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  • Writer's pictureAndi Dela Torre Griffiths

A Trip to the 1880s at Hotel Luna in Vigan City

For many tourists, the historic city of Vigan is a must-visit when traveling to the Ilocos region. Aside from its cuisine, this UNESCO World Heritage Site is known for its churches, old-stone houses preserved since the Spanish era, cobblestone streets, horse-drawn carriages (calesas), and rustic hotels like the one we're showing you today.


The First Museum Hotel in the Philippines | Hotel Luna in Vigan


At the heart of Vigan is where you can find the Philippines' first museum hotel- Hotel Luna. 


Hotel Luna in Vigan, Ilocos Sur | Accommodation near Calle Crisologo

According to an article from Alfred& by Kuoni, the establishment's story dates back to the 1880s, when Don Florentino of Vigan gifted his daughter the property as a wedding gift. Then, later, in 2013, a development corporation acquired the four-storey building and restored it as a hotel.



Where to Find It & How to Book your Stay


Address: Antonio Luna corner Ventura de los Reyes Street, Vigan City, Ilocos Sur


You can book a room directly through their website or via the travel app Klook ⬅️ 


First Impressions


Hotel Luna isn’t hard to find because it’s only within walking distance from Calle Crisologo. You can walk from there or take a calesa to complete your Vigan experience. My first impression upon entering the establishment was that of amazement. The receiving area had a lot of paintings, art sculptures, and fixtures that go with their arched entryway. Of course, they have a grand chandelier (made of Swarovski crystals) to top it all off. Old elegance.


Hotel Luna lobby

I love the carved ceilings and staircases. There are also art installations everywhere.


Hotel Luna's lobby | Boutique hotel in the Philippines (Ilocos Sur)

The Room | Guest Experience 


The room was okay. We got the Queen Standard Room; a cozy, comfortable room ideal for resting. But for the price, I think the space is too small. Also, while the bed was very comfortable, and the bathroom had a Japanese toilet, the carpet seemed past its date. It needed some cleaning, too. Compared with the rooms we booked at other hotels (within the same price range), this one did not offer as much value, amenities-wise. It feels like you are paying more for the location than the accommodation, which was not a big issue. The property sits on a UNESCO heritage site, after all. I just hoped the room looked nicer and brighter.



Queen Standard Room at Hotel Luna in Vigan, Ilocos Sur
The vanity area inside our room

What is UNESCO? What does it mean to be part of their Heritage List? 


UNESCO is an agency that aims to promote “world peace and security through international cooperation in education, arts, sciences and culture”. It is under the United Nations organization. 


UNESCO World Heritage Sites are those considered to have an “outstanding universal value". Examples of other UNESCO sites in the Philippines include the Tubbataha Reef and Banaue Rice Terraces. In other parts of Asia, we have the Taj Mahal, Great Wall of China, and Yakushima Island, among many others.


Going back to where we were…


The Food


The plated breakfast was so-so; the options were Longsilog, Tapsilog, and Hotsilog (the rest weren't available). They were filling but not that satisfying. I think next time we'll try ordering from their restaurant Comedor. It may make a difference.


Since we still wanted to eat, we went to Cafe Bigaa (see photos below), Vigan Plaza Hotel's restaurant.


All day breakfast at Cafe Bigaa (Vigan Plaza Hotel)
Vigan Plaza Hotel's Cafe Bigaa


The Staff


I’ve read about unpleasant experiences from other guests about their staff, but thankfully, all the ones who assisted us were friendly. The guard was happy to welcome us, and the front desk lady checked us in quickly without any hassle.


The Guest Facilities & Hotel Interiors


Hotel Luna’s main guest facilities include the lobby, gym, Comedor (which means dining room), a viewing terrace, and the pool.


Inside Hotel Luna in Vigan, Ilocos Sur | The view from the corridor

At the viewing terrace, there is a three-dimensional mural representing the city’s rich history and vibrant culture. That is the work of the late Filipino artist Rene Robles, whose other creations belong to the private collections of Bill Clinton and King Juan Carlos. You can see it in the image above. The mural is the one on the upper right.



Azotea | the view from Hotel Luna's rooftop bar
Azotea is their rooftop bar overlooking the mountains that surround the city
The clean floors at Hotel Luna's corridors

As you can see from the photos, the hotel interiors take inspiration from the Spanish colonial period, characterized by decorative tiles, dark wood, wrought iron railings, brick walls, and intricate designs. Hotel Luna ticks all those boxes and more. The artistic aspect is the redeeming factor for me. It compensated for the room. 


The Museum at Hotel Luna in Vigan

The courtyard pool is a great spot to relax or read a book. It’s a quiet area where you can appreciate the sophistication of the place, whether you’re facing the scenic elevator or the building. At night, it didn't look as advertised, though. It was dark and the lights outside were off.


The courtyard pool at Hotel Luna in Vigan, Ilocos Sur
The nice and clean pool of Hotel Luna

The Museum


Of course, it wouldn’t be a museum hotel if it didn’t have a museum. Here’s a photo of it. Feast your eyes with works from Fernando Amorsolo, Ben Cab, and other local artists.


Hotel Luna's museum- featuring works from various Filipino artists
Hotel Luna in Vigan, Ilocos Sur | La Mandolinera by Juan Luna
La Mandolinera by Juan Luna

Thoughts 


It’s a beautiful hotel, and I’m glad we went to see what they had to offer, but I think it’s more like a place to visit to satisfy curiosity or if you want a different experience. Being there does feel like an escape from the busyness of modern times. Hotel Luna in Vigan is also ideal for photoshoots and special events.


Trivia


The hotel's name takes inspiration from Filipino painter Juan Luna, who hails from Ilocos. He's the man behind the painting “Spoliarium”.


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