Sanafe Lodge & Restaurant: Your “Home” In Banaue, Ifugao

A small section at the veranda for a little privacy

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's logo wood carvingMasterfully carved logo of Sanafe Lodge.

“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.

Banaue PoblacionBanaue Public Market is the 3-storey building, beside it is Sanafe Lodge.

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.

sanafe lodge & Restaurant front deskSanafe Lodge’s front desk. Don’t forget to leave keys before going out.

Stained glass windows of Sanafe LodgeLight gleams from the stained glass windows.

Books and images of saints behind Sanafe Lodge's front deskShelf behind Sanafe Lodge’s front desk.

Pocketbook collection of Sanafe LodgePocketbooks you can borrow and read on your free time in Sanafe Lodge.

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.

Sanafe Lodge corner table in living roomCorner table in Sanafe lodge “living room”.

Sanafe Lodge's Living RoomSanafe Lodge’s “Living Room”.

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.

Ifugao woodcarving sculpture
Local wooden sculpture.

Saddle in Sanafe Lodge
Horse saddle from the owner’s ranch in Baranggay Hapid, Lamut, Ifugao.

Star table number in Sanafe LodgeThe star signifies the military rank of the owner’s father.

capiz windchimes sanafe lodgeCapiz wind chimes.

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.

Unsophisticated Elegance

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.

Standard Double RoomStandard Double Room.

Sanafe Lodge's Family Room good for 7 personsStandard Family Room for 7 persons.

Sanafe Lodge's Family Room good for 5 personsStandard Family Room for 5 persons.

Standard Single Room.

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's Deluxe Double RoomDeluxe Double Rooms.

Sanafe Lodge's deluxe queen Deluxe Queen Room.

The Veranda

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.

Sanafe Lodge's verandaVeranda dining area.

High chairs at the balcony sanafe lodgeHigh chairs in the veranda.

Sanafe Lodge & Restaurant verandaA small section in the veranda for those who want a little privacy.

Having coffe while enjoying the nice view in Sanafe Lodge
Enjoying my hot cup of native coffee while enjoying the nice view of the terraces.

Unparalleled Service

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.

Thank you notes.

artistic expressions in sanafe lodgeGratitude for good service expressed in artistic ways.


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: (+632) 722 2110
Mobile: (0939) 939 0128

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: +63918 436 77 08 (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 SANAFE LODGE & RESTAURANT on Facebook.

13. Visit SANAFE LODGE & RESTAURANT website.

14. Enjoy your stay in Sanafe Lodge & Restaurant. Happy travels.

15. Like Biyaherong Barat on Facebook.

16. Follow Biyaherong Barat on Twitter.

16. Read more Banaue Destinations in Biyaheng Ifugao.

Sanafe Lodge owner Mrs. Susan ParedesSanafe Lodge & Restaurant owner, Susan Paredes.

Me and Sanafe Lodge Owner, Susan Paredes.

Meet the cheerful staff of Sanafe Lodge.

29 thoughts on “Sanafe Lodge & Restaurant: Your “Home” In Banaue, Ifugao

  1. I feel the photos show it all. I can feel na its a nice place to stay and maging jump off point sa mga activities. Will definitely give it a try. Thanks for this, sobrang helpful.

    • Thanks Ryan,

      Good point. Sanafe Lodge is located at the heart of town. If you look at the map, Sanafe is between Banaue Viewpoint and Batad. Anyway, I’d be posting my Batad and Banaue Viewpoint blogs, and a travel guide in Banaue really soon, and hopefully makatulong sa Banaue trip mo.

      Thank you for dropping by. Happy travels.

  2. How could you concentrate on eating with that breath-taking view in front of you?? Very nice! Aside from the coffee, any delicacies that you can recommend?:)

    • Hello CG,

      The view was really beautiful. I remember during my trip, I woke up early that morning and just sat by the veranda, simply adoring the view.

      The food, they have a wide array of food options from eastern to western cuisine that would perfectly suit your taste.

      Thanks for dropping by, Mr. Guerta.

  3. Stayed here the 1st time in 2003 and fell in love with Sanafe. And since then, every time I go back for meetings in the area, i make sure I stop by, eat, and enjoy the view. And thank God for fb because I always struggle to make people understand why that place is so HOMEY. CALMING. At least thru fb, there are so many photos! And I like their food too! Best combination is their fried chicken and mixed veggies (which is so crisp because they just buy it from their neighbor, the palengke.).

    • Hi Pia,

      Yeah, I agree. Looking for the exact words to describe how homey and calming the atmosphere was kind of difficult. It think it’s best felt once you’re there. I’d like to use “indescribable” but people might think I was exaggerating, but then again, that’s how I felt during my stay at Sanafe Lodge.

      I actually did a research why the wood finish makes a place homey, according to that article (which I can’t find, but I’ll post the link once I found it), it’s the timelessness of wood that creates a warm welcoming feeling of a house.

      On my next trip to Sanafe Lodge & Restaurant, I would love to try that Fried Chicken & Mixed Vegetables. Thanks for the heads up.

      Happy travels, Pia. Thank you for dropping by Biyaherong Barat.

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    • Good afternoon, Mrs. Joseph,

      This is a message from Susan Paredes:

      “Hello Melissa. We would love to have you all here. Yes, we are waiting for the Southridge boys already. Don’t worry because the weather here isn’t as bad as it is in Manila..just light showers in the late afternoon. Your son will be fine. We, together with the teachers led by Mr Valmorida take good care of them.
      Have a nice week ahead.”

      • Thanks Susan, thanks Jed. I will keep your site so I can refer to it when we decide to go with family and friends.
        Thank you!

        • You are most welcome, Mrs. Joseph. I’ll forward your thanks to Susan Paredes right away, Ma’am.

          That would be great. You could refer to my blog anytime and if you need help with your Banaue trip, I’d be glad to help.

          Have a nice evening. Thank you for dropping by.

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  6. I had been to Banaue twice and am looking forward to my third visit…I would surely love to stay at Sanafe…I admire their interior design, and I would like to experience their hospitality.

    • Hi Cha,

      Yes. I think if you’ve been there, let’s say 20 years ago, then compare it today, that would make sense. I’ve seen old photos and it one can say that it has drastically changed. But today, many groups have worked together to restore and preserve the beauty of the Ifugao’s rice terraces.

      You should see it with your own eyes, Cha. Looks beautiful on photos, but a hundred times more beautiful in person. Hahahaha. After seeing it, you’ll know why it’s a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

      Thank you very much for dropping by, Cha.

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  11. hi sir this is very helpful. ask ko Lng if kung gLing ng sagada going to banaue rice terraces can do within the day? or kaiLangan mgstay for 1 day?

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