When one thinks of Vigan City in Ilocos Sur, what usually comes to mind are its cobblestone roads, horse-drawn carriages, and bahay-na-bato. It's a place frozen in the time when the Philippines was still under Spanish colonial rule. The city's 16th-century charm remained so intact that it was declared a UNESCO Heritage Site in 1999 for "for having preserved much of its Hispanic colonial character, particularly its grid street pattern and historic urban layout." It is also often lauded by international publications for being a picturesque town, most recently by CNN Travel.
In case you're thinking of traveling back in time, here are 10 places to stay in Vigan City:
Delos Reyes Street corner Luna Street, Vigan City, Ilocos Sur
Rates start at P4,700
Heritage houses-turned-hotels aren't rare in the historical city of Vigan. This includes Hotel Luna, originally a two-storey structure built in 1882 as a wedding gift from Ilocos Sur's affluent Don Jose Florentino to his daughter. It was later expanded into a four-storey luxury hotel that opened in 2014. Hotel Luna also doubles as a museum—it's named after famous Filipino painter Juan Luna, after all. It showcases important art pieces in all its suites, rooms, and halls-from the 20-foot mural wall by Rene Robles at the courtyard to the Benedicto Cabrera piece in the lobby.[/facebook]
1 Bonifacio Street corner Quirino Boulevard, Vigan, Ilocos Sur
Rates start at P1,880
Grandpa's Inn was originally a house gifted by Don Mariano Favis Donato to his wife Doña Carmen Rivero in the 1800s. It was sold to the Pasimio family in 1970, and was converted into a dormitory for girls. Nine years later, it was turned into an inn with 19 rooms. To complete the Ilocano experience, some of the rooms are furnished with beds that look like kalesas, farm carriages, and farm sleds.[/facebook]
Villa Angela Heritage House
26 Quirino Boulevard, Vigan City, Ilocos Sur
Rates start at P3,000
Built in 1859, Villa Angela not only serves as an accommodation option in Vigan, but also of a rich repository of relics and memorabilia of one of the city's most affluent families. It was built by Gobernadorcillo Agapito Florendo y Bonifacio in 1870 on a 2,000-square-meter lot. It was transformed into a country inn in 1988, but the high-ceiling salon, large capiz windows, antique furniture, and four-poster canopied beds from the days gone by remain the same.
Hotel Veneto de Vigan
Bonifacio Street, Vigan City, Ilocos Sur
Rates start at P3,000
Built in 1740, Hotel Veneto de Vigan was originally a two-storey house given to Doña Maria Prudencio by her parents when she married Don Miguel de Villanueva in 1757. One of its distinct features is its three doors, owing its nickname "Trespuertas de Casa." The house was expanded and opened as a bed-and-breakfast hotel in 2014. Guests can choose from a standard room to a loft-type accommodation with Old-World style.
One Vittoria Hotel
National Highway, Cabalanggan, Bantay, Ilocos Sur
Rates start at P5,000
The seven-storey One Vittoria Hotel has a more modern look compared to the other accommodation options in Ilocos Sur. But what it lacks in history, it makes up for through amenities: plush pillows and duvet, 32-inch television, WiFi, and bathtub. Though technically located outside Vigan, the hotel offers free shuttle service to and from the heritage city-which is just 10 minutes away. One Vittoria is also right beside Marsha's Delicacies for all your pasalubong needs.
Paradores de Vigan
Vivere Condominium, Governor A. Reyes Street corner Abaya Street, Vigan, Ilocos Sur
Rates start at P3,000
Vigan City can be very hard to leave behind, and Paradores de Vigan—a 26-unit condotel—is recommended for longer stays this picturesque town. Rooms range from the 35-square-meter standard unit to the 86-square-meter family suite-all with living areas, kitchens, and dining rooms. The building also has a central atrium where you can hang out in between your day tours, and an in-house gym in case you don't want to miss a workout session.
Deomar Hometel and Farm Café
Tindoc Street, San Vicente, Ilocos Sur
Rates start at P1,000
A town away from Vigan, Deomar Hometel and Farm Café provides respite away from the crowd of Calle Crisologo. It features air-conditioned kubo-style cabins, which have an outdoor seating area that faces the courtyard. After a tiring day exploring the city, you can take a refreshing nap in a hammock by the garden.
Casa Marita Vigan
Burgos Street corner Gomez Street, Vigan City, Ilocos Sur
Rates start at P2,500
Casa Marita stands on the ruins of the Spanish-style house of Mariano Amor and Zoila Lazol, who were married in 1912. It was opened to the public in 2018 in honor of Marita Aurellado y Amor, the youngest of three Amor siblings and former principal of Burgos Memorial School. Interspersed with the remaining brick walls of the ancestral home is a colonial-inspired structure with modern comforts: electronic card keys, air-conditioning, 40-inch television, free WiFi, and queen-sized beds.
9 V. Delos Reyes Street corner Florentino Street, Vigan City, Ilocos Sur
Rates start at P2,400
Hotel Felicidad, which was constructed in 1918, was originally an 18th-century bahay-na-bato owned by Dr. Filadelfo De Leon Sr. and Doña Primitiva Donato. It was later restored and renovated by their son, Clemente, in the 1960s to accommodate his growing family and gatherings that he hosted as a businessman. The house was turned into La Feliza Tourist Inn by the next generation, until it was acquired by a private corporation that refurbished the building to become Hotel Felicidad. Taking after its majestic past, the hotel features three grand suites—Maestra Suite, Maestro Suite, and La Casa Verda—that all have king-sized poster beds made from kamagong.