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Where to stay in the PHILIPPINES – Hotel? Hostel? Rental?

Where to stay in the PHILIPPINES – Hotel? Hostel? Rental?

Not sure where to stay in the Philippines? We look at options, comparing rentals, hotels and hostels so that you can decide what to look for!

When planning a trip, one of the first things we need to decide is where to stay. The Philippines is an affordable place to explore and offers plenty of different accommodation options for travellers. Hostels can be found everywhere for very cheap prices whilst luxury hotels can also be found for much cheaper prices than hotels in the West. However, renting a place can work out to be a great option, especially for those visiting a city for an extended period of time. 

Where to stay in the PHILIPPINES

What type of accommodation?

Hostels – Cheap hostels can be found all over the Philippines, offering plenty of options for budget travelers. If you are solo traveling and want an opportunity to meet other travelers, then this is the perfect choice for you. Luckily, hostels aren’t just in the cities but can also be found in the towns and beach destinations too. There are plenty of amazing and exciting hostels in The Philippines to choose from too and this beginner’s guide to hostels offers some great tips for new travelers.

Hotels – Hotels come in all shapes, sizes and budgets in the Philippines. With 4 and 5-star hotels available for just $55, you can definitely shop around for different options, depending on your budget. More luxurious hotels in the Philippines can be found for decent prices but make sure to compare prices on websites like Agoda first. 

Rental – If time is not on your side, looking for a condo or apartment to rent in The Philippines can be tiring. The process may not reward you like having a place to call your own. But it’s highly convenient to find a condo or apartment unit you genuinely value, especially if it makes you feel at home without costing you much. Renting a place can be an ideal option for groups of travellers, families or those looking to stay for a few weeks and need a bit more space. 

Where to stay in the PHILIPPINES

Searching for a Condo or Apartment in the Philippines

Due to the growth of real estate in the Philippines, the rental market has become somewhat competitive, particularly in localities like townships, key business districts, and tourist attraction sites. Modern professionals and new families are always looking for a condo or apartment unit to lease with common expectations that the rental is near their place of work, a school for their kids, or nearby transport centers. Over and above this, holidaymakers seek short-term rental establishments that include free amenity access compared to deals they would get with booking a hotel.

If you are looking for a condo for rent in Makati or and need to get access to it quickly, you’ve landed on the right page; below is a quick guide that is relatively easy to digest if you are looking to find this type of accommodation in the Philippines.

How to rent an apartment in The Philippines

Rental Terms – Half the battle is genuinely won when you know your rental lingo, but what you need to know deeply is how the terms apply in a negotiating situation when discussing the terms and conditions with your prospective landlord. If you can get this right, you’ll be able to secure the rental property you desire at a price that doesn’t sink your bank balance.

Lease – This term is usually confused with the word rent. However, this refers to a contractual agreement between the landlord and yourself. The lease will specify all the details of the rentals, and you must thoroughly understand everything on the lease. 

Tenant – This refers to the individual who will occupy the apartment leased out by an agent or landlord. In some lease agreements, the tenant is referred to as the lessee, while the landlord is referred to as the lessor. It is crucial to fully understand these terms as they may be used numerous times throughout the lease agreement. 

Where to stay in the PHILIPPINES

Landlord – The landlord is the individual who owns the property or is a person employed to manage and oversee the condo or apartment that’s up for lease. As mentioned above, the lease agreement may refer to the landlord as the lessor. When a company promotes the rental, the landlord may remain anonymous, as the company will manage the rental and collect the payments.

Leasing Agent – The leasing agent is an individual who the property owner or company hires to look for prospective tenants for the vacant property. In the Philippines, leasing agents are licensed by the Professional Regulation Commission. 

The leasing agent will likely show you the property and explain all the details of renting the condo during follow-up consultations. However, this may differ depending on the company. 

Where to stay in the PHILIPPINES

Leasing Agreement

The lease agreement is a legal document that contains written terms and conditions about occupying a condo or apartment for renting. It becomes active and legally binding as soon as you and the leasing agent or landlord sign on the dotted line.

This type of agreement is the paperwork you will have to read through and sign. The lease agreement will stipulate details such as your rental amount, the due date for rental payment, and other information such as your responsibilities as a tenant and what the landlord is responsible for. 

It is essential to always thoroughly read through a lease agreement, as you would any other type of contract, to ensure you are fully aware of your legal obligations. 

Where to stay in the PHILIPPINES

Semi-Furnished vs. Fully Furnished

A semi-furnished condo or apartment has standard furniture pieces, like the bed, sofa, chairs, table, and dresser. Sometimes these types of rentals have small appliances and decorative furniture items. However, decorative pieces are pretty unusual for a semi-furnished rental. That said, semi-furnished rentals are a great way to reduce your costs.

This is either provided to you as a package you pay only once with the promoted rental cost, or you can decide to pay it as a premium. So your options are varied. The fully furnished rental properties, on the other hand, have everything a tenant may need. For this reason, moving in can be a swift transition. Fully furnished rentals are a great choice if you’re pressed for time when searching for a place to stay.


There are many reasons why others may prefer a hotel stay in the Philippines, but why choose luxury at the expense of comfort? A rented condo is more pet and family-friendly; one could even argue and say it’s safer compared to a luxury hotel full of strangers. In the Philippines, the property market is very complex. Still, if you follow this guide and familiarise yourself with the rental lingo, you will find the process and your stay rather enlightening.

While hotels hold the element of luxury and convenience in terms of services and facilities on offer, condo rentals will provide you with more space, privacy, and overall comfort. For this reason, rental condos are often the better choice, especially when considering that the cost will be significantly lower, which may even allow you to stay abroad for even longer or stretch your budget towards other things during your stay. 

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