'I have known pain and hunger. I have also known happiness and success. Throughout all those things, I have never felt my love for the God lessen one bit.'
This quote by Manny Pacquiao, the top ranked boxing champion who has lived his impressionable age life in Manilla, in a way, reflects the strength of spirituality that Manila has been built upon. It is this very strength that has seen it through countless floods and famines, battles and revolts.
Manila is perhaps the only city in Philippines known by and large on a global scale. It also happens to be the most densely populated city in the world, a dubious feat that the city would probably love to shed. Despite that, it is the powerhouse for the whole of Philippines economy, as over 50% of the total GDP can be traced back to one of the 16 districts of Manila National Capital Region.
The city itself can trace its roots back over one millennium, to the heyday of the Malay Empire. Subsequently, Manila has become an important trading pit stop for vessels trading items to and from China and Europe. In the middle ages of colonialism, Manila, much like the rest of Philippines, was conquered by the naval forces of Spanish Empire. For over three centuries, Manila had to endure this Spanish influence, turning it into a pseudo-Spanish city, much like some cities in South America.
Manila of today is best described as a global city that acts a local hub of commerce, trade, culture and art. Visited by over 100,000 tourists from all over the world every year (on an average), the city has tried her best to develop its infrastructure to accommodate these hordes of tourists and visitors. Hotels in Manila, hence, are some of the finest as well as grandest in the region.
Reasonably Priced Stay in Manila
Habitual tourists tend to incline more towards finding a hotel that just get the job done by providing the most basic of amenities, all the while not compromising with the safety, hygiene and comfort aspects. Such budget hotels in Manila serve a bigger purpose by allowing tourists to save big on their touring budget and allowing them to spend more, adding more money to the local economy.
Cheap hotels, contrary to what most people seem to think, do not necessarily have to be shabby. There are many good-enough exceptions to this misconception in Manila, especially in the heart of the city.
Raising The Bar a Notch Higher
Let's move on, from cheap hotels to more lavish ones. These are present in abundance in Manila, as well. Pan Pacific Manila is among the best luxury establishments in Manila, regularly hosting important people and celebrities. For those who want the highest degree of comfort and style with no regard for hefty prices, Pan Pacific can be the most suitable option.
Apart from this, there are many other names that can be mentioned in this context. Some of these are: New World Manila Bay Hotel, Sofitel Manila, Bayleaf Hotel, Hotel Manila etc.
The best part of staying with a luxury hotel is that in most cases, the prices are inclusive of many other freebies. The commonest among these are free gym sessions, free spa and massage therapy, free sightseeing packages, free local transportation, free internet and telephone services, free personal assistance etc.
The Elusive Middle Ground, Indie Hotels
The chances are high that cheap Manila hotels will not entice you and luxury establishments will not fall under your budget radar. What is to be done then?
Well, there are some options that will let you reach for that middle ground between style and affordability, lavishness and comfort & pleasure and safety.
There are over 300 registered homestays (and many, many unregistered ones) that are known to provide homely accommodation to tourists, right from cosy bedrooms to kitchenettes and personal parking space to flexible stay durations. The most appealing aspect of these independent and boutique stay options is that you can easily customize your stay, you don't have to rely on strict check-in and check-out dates that every other hotel often has in place. That's exactly where such independent and boutique establishments seem to come to the real fore, providing safety, comfort and convenience to their guests, without making severe dents in their trip budget, and allowing them to spend more for the local economy.
Hotel Sceneario Near Manila Airport
The international airport at Manila is a fairly busy hub as many long-mile flights (especially from Australia to Europe and the other way around) tend to have a fuelling stop at Manila. If you are traveling to any other city in Philippines, you will have to land at the Manila International Airport without any choice.
It would be worth knowing, in this case, more about what the hotel scene is like around this airport. To put it very simply, there is very slim chance of you finding a good hotel within a reasonably short radius of the airport. To have a good and real look at worthy Manila hotels, you will invariably have to go the city center.
If you haven't booked your hotel for your stay in Manila in advance, you would be glad to know that many of such establishments in Manila, irrespective of their distance from the airport, do accept major global currencies for transactions. The most widely accepted foreign currency in Manila is US Dollar, followed by Euro and Great British Pound.
Get The Timing Correct!
As Manila is a nearly-tropical and coastal city, it's always the best idea to know more about when it's the best time of the year to visit. As far as the weather is concerned, January to March is the best three-month phase for tourists to travel to Manila, as it's not overly humid or overly hot during these months.
As far as hotel prices are concerned, the best time to visit Manila is between October to December.