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Travel and Tourism

A showcase of art & culture at Hotel Luna

Dandi Galvez - The Philippine Star

MANILA, Philippines - Art in any form comes from inspiration, and more often than not the final product can stir emotions and move an audience in many ways. That is why a visit to a museum can be a life-changing event for anyone. What better way to provoke thought than to observe a work of art from the minds of such acclaimed masters as Abueva, Amorsolo, and BenCab?

Appropriately enough, the UNESCO World Heritage city of Vigan in Ilocos Sur has no shortage of art and culture. That is why it’s no wonder that the city is home to a truly unique hotel that features a heritage museum showcasing genuine works of art. Prepare to dine, relax, and be educated at Hotel Luna.

A boutique hotel from the same owners of Hotel Rembrandt in Manila and Le Monet in Baguio City, Hotel Luna is a goldmine for art enthusiasts. An extensive collection of art works from renowned National Artists grace many of the hotel’s hallways that have been transformed into art galleries worthy of any respectable museum — new paintings from BenCab, works from Mulawin and Napoleon Abueva, Malang, Vicenta Manansala and, of course, from the hotel’s namesake, Juan Luna.

Hotel Luna’s four-story structure is actually an old house built in 1882, a wedding gift from a certain Don José Florentino to his daughter, Carmen. Today, the original building has been renovated to accommodate hotel guests as well as the art galleries that house the owner’s mostly private art collections. There are 54 guestrooms that vary in room types from standard, superior and deluxe to loft and executive. In the spirit of being a museum, the staffers also serve as tour guides for guests, taking them around the art works and providing information on each one.

Visitors to this historic city have a bevy of tourist and dining attractions to choose from right outside the door. For Hotel Luna which is an attraction by itself, you won’t be blamed for spending a lot of time indoors. Dining is not an issue with the hotel’s own restaurant, the Chula Bar. Named after Juan Luna’s classic series featuring the working-class women of Madrid, Chula Bar features an extensive wine list and local dishes such as the famous Vigan longganisa and Ilocano paella.

A chance to visit one of the true Spanish-era cities in the north, to see the culture and heritage that existed during the colonial period and to be immersed in the spirit of art and creativity, all in the same place, is such a rare privilege for the casual everyday tourist. A stay at Hotel Luna should not be taken as a mere lodging as you scour the streets of Vigan to see the Philippines in its past. It is a cultural experience — an adventure, even — of the unique artistry this country has to offer.

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Hotel Luna is located at V. de los Reyes cor. Gen. Luna Sts., Vigan City, Ilocos Sur. For more information, call (632) 373-3333 loc. 201, e-mail at [email protected] or visit its website at http://www.hotelluna.ph.Photos by FERNAN NEBRES

 

ART

BAGUIO CITY

CHULA BAR

HOTEL

HOTEL LUNA

ILOCOS SUR

JUAN LUNA

LUNA

VIGAN

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