Sanafe Lodge & Restaurant: Your “Home” In Banaue, Ifugao
In the mystic mountains of Banaue, Ifugao, travelers from all over the world visit the famous Cordillera town to witness an ingenious ancient engineering marvel. Visitors staying in Banaue seek the cozy ambiance and comfort of a temporary abode touched by the genuine Filipino value of hospitality. No other place in Banaue can offer accommodations of being just a hotel, but even more so as a home, than Sanafe Lodge & Restaurant.
“Sanafe” is an acronym for the former Ifugao governor’s daughters Susan and Fe, and wife, Anacleta. Among the three, the well-decorated and certified hotelier, Susan Paredes, oversees operations, management, and even the interior design of Sanafe Lodge & Restaurant for more than three decades. Back then, Banaue visitors only have few less lodging alternatives for the have’s and have-not’s until Sanafe made both ends meet. Thus, opening Sanafe Lodge created traveling opportunities for local and foreign middle-class travelers and backpackers. Well-known figures like restauranteur and business tycoon Larry J. Cruz, composer Saturno Ocampo, and John Chua, an icon in the photography industry, have already indulged in Sanafe’s culinary concoctions, while some simply enjoyed the awe-inspiring view from the hotel’s famous balcony. Sanafe Lodge has been the talk of travelers in both local and international tourism scene when it comes to the hotel industry in Banaue.
Everyday is a Holiday
Bells clang when I opened the postcard-covered glass doors of Sanafe Lodge & Restaurant and with just a glimpse, I felt the welcoming feel of wood furnishings sprawling within the confines of the establishment. Stained glass windows illuminated the lodge’s front desk where owner herself, Mrs. Paredes, stood and greeted me with her warm smile. Behind her, welcoming the visitors as well, are detailed and colorful statues of saints and the Blessed Mother, which is similar to any typical Catholic Filipino home.
Instantly catching my eye was a native cloth-weaving in vibrant red gracefully suspended from a curtain rod right beside the receiving area. Setting the ambient mood was the dimly-lit lampshade resting on a corner where the sturdy wooden bench sat still under some memoirs and paintings hanging from the wall.
Accentuating Sanafe Lodge’s interior design are traditional weaving and woodcarving craftsmanship complemented with souvenirs from different corners of the planet. Mrs Paredes, a travel herself, had scoured several countries and brought home mementos that fit perfectly her own design style. Fusing local and foreign decors summed up to her completely unique approach in interior designing.
All around the world, Christmas is joyfully celebrated annually, but in Sanafe Lodge, the yuletide season is felt the rest of the year. Flickering white lights illuminated the cornice fastened on ceiling corners. Standing on colorful woven table-runners are candlesticks, shiny Christmas balls and ornaments that act as dining table centerpiece At the bar counter, Santa, in his curly blonde hair, stood wearing his signature red apparel greeting you a “Merry Christmas”. Merging the Christmas accents to the native-inspired interiors gave Sanafe Lodge a warm, inviting and definitely, a homey atmosphere.
Up the wooden staircase I went and through the narrow hall towards my room. I tiptoed on my heavy hard-toe hiking boots to avoid disturbing the tranquil atmosphere. The door opened to an appealing enclosure dominated by wood finishes from its rustic red walls to polished panel flooring. Light gleams from the big glass shutter windows to the double-sized beds wrapped in tidy white sheets and locally weaved comforters that counter the freezing temperatures of the cold Banaue night.
And who would resist waking up to an astonishing view of the terraces from the convenience of your own mini-balcony? Yes, Sanafe Lodge‘s spacious Deluxe Rooms features a mini-balcony which wafts the smell of morning dew carried by the crisp mountain breeze right into your cozy bedroom, keeping you tucked in and in dire need of exerting little more effort just to get off from bed. Waking up in the morning has never been this fresh, this good.
Sanafe Lodge & Restaurant gorgeously clings atop a ridge facing scenic mountains carved with rice terraces on its slopes. The veranda offers a perfect vantage point for a stunning panoramic view while indulging in Sanafe restaurant’s wide array of gastronomic options from eastern to western cuisine. Sip on a warm cup of native coffee while the cool mountain breeze caresses your skin. Absorb all the breath-taking magnificence nature can offer as Sanafe Lodge & Restaurant amplifies your one-of-a-kind Banaue experience.
Filipino hospitality is a world-renowned characteristic which stems from the country’s utmost regard to the idea of a “family”. Sometimes, the heartfelt bond found in the basic unit of society extends not only to family members, but to its guests as well by welcoming visitors to share the shelter, security, and safety similarly provided in the comforts of their own homes. Sanafe Lodge incorporates genuine Filipino values in their line of work making sure the guests feel the warm welcome te coziness of a home. It is a quintessential Filipino value found in most homes, but not in all hotel businesses. This is why I think Sanafe Lodge & Restaurant is more than just a transient house but a home where one can always look forward in coming back.
Now, here are some fast facts that may help you on the trip:
1. Directions. Locating Sanafe Lodge & Restaurant from Banaue’s transport terminal is easy as it stands noticeably beside the three-storey Banaue Public Market. From the terminal, walk down the staircase and head towards Banaue Public Market, then you can see Sanafe Lodge beside it.
2. Sanafe Lodge & Restaurant might get fully-booked during peak seasons. To secure or make reservations, reach them through the following contact details below.
Manila Booking Office:
3. Here are the room rates in Sanafe Lodge (PHP-USD Exchange Rate as of 3 Sept 2012):
P1,900.00 ($45.00) Deluxe Double
P1,600.00 ($39.00) – Deluxe Queen
P1,800.00 ($43.00) – Family Room (good for 7 persons)
P1,500.00 ($36.00) – Family Room (good for 5 persons)
P1,000.00 ($24.00) – Standard Double/Twin
P800.00 ($20.00) – Standard Single
P200.00 ($5.00) – Dormitory
4. Deluxe Rooms feature mini-balconies and rooms are equipped with private comfort rooms with hot & cold shower. Standard Rooms are equipped with hot & cold shower.
5. Banaue enjoys a cool weather most of the time so THERE IS NO NEED FOR AIR-CONDITIONING. OPEN YOUR WINDOWS, instead.
6.Who needs cable TV if Banaue have lots to offer? EXPLORE BANAUE.
7. Cooking and bringing of food inside the lodge is strictly prohibited.
8. Sanafe Lodge is equipped with WIFI connection.
9. When traveling around Banaue, it would be best to get a guide. Sanafe Lodge & Retaurant has a handful of carefully-picked guides who know the destinations like the back of their hands. They will provide you with plenty of information regarding the cultural and historical facts of the places you want to visit, even the means of going to and from the destination. Safety of the guest is Sanafe’s top priority that’s why they would be glad to refer you to a trusted guide.
10. On my trip to Batad, Mrs. Paredes referred me to Joel Ognayon, a local guide who’s in the tourism business for more than 10 years. You could reach him via the following contact details, or, you could simply ask Sanafe Lodge to refer you:
Mobile: (recommended way of reaching him)
11. Money changers, mini-groceries, souvenir stores, internet cafes and the tourist information center is within proximity of Sanafe Lodge & Restaurant. Travelers are a stone throw away from their necessities.
12. Like on Facebook.
13. Visit SANAFE LODGE & RESTAURANT website.
14. Enjoy your stay in Sanafe Lodge & Restaurant. Happy travels.
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16. Read more Banaue Destinations in Biyaheng Ifugao.
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