I may be at the beginning of my tour around the world, but I still have traveled a lot in my 30 years of life. I’ve stayed in some incredible places, but believe it or not, I think the best place I may have ever stayed is a hostel in Cebu City, Philippines.
I’ve been interested in checking out a capsule hostel for several years, and when I saw Cebu had one, I knew I had to check it out. It’s called Shejoje’s Poshtel Hostel. I arrived around 11 at night after my flight from Puerto Princesa and was greeted with warm smiles, first from Sir Jason and then Ma’am Acel (more on them to come). I filled out a quick registration form, and was taken to my capsule.
If you’ve never seen or heard of this type of accommodation before, let me explain. It’s essentially a hole in the wall with a mattress. That’s the easiest way to describe it. At the very end of my capsule, there was a picture of a window overlooking Greece. In fact, I learned each capsule has a different view. And they are pretty realistic, giving you a sense there is more room in your box. Inside, you have access to your own light, fan, and electrical outlets. You can also slide a thin door to have complete privacy. I was a bit concerned about feeling claustrophobic, but this was not the case.
It was a very unique and cool experience. The mattress was a little firm for me, but I feel like that’s much of the Philippines. I hadn’t really had the perfect mattress since starting my trip. But that’s ok, it’s a hostel, and I’ve slept on worse mattresses before.
But my stay here was more than just a unique experience. After my first night, I woke up, showered, and ventured out to explore Cebu City. Being there at the end of August, it was pretty hot and humid outside. Sweat was dripping down my face as I walked back into the hostel. Ma’am Acel, the manager, was sitting at the front desk doing her work, when she looked up at me and nearly shouted, “Sir, what happened to you?”
It was that question that somehow lead to nearly hour long conversation about traveling and life in general. It was also the start of a new friendship. Ma’am Acel invited me out for Salsa dancing (not something I associated with the Philippines, but I learned she was a former ballroom champion, so why not), and a few days later, we went out to a local mall and had dinner together. She’s a beautiful woman, both inside and out with tons of personality and great insight. (Read about my adventures in Cebu here.)
While I’m not sure everyone has that type of experience, I do know that everyone there is treated way better than I’ve ever seen anyone treated at a hotel or hostel in the past. The staff aren’t acting because it’s their job, but they actually care. They want everyone to have the best experience they can have. And if someone is having a down day, they find ways to make it better. They really take the time to try to learn everyone’s story. Why they are there, what their life is like. It’s like nothing I ever experienced before. And it’s this reason, that makes it the best place I’ve ever stayed.
Since I’ve left, I have stayed in contact with Ma’am Acel, who I now refer to as Mom Acel because she texted me everyday after I left until I got to Malaysia, making sure I was ok and safe. She now checks up on me via Facebook.
Sir Jason is in his young 20’s and works around the clock, tidying things up and making sure everyone has what they need. The smile on his face is worth a million bucks. We have also stayed connected on Facebook chatting a few times a week.
If you ever stay in Cebu, I highly recommend checking this place out. You can also follow them on Facebook. Mom Acel posts little stories and profiles some of the guests who stay there, including yours truly.
5 out of 5 stars.