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First Time in Manila: Where Should I Stay?

Where should I book my hotel in Manila?

All those who travel for the first time to Manila are somehow puzzled about where they should stay during their holiday or business trip. The fact is that Manila is a huge, sprawling urban area made of three concentric layers: the city centre, Metro Manila, and Urban Manila. To give you a rough idea of Manila's size, these layers respectively cover areas of 43 km2, 614 km2, and 1,475 km2. Fortunately, most of the city’s attractions, shopping and business centres are concentrated within Metro Manila, which reduces the geographical scope.

Even though, planning a trip to Manila can be a bit tricky, and the question ‘where should I book my hotel in Manila?’ is recurrent for most of the city’s first timers. This page is therefore here to help you out to pick the right area to stay in Manila, according to your tastes.

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Should I book my hotel in Makati?

Makati: How to decide…

Officially a city within the city, Makati is the financial district of Manila, but also a major cultural and entertainment hub. You’ll find here large commercial developments such as Ayala Centre, a vast upscale complex that houses a shopping mall, cinemas and restaurants. Makati is also home to a fair deal of historical sites like Nuestra Señora de Gracia Church, Santa Ana Cabaret, and many more. Summing up, Makati is the first destination of choice for travellers in Manila. Its central location between Intramuros to the north, Manila Bay to the west, and Manila Airport to the south, makes it a very convenient neighbourhood to stay. It is also reputed to be a pretty safe district in Manila.

Who is it for:

  • Couples
  • Families
  • Business travellers
  • People interested in arts and history
  • Shopaholics

What’s good:

  • Central location within the city
  • Lots of dining and shopping options
  • Lots of Museums and art galleries
  • Plenty of hotels for different types of budget

What’s not so good:

  • The population doubles during the day with commuters, making Makati crowded at certain times and places

You like Makati? Now pick the right hotel!

All Hotels in Makati

Manila is a startling city with a vibrant nightlife and lots of sights to see. Have a look through our hotel listings to Read More...

Fairmont Makati, Manila

Fairmont Hotels & Resorts marks its brand’s entry into the Philippines with Fairmont Makati.An address of uncomprimising Read More...

Raffles Makati

Situated in Makati’s prestigious commercial business district is a tower of 30 floors comprising Raffles Makati, a 32 all-suite Read More...


Should I book my hotel in Malate/Ermita?

Malate/Ermita: How to decide…

Malate and Ermita are the two neighbourhoods located along Manila Bay, just south of Intramuros, the historical old city. Both these districts are home to popular tourist attractions such as Manila Zoological and Botanical Garden, Rizal Park, Manila Ocean Park, as well as plenty of historical and religious edifices of all confessions. Often referred to as ‘the real Manila’, due to the fact it looks less polished than Makati, Malate and Ermita (the latter to a lesser degree) are especially famous for their lively nightlife scenes, which include bars and venues lightened in red…

Who is it for:

  • Single travellers
  • Families
  • Partygoers
  • Backpackers/budget travellers

What’s good:

  • Many attractions for the whole family by day
  • Lots of exciting venues to hang around after dark
  • Plenty of hotels for different types of budget

What’s not so good:

  • Poverty is more visible here than in Makati, making Malate/Ermita areas somewhat seedier

You like Malate/Ermita? Now pick the right hotel!

All Hotels in Malate/Ermita

Hotels in Malate/Ermita come in all shapes and sizes. From budget favourites to 5-star luxury. Read More...

Rizal Park Hotel

With a stay at Rizal Park Hotel in Manila (Ermita), you'll be minutes from U.S.Embassy and Rizal Park.Featured amenities include Read More...

Pan Pacific Manila

Located in the heart of the historical and cultural district of Malate in Manila, Pan Pacific Manila is the first and finest hotel Read More...


Should I book my hotel in Ortigas?

Ortigas: How to decide…

Located on the west side of the city, Ortigas is the second most important Central Business District after Makati in Manila. This neighbourhood is not very large as it covers only one square kilometre, but is especially renowned for housing two of the most prominent shopping malls in Manila: SM Megamall and Shangri-La Plaza. Therefore, restaurants, bars and shopping options are legions. The accommodation scene in Ortigas tends to be on par with the business atmosphere of the district, so upscale hotels are many.

Who is it for:

  • Business travellers
  • Couples and families
  • Shopaholics

What’s good:

  • Lively dining and shopping scenes
  • Great upscale hotels at hand

What’s not so good:

  • Relatively far from city landmarks and attractions

You like Ortigas? Now pick the right hotel!

All Hotels in Ortigas

All Hotels in Ortigas

Hotels in Ortigas come in all shapes and sizes. From budget favourites to 5-star luxury. Read More...

Mercure Manila Ortigas

Located in Pasig (Ortigas Center), Mercure Manila Ortigas is minutes from University of Asia and the Pacific and SM Read More...

Citadines Millennium Ortigas Manila

With a stay at Citadines Millennium Ortigas Manila, you'll be centrally located in Pasig, convenient to SM Megamall and Smart Read More...


Should I book my hotel in Pasay?

Pasay: How to decide…

Pasay is a large district where you'll find Manila International Airport. Located just south of Manila City, and southwest of Makati, Pasay is the perfect place to stay if you just want to spend a short time in Manila between two flights. This neighbourhood hosts one of the most popular shopping mall in Manila, SM Mall of Asia, as well as plenty of dining and nightlife entertainment options. Manila Zoo, Star City amusement park, and Baywalk are some of the attractions at hand here. As for accommodation, hotels of all budget types can be found in Pasay.

Who is it for:

  • Travellers in transit between two destinations
  • Families
  • Couples
  • Partygoers

What’s good:

  • Good range of attractions available
  • Lots of shopping, dining, and nightlife entertainment options
  • Good choice of hotels for any types of budget

What’s not so good:

  • Some red-light areas of Pasay can be unsafe after dark

You like Pasay? Now pick the right hotel!

All Hotels in Pasay

All Hotels in Pasay

Hotels in Pasay come in all shapes and sizes. From budget favourites to 5-star luxury. Read More...

Manila Marriott Hotel

342 exquisite guestrooms and suites, inspired in design by the striking natural beauty of the Philippine Archipelago, each offers Read More...

Sofitel Philippine Plaza Manila

Sofitel Philippine Plaza Manila is a unique 5 star luxury hotel in Manila with a resort setting close to Mall of Asia, Manila Read More...


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