A deluxe staycation spot not far away from Malate’s popular sights
Nestled within one of Manila’s university centres, Hotel Benilde Maison De La Salle is a hidden gem in the busy district of Malate — home to cultural spots, watering holes, and food joints with specialities from all around the world. You’ll find the hotel among school buildings that are just a few streets away from the major thoroughfare that is Taft Avenue. The central location makes Hotel Benilde accessible, but at the same time gives guests the chance to escape the city’s hubbub without having to spend hours on road travel.
Although Hotel Benilde Maison De La Salle started out as the hotel school of De La Salle College of St. Benilde, it is now a full-fledged deluxe hotel in Manila. What most impressed us was that the accommodations at Hotel Benilde were at par with those of five-star establishments, but came with the affordability of its three-star counterparts. While luxury surely comes with a hefty price tag, Hotel Benilde provides this without burning a hole in your pocket.
Aside from rooms with comfortable, luxe beddings and tastefully done interiors, accommodations at the Hotel Benilde Maison De La Salle come with everything a Manila staycation requires. With complete in-room amenities and reliable room service, we had a hard time dragging ourselves outside even if we were staying in a hotel near Manila Bay and its many tourist go-tos.
What beckoned to us, though, is how this hotel in Manila has thoughtfully provided amenities for those who might be here for both work and leisure. There’s a 24-hour business centre, plus our room came with a work desk complete with a multifunctional device dock and plenty of sockets for charging needs. The place isn’t only comfortable; it’s also conducive for better productivity while working remotely. We also loved the hotel’s good food. The two in-house restaurants had us satiated during our stay. There’s Café Romançon for casual sit-down meals and Vatel Restaurant for fine-dining.
See, we weren’t joking when we told you that this hidden gem has everything you need for a Manila staycation. And if you’re suddenly feeling adventurous, the rest of Manila is just right outside your doorstep. Read our full Hotel Benilde Maison De La Salle review to check out more of its staycation-worthy features.
Designed for budget travellers who still prefer the feel of upscale accommodations, the hotel dormitory is ideal for sociable adventurers and solo backpackers. Guests can book a stay at the dormitory individually, so don’t be surprised if you discover that you’re sharing the dorm with other people. A group of friends travelling together, though, can fully book the hotel dormitory with ease.
Hotel Benilde’s dormitories are gender-segregated and have four bunk beds per room with a maximum room capacity of eight people. It is equipped with two shower cubicles and toilets made available on opposite ends of the shared room. Dormitory guests are entitled to their own lockers to keep their valuables secure at all times.
The Hotel Benilde dormitories also feature working areas with desks, padded seats, and ample lighting for business and leisure purposes.
A homey palette characterised by muted greens, browns, and creams, plus furnishings and décor inspired by the La Sallian chevron greet guests upon entering the Superior Twin room. With two single beds, the room is perfect for friends looking to explore the city or colleagues on a business trip.
Much like the Superior Twin room, the Deluxe Queen is a good alternative for couples and those who prefer a room to themselves. The only difference is that the Deluxe Queen has a queen-sized bed and offers a great view of the Makati and Metro Manila cityscape.
The Deluxe Queen is also equipped to serve persons with disabilities, with a two-peephole feature and square tables. There are also nifty bedside tables on either side of the spacious bed for night reading, midnight snacking, and keeping your gadgets at arm’s reach. A lounge seat by the window allows guests to destress with scenic views of the metropolis.
If you want the modern aesthetic that comes with a floor-to-ceiling glass interior, then the Deluxe King is the room for you. Its toilet and bath are encased in glass wall dividers, with roller blinds for moments that require privacy.
Despite bearing the same floor area as the Deluxe Queen and the Superior Twin rooms, sleeping arrangements here are even more spacious with a king-sized bed.
The One Bedroom Suite is the type of accommodation you book if you’re expecting guests over during your stay in Hotel Benilde Maison De La Salle. It is as well-appointed as the other rooms, but with enough space for its own bedroom and receiving area, both equipped with a Smart TV. Now all you need are some snacks from room service and you can host a cosy and classy get-together in no time.
If you want to go all out, then there’s no better option than the Presidential Suite. The epitome of an upscale hideaway in an otherwise Bohemian part of Manila, it is a multi-layered room perfect for debutantes and newlyweds, VIPs, and special occasions or if you just want to immerse yourself in luxury living for a couple of days.
Here’s what awaits you at the Presidential Suite: a master’s bedroom with a king-sized bed, a main bathroom, and a marble bathtub with a Smart TV across it; a sizeable living room, a dining area fitted with a bar and kitchenette, and a guest toilet and bath. The room also comes with a walk-in closet-slash-private-dressing room and a matching vanity table to boot.
Located on the rooftop, Hotel Benilde Maison De La Salle’s plunge pool gives swimmers a spectacular view of the city. If the weather is good and the skies are clear, you might even be able to catch the famous Manila sunset.
Don’t be fooled by the pool’s appearance! It has a depth of five feet so make sure to watch the kids if they’re also taking a dip.
Tourists staying at this hotel in Malate will be well acquainted with Café Romançon. It is the contemporary hotel restaurant-café that serves daily breakfast for in-house and walk-in guests, and your favourite salads, soups, pastas, desserts, and sandwiches. Offering a wide range of international a la carte dishes and comfort food, Café Romançon will surely satisfy your taste buds with hearty snacks that can even be brought to your room if you prefer to stay in.
Vatel Restaurant, on the other hand, is Hotel Benilde’s first foray into the fine-dining scene. It is operated through a partnership with Institut Vatel in France, an international business school group that specialises in hospitality and tourism management. Vatel Restaurant offers French and Mediterranean cuisine.
Because Hotel Benilde Maison De La Salle wants their guests to be in tiptop shape, the gym is kept spick and span for use from 7am to 7pm every day. The hotel’s basic gym has the equipment to get your heart pumping in no time. This also makes more room for extra servings at Café Romançon and Vatel Restaurant.
You’ll see the La Sallian chevron all over Hotel Benilde Maison De La Salle; it was thoughtfully incorporated in the hotel’s interiors and decors. You’ll even find the insignia on walls and carpets. But did you know that the symbol actually means firmness and constancy in everything you do? For La Sallians especially, the chevron symbolises utmost zeal and courage in any given task.
The name Romançon is sophisticated and chic — quite apt for the ambience of Hotel Benilde Maison De La Salle’s go-to café, Café Romançon. But it was actually named after a French teacher-turned-Catholic saint, St. Benildus Romançon who is also known as Pierre Romançon. St Benildus is also the patron saint of the De La Salle-College of Saint Benilde, the hotel’s affiliated school.
Hotel Benilde’s in-house fine-dining restaurant, on the other hand, is related to a grim tale. Vatel Restaurant was named after a famous chef, Francois Vatel. The beloved chef sadly took his own life after being involved in a food delivery mishap, but his legacy lives on through the institutions inspired by him and his culinary genius.
A visit to Hotel Benilde will reveal that its function rooms were actually named after places in France, namely Toulouse, Avignon, Bordeaux, Marseilles, and Lyon. The reason behind this? St. Benildus Romançon was born in the village of Thuret in France. Naming the function rooms after places in France was the hotel’s way of honouring St. Benildus’ birthplace.
Located at the corner of Arellano and Estrada Streets right across St. Scholastica’s College Manila, Hotel Benilde Maison De La Salle makes for a very convenient stay in terms of public transport.
This hotel in Malate is obviously easily pinned on any ride-hailing app, but it would be wise to know commute routes that are just a quick walk from the place. If you walk straight along Estrada Street towards the direction of the train line, you will quickly find yourself at the LRT 1 along Taft Avenue. Getting on board this train line will get you to various places in Metro Manila, but do note that it can get pretty crowded during rush hours. The hotel can also be reached by jeepney and UV Express (communal vans and four-wheel drives commonly known as FX), which ply the route of Taft Avenue. Basically, Taft Avenue is a lifeline for commute in Manila. Getting there means having access to various modes of public transport, but make sure you do your research or ask the friendly staff at Hotel Benilde for directions. They’d be happy to help.
Hotel Benilde Maison De La Salle is about 30 minutes away from the airport, depending on the traffic situation. The easiest and most convenient way to get around Manila is still via taxi or Grab.
Since Hotel Benilde Maison De La Salle is right smack in Malate and so near various commute routes, you’ll have no problem filling your itinerary with nearby stops and countless activities.
Museum-goers will have a field day. The National Museum complex is just a 10-minute ride away. There, you can check out the National Museum of Anthropology (formerly known as the Museum of the Filipino People), the National Gallery, the National Planetarium, and the newly opened National Museum of Natural History. If you still have time, you can make a quick trip to the Metropolitan Museum of Manila, where you can be wowed by an impressive art collection as well as a gold and pottery collection.
It pays to stay in a hotel near Manila Bay. Watch the famous Manila Bay sunset then have dinner at the Malate entertainment district, where there are plenty of Korean and Japanese restaurants to choose from, like Korean Village or Tanabe. There’s also a mini food park in the area called Salo along Nakpil Street for casual outdoor dining. If you want Filipino food, then grab a bite at Cafe Adriatico or Bistro Remedios.
Tip: Want something savoury and hearty? Order Cafe Adriatico’s Lola Ising’s Adobo. You won’t regret it. You can also walk around the area with the Remedios Circle as your starting point. From there, you can easily choose where to dine and drink.
You can even shop or watch a movie at Robinsons Midtown (just a five-minute walk from Remedios Circle) if you’re in the mood to catch the last screening. Otherwise, grab a drink at the many watering holes in Malate, or visit a cafe. We recommend trying out Blocleaf Cafe along M.H. Del Pilar for local coffee and seasonal cakes such as Ube Cheesecake, but note that it closes at 9pm. Coffee and tea lovers will also enjoy hanging out at Noriter, a Korean Cafe along Taft Avenue or in Coffee Project at Vista Taft, also along Taft Avenue.
History buffs who love long walks should visit the walled city of Intramuros, just a 15-minute ride away from Hotel Benilde. The historical structure houses remnants of the Spanish occupation in the Philippines. Don’t miss touring Fort Santiago, the Spanish citadel built by conquistador Miguel Lopez de Legazpi. You’ll also find interesting shops there that sell ethnic items and weaves, and accessories crafted by the Philippine’s indigenous people.