Digs so good we wish we could stay in them forever. These unique accommodations are the perfect places to unwind after a day on your feet.
La Casita Mercedes
The reinvention of the Makati Poblacion area into the decidedly less grimy, and tons more interesting neighborhood that’ been lovingly nicknamed “Backwell” and, more recently, “WilliamsBurgos,” continues apace.
The newest buzzy place to open its doors to the public is actually one of the oldest stalwarts in the neighborhood: La Casita Mercedes, a gorgeous pre-WWII house that’s been renovated as a bed-and- breakfast by Juan Ramos. (Ramos is no stranger to style: He also owns The Clipper Hotel, another noteworthy landmark in the Burgos area.)
The Clipper Hotel
Behind the city’s red light district and among the growing crop of hip eateries in the area is The Clipper Hotel, a beautifully restored Art Deco building determined to cocoon travelers and transport them back to a more elegant time.
The golden age of aviation is well and alive in The Clipper, with its retro interiors and vintage airline details adorning the lobby, bar, and guest rooms. Today, The Clipper is a quiet respite in the middle of the city, a few minutes’ walk from Rockwell Center. Its proximity to nightlife and residential areas make it an ideal stop for travelers who want to go out but still come home to a safe and comfortable place.
A cozy, ultra-modern hostel with clean sheets and hip furniture? Sounds too good to be true. But Z Hostels promises all that, plus performances from the coolest musical acts this side of the country. For only P990, you can have a comfy bunk bed, hotel-quality linens and pillows, and your own socket and reading lamp in Z Hostel’s mixed dorm. Two roof decks offer spectacular views of Rockwell and Ortigas, and the BGC and Makati skylines. Most nights, you can also enjoy live music from the hottest indie acoustic acts in the country during special events. Rates include free breakfast, WiFi, and luggage storage.
A true foodie’s paradise, we’ll take you to the small joints, the crowded corners, and even a fancy plate or two. It’s all about damn good eating.
Three Sisters Restaurant
For those lazy days when you’d rather order a homecooked meal than actually cook it. Three Sisters’ has long established its reign as everybody’s kitchen in Kapitolyo. They might have transferred locations but their famous barbecue is as good as it has ever been.
On the heels of the successful and painfully hip The Girl + The Bull in Parañaque, Gab Bustos and Thea de Rivera have opened 12/10 on Guijo St. in Makati. 12/10 identifies itself as a non-traditional Japanese Izakaya that serves Japanese-inspired small plates.
The entire place is creative and meticulously neat in its artistry—on their walls, aprons, and their small mixed plates of goodness. “We are not just about the food, but the entire dining experience,” says co- owner Thea de Rivera. “From the food, to the interiors, ambiance and service.” They also offer an extensive list of whiskies and gins, along with a curated cocktail menu.
Our executive editor’s son loves this place, but don’t just take his word for it. Taco Vengo has been getting a lot of attention for their deliciously inauthentic take on the humble taco. First time? You won’t go wrong with the pork cheek tacos— greasy, hearty, and bursting with flavor. Just how tacos should be.
Finding a good drink in Manila isn’t hard as bars tend to spill out onto the streets. However, we’ve compiled a list of cozy spots we love for their service, atmosphere, and friendly vibes.
Today X Future
My home after 10PM. I’ve been going there for years and the vibe swings wildly from chill and jazzy on Tuesdays to unpredictable and chaotic on weekends.
Le Café Curieux
Live music in a non-pretentious, cozy setting makes for an ideal place to hang out with your favorite people.
No better way to get to know a place than to do as the locals do. In a city of people buzzing with energy, creativity, and new ventures left and right, you’ll never run out of plans.
Since this Singapore based climbing gym opened it has become much easier to indulge your inner adrenaline junkie. Climb Central is fully equipped with brand new equipment, including automatic self-belay systems for the climbers who prefer to work out solo, and an array of walls ranging from 9 to 12 meters high. Each route has a ranking, based on international standards, to indicate its difficulty and it changes periodically, making your climbing experience more challenging and interesting.
HUB: Make Lab
The image of Escolta’s golden years back in the 1930s may remain a thing of nostalgia, but the artist collective 98B COLLABoratory has taken initiative to breathe life back into Escolta’s name.
In partnership with the First United Building, the HUB is an incubation space for creatives, aspiring entrepreneurs, and great ideas, featuring locally-made products ranging from artisanal food, upcycled clothes, artworks, and more. The long-term goal is to transform Escolta into a cultivator of all things creative and sustainable, and the HUB might just be the ground zero to write a new history for Escolta. The spirit of the creative community has definitely given the old Manila street new–perhaps, even better–life.
GRID and Gouache have a long-standing love affair. We first collaborated to make the GRID x Gouache photographers’ bag, and after every shoot we’ve done together following that, we’ve had to resist buying all the Gouache waxed-canvas stuff we covet so much. Now it’s going to be a bit harder, as they’ve just announced a showroom and retail store full of Gouache goodness. Check out the GRID x Gouache bag while you’re there!