Hotel Luna: The first museum hotel in the Philippines

 Published Feb 10, 2014 Updated Apr 13, 2014

Ilocos Sur is not only a home of the only World Heritage City in the country, a home of the biggest and smallest burgers. It is also the address of the luxury heritage museum hotel, Hotel Luna.

On February 8, the first museum hotel in the Philippines was opened to the public.

Hotel Luna, named after the Ilocano painter from Badoc, Juan Luna, is a four-story boutique hotel with four-star accommodations.

Kristine Singson Meehan, vice president for operations of the family’s group of boutique hotels said they "decided to name this one after another painter since we already have Rembrandt in Quezon City and Le Monet in Baguio."

The family has two more boutique hotels under development in Palawan and Boracay.

Built in 1882, the former Benigno Que house was a gift of Ilocos Sur’s Don Jose Florentino to his daughter Carmen. It is now owned by the family of Rep. Eric Singson.

The Singson family endeavored to promote tourism through culture and arts by honoring great Filipino National Artists, masters, painters and sculptors.

It houses the art collection of the Ilocos Sur second district representative who had been collecting art since the 1970s.

Not only are two works of Luna can be found in the hotel. Among the artists represented here are National Artists Jose Joya, Abdulmari Asia Imao (who also did the Luna bust), Bencab, H.R. Ocampo, Napoleon Abueva, Guillermo Tolentino, Vicente Manansala, Juvenal Sanso, Carlos "Botong" Francisco, Manuel Baldemor, Malang, Araceli Dans, Emmanuel Garibay, and Romulo Galicano.

You'll see the two bronze female figures by Abueva; two bulols, a male and a female with child; “Sabel” and Araceli Dans’ “Shawl of the Innocents,” from the BenCab Museum in the lobby. The ceiling is adorned with a sculptural piece by Abueva depicting a sun of bronze with 21 rays of carved wood, in five species of indigenous Philippine hardwoods. It is surrounded by a pregnant nude in alabaster by Baldemor; a streamlined “Maria Clara” in bronze by Imao; stainless-steel human figures poised for flight by Daniel de la Cruz; a small bronze bas-relief of the "Deposition from the Cross" by Abueva; “Lavandera” by Amorsolo; works in paper by Olazo and Baldemor. The centerpiece is a low chandelier, an assemblage of readymades in cast iron, copper and crystal created by Engineer Edward Yu, the overall chief of construction.

Named and inspired after the Chula painting series of Luna, the Chula Bar is a quaint, goldenly lit lounge which showcases Luna paintings.

The Comedor Restaurant with original brick walls from the 1800s offers contemporary Ilocano cuisine with a delectable Spanish influence created by chef Robby Goco.

The second-floor museum showcases Juan Luna’s “La Molinera” along with other interesting works of art by Manansala, Robles, Joya, Alcuaz, Galicano and Legaspi.

The veranda is backdropped by world famous artist Robles’3D historical mural of the city’s scenic spots and historical landmarks, in hammered brass, copper and silver. The open space is surrounded by opera balconies and can be seen from the glass elevator.

Because UNESCO forbids drastic changes in the architecture of Vigan heritage structures, the hotel incorporated the old house and included modern amenities into the old brick and mortar. Architect Mario Benzon consulted with the Vigan Conservation Council.

A marriage of traditional and modern worlds, Hotel Luna has 44 guestrooms, five loft suites, five and executive suites.

The hotel is located at Luna St. near the famed Crisologo St. 

The Hotel and Restaurant Management graduate from La Rosey in Switzerland daughter of Singson said that later they will be charging an entrance fee or donation for a tour of the museum. 

General Manager (left side) and the Hotel Manager, Mr. Robert Ferrer (right side)

Author: Paul Michael Camania Jaramillo

Student| Youth Advocate | Leader | Environmental Advocate | Writer | Blogger | RH Advocate

I am neither especially clever nor especially gifted. I am only very, very curious. — Albert Einstein
I write about darkness because I want to show the light — Jose Rizal

Paul is an Accountancy graduate from the Northwestern University. He works for VoicePoints. He was the former College Editors Guild of the Philippines-Ilocos Chairperson. He likes discussing tax issues. He was one of the finalists of the PWC Cup (Taxation and Payroll Accounting)

He has been involved in different advocacy and defending human rights. As a blogger, writer, netizen and an advocate, he has found focus & interest on sexuality & reproductive health, deaf rights & legal access and youth development, leadership, environment advocacy, issues in the nation and in the world, religion, culture and human rights At the age of 14, he has fully embraced the call of leadership.

He was a Lussoc National High School 'The Sring' and 'Ang Batis' news editor. A radical visionary leader, he has led organizations of the Supreme Student Government, Science Club, Youth for Environment in Schools Organization, Interact Club, Math Club, Philippine National Red Cross and other organizations in their institution. He was also awarded as a distinguished student leader as a former officer of the Supreme Student Government and received President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo Campus Journalism Award. He attended two National Leadership Training for the Student Government Officers, Rotary Youth Leadership Awards, Youth for Environment Summer Camp, Science Leaders Congress and Schools Press Conference. Joined and won in the several contests from their school to the national level.

He is an organist and an officer of the Church of Christ (Iglesia Ni Cristo).

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