When we landed in Manila at around 2am, we were happy to have booked a hostel only a few minutes away from the airport. This isn’t the most ideal location to stay in Manila had we planned to stay there to tour around, however, we were heading out to El Nido early the next morning so we only needed a place to rest our heads after over a day of travel from Canada.
The Manila International Youth Hostel looked like the perfect place to do just that when we had researched it online prior to coming to the Philippines. The reviews were decent, the photos looked pretty good (for a hostel), and it was part of the Hosteling International (HI Hostel) family. I had stayed in a HI Hostel in Boston before and it was one of the best hostels I had ever been in. Although I didn’t expect North American standards in Asia, I at least thought it be a place I could trust.
I was wrong.
When we arrived at the hostel, someone came and let us into the locked gate, we checked in and headed into another building to our room. It seemed we were the only ones at the hostel and when they led us into our room, I tried my best not to cringe. The beds didn’t have linens on them yet, which was fine, many hostels make you do this yourself, however, the mattresses were old and dingy with stains. The room was simple, which is normal, but was so musty and humid. In fact, it fogged up my glasses when I walked in.
The first thing my friend, Mel, pointed out was the cockroach crawling around outside our door. Ahhh! I made her check under both our beds to see if there were anymore, however, there were only dead ones. You think they’d at least sweep those up. We stacked our bags on top of the furniture to ensure none got into our bags.
Above my friends bed was a little window that looked out into the common area. However, it wasn’t a full window, just shutters. This weirded us out because anyone could just reach their hand right into our room.
The bathroom was extra dingy, and it’s hard for you to get the full picture because the photo doesn’t make it look that bad (for a hostel). All I can say is that I’ve stayed in some interesting places around the world, and never once did I travel for over 24 hours and not want to shower. I didn’t shower when I arrived there and decided another day dirty was a better option.
Common Room & Restaurant
The lobby had an event space off of it which looked like it hadn’t been used in years. It was filled with boxes and junk. The common area outside our room (photographed above) had some tables and a kitchen. However, when we arrived and asked when breakfast was (which was supposed to happen daily), the lady told us it be served at around 8am. At 8am, there was no one to be found in the kitchen, and in fact, it looked like it was hardly ever used.
This is definitely not a place we wanted to eat or hang around anyway. The minute we woke up we were out of there so quick that I think we even went to the airport too early.
Staff & Information
We only really saw one staff member when we were there which was the one to check us in and out, and since we weren’t staying there for long, we didn’t really have to utilize them much. However, we did ask if they could get us a cab and they told us to walk up the road with all our stuff to find one ourselves. So helpful (can you sense my sarcasm?).
My stay at the Manila International Youth Hostel was less than okay. I couldn’t wait to leave and hardly slept. In fact, we even slept with the lights on because the hostel gave us the creeps. I wish that my pictures didn’t make it look like an okay place because I wouldn’t recommend it to anyone, and being someone who could literally sleep almost anywhere with an open mind, that’s saying something.
P.S. Sorry for the low quality photos but the room was so humid that it kept fogging up my lens. 🙁