Where to stay
The Philippine has accommodation for everyone's taste and budget. From small bamboo huts without electricity to comfortable world-class hotels, although there is less choice than in neighboring countries. Many of the luxury hotels are connected to international chains and have swimming pools, massage and dining options and are mostly located in Manila and Boracay. In the provinces there are more family run establishments which offer basic amenities and breakfast is usually not included.
Budget hotels in the price range up to 10 USD mostly have no air-conditioning and offer shared bathroom to their guests. These kind of hotels are hard to find in the major cities and tourist destinations. If you move up the price range to 50 USD you can expect comfortable rooms with AC, private bathroom and cable TV. Four and five stars have prices comparable to their international counterparts and value for money varies considerably.
Most hotels quote their prices in USD and Peso, but give lousy exchange rates, so it's best to pay in Peso. Only the more up market hotels are connected to booking sites, most hostels and guest houses have to be booked by email or phone. A number of online booking website for accommodation are:
The following booking sites have a limited listing of budget accommodation in the Philippines:
In the large cities there are hotels in residential areas, but they are not tourist hotels but "couples" rooms for lovers and can be rented by the hour. They are usually signed as "Motels" and brightly lit by neon lights. There are few developed campsites, but sometimes resorts are allowing tents for a small fee. In Batangas the Taal Lake Yacht Club is offering campsite with bathroom facilities. There are organized multiple day hikes to a number of popular mountains, such as Mayon, Apo and Pulag where you spend the night camping. In Coron you can have your own Robinson Crusoe experience and spend a night or two camping on a deserted island. Super peak tourist demand for hotels rooms is during holy week when prices can almost double. Hotels slash their rates in the typhoon season from June till September. Other peak times are during Christmas, and local festivals. Have a look at our holidays and festival topic for dates
Below we compiled a list of our favorite accommodations.
Budget hotel (less then 30 USD / 1500 PHP)
The Ocean Breeze Inn in Boracay is located in Station 3 and provides a lot of accommodation for your money. Rooms are spacious and cleaned daily. The beach is just a few minutes walk away. Another good budget option is the Sea Dive Resort in Coron, right in the middle of town, build on a pier overlooking the bay of Coron. Rooms are good and the restaurant serves some of the best meals in town. There is also a lively bar, that can be noisy in the evening.
Hotels with a history
If money is not issue the Manila hotel, built in 1912 is the Philippines first 5-star hotel. This grand hotel is boiling with history and was the command post of General Mac Arthur in WWII. Richard Nixon, Marlon Brando, Dwight Eisenhower and the Beatles are just a few of the celebrities who stayed here.
Nowadays there are 500 sumptuous rooms, three restaurants, pool and health club. Camp John Hay in Baguio is a former rest and recreation facility for personnel of the United states military and was the sight of the surrender of Japanese forces in the Philippines. After WWII the camp was transformed into a tourist attraction and now features a golf course, several top end restaurants and The Manor Camp John Hay hotel.
The best and most expensive beach resort in The Philippines must be the Shangri-La’s Boracay Resort and Spa. Room rates start at a hefty 450 USD (20000 PHP). The resort is set on 2 hectares of prime land and includes a private beach. Several swimming pools and restaurants are located on it’s grounds and facilities are all top class. A notch cheaper is the pyramids hotel in Bohol. The hotel is located on Anlao beach right in the nick of things. Amenities include a small pool and a restaurant. Spacious bungalows with a balcony are providing accommodation to visitors.
If you have any other hotel which should be listed here, let us know!