There are three broad pockets to stay in Manila. One is near the airport, one is in and around the walled city of Intra Muros and the last is the central Makati area, which is close to all the shopping malls and right in the heart of the city. During my stay here in Manila, I opted to stay in the Makati area at the 1 River Central Hostel on JP Rizal St, Guadalupe Viejo. The below review is based on my recent experience of staying 2 nights and 2 days here.
1) For 450 pesos or USD 10.5 per night (I was lucky to get it at $8 a night through Agoda), you get a bed in an air-conditioned 4-bed dormitory. They have safety lockers and shared bathrooms. They even offer free wi-fi and free breakfast.
2) The hostel is situated next to the main road, so noise levels are pretty high till midnight from early in the morning. The sounds don’t affect me as I am a heavy sleeper, but if you need a sound proof place, then this is not for you.
3) The place, the rooms, the walkways, they are all small, but they are very functional and clean.
4) The people running the place are also helpful in guiding you to the places and helping you with logistics.
5) Breakfast is free and served on their roof top restaurant. Breakfast includes toast, eggs and coffee. Their roof top restaurant also provides a good view of the city landscape.
6) Wifi is free and of decent speeds. I have been able to make skype calls without any trouble.
7) Except for a burger shop next door, there are hardly any restaurants close by. For food, the nearest location is the Guadulupe MRT, which is a 10 minute walk away. The same thing applies to grocery stores and super marts.
8) The closest MRT is Guadalupe station, which is a 10 minute walk away.
9) The place is about 30 minutes from the airport. It is also a short 20 minute drive to the greenbelt area. Intra Muros, the walled city of Manila is about 1 hour away.
The hostel is good for budget travelers looking for short term stays in Manila. For longer stays, you should look for a different place.