We've tried various modestly-priced hotels in Makati and Ermita. On this trip we decided to stay in Binondo, Manila's "Chinatown". After research, we chose the Peace Hotel on Soler Street. Our smallish "standard" room had a double bed, a quiet and effective air conditioner and a surprising number of deluxe features; nice bedding, newish, stylish furnishings, an electronic safe, a small refrigerator and a marble bathroom. There was one small window opening into a common air shaft in the middle of the hotel. At first we were put off by this, but later came to appreciate the fact that our room was very quiet in noisy Manila. Larger rooms with windows and balconies facing the street are available. Our room was very clean. In fact the entire operation of the hotel is fastidious. Security seems excellent. Rooms are located on floors four and five only. The lobby is up a stairs on on the second floor. There is an elevator which starts in the lobby, so the hotel is probably not a good pick for the infirm. Our room was P1,400 per night. More upscale rooms were priced from P2,000 to P2,400. We looked at a room with a separate sitting room and a balcony and decided that it really was not worth the extra money.
A good percentage of hotel customers appear to be from China or "Chinoys" from other parts of the Philippines, probably in Binondo to do business. At least some staff members speak Mandarin and probably Cantonese. All hotel signs and notices are in English and Chinese. The hotel is an excellent choice of such visitors, but somewhat less so for other tourists. The hotel's location is a couple of long blocks aways from the restaurants of the Binondo Chinatown tourist area around Ongpin Street. It further yet from the big shopping emporiums such as the 999 and 168 malls. While Binondo is gentrifying, and lots of fun to explore during the day, it still is, in our opinion, unsafe after dark.
In short, we think the Peace Hotel is the best budget hotel we've seen in Manila. There are budget hotels closer to Ongpin Street (such as the Manila Chinatown and the First Hotel) but they are not as nice as the Peace Hotel. So, for the business traveller to Binondo looking for economical accommodations the Peace Hotel is great. The tourist in Manila for pleasure will have to balance the fact that the Peace Hotel offers good accommodations at a bargain price, better than anything we've seen in Ermita or Makati, with the inconvenient location of the hotel. Please keep in mind that our high ratings for this hotel are relative to other Manila budget accommodations, not to the the Peninsula or Shangri-La. Note that the hotel is called Peace Lodge on Trip Advisor. The name may be Peace Lodge Hotel but the hotel seems to prefer "Peace Hotel".