A few weeks ago, we took a 3-day vacation in Vigan, Ilocos Sur.
Vigan is a small city known for its preserved Spanish colonial architecture. I had been to Vigan before, many years ago, but it was just an overnight trip. This time, it was a 3-days-2-nights affair so that we would have time to enjoy the town and yet not exhaust ourselves. We wanted an escape from the daily grind, and we also wanted to relax and recharge.
GETTING TO VIGAN / WHERE TO STAY
We stayed at the Metro Vigan Fiesta Garden Hotel. The hotel is located outside Vigan proper, but I think it was a good choice because the hotel was bigger and was definitely more spacious than hotels inside the city.
To get there, we took a bus to Vigan (Partas Bus in Cubao, Deluxe – P665, First Class – P805). The First Class bus that left Cubao at 7:30 pm arrived in Vigan at 3:30 am – eight hours. It’s recommended that you take a bus to Laoag instead (see below). As you can see from the pictures, the hotel is right along the National Highway where buses pass through.
There were many tricycle drivers milling around outside the Partas bus station in Vigan offering to take us to the hotel. They were asking for P100 to take us to the hotel! Fortunately, we were told that the fare from Vigan to the hotel was only P40. But, it was 4am and all the tricycle drivers were asking for P100 and up, like some sort of a “night differential”, but we finally haggled with one to take us for P70. Make sure to confirm that you’re going to the Fiesta Garden hotel, because there’s another hotel called Metro Vigan.
Take note that the hotel charges extra if you arrive earlier and use your room before your check-in time at 2 PM.
For the bus back to Manila, we went to the Partas bus station in Vigan and got tickets for the next trip. Unfortunately, all that was available was a Deluxe, and it took a postal-inducing 13 hours to arrive in Cubao! Instead of using the expressways, our bus used the long route through each town and picked up and dropped off various passengers along the way. So, note to self, avoid Deluxe. It’s slightly cheaper but not worth the torture of 5 extra hours on the bus.
METRO VIGAN FIESTA GARDEN HOTEL
Metro Vigan Fiesta Hotel is located along the National Highway, in Bantay, about 5-10 minutes from Vigan City. You can actually take a bus to Laoag instead of taking a bus to Vigan. The bus to Laoag would pass right by the hotel. You can just get off in front of the hotel and there would be no need to get a tricycle!
Here’s the highway right outside the hotel:
The scene is very pastoral. Check out this cute, little goat who’s just munching grass to its heart’s content:
After exploring the hotel in the morning, I really felt that we made the right choice staying there instead of in the city where the hotels were smaller. It was a good place to relax, the place was spacious, it has a garden, a pool, and lots of fresh air.
We got a superior room. The room was actually bigger and nicer than we expected. I expected something basic. Here’s a panoramic view:
There’s a flat-screen TV, a seating area, a cold aircon, a refrigerator, a tea/coffee station with complimentary water, telephone, etc…
The TV has cable channels but the channel line-up is limited. We tried to hook up our laptop to the TV via HDMI but we couldn’t get it to work.
The lamp includes a flexible light that you can position for your bedside reading.
I really appreciate how they included a flashlight for guests to use. We didn’t need to use it, but it’s nice to know that it’s there.
The bathroom was not luxurious but it’s adequate. There’s a hair dryer available.
Bath towels are provided. Here are the toiletries:
The hotel uses a modern key card system for their doors. Did you notice the door? All the guest room doors have this kind of carving design.
All the wood carvings are unique.
The room rates are:
- Superior Room (1 Queen Bed) – P3,600.00
- Deluxe Room (2 Double Beds) – P3,900.00
- Premiere Room (1 Queen + 1 Double Bed) – P4,500.00
- Executive Suite (1 King Bed) – P7,900.00
- Extra Bed – P750.00
- Extra Person – P500.00
- complimentary breakfast for 2 at Garden Fiesta Restaurant
- hotel-wide Wifi
- use of swimming pool
- complimentary parking
EXPLORING THE HOTEL
The hotel has been around for about 2 years, so it’s fairly new. It has modern amenities but still has that provincial feel. It is not glitzy or glamorous, but I thought it was simple and very relaxing. They are still making some improvements to the resort, adding spa areas, a bar, etc…
Here’s the colorful corridor leading to the guest rooms:
Here’s a courtyard where you can hang out:
After leaving our things in the room, we wandered around and explored the rest of the hotel property. This leads to the dining area (Fiesta Garden Cafe):
Here’s a closer look at that garden between the two structures:
Here’s the dining area:
To the left of the trees is the pool:
Here’s the hotel pool:
It has slides, and also a smaller kiddie pool:
Another building near the pool houses the spa. Here’s what their massage rooms look like:
It’s easy to get around from the hotel. It’s just P40 for a tricycle to Vigan City, you get the whole tricycle to yourselves (or as many of your companions as you can fit into a tricycle, I suppose). You just flag down a passing tricycle from the main entrance of the hotel.
If you are looking to dine somewhere else, or need to purchase something, there are many options along the National Highway. About 500 meters away from the Metro Vigan Fiesta Garden Hotel is JTC Mall. It’s a P20 tricycle ride. I wouldn’t consider it a good mall, but it will do in a pinch. It has a supermarket where we stocked up on snacks, drinking water, etc…
Overall, we had a good experience during our stay at Metro Vigan Fiesta Garden Hotel. I like the spacious rooms and relaxing atmosphere. I would recommend it to those who prefer a more resort-like ambience and a more laid-back pace to exploring Vigan. We had a wonderful time at the hotel, exploring Vigan at our leisure, and just generally enjoying and relaxing at the hotel. There were other guests at the hotel, but it wasn’t crowded. We even had the pool to ourselves!
The hotel is also apparently popular as a conference venue. While we were there, we noticed some conferences and parties held at the hotel’s function rooms.
Wifi is steady but not blazing fast. It will do for checking emails and casual surfing, but watching videos can be a bit choppy.
The food served at their main dining area is hit or miss. It is simple fare, very lutong bahay. I did like their longganisa though 🙂 I liked their longganisa much better than the ones at famed Cafe Leona’s.
Service was good. The staff were nice and hospitable, with that sweet, provincial shyness, but they were always ready to help us with directions, getting a tricycle, etc… they even offered to keep our purchased longganisas in their freezer until we checked out the next day.
Please stay tuned for my next post about the places we visited in Vigan + shopping finds
Metro Vigan Fiesta Garden Hotel
National Highway, Guimod, Bantay,(Metro Vigan) Ilocos Sur, Philippines
+63 77 644 0401
+63 77 02 584 4176
+63 917 809 8909
Email: [email protected]
I hope you enjoyed this blog post. Please feel free to leave a comment below, I love hearing from you!