It seems too quiet, that was my first thought when I arrived in Where2Next Hostel, used as I was to the party vibe of other hostels I’ve been to.
I expected it to be similar, located as it is smack dab in what used to be the red light district of Manila. I realized later, however, that I welcomed the quiet of the place, coming up from the noise of the numerous bars outside.
The reception counter in the first floor is what greets guests first. They serve the (free!) breakfast in the dining area next to it, the place where you will most likely interact with other guests.
My friend and I met two Japanese tourists here, both so enthusiastic about the Philippines that we didn’t have to do anything more than grunt or say the occasional question or two before they would start talking again.
The next floor had the dormitory rooms (P495 per bed), the lockers, and kitchen (with free coffee! Yay!), and the entertainment area. At the time when we were there, though, most guests used the island counter while using their laptops, making it hard to interact with them beside the usual hi’s and hellos.
Our twin room accommodation (P1,550) was in the third floor. The room was big and roomy and the beds were firm. It had a cabinet where we could hang our clothes, too, something of a luxury for a hostel.
Best of all, there was a table and chair where I could have worked if I had felt like it (I didn’t). While the Wifi signal wasn’t strong, it was enough to get notifications when I had mail.
In the lobby of the third floor, there was a library and two sofa, and my friend and I spent a bit of time there reading (we loved one statistics book in particular).
For two nights that we were there, though, we didn’t see anyone else using it. Where were the people? They had a lot of guests, but apparently, either all were out, or they just stayed in their rooms.
What I loved most about it is the mural, a huge piece of artwork that livened up the place.
My friend said, “This is more like a hotel than a hostel,” and in some ways, I agreed with him. The third floor all had private rooms (including some family rooms), and were it not for the shared bathrooms and toilets (men and women are separate), it would be like a hotel indeed.
Owners Eleanor and Victoria Orlando opened Where2Next in 2011, after traveling in Europe for a few times and seeing the popularity of hostels there. In just two years that they’ve been operating, they have received several recognitions from big names in the industry, including Hostelbookers, Hostelworld, and TripAdvisor.
“We plan to expand and have two more branches in the Philippines in the next 5 years,” Vicky and Eleanor say. “Our vision for the hostel is to be the best in the country, hence we are always keeping up-to-date with trends and customer requests, to provide them with a better stay at our hostel and for them to spread the word that we are a great place to stay at when in Manila. ”
Indeed, if you need a place to rest in the midst of the chaos of the red light district, Where2Next is it.
Disclaimer: Even though our stay was sponsored, all opinions are mine alone.