Where to Live in Manila as a Single Guy? | Gramercy Residences
It took me a while to stay at The Gramercy Residences because I’d heard some bad things about the staff being less friendly towards short term stays. One reader on this blog said he was ‘treated like a criminal’ for renting daily on AirBnB, and on forums I’d read about people not even being able to get into the building.
It also requires sending a passport scan of your ID to the AirBnB host so an access card with your photo on can be made for you. So on other trips it was easier to just stay at Knightsbridge which is also really nice, one minute up the road, and slightly cheaper.
I’m happy to report I didn’t have any problems though, the staff must have gotten better now. My host met me downstairs to give me my access card and after that I was never stopped by security or asked any questions, even walking in with girls late at night.
During the day I used Gramercy’s exclusive walkway into Century City mall via the 2nd floor, which has no guards. So you can have girls meet you at Century and get them into the building that way, as long as the mall’s still open. No walk of shame past reception with your 5th Filipino Cupid date that week.
I now prefer Gramercy to Knightsbridge because of that, plus the gym/pool are nicer and open 24/7 (update: now closed midnight to 6am 🙁 )
The first AirBnb room I stayed at was $60/night with pretty nice furnishings, there are some cheaper ones for around $40 too.
A friend renting long term at Gramercy pays 36k/month for a studio which is a big larger and nicer than what might go for ~25k at Knightsbridge. Rates vary a lot depending on how nice it’s furnished, the floor it’s on, studio or one/two bedrooms, etc. Here’s a link to search Philippines Craigslist for prices.
Rooms come with A/C, fridge, hot water shower, some have stove / extractor fan, microwave, etc.
Most rooms have quite a large balcony. The air con unit sticks out into it though.
Gramercy is walking distance to Burgos Street, I could see it from the balcony of the first room I stayed in (12th floor). The yellow building centre-right in the pic above is where Burgos starts.
There’s a supermarket (market place) right outside, as well as Avenue mall, Century mall, a bunch of indoor and outdoor restaurants that are open late, and car park.
The next room I tried was on a higher floor.
Unlike Knightsbridge, Gramercy has a proper power rack and olympic barbell instead of just a curl bar and smith machine. The gym is several times the size with more cardio machines, more benches, and more weight plates (275 lb in total), dip bars, pull up bars.
Dumbbells go up to 25kg. Knightsbridge has more free weights but Gramercy gym is usually pretty empty.
Some cute chicks around too. There’s way more cardio machines than Knightsbridge and the views are nicer.
It also has a separate Zumba / yoga room. The entire gym is open 24/7 like the pool.
There are 3 pools next to each other on the 36th floor with lots of sun loungers and comfortable seating. There’s one shallow pool for kids:
Then there’s a bit deeper one for doing laps, I got asked to get out of this one for cuddling a girl in there, and told to go into the other pool.
The deep one (up to my neck and I’m 5 foot 11) is in the middle.
There’s also some sun loungers on a balcony area overlooking the city.
The swimming pools are open 24/7. The staff are a little bit picky about wearing proper attire when you’re walking around near the pool, they came up to me and told the girl I was with to put a t shirt on when we were walking around taking pics.
In total Gramercy has 71 floors and on top is a sky bar, although at the time I was there it was under renovations. They said it reopens September 2016. It’s been closed for many months, classic ‘Filipino time’.
There’s a spa with deep tissue hot stone massages and body scrubs, rates start at around 500/hr.
More pics on their Facebook, Spa Ultima.
One thing Gramercy could use though is a games room with some pool tables and football tables, like Knightsbridge has.
Remember #protip use this entrance into and out of Gramercy on the second floor, which connects to Century mall via an unguarded walkway. The malls open til 10pm Fri – Sat and 9pm Sun – Thu.
If you Google site:airbnb.com Gramercy Makati it’ll display all the listings, if you’re new to the site grab $35 free on AirBnb here. Daily rates are around $39 – $60 compared to around $31 – $55 for Knightsbridge.
Best Place to Live in Manila as a Single Guy?
I haven’t tried some of the baller apartments in the BGC area yet but I’m leaning towards thinking Gramercy Residences is the best condo in Manila for single guys who like a mixture of P4P and dating sites.
For P4P it’s minutes away from P. Burgos and a bunch of spots where freelancers hang out (many of the streets outside Gramercy, and Greenbelt 3 where Cafe Havana is).
For dates it’s easy to give girls directions to Century mall, get some food there then mention you know a place to hangout upstairs with a nice view overlooking the city. Makati is a safe area too.
Alternatively you could live in the Pasay area by the sea and the Mall of Asia, closer to the EDSA bars.
Click here for the Google maps location. Gramercy Residences is 300m to Burgos, 1km to Ayala Triangle Park (where hot chicks go jogging) and 1.6km to Greenbelt mall.