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“smallest pillow in the world...” 2 of 5 bubbles
Review of North Zen Basic Spaces

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North Zen Basic Spaces
Ranked #4 of 124 Davao City B&B and Inns
Manila, Philippines
Level Contributor
58 reviews
15 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 56 helpful votes
“smallest pillow in the world...”
2 of 5 bubbles Reviewed July 4, 2012

I stayed here for a night only. Unfortunately, I did not enjoy my stay here at all.

The room cost us Php1,200.00 per night (two beds) which is not bad (cheap actually). However, it was not value for money. The bed was smaller than the usual single hotel bed, hardly any room to stretch. The pillow was the biggest disappointment of all since there was only one, and the size of it... well, it was the probably the smallest pillow in the world as it was half the size of a normal pillow. Since a pillow is my best friend when sleeping, I woke up with body aches and a headache.

The room was very clean though, as the hotel is new. It was tiny, but to be fair, it was clean. The room was equipped with BIG cabinets, which is definitely a plus. The bathroom was also very clean and... well-planned? The room swings in to the bathroom and there's only literally a half-inch space between the door when swung and the toilet seat! No toiletries included... you need to buy shampoo at the front desk.

There's no writing table or a chair in the room so don't expect to get any work done, unless you plan to work in bed.

The light bulb in the bathroom was not working and at 6am, I called front service to have it fixed. They told me that the maintenance people were coming at 8am... and I was like, do you expect me to shower in the dark? Weird for a hotel to not have 24-hour housekeeping service. Good thing they thought to have their security guard change the bulb.

Seriously, this is way too basic for me. This made me resolve not to save on accommodations when traveling. What I saved from the cheap room rate, I will need to spend on a massage.

And no, this is not located at the heart of the city. So don't expect walking to a mall. You will need to take cabs to go anywhere.

Room Tip: If you don't want to indulge in involuntary exercise sessions to get to your room, request for a...
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  • Stayed June 2012, traveled with friends
    • 2 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 2 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 2 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
2 Thank Naty833
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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67 reviews from our community

Traveler rating
    10
    32
    20
    4
    1
See reviews for
13
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6
Rating summary
  • Sleep Quality
    4 of 5 bubbles
  • Location
    3.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Rooms
    3.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Service
    3.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Value
    4 of 5 bubbles
  • Cleanliness
    4 of 5 bubbles
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (15)
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • Italian first
  • Japanese first
  • Any
English first
Manila, Philippines
Level Contributor
22 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 10 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed June 17, 2012

PROS: simple but well-designed , efficient a/c and heater, the rooms are clean and well maintained, courteous staff, quiet surroundings, good value for money, with a small restaurant at the ground floor

CONS: it's still a cab ride away from Gaisano Mall. it is not within walking distance from fastfood restaurants and activity centers; the rooms/bathrooms are small and some guest rooms have no windows; wifi is quite slow

  • Stayed June 2012, traveled solo
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
1 Thank Clandestinymph
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
1 review
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed June 6, 2012

True to its name and price, it's really a very basic hotel - with standard brands of shampoo, toothpaste, soap, foam mattress, stand alone airconditioning. But odd as it may sound, it is the simplicity of the hotel that would really win the approval any visitor. The building is new and has a zen architecture - lots of open spaces; natural light; and minimalist furniture. Even the operations part of the hotel is zen-like - not overstaffed, simple check-in/out procedures, recycling, etc etc. Everything is just so oh efficient with the hotel that you would feel guilty of asking for anything more than the usual.

Location is not so bad. A convenience store is just two streets away; famous local food chains (e.g., Penong's, Dimsum Diner, Gino's Burger) as well as McDo and the likes are within walking distance. A taxi ride going to SM costs around P100; P60 to Abreeza; P110 to wharf going to Pearl Farm. No problem with the general security of the area.

Would definitely go back to North Zen even if I can afford to stay in Marco Polo the next time I visit Davao. North Zen reminded me that comfort need not be wasteful, expensive and grand.


  • Stayed June 2012
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
Thank JDAtanacio
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Washington DC, District of Columbia
Level Contributor
1,031 reviews
37 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 572 helpful votes
3 of 5 bubbles Reviewed June 4, 2012

I moved to this hotel after staying one night at a hotel located in downtown area of Davao City. I was ready to tell the taxi driver to drive me back to my former hotel, but changed my mind since I already prepaid my 3 nights stay at this hotel.

Good points: Hotel is newer. Staff are friendly and helpful. I was able to get information about getting driver/car for my city tours. Cheap nightly rate - I only paid about US $ 17.00 per night.

Bad points: Hotel is far from tourist areas. It is surrounded by private homes and some commercial establishments. There are only 1-3 restaurants near by. False advertising about its being located at the city center.

Room Tip: Be aware that the hotel is located away from the city center of Davao City.This is a new hotel and s...
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  • Stayed May 2012, traveled solo
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 2 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
1 Thank LolaGo1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
2 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed May 24, 2012

My friend and I stayed at North Zen Hotel for a night and it was a pleasant experience. The room is a little small but clean and well ventilated. The hotel is new so the aircon, tv, toilet, lights and shower were working perfectly. We had a good night sleep. Check in and check out was fast and the staff were very friendly and accommodating. Would definitely recommend to friends and other budget travelers.

  • Stayed November 2011, traveled with friends
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
Thank Kooneekoo
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Vienna, Austria
Level Contributor
22 reviews
16 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 26 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed February 17, 2012

For budget-minded travelers, North Zen is not a bad option at all. It’s probably one of the best-value accommodations I have stayed in during my months of travel around the Philippines. Mind you, it’s a basic place, and I guess the fact that it’s pretty new, without yet having suffered any significant wear and tear, contributes much to the quality of your stay. I spent 5 nights in a single room which was small but adequate. There’s a LCD TV with a good selection of channels, as well as fast and reliable WIFI. The bed is rather small but okay, even for a tall person like me. It comes with a cheap foam mattress which I first expected to be problem for getting a good night’s sleep, but I actually slept well every night. Everything was clean and well taken care of. All of the staff was courteous and always smiling and helpful. While North Zen is located in central Davao, I did wish it to be a bit closer to People’s Park and its environs. There’s a little massage shop next door which is just okay, but I cannot really recommend. (Better take a taxi to Holiday Spa, the quality of the massages is much better there). Exiting the hotel to the right and turning right again at the next corner onto Lapu Lapu Street there is a really good Filipino-Chinese restaurant on the opposite side of the road, less than a minute’s walk away from North Zen. Great Pork Asado and Egg Tarts there! All in all, considering that I only spent 650PhP per night for my room, I was really happy with my stay.

  • Stayed February 2012, traveled solo
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
Thank Lucas K
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Manila, Philippines
Level Contributor
24 reviews
4 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 25 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed January 10, 2012

I don't know if I got a promo rate or it was their regular rate but I really believe that paying 700 pesos per night is absolutely a great deal. Their location is less than 30 minutes from the Davao International Airport. My room, which was a single standard room, was quite spacious. It has a neatly done bed, not as comfy though as those that can be found from 5-star hotels, but they're good enough for a solo traveler who is working on a very tight budget. The room also includes a big cabinet where you can place all your stuff, a flat screen TV and an incredibly spacious bathroom. Security shouldn't be an issue here. They have a 24-hour security and a CCTV. The tenants are not shabby. Some of the tenants are travelers and others I think are students maybe from a nearby university which is Ateneo De Davao. The North Zen's location is very strategic because somehow it is located at the epicenter of all the tourist spots and malls. SM Davao is just 15 minutes away. They also have a mini-spa within their building so you can just call the receptionist from your room to send over a therapist to your room if you might need one.

The problem that I've had with them is finding a way to get in touch with them. A blog mentioned about this Bed and Bath so I tried searching some more information online but they don't have their own website and finally I found that they have a facebook account. Now that is a problem for somebody like me who doesn't have a facebook account. Thankfully they have an email address on their info page. I emailed them and they responded quickly. Asked them several questions through email and I got all the answers that I needed. Because of their fast response and their honesty I decided to book with them. It was a decision that I would never regret. Jeffrey the receptionist, I don't know if remember his name correctly, was very courteous and friendly.

I recommend this to all solo travelers, budget travelers, and those who intend to stay in Davao for more than 5 days. Have fun!

Room Tip: Ask for a room with a window, I think some of the rooms may not have one.
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  • Stayed December 2011, traveled solo
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
3 Thank stableunstable
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about North Zen Basic Spaces

Property: North Zen Basic Spaces
Address: Sobrecary Street, Corner Lapu-Lapu Street, Davao City, Mindanao 8000, Philippines
Location: Philippines > Mindanao > Davao del Sur Province > Davao City
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Restaurant Room Service Spa
Hotel Style:
Ranked #4 of 124 B&Bs / Inns in Davao City
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $
Hotel Class:2.5 star — North Zen Basic Spaces 2.5*
Number of rooms: 44
Reservation Options:
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Also Known As:
North Zen Basic Spaces Davao/Davao City

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