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Reviews (168)
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All reviewsgreat viewthe ownerthe busrice terraceslovely outdoor restaurantdeluxe queen roomsesame seedsfood served in the restaurantcentral areahot waterwould stay here againfried bananaclean roomschicken currysusanreginamanila
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Reviewed 25 April 2013

Sanafe should have everything: a perfect location overlooking the stunning rice terraces, some of the better rooms in Banaue and a restaurant that isn't great, but ok for Filipino standards. The beds are comfortable, the shower has hot water and it's a decent place to sleep (apart from the windows not closing completely shut).

The problem with here are the little things.

Firstly there are no plug sockets in the room as they believe this is a fire hazard! However, having it in the restaurant isn't considered a fire hazard, nor charging non-guests a fee to use it. It's frustrating that to charge your camera, phone or anything else you have to sit in the restaurant for hours as otherwise you're asking for them to be robbed. For 1,000 pesos a night, you should have access to electricity.

The restaurant frequently runs out of options, leaving you with just a choice of 2. The breakfast was appalling, but dinner was small but edible.

The staff are gruff and won't help unless you're giving them business. I had to ask where the laundrette was 5 times between "you can use us, only 30 pesos per item" (the other place offers 30 pesos per kg) before I got a straight answer.

  • Stayed: April 2013, travelled as a couple
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Thank JolyonBird
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 19 April 2013

This Lonely-Planet recommendation worked very well for my European guests and me. We booked the deluxe room that is located below their renowned terrace (approx. $20 per night per guest), which has a wonderful view on the hanging bridge and some rice terraces. It is equipped with a hot&cold shower, two queen beds, a vanity table and a lounging chair. It turned out to be a good choice as one of us fell ill one day and profited from the nice room and view. The room was very clean and well kept. It was fairly quiet as it had no adjacent rooms.

The Restaurant with a great veranda was our favorite place to stay. The service is excellent just like the food. They always served in a timely manner and even the Spaghetti is not sweet (unlike elsewhere in the Philippines). Meals cost between $4-5. And the family dog regularly checked up on us.

The staff is friendly and helpful. They are careful to guard their reputation so they try to implement some standards and promote only a handful of trusted local guides. They treated us like a part of the family. There were many other "white" guests who stayed there or just had a meal. All of them seemed happy.

Location is right next to the Banaue public market, a few minutes on foot from the bus terminal. There were convenience stores, eateries, souvenir shops and tricycles right in front of the hotel. We were very satisfied with our stay and wish we could come back again.

  • Stayed: April 2013, travelled with friends
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Thank j-m-suliban
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 6 April 2013

The place itself is pretty nice, especially the restaurant area, which has a nice view over the valley. The price was right too, especially for the room we stayed in. My only issue is with the staff, and in particular the head lady that seemed to be running the show.

In the first place, my sister contacted them to see if they had availability and was told they were fully booked. I then sent them a text in Tagalog, and was told that there was a family room available (there were 6 of us) for 1700php/night. That worked for us, so I called and asked them to book it. When we arrived, no one seemed to have any clue that we'd made a reservation. They insisted they had no available rooms, even after we showed them the text messages. Finally, after I mentioned that they told me the room was downstairs, they showed us the room, which was very basic, with no windows, although it was large with a separate bathroom and shower ensuite. For that price, that's exactly what we expected, but they gave us the impression that they only rent that room to Filipinos and not to foreigners.

The next day, we wanted to figure out what to do in Banaue, but the staff were very reluctant to give us any information, and instead only wanted to push their own tours. We had our own car and didn't want to take any of their tours, but the boss lady basically refused to tell us how to get to places, or where to go, etc. Some of the other staff members were more helpful when the boss lady wasn't around, but I was really amazed at how unhelpful the boss was, even after it was clear we weren't going to take any of their tours.

We decided not to stay another night and continued on to Sagada, which is a MUCH nicer place all around.

  • Stayed: April 2013, travelled with family
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2  Thank Jason A
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 20 March 2013

I never been this far north before... I never seen the beauty of the rice terraces,only in pictures and posters.
When I arrived in Banaue taking a the only bus that goes there. Walking around to find my place to crash before I do my adventure with some pushy red mouth chewing something guides, something drew me into SANAFE LODGE. I wasn't mistaken.. As I opened the door.. I was in another place. Greeted with a smile and warm people I immediately thought I wanna stay here. Went straight to the "veranda" an over looking patio the mountains covered with fog warm friendly European guest. I right away ask for a room.
With all the beauty I saw in the lodge I almost forgot im on an adventure. I ask to owner who is hand-full with all her guests but find time to entertain a first timers question. One guide and her give all the places to go to near and a bit far, all the tips and things a first timer should know. In short they where very helpful.
I had a great experience on my trip.
Food they serve is another amazing story.. All is Fresh.. Where can u find a pancake in the mountains.nice! And for lunch the olive oil fried milkfish and the freshly harvest watercress with garlic. Healthy!
I fell inlove with the place.
My first time was January 2013 now I have been back 4 times already since. Stayed in the same place and room.
To escape the crowded Manila and rest in SANAFE lodge even for just a weekend just to be in MY NEW HAPPY PLACE.
See u again soon to Jocelyn and all the warm and respectful employees


- GEORGE reffix

Room Tip: Get the deluxe room
  • Stayed: January 2013, travelled solo
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1  Thank George D
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 19 March 2013

(Scan down for the specific info you need.)

Arriving at bus terminal: Guides can be a bit pushy.
-We arrived at Banaue via Ohayami bus line at 630am. It parks along the main road, which overlooks the town proper. Reading other guides, I decided NOT to talk to the locals or give too much of my information, not even my name or hotel. They’re quite persistent. Some will pretend like their official tour guides or are out to help but there's just so many and so as not to feel overwhelmed, the best thing was to look preoccupied and ignore them.

Location: perfect
-From here you can already see the sanafe's roof signage, which was a big comfort as I had no clue where exactly this was at the time. Other hotels like Las Vagas Hotel or ilob Village (which I'm sure have their merits) lodge were at least another 15-20 mins walk down from the town proper. After that it was pretty straight forward.


Area: Noisy but not bothersome
-It was a Saturday which meant market day, so the street was closed to vendors setting up temporary stalls selling anything from cotton buds to pirated DVDs. It's a bit noisy especially if your room is facing the street with tricycles sputtering up the steep roads. But it comes with the great location and if your facing the view, it’s much more quiet.

At the Sanafe:

My first impression was that it looked like a big house. two floors but fairly long sharing the same street as the town hall. it felt secure with a main gate before the steel door which they lock at 830pm (tell them if your going out late so that when you door bell they'll know to open it for you) but the town sleeps early anyway so you’ll probably be turning in early.

Check in: Fairly Simple
-Check in is at 12noon and since I was there by 630am they let me stay in one of the unoccupied rooms to freshen up a bit. Reserve before hand so that you'll have no problems. Best to bring a receipt and proofs of your 50% deposit. At least that's what we did and I had no problems. Our rate was 1000/day but best to have it checked.

Room: basic
-There's the delux room which I guess is nice but we stayed in room 7 view side, a regular room on the second floor. Felt a bit old and musty, but not bothersome. Wall to wall of wood pannels, two double beds, a small vanity and a bathroom. Thin woven blankets which in march is fine. The only issue is the plug. No in-room electricity to charge. You have to go down to the restaurant and charge.

Restaurant: basic bed and breakfast, consistent
-The great view that gives a sense of arrival. if you have about Php 200-300 per head to spare its not bad at all. One of the best and consistent places to eat at.

What I ordered:
Fluffy thick pancakes at Php 100-120 :D
Wide slices of meaty bacon egg and toast :D Php140/170

Lunch:
Carbonara
Chicken parmigiana with tomato and cheese

Neighbors: Mostly a mix of foreigners from Europe exchanging travel tips. We were the only filipinos there. Aside from general pleasantries everyone keeps to themselves. Which I like because I was out for some peace and mountain quiet.

Bathrooms: 4sqm basic
Hot shower was sufficient even for 5am baths. 2sqm shower in which is fine for me. Shower heads, toilets,and everything works fine. Far from roughing it but far from shangri-la too.

Staff: so far they were nice too us. I didn't make to many requests, they didn't bother me with to many idle chit chat. I mean they can, but I guess they'll get a feel for what you prefer. Generally helpful, with guides they can recommend. I say go with guides from your hotel, it helps that they know who your with. But you handle guides fees separate.

Wifi: string in restaurant week in room
After figuring out their cisco log on page the rest is fairly simple.

Over all...
Pro: Worth the price at Php1000 per night for two people. (food not included)
Con: no in-room electric outlet

Room Tip: 1. Treat the place like living with a kind aunt, don't ask for too much fluff and they'll leave you in peace. 2. They only have a handful of rooms so reserve ahead of time.
  • Stayed: March 2013, travelled as a couple
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Thank Toi-tales
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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