Red Carabao Manila Hostel & Tours

Red Carabao Manila Hostel & Tours

2819 Felix Huertas Santa Cruz, Manila, Luzon 1003 Philippines
^.^v
Traveler (13)
view from the rooftop at sunset
Room & Suite (3)
Lovely people
Dining (1)

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About

4.5
#4 of 28 hostels in Manila
4.2 of 5 bubbles
Location
4.6 of 5 bubbles
Cleanliness
4.6 of 5 bubbles
Service
4.9 of 5 bubbles
Value
Welcome to Lonely Planet's only Top-Choice and longest-running backpacker hostel in Manila. Read more about us to see if you and the Red Carabao are a compatible match!
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Property amenities
Free High Speed Internet (WiFi)
Wifi
Bar / lounge
Laundry service
Room features
Air conditioning
Kitchenette
Microwave
Minibar
Refrigerator
Good to know
HOTEL STYLE
Great View
Budget

Location

2819 Felix Huertas Santa Cruz, Manila, Luzon 1003 Philippines
Getting there
Somewhat walkable
Places to stay are graded on a 0-100 scale. The higher the grade, the easier it is for travelers to find restaurants and things to do within walking distance.
Grade: 74 out of 100
74
Ninoy Aquino Intl Airport
11.2 km
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Clark Field
79.1 km
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Bambang
4 minManila Light Rail
76Reviews1Q+A5Room tips
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Detailed Reviews
Eva B wrote a review Jan 2014
Heidelberg, Germany
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Biggest complaints:

- Not every bed has a 18-inch mattress.
- Sometimes you are required to slather your own spread on breakfast toast.
- There is an inadequate stock of German books available for exchange.
- No hot water for showering and no aloe vera lavender soap for washing hands.
- You are forced to keep your showers to 5 minutes or else "you go to hell".
- Rooftop terrace is too hot when the sun is out.
- Pool table is not set up to European league standards (but I don't play).
- Water refill is only room temperature.
- Walls in the hallway are painted with broad visible brushstrokes.
- Neighborhood is too quiet sometimes, but it's tolerable.
- Staff doesn’t wear uniform and stand when spoken to.
- One of two guitars is permanently broken and out of tune!
- Beers in the fridge are not chilled enough for tropical weather.
- You can't request personal drivers to take you sightseeing.

If you can look past these huge obstacles to pleasant backpacking you will have an awesome time in the Red Carabao with nice people to hang out with, a rooftop terrace overlooking the chinese cemetery and the neighborhood, a pool table, table tennis and lots of activities offered like ultimate Frisbee, pub crawling, sunset tours etc. A 7eleven is in 5 minutes walking distance as well as a busy market with fruits, vegetables and all kinds of things that you expect to find on an Asian market.
Aldrich (the host) can provide you with a self drawn map of Manila and lots of good advice on where to go and what to do in Manila and around the Philippines.
I started my 5 weeks trip in the Philippines in the Red Carabao and already came back after two weeks while passing through Manila. Since I have been traveling in other Asian countries before I can say that the Red Carabao is really worth the $8.88 you pay for a dorm room and I will definitely come back before heading home. I can recommend the Red Carabao to anyone who is looking for a nice, homely and friendly place to stay that is very casual and not set up to hotel perfection.
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Date of stay: January 2014
5.0 of 5 bubblesValue
4.0 of 5 bubblesRooms
5.0 of 5 bubblesLocation
4.0 of 5 bubblesCleanliness
5.0 of 5 bubblesService
5.0 of 5 bubblesSleep Quality
Trip type: Traveled solo
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.
MommaBonnie wrote a review Jan 2015
Virginia
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Red Carabao is more than just a place to lay your head. They are now my new found family, ones whom we loved before we even knew! Isn't that God's Love? The hospitality from the heart not only made an initial impact. It made a lifetime impact to me whom they now call Momma Bonnie! Thank you Helena for showing me love, keeping us fed and making us breakfast! Thank you to all those who allow me to be known at the Red Carabao as Momma Bonnie and allow me to be part of their family! From the moment you answered the door Aldrich and carried our belongings to the day we left and you carried our belongings in the flood; We will continue to sing! "This is the day, This is the day, This is the day the Lord has made and we will rejoice and be glad in it."
Many Thanks and Forever Love
Momma Bonnie & Cheryl
Read more
Date of stay: September 2014
5.0 of 5 bubblesValue
5.0 of 5 bubblesService
5.0 of 5 bubblesSleep Quality
Trip type: Traveled with family
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.
concertoitaliano wrote a review Apr 2015
Kiel, Germany
5.0 of 5 bubbles
When one arrives at this hostel one feels immediately at home. The hostel has the true feel of a family. Breakfast is done communally, as well as dinners. I visited many places and the warmth of the ambience has no equals. Aldrich, the owner, is a caring, attentive, and intelligent guy. He will befriend you and make the best he can to put you at ease, accommodating your needs. I like the project of his hostel, set up in a not too touristy area of Manila, but not too far away from the main attractions. That way one has the opportunity to breath both "real" Manila and other touristy bits. Many activities are organised communally, such as in particular visits to the city centre. There are basic rules that help living together. Thoroughly recommended.
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Date of stay: October 2014
5.0 of 5 bubblesValue
5.0 of 5 bubblesRooms
5.0 of 5 bubblesService
Trip type: Traveled solo
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.
jgp1991 wrote a review Mar 2014
Reading, United Kingdom
3.0 of 5 bubbles
I left Red Carabao after two nights stay with mixed feelings.

The hostel is well equipped, clean and spacious. The chill out areas are good, the kitchen always clean and the rooftop area with a bar, pool table etc is a great set-up.
The hostel is packed with information - Where to go in Manila...Where to visit next in the Philippines...How much you should pay for jeepneys etc..
The maps and itinerary that Aldrich can provide were very helpful too, and my time in Northern Luzon would have not been as enjoyable without a detailed itinerary.

For partying and socialising the hostel is very good, with a good rooftop area and numerous chillout areas.

Drawbacks: I found security frustrating. Ringing a bell for the cleaner to look out the window and then have to come down. Get a keypad and issue a new code every day!
The air conditioning going off at 7am is a joke. Maybe 9am?

Ultimately though I found Aldrich hard work. Some people praise him but he seemed to be more focused on producing marketing material for the hostel than actually running it.
Get the basics right first!
When he is not around nobody mans the front desk. He failed to justify why he took passports and doesn't make it clear to guests how to connect to the Wifi.
For anybody trying to find their feet in the country RE SIM cards, onward buses etc he seemed a real airhead, lacking any sense of urgency and overall frustrating to speak to. To top it all you tried to charge me for 3 nights when I told you I would only stay for 2 and you approved! Come on man. Get little things like this smooth and then all the glossy marketing will go further.

I would suggest others stay here as a good way to meet people but don't rely on Aldrich for much. I'll probably stay near the airport in future.
I didn't find the location a problem but can see how some might.
Read more
Date of stay: February 2014
4.0 of 5 bubblesValue
3.0 of 5 bubblesRooms
3.0 of 5 bubblesLocation
5.0 of 5 bubblesCleanliness
2.0 of 5 bubblesService
4.0 of 5 bubblesSleep Quality
Trip type: Traveled solo
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.
Maricelle C wrote a review Jul 2014
5.0 of 5 bubbles
The Red Carabao Hostel feels more like going over to a friend's house (a super knowledgable, well-educated, and often witty/cheeky friend) than anything else. Aldrich has created a laid-back environment that seriously supports the backpacking community. If you want to have a relaxing day away from the busy city or decompress after traveling, you can hang out in the many lounge areas. If you want to have an authentic Manila adventure, Aldrich will draw you a detailed map and find friends to go along. This place is a community in all respects.. if you aren't interested in meeting people, talking about life and adventures, learning about other cultures (especially, of course, the Philippine one), then don't come here. You would be miserable. See you again soon, Red Carabao!
Read more
Date of stay: February 2014
5.0 of 5 bubblesValue
5.0 of 5 bubblesCleanliness
4.0 of 5 bubblesService
Trip type: Traveled solo
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.
Anubha S wrote a review Mar 2014
New Delhi, India
5.0 of 5 bubbles
This hostel should be renamed "Hotel California" because you can check in any time but you just cant leave because it is the best frickin hostel ever, Initially i came for 1 night but landed up staying for 4 nights as this place is so amazing. Special mention to Aldrich who takes extra effort to make all hostelers feel at home and interact with each other . Great place, beds , location . Made great friends there .If you are a backpacker in Manilla, specially alone, look for no other place.Great farmers market and local eateries nearby.
Read more
Date of stay: November 2013
5.0 of 5 bubblesValue
5.0 of 5 bubblesRooms
5.0 of 5 bubblesLocation
5.0 of 5 bubblesCleanliness
5.0 of 5 bubblesService
5.0 of 5 bubblesSleep Quality
Trip type: Traveled solo
Room Tip: Every room is great
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.
Jennifer b wrote a review Mar 2014
Houston, Texas
5.0 of 5 bubbles
i won dis here trip to manila at a tobacco spittin contest back home in texas. now i aint never been outta texas befo cus i dont like goin places i cant bring my shotgun and i sure as hell aint never herd a no place called philopenes befo. i think its down by mexico or something and i cant talk no mexican but the lady at the spittin contest said they speak english, so i said well shoot fire i been needin a vacation from momma and billy bob cus dey been givin me hell about my drinkin problem lately. i aint never stayed in no hostel befo either, i aint never even herd of em so when i got here and dey told me i had to sleep in a bunk bed with utter people i almost messed myself. i cant have nobody seein me in my long johns except momma and billy bob. but lucky for me dey was all girls so it was fine. the mexican boy that runs the place has a funny haircut, sometimes i see people at walmart gettin haircuts like that but momma said she cuts my hair just fine. hes a nice boy though and can tell you lots of things to do. the hostels a lot bigger and nicer than mommas double wide at home and it dont smell like smoke so i liked it. deres maids and stuff to do yur dishes and laundry and dey kept the place real clean which i thought was nice. its hotter dan a hoochie coochie down dere so the cold showers didnt bother me, its jus like takin a dip in the waterin hole back home. the people dere were real nice too, a lot of em talked funny and were from places i aint never heard of though. if i ever win a tobacco spittin contest again i hope dey send me back here.
Read more
Date of stay: March 2014
5.0 of 5 bubblesValue
5.0 of 5 bubblesRooms
4.0 of 5 bubblesLocation
4.0 of 5 bubblesCleanliness
5.0 of 5 bubblesService
5.0 of 5 bubblesSleep Quality
Trip type: Traveled solo
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.
TomCHTom wrote a review Jan 2014
Zermatt, Switzerland
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Very nice hostel, more an extended homely homestay than an anonymous hostel. It is situated in a private house right next to the entrance of the Chinese cemetery. Very comfortable atmosphere due to the cosy furnishing and family feeling. Aldrich, the hostel's young manager, usually takes guests out for a pub crawl or a street picnic with the local neighbours. This hostel is set in a truly authentic neighbourhood far away from the tourist mess in downtown Manila. People here are friendly and do not want to rip you off, not even taxi drivers. I have stayed here altogether 4 times and come back here, whenever I happen to pass through Manila.
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Review collected in partnership with this hotel
Date of stay: November 2013
5.0 of 5 bubblesValue
5.0 of 5 bubblesRooms
4.0 of 5 bubblesLocation
4.0 of 5 bubblesCleanliness
5.0 of 5 bubblesService
5.0 of 5 bubblesSleep Quality
Trip type: Traveled solo
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.
ilyac wrote a review Dec 2013
beijing
3.0 of 5 bubbles
My wife and I stayed in Red Carabao for 5 nights in the beginning of December, we are a young couple in our early 30s and Manila was our first stop in a 3 month journey of south-east Asia.

What I liked about the place -
- It is personal - our names were on the board when we arrived :)
- It is local - you won't see any other tourists in the area
- The hostel had many good recommendations and many activities were organized for the guests
- Good value for money

What I didn't like about the place -
- the LOCATION! due to crazy traffic problems in Manila I would stay in the center or closer to the center next time I am in Manila. Though conveniently located next to a subway stop - we went at least 6 times by subway, not in rush-hour(!!) and we could hardly squeeze in every time.
- Cleanliness and order - we order a twin room for 3 nights and a double for another two - the first room ended up being a 4 bed dorm, and the double had a very dirty bathroom with smell of pee
- Service - not consistent and not very friendly. As independent travelers we were less interested in organized activities and unfortunately in all other aspects of service the hostel is still lacking. The only receptionist is the manager, so when he is away there was no one to help out. We also got wrong information about a vintage market, and when we mentioned that to the manager he didn't seemed to be bothered. Breakfast that is provided for free was inconsistent, and I personally would prefer to pay for breakfast but have more than an egg and a piece of toast - there are also no places to eat breakfast in the area.

Suitable for: younger travelers looking for company
Read more
Date of stay: December 2013
4.0 of 5 bubblesValue
3.0 of 5 bubblesRooms
2.0 of 5 bubblesLocation
3.0 of 5 bubblesCleanliness
2.0 of 5 bubblesService
4.0 of 5 bubblesSleep Quality
Trip type: Traveled as a couple
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.
MiiFinland wrote a review Feb 2011
Finland
5.0 of 5 bubbles
I stayed in the three bed dorm. The place is really nice, clean and friendly. The kitchen is a big plus and free breakfast (even if just bread and coffee) is always welcome. Free use of internet isn't that common in the Philippines so I was surprised that they offered it. I'd recommend Red Carabao to anyone going to Manila.
Read more
Date of stay: February 2011
5.0 of 5 bubblesValue
5.0 of 5 bubblesRooms
3.0 of 5 bubblesLocation
5.0 of 5 bubblesCleanliness
5.0 of 5 bubblesService
5.0 of 5 bubblesSleep Quality
Trip type: Traveled solo
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.
Answer from Najoie
Paris, France33 contributions6 helpful votes
You can contact them by mail redcarabao at gmail Dut com or by the Facebook page easily ;-)
People I wrote a tip Jun 2016
3 contributions1 helpful vote
5.0 of 5 bubbles
"go to the top floor ;)"
Read full review
Wero D wrote a tip Jun 2016
9 contributions2 helpful votes
5.0 of 5 bubbles
"The dorm room on the third floor is the best for me as a solo traveler. For couples, the double bed!"
Read full review
Kiké wrote a tip Apr 2016
Puebla, México39 contributions43 helpful votes
2.0 of 5 bubbles
"stay in the lower levels, less stairs to climb"
Read full review
Anubha S wrote a tip Mar 2014
New Delhi, India23 contributions29 helpful votes
5.0 of 5 bubbles
"Every room is great"
Read full review
David_Walt0n wrote a tip Sep 2013
London, United Kingdom1 contribution
5.0 of 5 bubbles
"Dorm of course!"
Read full review
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LOCATION
PhilippinesLuzonMetro ManilaManilaChinatown
NUMBER OF ROOMS
23
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RED CARABAO MANILA HOSTEL & TOURS - Reviews (Philippines) - Tripadvisor

Frequently Asked Questions about Red Carabao Manila Hostel & Tours
Which popular attractions are close to Red Carabao Manila Hostel & Tours?
Nearby attractions include Quiapo Church (1.2 km), San Sebastian Church (1.2 km), and Santa Cruz Church (1.2 km).
What are some of the property amenities at Red Carabao Manila Hostel & Tours?
Some of the more popular amenities offered include free wifi, a lounge, and laundry service.
Which room amenities are available at Red Carabao Manila Hostel & Tours?
Top room amenities include a kitchenette, a minibar, and air conditioning.
What food & drink options are available at Red Carabao Manila Hostel & Tours?
Guests can enjoy a lounge during their stay.
What are some restaurants close to Red Carabao Manila Hostel & Tours?
Conveniently located restaurants include Boulangerie22 - SM San Lazaro, Ramon Lee's Panciteria, and Tasty Dumplings.
Are there any historical sites close to Red Carabao Manila Hostel & Tours?
Many travellers enjoy visiting Fort Santiago (2.2 km), Casa Manila (2.4 km), and Binondo (1.6 km).
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