You have read Manila, Gateway to Paradise, and are inspired to visit? You have read Manila – Getting There and Around and now just need to find a place to stay? Then, check out my recommendations for the best area to stay in Manila for visitors, some ideas of the hotels and how to book them at the lowest price. That’s Travel Made Easy!
Accommodation in Manila is surprisingly more expensive than Bangkok or other capital cities in South East Asia: The economy is run by a handful of families who don’t compete too fiercely, keeping occupation and rates up. There are only a few of the international chains represented, so chances of using points or your status are limited. Agoda has generally the best rates online, although Manila is one of the places where calling for a “discount” can never hurt…
There are really a few, narrowly defined areas you would want to stay as a visitor on business or leisure travel:
Makati is the financial and business heart of the city. It also has the best shopping and lots of food and entertainment choices, so you can visit and might never have to leave. The Fairmont and Raffles are new additions at the luxury end, which has been dominated in the past by the Peninsula and Shangri-La Makati, still good choices. Also a recent addition and in a great location, attached to the major Greenbelt and Glorietta Mall, is the Holiday Inn & Suites, much nicer than any property of that chain you will find in the US. You can try your luck with independent hotels and airbnb – but keep in mind that the desirable part of Makati is limited to the Legazpi and Salcedo areas – outside that, you have the red-light district with budget options (if you don’t mind that some of the other guests are just there for a few hours) and some not-so-nice residential and business areas.
Your second choice in Manila is Fort Bonifacio Global City (BGC) – the newest and most modern part of Manila, designed on a whiteboard and built from scratch on a former military base. You’ll find lots of businesses, great food, shopping and entertainment along Bonifacio High Street and the by far nicest area to just walk around or hang out! There are currently three mid-scale hotel options, the Ascott, Luxe, the Seda and the F1, all boutique’y hotels at reasonable prices with nice rooms and amenities, walking distance from most things in Fort Bonifacio.
If you are only in town for a night before heading on and MUST see the historic sights, you might consider staying at the Bayleaf hotel – it’s inside Intramuros and you can walk to Fort Santiago, the Manila Cathedral and my favorite church, St Agustin colonial sights and even enjoy a sunset view at their rooftop bar (reviewed here).
If you are only in town for one night and want to gamble instead, you can consider Resort Worlds Manila right across the road from Terminal 3 with several hotels (including a Marriott), casinos, shopping and dining.
If you search online, you will find recommendations for Malate/Eremita. It used to be the main area for visitors, but has gone down the hill and is not really a place I’d recommend. There is no longer much to do, the better restaurants and bars have moved away and the neighborhood is in pretty bad shape.
Do you know where you want to stay and are ready to book? Then you can find current prices in Manila here!
If you are not sure, which area will work best, you can read more about Things to See & Do in Manila or where to eat, so you can pick a hotel close to the things you want to do while in Manila!
Sounds great – but you just don’t have time to do all the preparations? Let me help you with my Travel Made Easy – Services!