This Hip Hostel in Cebu Doesn’t Look Like a Hostel

Much of the allure of living in a youth hostel is the illusion of living in a dorm room, just like most did in college. The shared familiarity with your dorm mates, the communal living spaces, the sense of independence—staying in a hostel surely takes you back.

But what’s going to set your experience apart from others is the quality of your accommodations, which is what a lot of hostels have been found wanting. Thankfully, Balay Bakasyunan in Cebu City doesn’t disappoint in that department.

Floral couch at Balay Bakasyunan Boutique Hostel
The living room couch at Balay Bakasyunan Boutique Hostel is reminiscent of the kitsch of the 50s and 60s. PHOTOGRAPH BY SANDY MIGUEL.

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The brainchild of enterprising duo, Maria Blanche Braun and Pia Go, Balay Bakasyunan Boutique Hostel was established with a capital of just about P1 million. The two put up the affordable hostel in Cebu to provide a place for backpackers that give off a “couchsurfing” vibe, which they hope would jumpstart a similar trend in the city.

TV and coffee table at Balay Bakasyunan
The spacious sala has a TV that guests can use. Also in the background is the hostel’s reception desk. PHOTOGRAPH BY SANDY MIGUEL.

Located inside a quiet subdivision in Lahug, the hostel is set inside a house. It follows the typical layout of a Filipino home, which makes it literally one’s home away from home.

As the price point is an important focus of Balay Bakasyunan as a service provider, a bunk at the hostel costs about P600.00 overnight. That amount also includes a light breakfast, clean towels, and free Wi-Fi. The air-conditioned rooms are very basic but pleasantly decorated.

Love seat and coffee table
Second couch at the hostel’s living room. PHOTOGRAPH BY SANDY MIGUEL.

Travelers coming from their meetings or trips can take a rest and watch TV at the hostel’s spacious and hip living room. They can also cook their food at the pantry, or hang out at the backyard at night with a pint in hand.

Dining table and chairs at the pantry
The pantry area where guests can have their breakfast. Coffee and refreshments are free for guests. PHOTOGRAPH BY SANDY MIGUEL.

If you’re looking for a hostel near the Mactan-Cebu International airport, this is not it. Another downside is that it’s not situated along the highway like other accommodations in the city center.

However, the hostel is close to Ayala Center Cebu (within walking distance via a shortcut) and the IT Park. There are also a lot of passenger jeeps and similar modes of transportation that can take you around the city. You can always request the staff to call you a cab, or a habal-habal.

Pop art pillows and furniture
Retro, pop-art decors can be found throughout the hostel. PHOTOGRAPH BY SANDY MIGUEL.

Another Cebu hostel offers beds for half the price but Balay Bakasyunan is the obvious winner. If you’re looking to book a bed at a cheap hostel in Cebu that’s relatively close to urban hotspots, consider staying here.

Click on the image below to be redirected to Agoda. Balay Bakasyunan Boutique Hostel is available for reservations on Agoda.com. 

Featured Image by Sandy Miguel

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