It was a long weekend. But I wasn’t game for a countryside tour. All I wanted was to go somewhere quiet, sit down on my writing assignments, and cook a hearty meal. And, of course, have a long time in bed.

Quickly, I searched Airbnb with the hope of finding a comfy and affordable place. Boom! This dainty garden room on the mountainside of Busay caught my attention. It’s called Casa Mari, one of the several houses for rent in the sprawling estate of Jardin de Busay. It has great reviews, and its manager Christine has earned the badge of a superhost.


Huawei Mate S

I booked two nights, their minimum length of stay. And then, after picking up some groceries at the supermarket, I hopped on a habal-habal from Countrymall and took a 20-minute trip through the winding roads of Busay. It would’ve been more comfy had I taken a cab, but the loooong taxi line was too bad for my patience.

My happiness was beyond words. I could escape the flooded city (Cebu was flooded the day before) and take refuge up in the mountains. Besides, I also needed some slowing down. I’ve been on the road the past months and lying flat in bed for long hours has been a luxury.


The Garden Room at Casa Mari

Jardin de Busay is a peaceful spot in the slopes of Barangay Busay in Cebu, a few minutes away from IT Park and JY Center. With well-landscaped gardens, wooded areas, plus the view of the foggy mountainside, it’s a perfect place for that much-needed rest. Down the road, the nature-lover and adventurous can also take a leisurely walk and check the orchids, cacao, and fruit trees of the Nadelas.


The Garden Room on the first floor of Casa Mari is 30-square meters big. It has its own entrance, a covered kitchenette, and toilet and bath. The room itself has an area of 15 square meters, air-conditioned, with a matrimonial bed, a cabinet, flat-screen TV, lamps, and study table. Fresh linens, towels, and pillows are included in the rates. And the wifi was super fast!

The kitchen has a refrigerator, microwave oven, water kettle, electric stove, and utensils. Considering the distance to the nearest mall, Christine and Tata also make sure there’s basic supplies for the guests, all at reasonable rates. They have some beer, water, cookies, and even rice.


The bathroom has hot and cold shower.

Casa Mari also has an East Room, a West Room, and a Tank Pad. Check their website to see which one is best for your needs.


The Warmth of Home

What I liked best besides the room and the view was the feeling of home. Casi and Christine Nadela, the owners, are very hospitable—no surprise, they get amazing reviews on Airbnb. During my stay, Casi welcomed and toured me around.

The next day, Christine and their staff Tata also checked on me to see if everything was going well. And the third morning, while I was taking photos, they asked me to go up and meet the rest of their family, but I was in my just-jumped-out-of-bed attire, I shyly refused.


How to Get There

Casa Mari is a few hundred meters away from the gate of Jardin de Busay. It’s best accessed by taxi or private car, although habal-habal (motorcycles) is perhaps the cheapest way to get here. Jeepneys—although they pass by the property—are not available the whole day. And if you’re coming from the airport, Christine can help you arrange a car service for a reasonable fee.

Bring whatever you want to cook and enjoy your time in the kitchen, because Casa Mari is far from the malls. For breakfast, Tata can cook your food for a fee starting at P150. If you’re totally not ready for the hassle, book an Uber car and ask to be dropped at the restaurants in Busay. You can try Lantaw, an overlooking restaurant that gives you a good view of the city, or the high-end Anzani and some Italian restaurants in the neighborhood. If you want more sightseeing, drop by the Temple of Leah or Tops.

Transcentral Highway, Lower Busay
Cebu City, Philippines

Book your Cebu staycation at the Garden Room today. Inquire about their rates here:

Phone: 63 32 263-1033
Mobile: 63 920-902-6380

Garden Room

  • Bed and breakfast
  • Good for two guests
  • Kitchen with utensils
  • Fast Wi-Fi connection
  • Cable, flat-screen TV
  • Air conditioning
  • Free parking
  • Laptop-friendly workspace
  • Laundry service available
  • No smoking rooms
  • Not suitable for pets
  • Not suitable for events
  • Check-in after 12 PM
  • Check out at 12 PM

M O B I L E     P H O T O G R A P  H Y

More must-see photos of Casa Mari

All photos in this article, unless otherwise captioned, were taken with a smartphone. For this post, we banked on the power of Huawei Mate S, which is a super phone for both outdoor and indoor photography. Visit Huawei’s Facebook page for more details about their products.


ArisMape is a travel insider at ABS-CBN's Choose Philippines. He loves orange, halo-halo, and PowerPoint, and hates beef, slow internet, and long taxi lines. His pastime is watching people watch other people. He swears on the power of smartphone. His half-life? Thirty.