Our trip to Ilocos was a bit of a spur-of-the-moment decision. It started out as a wouldn’t-it-be-nice thought, which suddenly got serious when we set a date that was only about a couple of weeks away. Because of the limited time we had, we kind of rushed our search for a place to stay too. We needed lodging that would fit our budget but didn’t look like Hostel was shot there, and that’s how we stumbled upon Grandpa’s Inn.
According to their website, Grandpa’s dates back to the 18th century as the heritage home of Vigan’s Donato Family before being transformed into an inn in 1979. Prior to this, we’d never heard of Grandpa’s Inn and didn’t know anyone who has stayed there before. The reviews were good though and it also seemed OK in photos, so with only about a week left before our trip, we took the plunge and booked it.
We arrived at Vigan at about 6PM tired and hungry, but the charm of Grandpa’s Inn did not go unnoticed. With its well-preserved capiz windows and crown moldings, the structure could easily get lost or fit right in the city’s historical feel, if not for its bright green and yellow exterior.
Inside, Grandpa’s is furnished with antique furniture and bedecked with vintage decorative items to enhance the inn’s mood. On the ground floor is their coffee shop Cafe Uno (said to be the first in Vigan) and their restaurant Kusina Felicitas.
Because there were five of us, we took an air-conditioned family room (a double bed and two single beds) good for four and paid for an extra person. Before leaving Manila, we were joking about who would be the poor schmuck to take the extra bed, thinking it would be a cot or a flimsy mattress on the floor. We were pleasantly surprised to see that they had actually fitted another single bed into the room, which was pretty spacious even with the additional bed. With a hot/cold shower (in a mighty clean bathroom), cable TV, and Wi-Fi, it was more than just adequate for us to hang out in all day if we felt like it.
Daily complimentary breakfasts are served at Kusina. They present you with a preselected breakfast menu that incudes Vigan longganisa (of course), tocino, dried fish, spam, hotdog and tapa, all of which come with a fried egg and garlic rice. We also had our dinner on our second night there, though we had to eat it at Cafe Uno because we got back from Laoag pretty late. Their food was good and the serving was plenty substantial (we got to enjoy our leftovers in our room the next day).
The staff was generally friendly and helpful. Whoever was at the front desk always had a ready greeting. When we checked out, Princess (who took care of our reservation) even offered to take several photos of us and gave us a short tour of the Inn. The people at Kusina were less so, though. Maybe it had something to do with it being too early, but they were kind of grumpy whenever we had our breakfast. Service was also a bit slow when we ate dinner; does that have something to do with the time too?
Grandpa’s Inn is located a stone’s throw away from heritage center and tourist magnet Calle Crisologo. On the other hand, it’s a bit far from any 24-hour convenience store, so make sure that before you turn in for the night, you have everything you need in case you get the midnight munchies.
Grandpa’s Inn is not a hip and happening accommodation by today’s standards. It’s not a gigantic property and doesn’t have many of the modern amenities you’d probably get at a hotel like a gym or a pool. What it is is a comfortable and homey place that blends with Vigan’s heritage, and I’m perfectly fine with that.
Overall rating: ★★★★☆
#1 Bonifacio St. Corner Quirino Blvd., Vigan City, Ilocos Sur
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