“I need a place to sleep tonight, but I don’t have a reservation and I have no cash. Is that okay?”
These were the first words I blurted out when I approached the front desk of Frendz Resort with my suitcase and pride in hand. Only hours before my flight was set to take off, a Chinese ATM had swallowed up my debit card and I was traveling with $50 dollars in my wallet, a credit card, and not a cent more. Asia deals largely in cash-only so I was pretty confident that I was completely screwed; and homeless. Great start to my adventure.
Fortunately, I look incredibly pathetic when I’m crying and/or terrified so the lovely staff of Frendz took pity on me and gave me a bed in a building they “unofficially” own. Sneaky. My mom was ecstatic to hear that I wasn’t sleeping outside after I told her that they found me a room… but the weather was so perfect, I definitely could have. Lol.
The reason I love staying at hostels is simple: diversity.
There is diversity in its patrons, diversity in the staff, and diversity in the activities that are provided. At Frendz I met someone from Australia who was dating a Danish dude, British people working in China, and a Chinese American guy who spoke better Spanish than me and was working in Korea. It was a microcosm of what I hope the world will look like in 100 years; maybe even sooner.
After my first night in the “unofficial” dorm, I was eventually moved to a private room with my partner in crime for the trip. We had our own bathroom, shower, closet, and queen size bed; which was perfect because I’m a huge snuggler. (Sorry Ana) Our room was cleaned everyday and the towels and such were swapped in and out according to our leisure. I normally don’t have my towels and bed sheets swapped out during duration of my accommodation because it’s incredibly wasteful.
There are children in the Philippines without daily drinking water and somehow, I will persevere with my “vintage” towel and you will too. Please enjoy the photos.
It’s important to remember that all hostels are NOT created equal. The distinctiveness of Frendz lies in its staff and their obvious enthusiasm for their work. They were always scrambling to find everyone and anyone accommodation-even at the last second. While I was there, they organized celebratory events, dinners, and offered special drink deals every night. Those mojitos will hit you like a high-five, in the face, with chair… I had 7 of them. Whoops.
Frendz is own by my dear friend Reinhard and his wonderful wife. I had the pleasure of sitting down with Reinhard for a drink where we talked about life as an ex-pat and “what it all really means.” During all my worldly travels, I have rarely been able to sit down with a hotel/resort/hostel owner and have an honest conversation with them. Normally we just shoot the shit, talk about my blog, and move on with our lives in separate directions. This is not the case with Frendz. During my stay, Reinhard and his staff went above and beyond any expectations I had for Frendz Resort WHILE providing personable service to demographic normally forgotten by many traveling companies.
People forget that young broke backpackers are the ones who discover anything worth seeing first; and pave the way for future travelers to follow. Boracay only recently because a major tourist hotspot and Reinhard was able to grab a prime location AND open two restaurants on the island; it’s all about being in the right place at the right time.
My favorite restaurant of the two was Globy’s because it satisfied all my international food cravings at once. If you were missing Moroccan food, but your friend wanted Italian… all of these things could be achieved at the same time! To be honest, I wasn’t too crazy about Filipino food as a whole, because it violates many traditions of Paleo that I hold so dear to my heart; such as the commandments: thou shall not eat grains or sugar. EVERYTHING in the Philippines is cooked with sugar and/or served on top of a heavy portion of rice or noodles. My body nearly went into shock and my gains started to diminish! For that reason, I continued to visit Globy’s over and over again, sampling food from all over the world!… sometimes even by myself. Table for one please? Again.
Definitely try the pizza and crepes!… and don’t tell my trainer I had a pizza and crepes. Plural.
If you’re traveling alone in the Philippines, I highly suggest that you make Frendz a priority in your agenda because it’s ridiculously easy to meet people and have impromptu adventures. During my stay there, Reinhard organized a impromptu island hopping adventure, where we got to layout on a random beach and BBQ with a few of the locals. We even went hiking with some children from a local village!
Unfortunately this adventure was not planned and I wearing a maxi-dress and flip-flops. I ended up YOHIBO’ing it anyway-You Only Hike In Boracay One.
The standard rates at Frendz are pretty reasonable as well. It’s a broke traveler’s dream! The starting price normally ranges from the following (per night):
Standard 7 Bed Female Dorm- $10-$13
Standard 5 Bed Male Dorm- $10-$13
Standard 3 Bed Private Suite – $15-$17
Standard Double Bed Private – $20-$23
Deluxe Double Bed Private – $23-$25
It’s around $1 US dollar to nearly 45 Philippine Pesos so your money goes a long way! An average drink is about 100-200 pesos and you should expect day adventures/activities to be from 1000-2000 pesos.