Looking for a place to stay in Vigan, the vibrant capital city of Ilocos Sur, isn’t really a needle in haystack kind of thing because it’s very easy to look for accommodations around town especially during off-peak season. Hotels are abundant in Vigan being a busy tourist destination in the northern Philippines. When I saw Villa Angela Heritage House photos of its old staircase, old wine and tuba bottles, four post wooden beds, wooden rocking chairs that you can sink in idly for hours, it got me sold. I immediately called the number posted on its link and made an overnight reservation.
Villa Angela Heritage House was built-in the 1800s, owned by the prominent Versoza family, and now houses the many mementos collected over the years which the family proudly shares with guest. The house was constructed in the typical way how houses were constructed during the 1800s, wide and spacious living rooms or receiving rooms, high wooden sliding windows and decorated with capiz shells, long dining tables in spacious comidor, tall heavy bedroom doors with a matching heavy lock, all rooms are airy, and many antique jars here and there.
Maricris, the admin cum caretaker, was very accommodating and had loads of stories about the almost century and a half year old house and some of its famous guests. One was Tom Cruise during the filming of the movie “Born of the Fourth of July” and even had a photo with the owner hanging in the hallway.
I loved how the staff was very accommodating to show us around the ancestral house and to the room where Tom Cruise stayed during his visit. The staff was also very prompt in serving the sumptuous breakfast of traditional Vigan food, with the famous and special Vigan longanisa included.
During breakfast, all guests were seated in one long dining table where we had fun comparing notes on where we have been or what part of Vigan have we been to or planning to go to that day. So we were like one big family having breakfast that morning which was really great and a new experience for me.
I enjoyed the mini tour around the heritage house given by Maricris. She opened up the room where Tom Cruise stayed for some night during the filming of his movie.
She showed us around the house and shared stories about the current owner which happened to be the 4th generation of the prominent Versoza family. I had fun taking photos of the place and touching every antique item, like they needed to be felt. I lingered around the living room, looking at the grayed family photos, strummed the harp standing beside the old piano, amazed at door knobs made of glass, how in the olden days they were made that way. I was so elated when I saw a sungka, a local game, in one of the rooms. I remember playing it during my childhood days. And up to this day, I can still recall how to play it.
One early morning, I had coffee in the kitchen and smiling to the old clay stoves that I was looking at. I cannot help but think at how our ancestors had an easy, simple laid back life.
Location wise, Villa Angela is just a stone’s throw away from Calle Crisologo, Vigan’s famous cobbled stone street that is lined with ancestral houses. Getting around is easy too, just flag a tricycle to bring you to your destination. And if you ever need directions to going somewhere or where’s the best place to eat, Maricris would be more than happy to point you in the right direction.
My stay was very affordable too, take my word for it. If I can afford an overnight stay complimented with an Ilocano breakfast, you can afford it too.
I also loved that my bed linens and towels were made of native cotton products, nostalgic and truly Ilocano!
I would not recommend this heritage house to travellers who cannot live without unplugging themselves from the outside world. The TV set is really old and can only receive local TV stations. The wifi does not seem to work when I was there but maybe its fixed by now. Also big groups roam the house at times to take photos of all there is to see, so noise of heavy footsteps may awaken you or disturb your thinking brain at work.
If you have many devices that need charging, you may be disappointed to find that there is only wall socket in the room. But other than these minor setbacks, there is really nothing bad about this homey heritage house.
Vigan is known for its well-preserved Spanish colonial and Asian architecture. To embrace this ancestral culture, a stay at Villa Angela Heritage House will complete the experience.
You can check for the current rates and ongoing promotions at Villa Angela here.
For more reviews from other guest about their experiences during their stay at Villa Angela, click here.
I hope this post helps you with your itinerary planning for your trip to Vigan, Ilocos Sur or your backpacking itinerary to northern Luzon! Happy travels!
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