I must admit, I find Manila lacking on budget or backpacker accommodations. One reason why most backpacking or budget travellers skip Manila or Philippines is the lack of facilities to accommodate these kind of tourist. In the age of cheap airline travel, I won’t be surprised if budget accommodations would follow. Taking on the Tune Hotels model of Malaysia, GoHotels recently opened their first branch along EDSA Boni Avenue, Mandaluyong City. I was able to try them out during their soft opening period and here’s what I think about the place.
At the Spine of Manila
Location is the strength of this hotel. It’s along EDSA and a short walking distance to Boni MRT Station, meaning, nearby places like Makati and Ortigas are easily accessible. And it’s right beside the mall so if there’s anything essential to buy or if looking for some eats again it’s just a walk away.
Basic and No-Frills Room
This is a No-frills type of hotel so I wasn’t expecting much when I went there. I was pleasantly surprised with the inclusion. Each room has air-conditioning, wifi, safe, 22 in Cable TV, hot and cold shower, comfortable beds, towels and basic soap and shampoo. At Tune Hotels in Malaysia you have to pay for air-conditioning, towels, toiletries and internet access as add-ons.
Smoking isn’t allowed which is good. There’s a sign there that says “no eating” allowed inside but I guess its okay with snacks. Door locks are electronic. There’s no cabinet but there are hooks for hanging clothes. It’s essentially very basic but clean.
Wifi Internet access is dependent. While most rooms have it, the signal varies. The closer the room is to the router the stronger the signal. If you get a weak signal, the public areas have strong wifi signal and LAN connectivity.
While the rooms are good, I would stay at the ones with the windows. Be sure to also book the rooms at the back facing the river not the ones facing EDSA unless you want to wake up to the noise of the buses and MRT trains passing by.
The rates vary but basically start around P888 (exclusive of tax) per room (either queen or twin bed) which is good for 2 Adults plus one child. Like booking on a plane it’s cheaper if you book at least a month ahead. I wasn’t able to ask if they can now cater to walk-in guest.
For the price and location inside Metro Manila, I though it really has good value. It is perfect for backpackers and travellers on a budget. I can’t wait for their other branches to open. Next in line are Ilocos Norte, Dumaguete, Tacloban and Palawan.
Ferdz Decena is an award-winning travel photographer, writer and blogger. His works has found print in publications such as Singapore Airlines’s Silver Kris, Philippine Airlines’ Mabuhay, Cebu Pacific’s Smile and Seair InFlight. He has also lent his expertise to various organizations like the Oceana Philippines, Lopez Group Foundation, Save the Children and World Vision, contributing quality images for their marketing materials.