Vigan City is one of the most popular cultural destinations in the Philippines. It is known for its well-preserved Spanish colonial architecture, including the cobblestone street of Calle Crisologo, ancestral houses, and a 16th-century church. This UNESCO World Heritage site is a favorite among families and a must-visit for those interested in taking a look at living history. And let’s be honest, a lot of people come here to take IG-worthy photos at Calle Crisologo too.
Early this year, I was invited to Vigan City in Ilocos Sur to attend the launch of the tourism initiative — the Vigan Tourist Passport. I stayed in Hotel Felicidad along with other bloggers and content creators. Here’s my review of Hotel Felicidad in Vigan City.
Hotel Felicidad is one of the several ancestral hotels in Vigan City, offering its guests the experience of staying in a traditional casa but furnished with modern amenities.
This hotel actually has an interesting history. It was originally constructed as a bahay na bato — a type of architecture unique to the Philippines, which was popular among the middle and elite classes during the Spanish Colonial Period. A bahay na bato is said to be an upgraded version of the traditional bahay kubo (nipa hut). It features the same design, but instead of organic materials, the foundation is made of adobe walls and the open-layout top levels are made of wood. In 1918, the house was renovated to be a family-run tourist inn until it became the Hotel Felicidad that we know today.
It is only my second time in Vigan City and the first time that I would be staying in a hotel. At this time, Hotel Felicidad had just reopened after the pandemic to accommodate the visitors for the Binatbatan Festival.
The moment I walked inside the hotel, I was awed. The hotel interior has an old-world beauty, with dark hardwood furniture, intricate baldosa tiles, and various paintings on the walls. From the reception area, you can head to the grand staircase to the spacious sala in the second floor.
Even I was surprised by my reaction since I usually prefer modern accommodations (old houses remind me of my grandma’s creaking 2-story home at the province).
We originally had a room on the third floor of the main hotel, but we opted to be transferred to the annex just across the street since going up and down the stairs was tiring for us.
Our room had one large bed and an additional single bed, with a private bathroom with hot and cold shower, different-sized towels, and bathroom amenities. I love the smell of their complimentary oatmealsoap and conditioner.
Our room was comfortable and my only issue with it is poor signal reception and it isn’t reached by the hotel WIFI. So we had to go outside if we wanted to connect to the WIFI.
Hotel Felicidad serves breakfast buffet, starting at 7AM to 10AM. It is served at the open dining area at the annex. This area has quirky details like colorful batibot chairs, but it can be also be hot especially since it was peak summer when we visited.
Over the 3 days we were there, the buffet varies but usually has rice, eggs, vigan longganisa and other viands, vegetable sides, fruits, and bread and jams. For the drinks, there’s a choice of coffee or tea.
The breakfast for me was good. I’m not really a fan of vigan longganisa (or other longganisa for that matter), so I appreciate that there were alternative ulams. I also love their hot chocolate, thick and delicious. It isn’t included in the breakfast buffet, but you can order it for additional fee.
Refills were fast too, so there’s no worry about the food running out if you wake up late. Also, I’ve seen other guests have breakfast past 10AM and the hotel staff still accommodated them — I think that’s very generous.
Oh, and have I mentioned that they have 24/7 hot coffee in the dining area? It’s nice spending the day outside and then coming back with a warm cup of coffee ready even at night.
Things to Do at Hotel Felicidad
One of the best things about staying at Hotel Felicidad is that it’s just a short walk away from Calle Crisology, as well as the St. Paul Metropolitan Cathedral (also known as Vigan Church), the Dancing Fountain in Plaza Salcedo, and more.
I went with other content creators early mornings to get photos of Calle Crisologo, and it did not disappoint. Of course, we also explored other areas — we ate vigan empanada at Irene’s (I love the cheese variety), shopped for souvenirs (check out Tienda Verda Souvenir Shop along De Los Reyes St.), visited a bagnet farm (my boyfriend Hali was crazy jealous when I told him we visited the place where they cook kilos of bagnet daily), and went to the public market for local veggies, fruits, and condiments.
We also toured other nearby attractions including RG Jar Factory for pottery making, Pinakbet Farm where you can enjoy riverside and farm dining, and the Baluarte — which I do not recommend, by the way.
I think the only activity we missed doing is the kalesa ride.
Anyway, you can do these activities on your own. For convenience, Hotel Felicidad also offers tours around Vigan City — as well as the nearby Laoag and Pagudpud. You can also ask them to arrange a tour with a bicycle or kalesa.
They also have a small souvenir shop that you should check out, offering high-quality inabel products from Tela de Bonita.
I was highly satisfied with our stay at Hotel Felicidad. Here’s a summary of my Hotel Felicidad review:
- Rooms. Clean, beautiful rooms with complete amenities. However, our room was not reached by the hotel WIFI.
- Food. Breakfast buffet is good, with changing menu daily. There is 24/7 coffee available.
- Location. Convenient location as it is near the best tourist spots in Vigan City.
Overall, I would recommend it if you’re looking for a hotel in Vigan City.
If you’re looking for alternative options, another hotel that I would recommend is Hotel Luna. It’s the first museum hotel in the Philippines, with beautiful rooms and a gallery of local artworks including original paintings from Juan Luna.
Book your stay here
You can book discounted rooms at Hotel Felicidad via Agoda.
You can choose from Standard Room, Superior Room, Deluxe Room, or any of their Grand Suites. There are also family rooms good for 5 and 9 people each.
Disclaimer: Our stay was provided for free. As always, thoughts and opinions are my own.
Has this Hotel Felicidad review been helpful to you? If you have questions or comments, let us know in the comments section below!
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Katherine Cortes is a 30-something freelance writer/editor. She likes beaches, snorkeling trips, and relaxing staycations (preferably with bath tubs!).