It’s always a pleasure to go on a road trip up north to the Ilocos. Did I tell you I had my first glimpse of Northern Luzon when I was in grade school on a road trip with mom and dad? Today it’s my elder sister’s treat to take the family on a trip up north when she came back from Canada (sans my other sister from the US). Of course from my side here, I was the one to help on the logistics – where and when to go, where to stay. Uur first stop is Vigan, and looking for a good value place, I found Grandpa’s Inn.
Very Near Crisologo
Just at the corner of Quirino Boulevard and Bonifacio in Vigan, we had no trouble finding the place coming from a long 8+ hours travel from Manila that day. Parking our van was not a problem as well as they have a private parking area across the street. What’s more convenient is, it’s a very short walk to Calle Crisologo (about 3-5 minutes), the heart of Vigan Heritage. It’s just a walk across a couple of streets. A short right turn from Crisologo leads to the plaza, very convenient.
A Gift of a House
Grandpa’s Inn is an Ancestral House owned by the Donato family in the 1920s. It was a gift house by the sisters of Mariano when he was married to Carmen Donato. At that time, it was the first house in Vigan to have a bidet and internal plumbing. This time around, the place is now an Inn with 22 rooms. Most of the rooms are up on the second floor. The stairs steps can be a bit high though for old people but it has a very spacious common area with free wifi and it really feels like being a guest on someone’s home than a hotel. Best of all, the staff are really friendly, just don’t ask them if there’s a ghost in the house, I’m sure they won’t tell.
I’m really amused with some of the rooms. On one room we got, there are a couple of calesa beds. Most rooms have brick walls. Airconditioning is working well. The old brick walls, antique lamps give an old world feel setting aside the TV hanging on the wall. The bathrooms in a couple of rooms we got were a bit cramped. If you’re really tall, sitting on the toilet bowl can be a problem.
The place also has really cheap fan rooms with communal bathrooms and it isn’t bad either. We had our driver stay at one of the rooms there and it seems comfortable. Good for people on the budget.
I would also suggest getting the inner rooms. Not the ones beside the streets as it can get really noisy due to street traffic early in the morning.
Their signature restaurant has very good ambiance and lighting. They serve mostly Ilocano cuisines. We were only able to try their breakfast which comes included with our rooms. Was able try their tapas and langonisa and thought they were good. I also enjoyed their Tsokolate.
Great Value, Homey Feel
We stayed here for 2 nights getting the Calesa room good for 4 pax at P2680/night, an Airconditioned room good for 2 at P1780/night and an ordinary Fan cooled room good for2 for our sole driver at P730/night. I thought the prices were really of good value considering the place’s facility, location and feel. They were also quick to respond to my queries both through email and text which is always a plus for me. I wouldn’t hesitate recommending and staying here again if I find myself up at this heritage town.
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Join our Backpack Photography Photo Tours and Workshops for early 2011. Banaue Photography 101 for beginners on February, Bewitching Siquijor Photo Tour on March 2011 and Batanes Island Hopping in April 2011
Ferdz Decena is an award-winning travel photographer, writer and blogger. His works has found print in publications such as Singapore Airlines’s Silver Kris, Philippine Airlines’ Mabuhay, Cebu Pacific’s Smile and Seair InFlight. He has also lent his expertise to various organizations like the Oceana Philippines, Lopez Group Foundation, Save the Children and World Vision, contributing quality images for their marketing materials.