Hotel Luna

Experiencing old Vigan in Hotel Luna

Hotel Luna is a beautiful heritage structure, one of the grand old houses in Vigan which has been converted into a hotel provides a memorable experience in the UNESCO World Heritage City

Hotel Luna is a beautiful heritage structure, one of the grand old houses in Vigan which has been converted into a hotel provides a memorable experience in the UNESCO World Heritage City

This Hotel Luna stay was sponsored by Deal Grocer (www.dealgrocer.com), the best site for the best deals and discounts on resorts, hotels, restaurants, beauty and experiences.

We all know how beautiful Vigan is. Being a declared UNESCO World Heritage Site for its unique value makes it all the more important and that’s why it’s one of the must visit here in the Philippines. And I’m proud to say that I’ve been to this beautiful heritage city several times already. But a visit is not enough. You have to experience it and, to my delight, this opportunity with Hotel Luna, one of the better hotels in the area that I’ve been wanting to stay at came.

Main entrance of Hotel Luna flanked by two sculptures by Napoleon Abueva followed by an Arturo Luz (left) and Bencab (right)  paintings. All are National Artists.

Main entrance of Hotel Luna flanked by two sculptures by Napoleon Abueva followed by an Arturo Luz (left) and Bencab (right) paintings. All are National Artists.

Hotel Luna claims as the only museum hotel in the country. Located along General Luna St., it’s a beautiful old structure, one of the heritage houses in Vigan and converted into a hotel. Around 30% is original, including the exterior. Inside, the carved dark wood paneling and white washed walls give it charm while the beautiful arches made of red bricks as well as the grand staircase made from hardwood give it character. I love the wide hardwood floors as well as the massive pillars of bricks that to touch and feel the surface is to connect with its unique heritage.

Comedor, the main dining area of Hotel Luna

Comedor, the main dining area of Hotel Luna

A museum hotel

Being a museum hotel, you are not only awed by its soul. Several art pieces, ranging from sketches, prints, sculpture and paintings by different artists in the country, from old masters, contemporary as well as National Artists are displayed. Sanso, Abueva, Imao, Manansala, Luz, Tolentino, plus many others, and of course, original Luna hang on its walls or stand at its own place. It’s a good collection covering different periods in Philippine Art and genres. I had a great time looking over the artwork and finding out the name of the artist always is a surprise. It’s quite rare to see these outside of Metro Manila!

The Museum at the second floor is where several of these pieces are found. There’s also a special room directly opposite the grand staircase and beside the Museum that houses the collection of one of the owners, Eric Singson. There are old paintings too, antique ceramics and jewelry. Framed family photos hang at sections of the walls.

Chula Saloon and Bar

Chula Saloon and Bar

The Loft Suite

I wanted to photograph the other rooms, especially the executive suite but the hotel didn’t approve, citing privacy. I don’t know what’s so secret about it considering there were vacant rooms and photos are even in their website. In several other luxury hotels I’ve been to, I was given liberty to go around. But anyway, the hotel accommodation I got from Deal Grocer (see details below) was for a Loft Suite. It’s the second most expensive room type in the hotel.

The Loft Suite is spacious. The living space has a comfortable L-shaped sofa, a dresser that doubles as a working table and 40-inch LCD TV hang on the wall. A curving staircase leads to the loft where there’s a comfy queen sized bed and a glass partitioned toilet opposite the bed.

Pool area found beside the main building

Pool area found beside the main building

Below this loft is an equally spacious toilet and bath with a stand alone tub. It has complete amenities and what really surprised me was its modern toilet bowl that had water controls that reminded me of the toilets in Japan. Only this has no seat warmer but different options for washing.

At first, I had difficulty with the aircon as it wasn’t cooling fast as I expected it at the living area. Perhaps it was the size of the space wherein it took some time to bring down the temperature. But at the loft, which was just opposite the split type aircon, was much better. Eventually, the room cooled off.

The Museum showcases art masterpieces of old masters, contemporary as well as National Artists in the Philippines including an original Juan Luna

The Museum showcases art masterpieces of old masters, contemporary as well as National Artists in the Philippines including an original Juan Luna

Another problem that I encountered that time was the wifi. It wasn’t just working properly. When I reported it to the front desk, they were quick to respond and a technician was sent right away. Alas, the option he gave, using the wifi of the adjacent room worked for a while but eventually disappeared. I tried using my Globe 4G but the signal was erratic. The wifi signal at the lobby was fast though.

The Loft Suite provides not only a comfortable bed but a living area

The Loft Suite provides not only a comfortable bed but a living area

Dining at Comedor

A breakfast buffet is part of the room deal that I got and, really, I was in awe when I stepped into Comedor, the main dining area. It just looked stunning. Ancient brick arches, glistening chandeliers, old paintings and a furniture style that was old world. If it was lit with hundreds of candles, you would think you’ve been transported back more than a hundred years!

The buffet spread was extensive. Other than the usual breakfast fare, it was where I have seen, for the first time, the biggest pile of delicious and garlicky Vigan longganisa which was just beside the equally mouthwatering crisp bacon! I really love the native sausages in the north, especially in the Ilocos region. I love its garlicky taste and whenever I’m in this area, its a must eat. But what can you do when a huge pile of this delectable fare is infront of you? But of course, gorge!

My queen sized bed at the Loft Suite

My queen sized bed at the Loft Suite

Insight about my stay at Hotel Luna

When this Hotel Luna deal became available, I instantly grabbed the opportunity. Even if I just arrived back in Makati from a brief staycation in Baler in Aurora province. Nevermind if it meant traveling all the way to Vigan a few hours after I arrived in Metro Manila from an equally long drive from the eastern part of Luzon. That’s because I’ve been wanting to experience the hotel. Even for just one night.

The spacious toilet and bath that includes a gorgeous tub and an ultramodern toilet. Below left, controls for the toilet; right, bath amenities.

The spacious toilet and bath that includes a gorgeous tub and an ultramodern toilet. Below left, controls for the toilet; right, bath amenities.

Yes, I was able to stay and I should say it was a good one. It’s the second time that I’ve stayed in a Vigan heritage structure but this second time was in a much better hotel. The food is good, especially that I was able to gorge, pardon me, on just so delicious Vigan longanisa. I wasn’t able to use the pool or had a drink at Chula Saloon Bar but I was able to go up the Azotea located at the rooftop which gives you a unique view of the city with its many clay tiled roof.

As for the Loft Suite, I would say I have better stay experiences in other four star hotels although I was comfortable and slept well in my bed. I think its in the decor. For such a kind of accommodation in a heritage structure that in its heyday might have been decorated in opulence, it was bare. How rich it looks at the lobby and corridors wasn’t fully channeled into the rooms.

Also, there was initially an issue with the aircon and the wifi but looking back, especially the latter, I think it was good that it didn’t quite work so that I will be forced to explore and experience more what Vigan City can offer: walking along the row of houses in Calle Crisologo, dining at the empanada and okoy eateries, visiting other ancient structures like the Simbaan a bassit, the cathedral and many more.

#vigan longanisa and #bacon anyone? #breakfast #vigancity #ilocos #ilocossur #foodie #foodporn #food

A photo posted by Estan Cabigas (@langyawmedia) on

Hotel Luna
Gen. Luna St., Vigan City
Ilocos Sur
Manila line: +63 2 584-4945, +63 2 373-3333
Landline: +63 77 632-2222
Mobile: +63 917 564-0727
[email protected] [email protected]
http://hotelluna.ph/

Estan Cabigas is freelance photographer, blogger and writer based in Makati City, the Philippines. A true blue Cebuano, he makes stunning images and meaningful photo stories. His work has been published in local and international publications including National Geographic Magazine, Geo (Germany), Sunday Times Magazine (London) and other publications. He is also a peripatetic traveler and has traveled to all 81 Philippines provinces. I'm open for work, collaborations and inquiries, including hotel, restaurant and site features and reviews.

One Comment

  1. Estan Cabigas (@EstanCabigas)
    October 5, 2015 @ 1:48

    Experiencing old Vigan in Hotel Luna: Hotel Luna is a beautiful heritage structure, one of the grand old house… http://t.co/uIlzn37DVj

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