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An occasionally belligerent mother of four and an autism parent / advocate who believes that traveling, good food and good company are vital to keep one sane. I've worked as a news writer/newscaster, a quality systems auditor, a ISO9001 consultant, an FM radio DJ, a Filipino tutor, TOEFL reviewer and have gone into the food industry both as an entrepreneur and as a mommy chef, giving a sponsored demo on healthy cooking in a mall and on local TV. My favorite job however, is being a mom and a wife.

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Sunday, June 17, 2012

Ciudad Fernandina: Vigan's ONLY Boutique Hotel

Calle Crisologo early in the morning
In the heart of historical Calle Crisologo in the heritage Mecca of the north,  lies a boutique hotel that is simply a joy to be in.
#26 is where it's at
Ciudad Fernandina Hotel Vigan.

still a welcomed sight
Originally a home built in 1758 to a Chinese Mestizo couple (Mestizos de Sangley of the Pariancillo de esta Ciudad de Vigan) , the Encarnacions. The house has since then changed ownership, but still within the family, until it came upon it's latest heir, Atty. Ramon Encarnacion, who later converted it into a hotel named Fernandina Hotel.
Ciudad Fernandina's own restaurant
After acquiring the hotel in 2007, Dr. Benito Purugganan, Jr. and his wife, Yolanda Guerrero, restored it to a modern hotel, yet maintaining the classic characteristics of a Vigan ancestral house. The original structure was L-shaped, with the west wing added during restoration. It being within the Vigan Heritage Village, which is a UNESCO World Heritage Site, CFH has been restored in accordance with UNESCO guidelines to preserve its authenticity as a Vigan heritage house. ( Source: http://www.ciudadfernandinavigan.com.ph/about_cfh.html).

Model: Janelle
Photo taken by: Phil Bautista
Taking a weekend off to accompany Phil on a photo shoot with his photog pals, the search for a nice, clean yet somewhat of historical value hotel was a minimum. 
the darkening sky should have clued as in on 
A sudden cloudburst allowed us to visit one other hotel, and because of the one way streets around the plaza, led us to dial SOS in the dark.Thankfully, the friendly and efficient front desk clerk of CF Vigan answered our call. 
I should post prod this and try to create
 "God" rays just to show how grateful 
we were to see the hotel in the rain Ü
Upon arriving at Mabini cor Plaridel St., street parking was our only option, and mind you, it is a very narrow street. 
Mabini cor Plaridel St
The courtyard fronting the hotel though, is an entirely different story. Bathed in soft yellow lights, a little cherub fountain on the side and wrought iron benches offered the promise of a cozy stay, in the turmoil that was the weather.

CF by day...

parked right smack beside the hotel, 
street parking is your ONLY option
Entering the hotel's lobby, charming was the word that came to mind. By the way, the lobby is a wi-fi hot spot, so you might as well check whatever you need to check online as the upper floors did not have connectivity as of that time. 

There is also no elevator yet. Plans for it's completion are underway. What gets you up the next floor is a flight of stairs that is one of two of it's kind in the city. One of two made in concrete inside an ancestral home that is. The steps were overlain with hardwood though during restoration.  

THE stairs
Acquiring a superior room (3,295 php/night), we scurried off to the 3rd floor. On our way up, you could see a multitude of paintings from the owner's personal collection. 

paintings in every surface available

a foyer on the second floor
Tastefully decorated, and on the modern side, you won't find a mold dusted surface or water stained spot anywhere. The smell of wood, some citrusy furniture polish and maybe a hint of potpourri were the smells the permeated the structure, unlike the last hotel we looked into, which reeked of stale urine, mold and decay (ok, maybe not decay Ü). 

a veranda on the 2rd floor...
Though the original bricks of the old house are still intact, some of it were varnished and the rest, plastered over.
which faces the courtyard
Our room itself was quite small, but the queen sized bed was enough for MAX, Phil and I. The entire room was quite new, as the hotel itself officially opened it's doors just a month before. 
our room -> foot of the bed version (pardon the clutter)
The furnishings and the bedding had a decent thread count, hypoallergenic and new. As the floor area was quite compact, the AC was über cold despite raising the thermostat. Thankfully, the bed came with a comforter on top of the 4 fluffy yet firm pillows. There's also cable tv. 
pig shaped towels on top of the bed...
cute, but, in my humble opinion, I prefer the folded ones  Ü
On the downside, no phones or intercoms may be found in the rooms.You'll have to walk all the way down to the hotel lobby for assistance.
our room -> the head version (again, pardon the clutter)
The bathroom, thank heavens, had most of the modern comforts, except for a hair dryer and a bidet (we're anal about that...excuse the pun Ü). 

They also provided basic toiletries with a plus -  they were handcrafted. The lavender soap and the chocomint shampoo brought me to aromatherapy heaven, that for once, I didn't  chuck the ones from the hotel in the recesses of our bag and use the ones that I brought with us.

lavender soap, chocomint shampoo and the rest of the stuff provided by the hotel
wonder what kind of toothpaste they'll have if they gave one
Food-wise, the hotel has a restaurant/bar that had a limited, and pricey menu. It's not bad, just not practical.  Another good thing to know, the room comes with a free breakfast for two. 
pastries, cakes and bread are also available
the décor at the hotel restaurant
the only "stiff" drink we get these days are the ones
 with stiff peaks of whipped cream in 'em and can be bought in a coffee  shop :(
waiting for the Vigan longganisa meal Ü
On eating out: The hotel is a 10 minute, leisurely walk from the town center, so grabbing a bite to eat outside the hotel isn't that hard. In fact, you're in the heart of the Heritage Village, that restaurants, the local bakery, empanadahans and coffee shops are a stone's throw away. 

sunblock, water and sunglasses are must haves during the summer season.
most shops aren't air conditioned

no Starbucks though
Even the shops for local trinkets and what have you are nearby.

blankets, home décors, trinkets and many more abound at Calle Crisologo
Ciudad Fernandina's a wonderful place to stay at while in Vigan. They have a wonderful, efficient staff on top of the great ambiance that the hotel brings. Value for you money...compared to hotels we've stayed at overseas, maybe not, but it's the best that they've got in Vigan.

carriage rides around the city are priced reasonably 
From TMW, may all your wanderings be better than ours.

the beds were THAT comfy Ü

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