I remember it was around five years ago when the growing influx of boutique and affordable hostels started making its presence felt in Metro Manila – giving backpackers decent choices for accommodation. As a budget traveler I have my own shares of hits and misses when it comes to sleeping in hostels. This is the reason why I was so eager to experience Junction Hostel and see if it belongs in the same league as my favorite hostels I stayed at in South East Asia, Sri Lanka and India.
Right smack in the heart of Poblacion, Makati city, a budding number of trendy bars, cafes and thrift stores have emerged in the past few years and along came with it, is a wave of tourists that created a miniscule Khao San Road atmosphere within the area. Thanks to these number of hip hostels, foreign and domestic visitors are finding a good reason to stay a day or two to explore Metro Manila.
Junction Designer hostel is a newcomer to the industry but has already gained a foothold in the consciousness of travelers within the Philippines and from other parts of the world. Fusing art and convenience, it also creates a socializing avenue for travelers and a co-working space among others. Serving not only as an inexpensive place to drop one’s rucksack, Junction Hostel also functions as the conduit to forming a connection with other travelers. Upon entering its door, one is instantly showered with a vibe appropriate for just hanging out and sharing travel stories with the other guests.
Imagine yourself coming straight from the airport – tired and weary and being dropped in the most pulsating part of Makati, a sense of disconnect and intimidation is about to be formed in your consciousness, the least thing you want is to stay in a place that screams of isolation and snootiness. Stepping inside Junction Hostels eradicates all that doubts as the lively and welcoming atmosphere pulls you right back into a groove – helping you gather that familiar feeling of the joy of traveling.
I stayed at Junction Hostel for a night to attend the opening of the (Food) Truck, whose resident chef; Jason Feeney concocts a set of dish that elevates our favorite street foods to a higher level aimed at satisfying the diverse acquired taste of its worldwide guests. Open from 5:00 pm until 10:00 pm The Truck serves a kick-ass selections of BBQ with peanut sauce, Salted Egg Tinapa Quesadillas, Sisig Nachos, Dynamite Peppers, Junction wings w your choice of sauce – all of which I tried that night and left me craving for more. In his recent Facebook post, Chef Fenney has given hints of coming up with a modern version of our favorite ‘Kwek-kwek’ that is dipped to a sauce with a twist.
During the day, the Truck serves all-day breakfast, savory sandwiches and Nespresso coffee to go along with local and imported beers. Various events are also held most nights to encourage the guests to mingle with one another and make each passing evening an adventure in itself. That night I managed to meet other people with shared interests in travel, including some guests from Japan, England and Australia along with the owner Cyndy Tan Jarabata and Chef Jason. Apart from hearing journeying tales over a few bottles of beer my wanderlust was further ignited by the sight of the map wall where I saw photographs of the hostel’s previous guests. It reminded me again of the tiny place we occupy in this world – and that we ought to be moving fast and explore more places.
From the industrial-heavy lighting fixtures to its quirky furniture, wooden tables and wide glass windows, the over-all flair of its modern design conveys an expensive set of opulence that is surprisingly only an equivalent of a small partition of a backpacker’s travel budget. I slept at the 4-bed dorm room which didn’t disappoint me. The soft bed I had assured me that the management didn’t held back in choosing the best sleeping comfort to provide to its guests. Each bunk bed comes with its own electric outlet and the hostel’s WiFi connection reaches you in every corner of the establishment – thereby satisfying one of the major needs of a modern traveler.
Located in the center of the liveliest part of Makati City, Junction Hostel is mere walking distance away from many places of interests and main transportation hub. Daily tours around Metro Manila can also be easily arranged with its friendly staff.
Over-all, I am pleased with what Junction Hostels offers to its traveling guests and even though I don’t see no reason for me to spend a night in Makati since home is just a train ride away, I will definitely go back to sample the street foods that the Truck is cooking up.
“Junction Hostels is owned and created by leading hospitality expert Cyndy Tan Jarabata of TAJARA Leisure and Hospitality Group. Makati Junction is the first branch to be rolled out and will expand its footprint in the country with Boracay, Baguio, Palawan, Manila and Quezon City in the pipeline. Junction Hostel is located at the Annex Matheus Building, Gen. Luna corner Don Pedro Streets, Barangay Poblacion, 1210 Makati City, Philippines. For inquiries and reservations, contact (632) 501-6575/6578, e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org or visit www.junctionhostels.com.”