Hotel Luna: The first museum hotel in the Philippines

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)
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About the Author

Paul Michael Jaramillo
Paul Michael JaramilloExecutive Editor
Paul is a Certified Public Accountant (CPA), a youth and environmental advocate, leader, writer, blogger, filmmaker and an organist. He’s the former Chairperson of the College Editors Guild of the Philippines-Ilocos Chapter. As a writer, he has found focus and interest on reproductive health, deaf rights, youth development. At the age of 14, he has fully embraced the call of leadership by leading student organizations and college publications. He was a recipient of the PGMA Campus Journalism Award. He joined and won national contests and published some articles related to the United Nations Millennium Development Goals in a Spanish paper and website. Some of his articles were also published in leading Philippine news websites and featured in international organizations website.

He launched his career as a CPA in KPMG R.G. Manabat & Co. Paul is currently leading the Data and Analytics Network (and its university arm) of KPMG in the Philippines. He is also the Business Lead for Innovation. He provides trainings to KPMG professionals in the Philippines. He also joined Financial Services Academy for Shared Service Centres (SSC) as a presenter. He is part of the Technical Advisory Group of the Firm's Department of Professional Practice, focusing on data and analytics, audit methodology, accounting standards, root cause analysis, system of quality management, and financial statement quality control review. He represents the Firm as a resource and motivational speaker, arbiter, adjudicator and judge in academic conferences, audit conventions, accounting and audit cups, and audit case study competitions. He sits as a member of Root Cause Analysis team of the Firm. Paul is an Audit Methodology Champion and Workforce of the Future Champion of the Firm. He is also the Firm's System of Quality Management Implementation Manager.

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Paul is a member of the Iglesia Ni Cristo (Church Of Christ) and a Church officer in their locale congregation.