Sunday, August 13, 2017

Sunday, August 13, 2017

Not all vacation lodgings need to be fully modern. There are some that take you back to a forgotten time. Although equipped with modern features for borrowed time's sake, such accommodations make for interesting homes away from home. They are usually structures that people can't ignore. They frighten the naive, but they also make curious guests ogle at vintage details. If anything, they're irresistible.

In the Philippines, I've managed to stay in four lodgings that can be considered historic in many ways. I've listed them here as recommendations for your next amusing stay wherever they're located. Three are luxury hotels in Metro Manila that used to serve a different purpose before they were restored to their former glory. One is a highland home in Baguio City that's now an inn. I included one more lodging that's a bed and breakfast which I'm yet to visit. It's worth adding it here because it's located in my favorite province of Albay.

1. Rizal Park Hotel
Location: Manila
Former Use: As Army and Navy Club

Rizal Park Hotel
Rizal Park Hotel
Rizal Park Hotel

A historically-inspired space as the former Army and Navy Club, Rizal Park Hotel is declared as a National Historical Landmark by the National Historical Commission of the Philippines (NHCP) on April 26, 1991. It was a venue where Manila's social life thrived before World War II. The iconic structure is now a 110-room hotel that captures the opulent urban living in the city. Whether you're a traveler who has a penchant for nostalgia or a diplomat who's in town for critical business meetings, it has enough grandeur that exudes elegance, luxury, sophistication, and comfort for any guest.

Book a room.

Read more about Rizal Park Hotel.

2. Peredo's Lodging House
Location: Baguio City
Former Use: Family home of the Peredos

Peredo's Lodging House
Peredo's Lodging House
Peredo's Lodging House

Beyond its evident resilience, the Peredo's Lodging House was once home to the Peredo family. The lot on which the heritage house stands is the fruit of Roque Peredo's hard work and perseverance as a draftsman at age 29. Built in 1915 by Japanese craftsmen under his supervision with Mr. Hashiguchi as contractor, the century-old highland home has endured a lot of challenges. From a global depression to a couple of world wars, it came out unscathed. It also survived the destructive 1990 earthquake that damaged more than 30 establishments in the city, making it an expedient sanctuary for the owners' friends and relatives whose homes were destroyed.

The whole house can be rented or guests can opt to just rent a room or two.

Read more about the Peredo's Lodging House.

3. Luneta Hotel
Location: Manila

Luneta Hotel
Luneta Hotel
Luneta Hotel

Luneta Hotel was envisioned by its Spanish architect and engineer Salvador Farre to be a model of the Belle Epoque influences that thrived in Europe toward the end of World War I in 1918, the same year the structure was erected. It was finally completed the year after. Decreed as a National Landmark, the elegant six-storey hotel was considered as one of the world's most romantic spots by hotel aficionados during its heyday. The now 27-room hotel also served as a brothel for American G.I.s in the liberation of Manila during World War II when it still had more partitions for lodging. Now with bigger guestrooms, each floor only has its narrow hallways as a present reminder of its scandalous past. Its present restored state of elegance makes every guest relive the grandeur of old Manila when the city's elite, foreign dignitaries, and respectable merchant marine officers used to grace its opulent lobby.

Book a room.

Read more about Luneta Hotel.

4. The Henry Hotel Manila
Location: Pasay City

The Henry Hotel Manila
The Henry Hotel Manila
The Poptalk "staycation episode" shoot at The Henry Hotel Manila
As a guest travel blogger, I was able to shoot a staycation episode for Poptalk with fellow guest reviewers Bettina Carlos and Rafa Siguion-Reyna at The Henry Hotel Manila in 2015. Encompassing five two-storey houses that are interconnected by a covered walkway, The Henry Hotel Manila is a vintage gem of a bed and breakfast in congested Pasay City. Within the compound where the hotel is located, the ambiance is laid-back and seems to be frozen in 1950 when the structures were originally built. Guests are assured to have an authentic whiff of post-WWII Manila aesthetic inside the property because the period is well-preserved from the architectural details down to the nitty-gritties of the guestrooms' interior design.

Book a room.

Read more about The Henry Hotel Manila.

5. Casa Simeon
Location: Bacacay, Albay
Former Use: Home of the Alparces

Casa Simeon; photography by Roaming Rome Knows Travel on Facebook (@roamingromeknowstravelPH)
Casa Simeon (courtesy of Casa Simeon's Facebook fan page)

Considered as an icon of the town of Bacacay, the 97-year old Casa Simeon is more than a bed and breakfast that Albay vacationers can book. The 9-bedroom house was built in 1920 and served as the family home of Don Simeon and Beatrice Alparce. It's been restored with a restaurant, function rooms, library and mini-museum. The restaurant is called Cucina Beatrice and can be the venue of any special event in the area. Its library is decked with interesting books written in Bicolano.

It's located near the public market, the town's gymnasium and 20 kilometers away from the Commercial Business District of Legazpi City. From its spacious veranda, guests can view the majestic Mayon Volcano.

You can book a tour of it and other Bacacay attractions with Roaming Rome Knows Travel on Facebook. Check its fan page here.

Book a room.

The next time you're staying in the Philippines, try booking a room at a storied hotel or inn. It's when the vacation can become meaningful as it lets you connect with the past to appreciate the present.

My booked Luneta Hotel room

Eager for more travel recommendations? Check out the following posts:

• Essential Metro Manila Hotels For Staycation Part 1
Essential Metro Manila Hotels For Staycation Part 2
• Essential Metro Manila Hotels For Staycation Part 3
• 10 Essential Hotels and Resorts To Book In Rizal
• 12 Pasig City Hotels To Book, Rain Or Shine
• Where To Stay In Makati City: From Luxury To Budget Hotels, Plus More Lodging Types
• Must-Book Hotels In Quezon City
• Where To Eat and What To Order In Quezon City?
• Baguio City Attractions: Where To Eat, What To See and Where To Stay
• 20 Resorts In The Philippines For Romantic Getaways
14 Filipino Cuisine Restaurants To Try In The Philippines
14 Restaurants With Unique Dining Views In The Philippines
• 16 Must-Try Offbeat Cafes In The Philippines
• Unique Laguna Resorts To Book, Rain Or Shine
• 12 Offbeat Attractions For Educational Tours In The Philippines
• Farm Tourism Destinations In The Philippines
• Fields of Dreams In The Philippines
• 10 Resorts and Hotels With Attractive Swimming Pool Views
• 7 Charming Resorts and Hotels For Pre-Nuptial Photo Shoots
• 10 Luxury Hotels and Resorts To Book For Pampered Vacations
• 8 Less Explored Attractions In The Philippines
• 10 Extraordinary Resorts and Hotels To Book In The Philippines
• 3 Essential Events Place In Metro Manila For Weddings, Birthdays, and More


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