The Sphere Serviced Residences

The comforts of home in the middle of Makati

Space is at a premium in Makati, a financial center with a daytime population that, by the local government’s estimate, balloons to five million on work days. In this tony neighborhood, long the most expensive Philippine city before Taguig entered the ring, there are still surprisingly affordable places — larger than a shoebox — to stay in if you know where to look.

Occupying the 21st to 26th floors of The Stratosphere Building in Salcedo Village is The Sphere Serviced Residences, where the industrial-chic rooms have enough floor space for a cartwheel, if a guest is so moved. “It feels more like an apartment and a home rather than a hotel room,” said Alec Yatco, The Sphere’s operations manager.

The generous area is mainly due to a kitchenette, which can be found in each of The Sphere’s 120 rooms, which come in 25- to 32-square-meter studios (choice of either a single queen bed or two single beds) or 45- to 56-square-meter one-bedroom suites. The adjoining room option, ideal for families, consists of a studio connected to a one-bedroom suite, for a total area of 70 to 88 square meters.

As you would in your own home, you have the option to heat up leftovers up in a microwave, repurpose them into a new dish on a glass-top stove, or stick them into a refrigerator and save them for late-night munchies. The kitchenette is what separates The Sphere from a hotel. But like a hotel, The Sphere has housekeeping service on a daily basis, housekeeping amenities — yes, your shower is forever stocked with shampoo and shower gel — and room service.

Other amenities include a gym, reconfigurable function rooms, and a covered pool with a view of neighboring skyscrapers. By April, a bar should be operational in the pool area.

“The longer you stay, the better we can give you a price for your own needs. It’s really because you’re looking for a home rather than a temporary place to just sleep in,” said Mr. Yatco, who brings his knowledge of luxury service to The Sphere owing to several years of professional experience in a high-end Manhattan hotel.

Owned by Six Stratos and managed by Hospitality Innovators, Inc., The Sphere is banking on its convenient location on Valero Street to attract business travelers. “Being that we’re in the middle of Makati in Salcedo, the most obvious clientele would be the corporate market. You want to get people who need to stay near all the business areas here in Makati. That would be the main one,” said Mr. Yatco. “But of course, we can get people who are looking for staycations and the weekends. These are the locals.”

On the first floor, one will find Starbucks and Little Flour Cafe (the latter, managed by Wildflour, is a graffiti-laden brunch place that also handles The Sphere’s room service); across the street, a convenience store and several local restaurants; stray farther and you will find Makati’s malls — Greenbelt, Glorietta. In need of a bit of nature? Ayala Triangle Park is right there. A night out? Poblacion is nearby.

“Since we’ve opened, all our guests have been saying that the best thing about this place is location, location, location. That is what we take pride in. It’s a very accessible area. You are in the middle of Salcedo, which is right across Ayala Avenue and Makati Avenue. You’re within reach of these but you do have a secluded area where it’s a bit quiet,” said Mr. Yatco.  “You have all these accessible places where you can do all these kinds of activities, which is why our tagline is actually ‘The Sphere, where everything revolves around you.’” — SLM