Whether you’re a first time visitor, returning to Manila for business or pleasure, or a native Filipino looking for a staycation, the vast capital city always has something new to see and do. A city that hustles and bustles, as any native Manilan will know, the metropolis is always on the go.
With so much to do – from deadlines at work to the daily commute – and so little time, the idea of the staycation is a growing phenomenon. Be it for a change of setting, a romantic break from the kids, a chance to kick back, fluff up the pillows and relax without having to travel too far or for a weekend in the heart of party town, a staycation is an increasingly trendy option. In this piece, we take a look at five distinct areas within the metropolis, and pick a great base for your adventures within each of them.
Intramuros and Rizal Park
Want to be right in the heart of the old colonial city? The Metro Manila area around Intramuros offers historical sites, such as 16th Century Spanish Fort Santiago and the Monastery of San Agustin. For couples, history buffs and locals looking to explore their nation’s rich heritage, this is the place to be. People watch in Rizal Park before taking in the sunset over a cocktail at Harbor View. Your home away from home right in the heart of the action? ZEN Rooms Mabini Ermita, where the spacious and spotless rooms offer all the mod cons, from WiFi and cable TV, to free parking and a 24 hour front desk. Top off your day with a delicious meal in the hotel restaurant.
Prefer to be closer to the nightlife? Perfect for party animals, the epicentre of bars, karaoke joints and clubs, Malate never sleeps. Whether you’re looking for hard rock or disco divas, you’ll find it in Malate. Where to sleep it off? The perfectly situated ZEN Rooms Del Pilar puts you right on top of the entertainment, but a blissful night – or days – sleep in perfect comfort is guaranteed to get you ready in time for your next party.
Want to shop ‘til you drop? Makati is the place for you. A pristine oasis, one of the sixteen cities which joined together to make up modern day Manila, Makati offers miles of malls packed with boutique fashion and high-end restaurants serving up gourmet food. The best place to stay? ZEN Rooms Makati Amorsolo. With a great location, amenities, and friendly staff, the Amorsolo is the perfect place to rest your weary head and put down those shopping bags!
Manila’s “Chinatown” district is a hub of activity, a dynamic neighbourhood filled with great street eats, where silver Jeepneys flash by historic sites such as the 16th Century Binondo Church. This is the area for foodies and people who want to soak up what everyday life in the capital is all about. If street lanterns and dim sum for breakfast is your thing, where better to stay than the ZEN Premium Binondo, right in the heart of Chinatown, where your comfort is literally guaranteed. For those who love to sing, this spacious hotel even has its very own karaoke lounge.$
Finally, in a city where the traffic snarls, for those early flights it’s always good to have a place near the airport to stay. Located just twelve minutes’ drive from the international airport, ZEN Rooms Pasay Airport Road offers free tea and coffee and 24 hour room service, making sure you’re perfectly rested before setting off to check out all the other wonders the Philippines has to offer.