Many who travel to Palawan have their sights set on places like El Nido or Coron. Stopovers in Puerto Princesa are usually kept as short and as low-cost as possible. For travellers who want to keep accommodation expenses in Puerto at a minimum, here are great hostels and B&Bs that do the trick.
Forget the tiny, bunkbed-crowded spaces you’ve gotten used to at typical hostels and savor a place that exudes the relaxing Palawan vibe. Stay as close to nature as one can get in Bamboo Hostel’s gazebo dorm, falling asleep to the soothing sounds of nature and waking up with the sun. The bamboo gazebo sits in the property garden and houses up to ten mattresses, each with an individual mosquito net to ensure a peaceful slumber. Guests wake up to homemade waffles and pancakes and can spend their days reading the hours away on a hammock in their bamboo gazebo lounge. Alternatively, more active types can set off on one of the many tours organized by the hostel. Their other accommodations include tents, a private fan room, and an air-conditioned one as well.
At 400 PHP ($8) per bed in the shared room, Treffpunkt is an extremely affordable choice. Treffpunkt is the German word for “meeting point”. With its welcoming hosts and warm, friendly vibe, this hostel feels like exactly that. It’s strategically located on one of the main streets of the city, placing guests near several local food favorites such as Bona’s Chao Long, Haim Chicken Inato, and Kalui Restaurant. An upstairs lounge allows guests to kick back with a good book or movie, while one downstairs provides a space to get to know each other over some cold (and affordable) beers. Their free daily breakfast and good music complements the already cozy atmosphere. This place offers good bang for your buck.
With its wooden details and outdoor dining area, this bed and breakfast feels very open and relaxed. The individual patios before each room also add a nice touch. Being near the airport, it is also near a busy road, but it’s far enough up a side street to keep away any unwanted noise. Their most basic accommodation, which sleeps two, starts at only 820 PHP ($16). It’s simple, clean and complete, making for a very comfortable and budget-friendly pick when travelling with a partner.
Another affordable choice when travelling with a companion is By the Bay Jacana B&B, tucked away amidst the greenery of Bancao-Bancao. Plants and trees fill the property and Pristine Beach sits close by, giving it a very natural, cozy feel. All rooms are air-conditioned, a life saver in the heat and humidity of Puerto Princesa. There are also only seven rooms in total, so the staff are able to accommodate guests warmly and attentively. Hammocks complete the serene, laid-back energy that Palawan’s all about.
With just a handful of guest rooms, Butterfly Totem can only accommodate up to 25 guests at a time, so neither the place nor staff will ever get too busy. Their dormitory room can sleep up to eight people and houses the shared bathroom in the room itself. This shared accommodation comes with air-conditioning, a TV, and a hot and cold shower. Charging only 500 PHP ($10) a bed, it’s complete, comfortable, and easy on the wallet. Their private room options include a standard deluxe room, which sleeps up to three guests, and a family suite, which sleeps up to eight.
For those on an extremely tight budget, this Japanese-themed hostel is the perfect choice. Costing only 250 PHP ($5) a bed in their eight-occupant shared room, Siete Verano is as affordable as it gets. They do a superb job at keeping the premises clean, and each guest is assigned a personal locker for the safe keeping of belongings. No-frills necessities at a bargain — just the way backpackers like it.
Another value-for-money stay is Ezy Stay Pension. A bed at their shared room goes for as little as 350 PHP ($7) and backpackers travelling with a buddy can make the affordable upgrade to a standard private room, costing each traveller just 50 PHP ($1) more. All rooms are air-conditioned and come with complimentary toiletries and slippers — a nice touch for the nomadic traveller. Guests are also met by a warm host, ready to share travel tips and recommendations to any guest walking through their doors.