By Michael Karlo Lim
Hostels are a staple of traveling in youth and on a shoestring. Options are limited by budgetary restrictions. The untoward that come with these are conveniently swept under the colorful rug we like to call adventure. Age demands for more creature comforts and breakfast options beyond toast and an assortment of spreads. There’s also the issue of privacy in the shared spaces and the thought of being kept awake by someone’s snoring or me keeping someone awake with mine.
I was accommodated at Lub d Hostel Makati for a work trip. The lobby alone presented a very put-together look than your usual run-down, downtown joint. Freestanding, open-type reception desks literally blur the regular divide between guests and the staff. This holds true with the cordial-but-never-familiar service all throughout my stay to prove their slogan, “Everyone Leaves as a Friend!”
The Lobby Zone
The rest of the lobby zone makes a great place to chill out in with clusters of seating and a game area with classic arcade units, board games and a pool table, to engage other guests at. Business travelers and digital nomads wouldn’t be out of place with their dedicated co-working space, meeting rooms and even Skype call booths. Fuel for all that is available at the Grab N Go deli bar providing a wide selection of self-service options and barista specialties. To wind down from all that excitement, one can watch a movie on a projector wall or even nap in one of the sleeping alcoves at the Relaxation room.
Rooftop bar and Restaurant
Eats are all that at the rooftop bar and restaurant, The Essential Goodness for the Pilgrims, with all-day brunch options filling the menu by Chef Nicco Santos of the now-defunct “Hey, Handsome!” fame. At night, the bird’s-eye view of the city stirs well into the hostel’s expertly-crafted drinks, adding anticipation to hitting Poblacion or even enticing one to stay for more of its mixologists’ surprises.
The Junior Room
I was indulged with a private Junior Room accomodation the size of your regular studio-type condo unit. A king bed rests on a platform that defined the sleeping area. There is free Wi-Fi internet, universal sockets and USB charging ports, Smart TV, safe box, coffee and tea maker. In addition, a mini-refrigerator and ensuite bathroom and other inclusives would give establishments that call themselves actual hotels a run for their money.
The Barkada Room
I was shown the Barkada Room, should I check in with my family or a bigger group on my next visit. This is newest addition to Lub d’s room types. It is perfect for a group of three to four who’d still want a room of their own. The spacious, high-ceiling duplex features a sleeping loft with two beds and two more singles underneath.
The hostel-definitive Mixed Dorm is all of a spacious 36 square meters of double bunk spaces. It can accommodate eight travelers per room with the option of ladies-only dorms. More space is reserved for a separate locker and changing area from the entrances. All the same amenities at the private rooms are made available to dorm guests except for the shared bathroom. A self-service washer and dryer here are also available for all guests to use. From all the hostels I’ve stayed at, these dorm accommodations wouldn’t be a bad idea at all for my return.
“Lub d” translates to “sleep well” from Thai and I surely did.
The Philippines’ largest hostel offers more than just a place to sleep in and I, erm, lub’d it!