I wanna stay here. Now na! That's my outburst to HD Medrano who looked puzzled on my hullabaloo after a quick tour at the first and only hotel museum in the Philippines.
It wasn’t by pure accident (it was destiny I must say) that on our last day in Vigan City (listed as a World Heritage Site by UNESCO), we finally paid a visit to Hotel Luna. We’ve been exploring the place for days now and we’ve been passing by the hotel thinking that we can probably drop by on our last day, probably.
It was lunchtime and we were out looking for a decent meal before heading back to Manila. We passed by Hotel Luna for the nth time and thought that we could spare some few minutes to check out the buzz about this hotel museum (the first time I heard such term). And so we did.
We were greeted by the nice guard and were stunned when we got inside the hotel lobby; a gallery/museum/hotel/artist’s haven/happy place. Everyone was fixated on a certain art piece that we didn’t notice that we’re actually starting the tour on our own. And someone just told me that somebody will take care of our tour in a bit. That’s a free tour around the museum/hotel. Nice.
We silently gathered (good job kids) in the lobby and our very lovely guide, Iron, approached us. He started the tour and we were completely engrossed. Huge names were uttered very meekly, like No, this is no biggie. Ben Cab, Amorsolo, Abueva, Luz, Manansala, Malang, Alcuaz, Tolentino, Luna and more famed artists were named. Art aficionados or not, you’d surely know these artists.
|Shawl of the Innocents|
2009 | Acrylic on Canvas | 5' x 3'
Araceli Limcaco Dans
2013 | Brass, Stainless Steel, Copper and Bronze
Daniel Dela Cruz
From the first level of the hotel, we went up to this grand staircase and again, we were out of words to describe everything. Sculptures, Paintings, Installations, and the ante sala itself are all masterpieces. Apparently, Hotel Luna was once a Spanish colonial house and after some major renovations (a very brilliant one) it turned to be the foremost hotel museum in the country. I could sit in the gallery for hours and just admire and relish the antiquated feel of this old house.
|House Detective Medrano and our Tour Guide Iron|
And then there’s HD Medrano. We were truly fascinated by the know-hows of our guide Iron but surprisingly, the HDs (House Detectives) are also experts. What actually is an HD? The hotel management devoted a spot for taking good care of the art pieces by hiring such great individuals. They are taking utmost care of the art pieces ensuring its safety from the guests and other persons who don’t have the best intentions in terms of art appreciation. Cool eh? And these gentlemen really know their babies when you ask them.
|Ang tight ha?|
Next was the hotel tour. We had the chance to inspect two of the four rooms inside the old house; the Executive Suite and the Loft Suite. Right at that moment I know that we should stay there for a night. I could just imagine the lovely feeling of waking up into an art gallery. Ahh…
Moving on, we were toured next to the adjoining property where the Standard and Superior Rooms are located (check rates). There's also a swimming pool at the bottommost level. And my heart couldn’t stop pounding so hard seeing the refreshing pool. I really want to stay here. Just dream on Carla.
Lastly, we checked out the Chula Saloon Bar that transported us back in time. And true to the hotel’s name, the bar is also inspired by Juan Luna’s works (especially the Parisian Life). It’s cool to have a few drinks here at night. And they also have a merienda buffet here serving Filipino favorite snacks every day (1:00 p.m. to 5:00 p.m.) for 175 pesos.
|Chula Saloon Bar|
And then the tour ended. We were sad for whatever reason. That fleeting one hour passed and we’re still yearning for more. Our bags were packed and headed to our main goal that afternoon, have some lunch somewhere, for the last time.
Still having the heaviest heart, I pleaded for everyone’s consensus if we could just stay for two more days at the luxurious Hotel Luna. It appears that everyone has the same anxiety as mine. And then decisions were made that yes, we are so extending our Vigan sojourn to experience Hotel Luna. I’m the happiest girl!
We went back at the hotel, said our greetings to the staff as if they’ve been our friends already and checked out the room availabilities. We really wanted to stay at the Loft Suite and the management agreed for us to squeeze five warm bodies into this huge suite for two (charisma is the key).
I couldn’t contain my happiness as HD Medrano ushered us to our room (I specifically requested for him although it’s really not his job to look over us). I fell in love the second time around. The huge ceiling provides a nice airy feel to the room. It is a Loft Suite hence, the loft inside the room. A huge lounging area, T.V., dresser, mini bar and an en suite toilet and bathroom can be found at the lower part of the suite. As you go up the spiral staircase, a huge comfy bed, toilet and another T.V. greeted us. It was perfect. Nobody complained.
Another surprise is the bathroom fixtures. The shower area is equipped with hot and cold shower and rain-type showerhead (suddenly, everybody wants to take a bath). The dresser is furnished with all the toiletries you’ll ever gonna need plus a hairdryer. An old-fashioned bathtub is sitting somewhere with touches of gold appliques (luxury defined). And the uber modern toilet that is digitally equipped for the future. The type that has all the settings for different stuff you’d probably need for a comfy toilet break; fake flush sound, different levels of water spray and stuff. It’s so cool.
We didn’t leave Hotel Luna for the rest of the afternoon. We planned on sunset shoots and photowalks but we’re so in love with the hotel that we savored the last two days inside it. We had to have something for dinner so we went out on a nearby eatery for a nice meal and bought some sugarcane wine (Basi) and wasted the night at the hotel’s rooftop.
And coinciding with our stay at Hotel Luna (Luna: The Moon) was the occurrence a supermoon (the closest approach of a New Moon or Full Moon to the Earth making it “bigger”). It was all fun. The staff were there (HD Medrano in the house) to assist us on whatever we might need. The company of good friends over great tasting local wine with a supermoon beaming upon us were all pure bliss.
Waking up the next morning was difficult, the comfy bed made us listless. But the thought of having buffet breakfast on the pool area made everyone jump out of their beds. And so we did that.
|Unlimited Vigan longganisa!|
Spending the rest of the morning just chilling and having fun at the pool area was so fun. It’s that feeling that you don’t wanna leave your hotel for you might miss something great. Seemingly odd but that’s what it feels like to stay at Hotel Luna, you just don’t wanna leave. The staff were all so great and nice that leaving them felt like having to say goodbye to your dearest friends.
It was a bittersweet farewell as the free shuttle service to the bus terminal leaves Hotel Luna. The staff were all so cheery sending us off that made me look forward on coming back soon. And yes, we are so coming back to Hotel Luna!
Hotel Luna (book online)
Luna cor. Ventura de los Reyes st.,
Vigan City, Ilocos Sur
Contact Numbers: (+63) 2.373.3333 | (+63) 77.632.2222 | (+63) 917.564.0727
Email Address: email@example.com | firstname.lastname@example.org