The hotel for OFWs

MANILA – The hotel tailored for overseas Filipino workers recently introduced a new room category that is more compact and budget friendly.

“The trend here is that most of our guests are provincial-based OFWs who process their documents here in Manila in preparation for their work abroad,” said Kabayan Hotel general manager Raymund Aves. “Kabayan Hotel serves as their base here.”

HAND OVER HEART: General manager Raymund Aves and the Kabayan Hotel team.

Located along EDSA, Kabayan Hotel is an ideal place for those who are always on the move. “The market is very wide but we focus on those who have high needs on accessibility as we are very near transportation hubs like train terminals and the airport.” Embassies and other government agencies are also a few minutes away from the hotel.

The Bisita sa Bahay concept is paramount at Kabayan Hotel. “We treat our guests the way Filipino families welcome their guests at home,” he said. 

The hand-over-heart gesture is also being practice by their staff and management refused to impose dress code restrictions around the hotel. “Guests are free to roam around with their pambahay or slippers. We want them to feel like they are truly at home and we adjust to their needs,” Aves added.

As a city travelers’ haven, the hotel has different categories of rooms to cater to specific needs of guests.

Shoe rack and lockers at the Kapsule room

“We started offering compact rooms when we observed our seamen guests’ behavior. They are always on the move and don’t always stay at the hotel. From there, we created pads, dormitories and now the Kapsules.” he said.

Inspired by the capsule hotels in Japan, the management decided to introduce the product to serve budget conscious travelers. “At first I was a bit worried on how Filipino travelers will react to this. But it feels great that foreign backpackers and young Filipino travelers like the Kapsule idea,” he said.

The Kapsule beds feature bedside control panels for light and exhaust, outlet for gadgets, air-conditioning and individual mirror. Common bathrooms, shoe rack and individual lockers are also available. Each Kapsule bed is wide enough to fit-in five Filipino adults however the hotel would only allow one guest for each of its beds. “Our Kapsule beds are better than Japan, in a way that we’ve maintained the coziness and absolute comfort for our guests. We want our guests to feel like it’s still a hotel room,” he said.

“Noise and privacy will never be an issue with this type of bed as it is manufactured with sound proofing materials,” he added.

Kapsule beds are spacious enough for five, but Kabayan Hotel allots one bed per person.

Other compact rooms of the hotel are the team room, the pads and the flats. All rooms come with basic accommodation necessities.

Dining is also something to look forward to at the hotel as Filipino dishes take center stage at their all-day dining Pinoy Star Café – from local favorites like sinigang and kare-kare to kakanin and their very own fried ube (purple yam) with mango pureé. This popular dessert is a soft and milky ube jam stuffed with sweetened jackfruit arils wrapped in a crispy crepe and drizzled with mango puree. “Everything is made from scratch, from our raw ube to the crepe and sweetened jackfruit, all the ingredients are made here,” explained chef Elmer Inting.

As a hotel that caters to OFWs, information posters about working abroad adorn the walls. “To take care of our modern heroes, it’s our effort to make sure that they will be ready when they go abroad,” Aves said.

Guestroom televisions also play informercials and guidelines for future OFWs.

“In the past we experienced hosting our distressed OFWs who are victims of wars, illegal recruitments and abuse. We are always in coordination with OWWA (Overseas Workers Welfare Administration) and the NGOs to properly handle the concern of our kababayans,” he said. As of today, at least 10 hotel staff are certified to handle different cases of the OFWs.

Future plans include the construction of a new wing that will house more budget friendly rooms, bank branches, currency exchange, shops and other basic needs for the OFWs.

Viajero Rating

  • Price starts at ₱2,500
  • Service: 8/10
  • Bed comfort: 6/10
  • Room: 7/10
  • Dining: 8/10
  • Cleanliness: 8/10
  • Facilities: 7/10
  • Nearby transportation options: MRT-line 3, LRT-line 1, City and Provincial Buses and UV Express
  • Ideal for: Solo travelers, business travelers, Groups and Families

Kabayan Hotel is located at 2878 Zamora corner EDSA Rotonda, Pasay City. For reservations call 702-2700 or email Kabayan Hotel is owned and managed by Legend Hotels International Corp. Photos by FERNAN NEBRES

ViajeroMNL (Viajero Manila) is a lifestyle blog site that features different pop culture, travel, and food destinations in the Philippines. This article was written by Gillian Gacuma. 



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