No Such Thing as Strangers: 10 Artsy Hostels in the Philippines

I’ve stayed in a quite few hostels in Manila, and I must say that the vibe is undeniably dynamic. Apart from their affordability, here are some of the reasons why we’re choosing hostels over other accommodations: first, the hostel and its people make you feel psychedelic bursts of culture, letting you travel the world within the confines of your temporary home through shared stories; second, there’s no such thing as strangers. Yes, you read that right. Only friends you haven’t met yet. Most, if not all guests in hostels unleash such a welcoming approach when they stumble upon other guests—making hostels less intimidating. They meet in the hostel’s common area to exchange stories over food, gather in night outs, jam on roof decks, and any other ‘barkada trips’ like they’ve known each other for years; third, guests in hostels, being the backpackers they are, explore our country more than most of us locals do!; and lastly, creative juices just keep flowing in hostels where visions of vibrant colors, hammocks, and well utilized spaces are evidently seen.

Now, you may be wondering where these may be found in the country. There are tons of them, but here we lead you to the artsy ones:


For when you want to have a little staycation with your future friends in the city, here’s where to book your stay:

Lokal Hostel

Humbly situated in the booming tourism hub of Poblacion, Makati, Lokal Hostel houses mural arts painted from the visions of the different local artists. Each depicts a story that speaks to you like a true Pinoy.

Meanwhile, the night scene in this area won’t disappoint the hungry tiger in you with the variety of restaurants and bars to choose from. To name some, Señor Pollo, El Chuppacabra, Kite, Commune, Tambai, and Kismet Café are proximately available.

Lokal Hostel is located at 3F 5023 P. Burgos St., Brgy. Poblacion, Makati City, Metro Manila 1210 Philippines. For bookings and inquiries, contact (02) 890 0927 or

Related story: Into the Kaleidoscopic World of Lokal Hostel

Junction Hostels

As the name entails, Junction Hostels is a juncture of a hostel, co-working spaces, and a café-food truck-bar that’s also right smack in Poblacion, Makati. Its interiors boast of an artfully curated mix of lights installation and upcycled industrial materials to vibrantly entice locals and foreigners alike.

Junction Hostels is located at Matheus Bldg Annex, Gen Luna corner Don Pedro St., Poblacion, 1210 Makati, Philippines. For bookings and inquiries, contact (02) 501 65 75 or (02) 501 65 78.

Related story: Z Hostel: A Backpacker’s Hip Hub

A lot of fun shooting in Red Carabao:) @redcarabao

A photo posted by @solennheussaff on

Red Carabao Manila Hostel

What’s good about this hostel is they conduct a weekly rooftop ‘Community Dinner’ with the guests. Red Carabao Manila also promotes socially responsible travel, volunteer tourism and authentic Filipino culture.

What is more, it’s Solenn Hessuaff approved!

Red Carabao Manila Hostel is located at 2819 Felix Huertas St., 1003 Manila, Philippines. For bookings and inquiries, contact (02) 861 6614 or

Related story: Solenn Shows Beauty of La Union in Flotsam Movie

Tambayan Gastrobar #bringoldmanilaback #oldmanilavibe #tambayan #capsulehostel

A photo posted by Billy Villareal (@billy_villareal) on

Tambayan Capsule Hostel

Humbly retained in an old mansion from the 1940’s, the hostel aims to bring back the heyday of Manila. We are sensing that this newly opened and elegantly packed hostel and gastropub in Malate is going to be the next ‘tambayan’ of the explorers out there!

Tambayan Capsule Hostel is located at 1607 Bocobo St., Malate, 1004 Manila, Philippines. For bookings and inquiries, contact (02) 522 84 53.

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For when you want to get away for some Vitamin Sea with your future friends, here’s where to book your stay:

Need directions to your FLOTSAM? JUMP down the rabbit hole, step into the Looking Glass, go around the corner of your imagination, and fly two stars to the right, straight on til dawn patrol…to find yourself in the Instagramagical Universe that is your @FlotsamAndJetsamHostel Come live life in the Instagramagical Universe that is your FLOTSAM. Email us at SMS at +639178021328 Website: INSTAGRAM: @FlotsamAndJetsamHOSTEL #flotsamandjetsamhostel #flotsamthemovie #flotsamers #flotsamer #flotsam #flotsamandjetsam #hostel #launion #surftown #arthostel #artisthostel #artistcolony #philippines #surfhostel #artisthostel #bamboo #travel #backpacker #lonelyplanet #elyu #hostel #beanbag #luxuryhostel

A photo posted by Flotsam and Jetsam Hostel (@flotsamandjetsamhostel) on

Flotsam and Jetsam Hostel

If this may sound and look familiar, it may be because you have come across this Instagramagical universe over Instagram several times.

Why ‘Flotsam and Jetsam’ Hostel? Co-owner Mia Sebastian says, “It’s actually a maritime term that refers to the debris in the ocean that you can salvage after the ship goes down. It’s like the travellers are floating on the tide of circumstances, getting washed up on the shore or somewhere.” As in the recent eponymous movie, the characters have their own stories floating, waiting to be heard and understood.

Flotsam and Jetsam Hostel is located at Surf Town, San Juan, La Union, Philippines. For bookings and inquiries, contact 0917 807 1328 or

Related story: At The Crest with Luke Landrigan

The Circle Hostel

An eco-friendly hostel that has extended its circle in Zambales, La Union, and Baler, The Circle Hostel does not only provide enlightening service to its guests, but also the community. The hostel is a channel of book donations for the beneficial use of the children in the area’s free library.

Want to be of help? The Circle Hostel is offering a 3-month internship program based either in La Union or in Baler. You will not only get to learn how to surf, but also will get to stay in for free!

The Circle Hostel Zambales is located at San Felipe, Zambales, Philippines. +63 917 505 4329

The Circle Hostel La Union is located at Barangay Urbiztondo, Circle Road, La Union, San Juan, Philippines.

The Circle Hostel Baler is located at Buton St., Brgy. Sabang, Aurora, Baler, Philippines.

For bookings and inquiries, contact 0917 505 4329 and 0917 501 0235, respectively.

Related story: A Quick Guide To Baler, Aurora

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Yellow Doors Hostel

The first hostel in Tacloban, Yellow Doors Hostel is built to purvey the best budget but quality accommodation perfected with volunteering opportunities for the guests. Beaches from here are hours away from the hostel though, but we bet the drive is worth the wait.

Interestingly, this pocketful of sunshine hostel is LGBT-friendly! Hashtag, love wins!

Yellow Doors Hostel is located at Burgos cor. Juan Luna St., 6500 Tacloban City. For bookings and inquiries, contact 0921 600 0165.

Related story: Tacloban’s Reo Brothers at Malasimbo 2016

MNL Hostels

Situated in the island of Boracay, this hostel sure will be counted as one of the reasons why you shall go back to the precious white sandbars of the island. But fret not if you wish to feel its vibe back in Manila as they have a branch in Poblacion, Makati. What a treat!

MNL Hostels Manila is located at 4688 Valdez cor Santiago St., Poblacion, Makati City, Metro Manila. For bookings and inquiries, contact 0917 812 5707.

MNL Hostels Boracay is located at Road 1-A, Bulabog, Brgy. Balabag, Boracay Island, Malay, Aklan 5608. For bookings and inquiries, contact 0917 702 2160 or 0998 220 5700.

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Spin Designer Hostel

Going to Palawan anytime soon? Spin Designer Hostel might just be the one for you. It gives justice to its name with all the nature vibe interiors surrounding it.

Be sure to snap a double-tap worthy photo or two of their most Instagrammable space when you find yourself booking your stay for this hostel!

Spin Designer Hostel is located at Balinsasayaw Road cor. Calle Real, El Nido, Palawan. For bookings and inquiries, contact 0917 566 7746 or

Related story: El Nido, Palawan: Up Close & Personal

Home for 5 days #hostellife

A photo posted by @marlyngadiane on

Paglaom Hostel

The 18-bunker bed Paglaom Hostel has appealing, spacious kubo rooms where you could chalk in your name on the foot board. It is a 3-minute walk to the nearest beach and a short motorbike trip to the famous Cloud 9 that’s sure to spice up your stay in the Surfing Capital of the Philippines!

Paglaom Hostel is located at Purok 5, 8419 General Luna, Surigao Del Norte, Philippines. For bookings and inquiries, contact 0999 990 0308 or

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Which hostel is your favorite so far? Let us know!


Our journey began with an idea to discover what it means to travel the Philippines, beyond the alluring images of sparkling blue waters and powder white sand. We seek to share travel stories to inspire the wide-eyed traveler, moving them deeper into the destination with stunning images and narratives about its sights, tastes, textures, smells, and local life.

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