Reviewed below are the eleven tourist accommodations in Batad. Many pictures have been included to help you make your choice of place to stay. The accommodation includes authentic native huts, budget backpacker inn type accommodation and homestay accommodation. The prices are all between P150 and P200. Everything on offer is fairly Spartan, but hot water for a wash is always available, either by the bucket or out of the shower in the few places that have instant electric water heaters. There are no private bathrooms with any of the accommodations. All places offer enough bedding to keep you warm at night. Any of the places will offer meals of some sort and the prices vary little in Batad. Look below at the food prices at Hillside Inn for a general idea. Watch out for the price of tea, coffee and bottled water, they can really increase the cost of your stay in Batad. Expect all food and beverage prices to be high because it is carried in by porters as there is no road beyond the Saddle.
The most popular accommodation is the hillside-type accommodation offered by Hill Side Inn, Batad Pension, Rita’s and Simon’s. From here you will get the magnificent views of the village and the terraces from high up the mountain slope. These four places are not very far from each other and are the first accommodation that you will pass on your descent from the Saddle down to the village. I always stay at Hill Side Inn.
As can be gleaned from the pictures of Batad, the main village is quite small. For a cultural experience, it might be interesting to stay right in the village itself. Gilbert’s, Cristina’s and Foreigner’s are all in the main village. Gilbert Inn will is probably give you the most “full on” village cultural experience.
Ramon Homestay offers native hut accommodation and there is also another place with no name so I will just call it “Native Huts”. One of Ramon’s native huts is a living museum and would be ideal for the person who really wants the authentic “step back in time” experience.
All the other accommodations are dotted around the periphery of the main village.
This is where I always stay when I am in Batad. They have 20 rooms but my favorites are those with the best views, just above the restaurant. The accommodation is Spartan but clean. The cost is P150 per night per person. Most rooms have a small double bed there are only share bathrooms. The upstairs rooms at the back would be my very last choice as they have no view and the windows face the toilets. Hot water for a bath will cost you P30.
The restaurant is open from 6AM to 10PM and has great views over Batad. The food is very good and fresh. Garlic rice with egg and vegetables - P75. Vegetable soup – P50. Vegetable salad (very fresh) – P60. Tuna and vegetable pizza – P120. During the peak seasons, evenings at the Hill side Inn can be entertaining, especially if you or someone else picks up the guitar that always seems to be around, somewhere. Everyone sings along; drinks and the guitar circulates for hours around the ever willing hosts and players. For reservations, contact Maya on 09177574411 or 09086012888 or email email@example.com
Simon’s is popular with tourists and they have 16 very basic but clean rooms. There is a large outside verandah with great views over Batad from which to enjoy your meals or drinks. The verandah feels a bit like a construction site which is the only negative. Their menu is extensive and the food and service are good. Accommodation is P200 per person per night. A bucket of hot water for a wash will cost you P30. All bathrooms are communal. Electricity is 24 hours.
Just down the hill a little from the Hillside Inn is the Batad Pension and Restaurant. This lovely inn is run by the Batad woodcarver and his wife who is a teacher in the local school. They may provide guests with enlightened conversation and knowledge of the community. The woodcarver’s work is fantastic and I have bought many fine pieces from him – his work is the best that I have found in the Philippines and most are made from black ebony. They have 8 simple but clean rooms and cost P200 per person. The share bathrooms are a long way downstairs. The showers have electric water heaters. The menu is extensive but don’t expect to find everything on it to be available all year round.
Batad Pension bedroom
It’s located just up the hill between Hillside Inn and Simon’s, but I do not recommend that you stay there. They have 6 rooms at P150 per person. When I went to Rita’s early in 2010 to review their accommodation, a drunken elderly local man arrived just after me and set about rudely interrupting a conversation I was having with some foreign tourists. He was persistent and very drunk, so to get away from him, I left without reviewing Rita’s. I was surprised to find out a little later that this drunk man was actually the owner of Rita’s, and I was told that other tourists often suffered the same experience as me. I was also told that the next morning he, Romeo, would seek me out to apologize, which he did, but the way he did it was just as unpleasant as the encounter with him the night before. In Banaue I ran into one of the foreign tourists that I met at Rita’s, and she told me that she actually cut short her stay in Batad because of the encounter with Romeo. So how can I recommend the place? If it wasn’t for the possibility of having to endure a drunk Romeo, this would otherwise be a good place to stay, and I believe that it has had a good reputation in the past.
Ramon Homestay is situated just below Batad Pension, and not far from village center. Besides the standard Inn type of accommodation, they have 2 native huts available. One of the native huts is a living museum and houses a magnificent collection of Batad heirlooms. This hut was the house of Ramon’s grandfather and was built over 100 years ago. It is adorned with animal skulls to protect the house from evil spirits. Some of these skulls are older than the house. There are many kinds including monkey, wild rabbit, deer, wild pig and bearcat. In the hut there are spears, rice jars, baskets, rice guards and much more. Many of these heritage items have been donated by the local people to be kept for posterity and to protect them from the collectors. These items are not for sale!!!! The second native hut is good for groups of up to 10 people at P200 per night each. The hut is snug and cozy and offers a chance to experience traditional Batad living. There is no electricity in the huts.
Ramon’s other accommodation is the standard Inn type, and similar to that of others up the hill. The cost is P150 per night per person. Ramon Homestay is far enough up the hill to still have great views, and close enough to the village to get a cultural experience. The homestay has 24 hour electricity.
Ramon Homestay - standard bedroom
This is real homestay where you will be staying with the family right in the village. It is the only house in the main village that has been connected to electricity so far. Gilbert Homestay has no sign but it is the first house as you enter the village. There are 2 very basic rooms available for guests at a cost of P150 per person. The views from upstairs are fantastic.
Gilbert Homestay - Bedroom 1
Foreigner’s is right in the middle of the village and is yet to be connected to the electricity supply, although the wiring is all in. There are eight bedrooms and the cost is P150 per person per night. The bathrooms are downstairs. The place is not pretty to look at from the outside.
Christina’s is a quaint homestay at the end of the main village. It has a nice verandah with good views. There are three rooms for rent and the cost is P150 per person per night.
Cristina's Main Village Inn - bedroom
It is located at the top of the path which leads down to the waterfall, and is the furthest out of all of the guest houses. They have two available bedrooms and the cost is P150 per night per person. There are great views all around from the Waterfallside Lodge.
Waterfallside Lodge bedroom
This is in a prime location with great views all around. The house is owned by the village chief, so no wonder it takes center stage. The title of village chief is handed down from father to son. At the time of my visit in early 2010, Samson’s was not open because family members were occupying the rooms while the new house in front was being constructed – no room pictures were therefore available.
These native huts are located just past Samson’s. There are two huts, and they are maintained by the local community. A University of the Philippines professor, Raymond Macapagal, donated the money for the restoration of the native huts on the condition that the local people rent them out so as to have enough return to at least pay for their ongoing maintenance. The cost is between P250 a night per person. By staying here, you will be doing your part in saving these very old Batad native huts for posterity. Any of the guides that you see as you enter Batad will be able to tell you how to go about staying there.
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