MANILA — Vigan is a favorite holiday destination, as visitors explore the rustic ambiance of this World Heritage city. However, Vigan trips now can be more than the usual stroll along its calles (streets) lined with old houses.
Located just five minutes away from Vigan’s heritage village, Fiesta Garden Hotel Resort and Spa is a new hotel in the area that gives the Vigan experience a new perspective.
“We have complete facilities and services. We have our own garden and our land space is relatively large. We are something refreshing and something new,” said resident manager Leo Animas.
The hotel, which is owned by medical practitioners, was first envisioned to be a home for retirees until they realized the growing demand for hotels in Vigan. “It was then they decided to venture into the hotel business. They started with the restaurant in 2007, which became part of the hotel,” Animas said.
The festive theme is reflected around the property that is painted in pastel shades. The spacious outdoor landscape is highlighted by a large swimming pool that allows guests to splash away the Ilocos heat, while the spa and a fitness center is set to be finished before the year ends. “But we can offer a room-service type of treatment while the spa is still under construction. And we are proud to say that our therapists had their training in Manila to ensure their knowledge in spa treatments,” he said.
The wood carvings that compliment the property is significant to its birth. In late 2011, while conceptualizing the hotel, the owners saw the wood carvings hanging in the restaurant. “They were in a meeting when they saw the display that shows Filipinos celebrating a fiesta. That’s when the owners decided to adapt that theme for the hotel,” he said.
The artistic displays were crafted in the town of Paete in Laguna, famous for its carvers. A group of artists was commissioned to create the fiesta-themed wood carvings for the hotel using mango wood. The pieces were then shipped to the hotel where the interior designers put in final touches of paint.
The two original wood carvings displayed at the restaurant were bought from a street vendor in 2007, and they continue to fascinate diners.
“That’s the story, that’s why the wood carving displayed at the restaurant is very important to the owners,” he adds.
Today, guest room doors and common areas are adorned with wood carvings in keeping with the hotel’s theme.
“As an experienced hotelier, we are very hands-on with training our staff to meet the standards that we’ve practiced for many years,” Animas said of the solicitous staff that sport tropical inspired uniforms.
Favorite local food is also something to look forward to at the hotel, starting with their crispy binagoongang bagnet and kinilaw na tanigue.“We add twists on traditional dishes that we serve and by early next year we’ll be relaunching the restaurant to feature more distinct dishes,” said food and beverage manager William Castro.
The spacious rooms are bright and cozy for perfect relaxation, and come with complete amenities and services. Corporate clients could also take advantage of their pillar-less ballroom that could accommodate 140 persons.
Next year, the hotel will be launching their shuttle service to and from the heritage village of Vigan. Future plans include team building/sports facilities that will be unique in Vigan.
- Service: 7.5/10
- Bed comfort: 7/10
- Room: 8/10
- Dining: 8/10
- Cleanliness: 9/10
- Facilities: 8.5/10
- Nearby transportation options: Provincial buses and local jeepneys
- Ideal for: Couples, Groups and Families
Fiesta Garden Hotel Resort and Spa is located at National Highway, Guimod, Bantay,Vigan, Ilocos Sur. For reservations call (77) 722-5005/644-0401 or visit www.fiestagardenmetrovigan.com.ph Photos by Fernan NEBRES
ViajeroMNL (Viajero Manila) is a lifestyle blog site that features different pop culture, travel, and food destinations in the Philippines. This article was written by Gillian Gacuma.