Go artsy at this new hotel in Makati

Go artsy at this new hotel in Makati

Colorful walls, delicious food, and free premium Filipino coffee—all in one convenient Poblacion hotel.

U Hotels on the tailend of Burgos Street in Poblacion is quiet on the outside, but it will take your breath away once you step inside. It’s all of 62 rooms adorned with murals made by local artists. The lobby alone is a work of art, with “Hello” splayed on the beam in different languages. Greens and browns set the mood.

The Lobby Lounge of U Hotels Makati. Refreshing, minimalist, and with little creative and eco touches. Photo from U Hotels Makati.
If this isn’t a boutique art hotel, we don’t know what is. Photo from U Hotels Makati.

Most people might not consider it a boutique hotel, but its 62 rooms adorned with murals made by local artists beg to differ. The location is almost central to where you’d want to stay in Poblacion, with everything is not more than a 10-minute walk away.


There’s one word to describe my room: simple but given life by murals. It checks the basics—a great bed, a place for your stuff, TV, coffee making facility, an arm chair, and a mini-fridge.

But there’s more to it qualifying as artsy than the murals, say, the wooden headboard with short messages on it.

With the room having the basics covered, it really lets you enjoy the little things. Photo by Andrew Del Rosario


They serve comfort food at The Lobby Lounge that’s familiar to Filipinos, like their smash hit beef pares (the beef is good enough for two to three people based on “classic” pares servings) and what they like to call Just Noodles, inspired by a Taiwanese dry noodle dish that you’d find on the streets of Taipei.

They call it Just Noodles, but it’s definitely not just noodles. Photo by Andrew Del Rosario

Just Noodles is a dry noodle dish that may seem like a hodgepodge of what you’ll find in a kitchen but is surprisingly good: medium thick egg noodles with minced beef, peanuts, and what we’re calling a Filipino-style sunny side-up egg (crispy sides that are on the edge of getting burnt).

That’s a big bowl of beef pares, arguably the most requested thing on the menu. Photo by Andrew Del Rosario

Drinks at The Lobby Lounge include sodas, lemon-infused water, tea (viand changes every day), and their trademark premium roast Filipino coffee barako, the local Liberica, served free to every hotel guest.


Visit the oldest church in Makati, the Sts. Peter and Paul Parish; go on a food or pub crawl;  swing by Circuit Makati and while the time away in the skatepark or football pitch; or trek to the Ayala Triangle Gardens for a quick run. If you feel the itch to draw or paint, take an art class offered daily at the hotel at 4pm.

Show your room card to some of their partner establishments in Poblacion and get a discount.

Verdict: 8/10

The basics
Rooms start at Php6,000 (USD30) per night without breakfast
5091 P Burgos Street, Makati City
Tel: +632 820 1000 to 02

Words: Andrew Del Rosario

Comfy meets artsy in Poblacion, Makati

Comfy meets artsy in Poblacion, Makati

Drink and try every concept bar you may have heard of in Poblacion, Makati City’s budding “it” place,” because at the end of a long night of partying, there’s a place in the hood you can have a restful sleep in: Element Boutique Hotel. Next day, the hotel’s intriguing artworks in every nook will sober you up.

The warm French bistro at the ground floor is made more interesting with art pieces here and there

In a neighborhood that is becoming a home for all things artsy, hipster, cool, and cosmopolitan, Element Boutique Hotel on Guerrego Street in Poblacion, Makati is like a calm haven that lets you breathe after a night of riotous fun.

Fyre away

Fyre away

Music for everyone and the best baked mussels in town

The open air resto-bar-turned roofdeck has a casual vibe to it

In the character-laden village of Poblacion in Makati, where the swanky, gritty and the artsy collide, springs yet another resto-bar alluring to the middle-class Filipino crowd.

Fyre, which opened in December 2017, sits on an open-air roofdeck of a building on the corner of P. Burgos and Guerrero Streets. It’s no frill—wooden tables, benches and stools fenced in by planters, strings of lights hovering above, views of the immediate Poblacion vicinity and lit buildings of Rockwell Center in the distance. But don’t be fooled because it transforms into a legit party place as the night sets in.

If you come at 7pm you’ll spot guests having early dinner and drinks; the lights are brighter; the music, quieter. All these change by the hour.

On music, nobody’s left out. From 90s R&B to the most up to date tunes—the dj has got it covered.

There’s no scrimping on crew at Fyre and we appreciate its after effects—fast and efficient service.


The basked mussels are a must try. They’re grilled to perfection, seasoned just right

Mostly bar chows. The star attraction is the Fyre Roasted Pork belly, which was not what we had on our first visit. Instead we ordered bar chows we thought would go well with our drink of choice: ice cold beer. We had Chili Cheese Kropek, your typical crackling except that it’s coated in cheese powder and served along with pickled onion, black vinegar and chili on the side. We also ordered the TBT—tofu skin, bangus (milkfish) belly and tofu. Upon our request, the chef prepared it with no bangus but more tofu. It came out nice and light—fried-to-perfection on a bed of special sauce and sprinkled with chopped onions, tomatoes and herbs. I fell in love with the baked mussels—seasoned and baked just right—and the tasty chicken wings, which I thought could go well with steamed rice.


Local and imported beer, cocktails, hard drinks.

The basics
About Php400 (USD8) per person. Facebook.com/fyrerooftoploungeph

If you plan to go on a Friday or a Saturday night, reserve a table at least a week in advance

Dr. Wine Manila: There’s a doctor you’d like to see

Dr. Wine Manila: There’s a doctor you’d like to see

Escape into this handsome bar in Poblacion, Makati where wine is the star and the vibe takes you to Europe

Rustic perfect. We need not say more

If you’ve never been to a European wine bar, you don’t need to travel far as sommelier Vincent Landais brings the same warmth and nostalgia into Dr. Wine Manila, a handsomely designed wine bar with rustic appeal, which soft opened in trendy Poblacion, Makati in July 2017.

Though unassuming from the outside, Dr. Wine makes a strong statement inside—deep, dark, wood panels repurposed from a centuries-old ancestral home in Pampanga, dim lights, and olive and ochre chairs, which beautifully complement the tints of the wine bottles on the shelves. One side of the bar features a wall lined with hundreds of empty wine bottles—an intriguing centerpiece.


At Dr. Wine, ask for the perfect red or white to go with this smorgasbord of cheeses, cold cuts and sausages and you will be answered

The trio Provencal spread appetizer—chickpenade, tomatenade and polvronade— tomatoes and sweet, roasted bell peppers—is delicious with the crisp, homemade bread. The doctor’s Platter of Cheese and Cold Cuts, an impressive plate of French cornichon, rustic pate, assorted cheeses, and the incredibly memorable organic Maple Syrup Chicken Liver Mousse, and homemade sausages are stellar.


Dr. Wine elevates the wine drinking experience for both connoisseurs and casual drinkers

Dr. Wine removes the snobbery of wine drinking by welcoming both connoisseurs with more refined palates and casual drinkers. Its staff—if not the wine doctor himself—will happily recommend wines. The 2012 Bordeaux Supérieur Château Cap de Fer went well with our food. In stock are wines from Emilio Moro (Spanish), Elian Da Ros (Southwest France), selections from Bernard Baudry (French), and picks from Landais’ travels.

The basics

About Php800 (USD16) per person. Visit Dr. Wine Manila.

Story by Kristel Lagorza; photos by Daniel Soriano

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