Finding a place to stay is not that hard depending on your location within the Philippines and also what kind of accommodation you looking for. If your looking for a place in a mainly tourist area then it will be a little harder but not impossible.
There are 4 kinds of accommodation you will find in the Philippines.
3)Staying with a friend
Hotel’s are easy to find and from my experience they will always have rooms available. Hotels can be found in most towns and city’s and all you have to do is tell a tricycle driver to take you there.
The picture above shows you what a Tricycle looks like but be careful as in most places from my experience if your a tourist they will try to rip you off. They don’t have meters and so you need to ask the driver how much it would cost to go there. Try to negotiate a better price or If your visiting the Philippines for the first time its best to have a local person with you as they will know if the price your being charged is way too much.
If your going for a hotel then you could book in in advance and some do offer to pick you up from the airport but its only the supper expensive ones that offer this service. If your traveling for around 25 to 30 minutes it shouldn’t cost you more than 100 peso (£1.42 or 2.27 US Dollars). If they charge you a little more its ok but if they start to charge you hundreds of peso’s more then your being ripped off.
The best way to find a hotel is to get a Tricycle and tell the driver to take you to a hotel. Most drivers do speak English but for the one’s who don’t you can say this ” Kuya pumunta ako sa hotel” it means ” brother I want to go to the hotel”. Saying brother is a normal thing in the Philippines as many local residents will call each other brother or aunt, uncle ect.
The Hotels are normally easy to identify and most of them will have a guard outside. You can go to the reception which is normally located near the entrance and ask for a room. Remember to negotiate on prices especially if your staying for a week or a month. I would ask the rates and then ask what discount do I get for staying a month. The staff are always helpful and speak English. The Hotel itself will be very clean but again keep in mind you get what you pay for. The following are the rates for hotels and what to expect.
A) 1000 to 1500peso per night ( £14.28 to £21.42 or $22.72 to $34.09) – You can expect a clean room with clean towels but it wont be fantastic and if your lucky you might get a small soap. You can also expect to get a flat screen TV, double bed, western style toilet with shower and air con.(most don’t have hot water so check this out before you take the room if its important to you).
B) 2,000 to 3000 peso per night (£28.57 to £42.85 or $45.45 to $68.18) – You can expect to see a very professional, clean hotel with clean reception and professional staff along with amazing looking rest rooms (toilets or CR as they are know in the Philippines). The rooms themselves are nice and clean, with great views out the window. You will also get hot water, soap and fresh towels and air con.
C) 5,350 to 9,350 peso per night (£76.42 to £133.57 or $121.59 to $212.50 ) – You can expect to get the best of everything I mean this is living the high life.
You get everything you would get from a top end hotel and some of the rooms are completely crazy with mood lighting, light synchronized with your music and docking station for your phone.
Again the tricycle driver can take you to look at all the local apartments for rent and there’s no real website that can help you with this although there are some who claim to offer apartments. In my experience these websites are not reliable and I have had one situation where a women agreed to me renting an apartment but then wouldn’t answer her phone after that so I don’t trust them.
The tricycle driver will take you around and it should cost no more than 200 peso in my experience and I was looking for a few hours again if he starts asking you for hundreds of pesos more then he is ripping you off. Keep in mind you will spend a lot of time getting out and talking to people so its not all riding around. You need to look for the signs outside houses saying apartment for rent an then go inside and ask to see the apartment. have a good look and even if its unfurnished which most are, don’t worry as it will cost less to furnish than it would to stay in a hotel.
Above you can see what an apartment looks like and this one was newly built so had no issues. The toilet or CR/ restroom is next to the kitchen. It has a shower and western style toilet. The apartment cost 3,000 peso per month (£42.85 or $68.18 US Dollars). Yes that’s right per month and after you put in furnishings it can cost around 13,000 peso.(£185.71 or $295.45 US Dollars) keep in mind I borrowed a table, chairs and fan. Electricity and water are not covered in the 13,000 peso so you should put around 2,000 peso (£28.57 or $45.45 US Dollars) aside for these. This should be enough for a 6 week stay. Some places have issues with water supply and the prices for water may vary a little, again when you get the apartment ask your land lord. Electricity also depends on usage but for me it was 700 peso (£10 or $15.90 US Dollars). This is one of the places I stayed and like me if you can make good friends then you can leave your furnishings with them for the next time you visit but remember you won’t spend all your time in the apartment and may choose to stay a few nights in a resort or hotel on the beach so plan your trip well and you will save money. Air con is another thing you need to think about and it all depends on what time of the year you go there. If your going between January and the end of March then I don’t think you need air con but a fan is a must. If you do need Air con the it should cost 2,600 peso (£37.14 or $59.09 US Dollars) for a small unit. Fan should cost you no more than 1500 peso (£21.42 or $34.09 US Dollars) Electricity cost is around 300 peso (£4.28 or $6.81US Dollars)a day for Air con but again it depends on usage
So again the full costs are:
Air con cost 2,600 peso (£37.14 or $59.09 US Dollars)
Apartment cost 3,000 peso per month (£42.85 or $68.18 US Dollars).
Cost of Mattress, eating utensils, gas stove, pitcher and glasses, gas cylinder with gas 10,000 peso ( £142.85 or $227.27 US Dollars).
Cost of Electricity and Water 2,000 peso (£28.57 or $45.45 US Dollars) for 6 weeks.
Total : 17,600 peso(£251.42 or $400 US Dollars) maximum, plus electricity cost of Air con.
3) Staying With a Friend
This is by far the cheapest option and if your friend has a car or van then it will also save you on the travel costs. I would still pay for the Electricity, Water and petrol for transportation. Keep in mind that most Filipino family’s have many people living in one small house so its common for people to be sleeping on the floor or on the couch. In some cases the bed your sleeping on was bought for a grandmother because she is ill and she has given it up for you. This happened to me once and I later found out the Mattress I was sleeping on belonged to there grandmother but in my case she was leaving to go visit other members of her family so me using it didn’t effect her.
You can find resorts quite easily by asking the tricycle driver to take you there. If he doesn’t speak English then again use the same sentence “Kuya pumunta ako sa hotel” but instead of hotel you can use resort or apartment or even a different city. remember to ask “Magkano kuya” it means ” brother how much”. The resorts themselves are very nice but can be over crowded.
Some resorts and hotels also offer a buffet for customer and compared to western standards they are cheap, have very nice food but I shall cover food in a later post as there are so many places to eat and so many different kinds of food.
Resorts can cost between 1,600 to 2,800 peso per night (£22.85 to £40 or $36.36 to $63.63US Dollars) and normally come with free breakfast and free access to the swimming pool. You also have the added flexibility of paying a little extra for another bed or to say for a few hours more. Rooms are generally clean with acceptable facility’s like shower and western style toilets.
Well that took me nearly 6 hours to put together. I hope people found it helpful and once again please like,comment, subscribe or if you can please leave some feed back.