outlet
very useful power outlet on bed side

You can lounge around in the lobby which has a book exchange area and comfortable couches. You can use the desktop computer to either plan your next itinerary, confirm your flight, or check your email.

The Z Hostel Cafe serves authentic Filipino cuisine (must try: Adobo flakes).  Food is delish! Not to be missed is the Z Roofdeck Bar which provides you a spectacular view of the Makati skyline, as well as keep you entertained with exciting nightly performances from local artists and DJs.

For more variety, you can also walk to nearby dining and shopping establishments, or take a jeep ride to the Makati Central Business District for other fun activities.

Not just for Backpackers

Although Z Hostel is popular with backpackers or flashpackers, they also cater to corporate clients. The hostel can accommodate employees who are on a business trip in Makati – attending conference or meetings. Since it is in the Makati business district, it is very accessible to different conference venues and recreational places. You can do all your work during the day and still have time to hangout at night.

You can also book the dorm rooms with your team mates and have your team building activity at Z hostel. You can use their game room for movie marathon, games, talent show or whatever you want. Just coordinate with the Z hostel staff. I’m sure they’ll be happy to assist you.

Z Street

As I mentioned earlier, Z is brewing something special. I’ve spoken to one of the owners to find out what it is. He shared to me their plans to transform the community into something like Khao San Road in Bangkok. They’ll be curating restaurants, bars, art galleries, and other specialty shops in the area around Z. I really can’t disclose much about it but I’ll just show these pics as teasers.

This building is the initial part of the plan. It houses 4 restaurants and bars serving coffee, craft beers, wines, and rice meals.

Z hostel developments

Another property under development is this one. The property has a certain rustic charm. Looks perfect to do a photoshoot, right?

The great thing about this is they’re re-purposing the current structures and not tearing them down. Metro Manila badly need these kind of developments that makes an effort to preserve the old houses along with the story and vibe of the area. Expect to see these new hang out places on the later part of 2016.

So whether you’re a lone backpacker from abroad, a local attending a conference or a staycationer who wants to spend a weekend sleepover with friends, Z Hostel is absolutely perfect for your needs. Who needs a 5-star hotel?

75 Years of Philippine Airlines in a Coffee Table Book

Being Asia’s first airline, Philippine Airlines’ history is filled with a lot of ‘first’ in the airline industry and how it’s linked to our country’s history. The story of PAL is the story of the Filipino people’s desire to travel and explore our country and the rest of the world.

My 1st PAL Experience

As a young boy, I was fascinated with airplanes and airports. As with any other Filipino family, it’s always a special time when we pick-up relatives arriving from the airports. It was more special for me as this means I would get a chance to see these huge airplanes and hear the sound of their engines roaring down the runway while I’m dreaming of riding it one day.

The opportunity came when our family planned to visit my mother’s province – Samar. I was about 11 years old when I first rode an airplane. It was our parents treat for us so we could experience riding a plane. Of course, we flew with PAL which was the only domestic airline at that time.

Philippine Airlines 1994
In keeping with the theme of the coffee table book, I’m posting this throwback pic of my first time to ride an airplane

I can still remember how excited I was to see this big Airbus plane in the old Manila Domestic Airport waiting for us to come aboard. I also remember the excellent service provided to us by the flight stewardess, especially when they gave us candies when our ears started to hurt because of the air pressure.

No matter how many times I ride an airplane, I still feel the same excitement every time I fly with PAL (whether here or abroad) because I know I would experience the same hospitality that I remembered from my childhood.

Book Launch

When I was invited to attend the Philippine Airlines coffee table book launch, I just have to say yes. This is one of the brands I grew up with and inspired me to travel. It is an honor to be part of this significant event.

This coffee table book is just one part of the many celebrations lined by PAL for their Diamond Anniversary. The event was held on July 1, 2016 at the Century Park Hotel. It was attended by top executives of the Philippine Airlines and other key players in the aviation industry.

PAL Chairman/CEO Dr. Lucio Tan and PAL President/COO Jaime Bautista. Background: Flight Attendants wearing the different uniforms through the years.
PAL Chairman/CEO Dr. Lucio Tan and PAL President/COO Jaime Bautista. Background: Flight Attendants wearing the different uniforms through the years.
Philippine Airlines Employees
Philippine Airlines Employees
with the Philippine Airlines' Flight Attendants
with the Philippine Airlines’ Flight Attendants
Mr. Jonathan P. Gesmundo, Editor in Chief of PAL's coffee table book
Mr. Jonathan P. Gesmundo, Editor in Chief of PAL’s coffee table book

Part of the event is a gallery showcasing the milestones that the airline has achieved over the decades.

Philippine Airlines Coffee Table Book 3 Philippine Airlines Coffee Table Book 2 Philippine Airlines Coffee Table Book 4 Philippine Airlines Coffee Table Book 5 Philippine Airlines Coffee Table Book 7 Philippine Airlines Coffee Table Book 6

Here are some of the interesting facts I learned:

 

Philippine Airlines’ 1st ticket (ticket number 1). The first revenue flight is from Manila to Baguio

Philippine Airlines Coffee Table Book Trivia

Before, the flight time across the Pacific is 41 hours!

Philippine Airlines first female pilot

The Philippines’ 1st female pilot is also Asia’s first female pilot

All of these interesting facts are also in the coffee table book which I was able to get a copy signed by the PAL President himself.

PAL President signing my copy of PAL's coffee table book
PAL President signing my copy of PAL’s coffee table book

This experience has made me even more excited to fly with Philippine Airlines in the future. Meeting the people behind this great brand, made me appreciate the company even more. In fact, I have already booked a flight with them for Boracay in New Year’s Eve .

Cheers for more exciting years ahead for Philippine Airlines!

***You can buy the coffee table book from PAL Boutique. Follow them on your favorite social media accounts:
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/PhilippineAirlinesBoutique
Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/palboutique/