In Batanes, homestays are popular because they are cheap, practical, and convenient. A big house is typically subdivided into small rooms but you share the common amenities such as the kitchen, toilet, and living room with the other guests.
When tourism in Batanes started to boom, Marfel’s Lodge was among the first to open its doors to travelers back in 2013. As one of the pioneer accommodations in Basco, it is one of the most sought-after homestays in Basco. Started with just a few rooms, it has now expanded to five branches to accommodate more tourists.
Marfel’s Main is just 5 minutes away from the airport. We were fetched from the arrival area by their staff and rode the van heading to the homestay.
Marfel’s has aircon and fan rooms for solo travelers, groups, and couples. Getting an aircon room is convenient especially when the weather is hot, but fan rooms are also available if you are on a budget.
We booked a fan room with 1 double bed and one single bed. The room is small and simple. Towels and soaps were provided upon check-in. You may check the updated rates here: Marfel’s lodge.
Our stay was inclusive of daily breakfast meals from Day 2 up to the last day. Availing the breakfast turned out to be a wise choice — since we had no time anymore to prepare our food early in the morning. Although Basco is accessible to restaurants and eateries, the choices are not as diverse as that of the other famous tourist spots.
One of the perks I like in Marfel’s is the free use of the kitchen. Food and other basic commodities in Batanes are way too expensive that cooking is always a common option for budget travelers. We would eat lunch at the restaurants or eateries during our tours, then cook our own dinner at home. Dinner staples consisted mostly of canned goods, egg, or fresh seafood from the market. We cooked our own rice and shared it with the other guests.
Marfel’s kitchen has everything — cooking utensils, ingredients, and even a small honesty store where the guests can buy small grocery items and leave the payment.
Even if we are sharing the common bathroom with the other guests, the cleanliness is always maintained. I was hesitant at first to stay here knowing that our room does not have its own private CR, but I was impressed and relieved that the bathroom is always kept tidy. The toilet is separated from the bathroom. Men and women also have separate comfort rooms.
Guests can relax and lounge in the living area and watch television. It really reminds me of home. I frequently stayed here to mingle and interact with the other travelers, mostly solo backpackers. This is where I exchanged stories and experiences with fellow travelers.
You’ll also see this board displayed on the wall with pinned messages and greetings from the guests. Used plane tickets, receipts and photos with printed sweet notes from different travelers show how much they appreciated the hospitality of Marfel’s. Reading them is heart-warming — and you couldn’t agree more. Here’s my message:
The Ivatans are so kind and hospitable. This is really the main factor that makes my stay in Marfel’s worth remembering. The Ivatans are known to be shy and soft-spoken, but it is so easy to get along well with them. They can be good conversationalists too!
They treated us like their families, and they always reminded us to treat Marfel’s as our own home. I learned a lot from two of their staff Ate Crise and Ate Emi — about Batanes, Ivatan culture, and life in general. Time seemed too short to wrap up meaty conversations with these two.
Homey and well-organized — that’s how I’d describe Marfel’s Lodge in Basco Batanes. My short vacation in Batanes made me go back to the basics and be contented with the simple things. Marfel’s hospitality and kindness were among the little things I appreciated but surely it touched me the most.
Dios Mamajes, Marfel’s!
Note: Marfel’s Lodge is also affiliated with Chanpan Tours and Services.
Reyes St. Brgy. Kayvaluganan, Basco Batanes
Basco, Batanes :0917 627 2957 / 0908 893 1475
Manila: 0917 704 4071 / 0917 674 0901 /
0918 964 1318
FB page: Marfel’s Lodge