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Enjoy gaming-themed staycations in this former board game cafe in Maginhawa

By Kara Santos Published Apr 22, 2022 1:03 pm Updated Nov 02, 2022 7:43 am

Looking for a fun and cozy pad for your gaming nights with relatives or long-awaited hangout sessions with friends? SaLaro along Maginhawa Street in Quezon City provides a fun-filled private venue for one-of-a-kind experiences and celebrations.

The board game cafe—formerly known as Snacks & Ladders—has converted its space into a themed private venue perfect for overnight stays and events. 


Guests who book SaLaro Maginhawa can enjoy private use of the 80 sqm. space with access to more than 200 board games, a PlayStation 4 console and fun multiplayer games, a video game area with a sofa bed, massage chair, Netflix, and other fun amenities for their private use for overnight or day stays. 

In an interview with PhilSTARL!fe, Louie and Leiny Lao, the proprietors for SaLaro and Snacks & Ladders shared that like most restaurants, they had to close down their dine-in space because of the pandemic.

During that difficult time, they experimented with different strategies to keep the business afloat, including food deliveries, offering board game rentals, and hosting online game events.

When the government announced gradual easing of restrictions, they opened a dine-in space again, but many people were still afraid to dine out. 

"My wife, who is fond of traveling and discovering new places to stay at, suggested the idea of making the space convertible: from a restaurant to a staycation space,” shared Louie.

“This way, people can enjoy the amenities of our place for longer hours and they would be safer since the place will be private for their group,” he said.

“We just tried it out by putting beds in the adjacent rooms and listing the place on Airbnb. We were surprised when people reserved and when we received good feedback from the guests! We're really blessed for this new business model to work," said Louie.

Popular board games in their gaming library include Avalon, Taboo, Codenames, Telestrations, Exploding Kittens, Uno, and more.

They also have more complex tabletop games like Pandemic, Ticket to Ride, Scythe, 7 Wonders, Lords of Waterdeep, giving a wide option to casual gamers and the hardcore gamers. The complete list of board games available can be viewed here. 

For the PlayStation games, they offer multiple controllers for multiplayer games including Overcooked, NBA 2k21, Tekken, Bomberman, and more.

"The PlayStation 4 can be used by all the guests that book with us. Like the board games, we try to make sure the games that we have for PS4 are for multiple players. We don't have any of the single player games since we want our guests to play and have fun with each other," the Lao couple added.

The venue also comes with karaoke, a projector and screen, convertible gaming tables, and a kitchenette to prepare gaming snacks and popcorn for movie nights. Guests can bring their own food or order food from the restaurant during their stay.

The staycation option is ideal for family reunions, barkada hangout sessions, and intimate kid-friendly parties for those who don’t want to travel far or leave the metro.

With its cool interiors and props, SaLaro Maginhawa has become a popular venue for geek-themed pre-nup pictorials, bridal showers, bachelor parties, and product shoots and more.

The space also has a chill al fresco area with a bar table, small dining area, and giant Snakes & Ladders replica for fun photo ops. The AirBnb property comes with a couple of rooms, with a 10-person sleeping capacity in two bedrooms, with two bathrooms to boot. 

"Most of our guests are millenial group friends but there are also families who celebrate their mini occasions at our place," shared the proprietors.

A second location of SaLaro, which can accommodate more people, is also in the works.

"Our second location is very close to the first one and it will be bigger! It will be two floors and can accommodate more people, around 16 to 20 persons. It will also have more amenities, such as board games, air hockey, table tennis, billiards, etc. We really hope that people will like this new branch as much as they liked the first one! We've done a lot of planning for this one to ensure that guests will really enjoy their time at this new place," they said.

The rates range from weekdays and weekends, and for overnight or day stays, and the number of guests.

Day use rates (3:00 p.m. to 12:00 midnight) will cost groups P5,000 for up to 15 persons on weekdays, and P6,000 for up to 15 persons on weekends.

Overnight stays (from 3:00 p.m. to 12:00 noon the next day) costs P5,500 per night for six persons, plus P400 per person after six persons from Monday to Thursday; and P6,500 per night for six persons, plus P450 per person after six persons. Additional rates of P100 per person for day guests who stay until 10:00 p.m. will apply.

Interested parties can book their stays at SaLaro Maginhawa via Airbnb or their Facebook page