Saturday, 3 April 2004

Restaurant Review: Cafe Leona (Vigan City, Ilocos Sur)

Leona Florentino House

Frank, Cherry, Mandy and Tellie
The very popular CafĂ© Leona, housed at the Leona Florentino House, was opened in 1997. 
It serves a mixture of different cuisines - Filipino (daing na banguspaksiw na tilapia, chicken sisig, etc.), Japanese (sushi), Thai, Continental (smoked salmon pate, steaks, etc.) and Italian (longanisa pizza, pepperoni pizza, seafood pizza, pinakbet pizza, puttanesca, etc.). 
However, we decided to indulge on true Ilocano fare; feasting on the delicious but cholesterol-rich bagnet (local version of the crispy pata) and the healthier pinakbet (vegetable stew), all in big servings.  Other Ilocano dishes served include Vigan longanisasinanglao, fish tamales (made from ipon) and Vigan-style morcon.  
The ambiance is quite dull and dark and the service quite slow though.  Come nighttime, the restaurant sets up floor space outside for al fresco dining. 
Cafe Leona: Mena Crisologo St., Vigan City, Ilocos Sur. Tel: (077) 722-2212.  Fax: (077) 722-3089. Mobile number: (0920) 906-8144.  E-mail:

Hotel and inn Feature: Cordillera Inn (Vigan City, Ilocos Sur)

Date of Stay: April 3 - 4, 2004

RATING (Scale of 1 to 10)
Location: ********
Rooms: *******
Condition and Cleanliness: ********
Staff Performance: *******
Room Comfort: ******
Food and Beverage: ******
Other Amenities: ******
Value for Money: *******

Cordillera Inn

The cozy interior
The Cordillera Inn, formerly the Casa de Don Gaspar de Bartolome, was built between 1871-1900 and is one of many ancestral homes in the city turned into cozy hotels and pension houses. 

Located at the heart of cobblestoned Mena Crisologo St. (parking is not allowed here, park at the rear of the hotel) and the city's Heritage Village, near Plaza Burgos, it is surrounded by lots of quaint antique shops and coffee shops serving Ilocano fare.

The large, pleasant reception area, with its stone floor, huge, round center table and antique lamps on the walls, adjoins the small congenial in-house restaurant which serves authentic Ilocano cuisine. 

The inn has 23 airconditioned family rooms with four-poster beds, private bath and cable TV (PhP1,500).  The inn's original rooms have been divided to create these smaller rooms, especially with the standard rooms.  Some rooms have no windows. Their decor is simple and sober. A large staircase leads to the rooms on the upper floors. 

Grace and the kids at the stairway of Cordillera Inn

This economy-class hotel also has a bar, lounge, multi-purpose hall, function/ meeting room, roof deck garden and curio/souvenir shop and offers laundry, currency exchange, safety deposit box, wi-fi service, tours, fax and 24-hour room service. 

Cordillera Inn: 29 Mena Crisologo cor. Gen. Luna Sts., Vigan City, Ilocos Sur. Tel: (077) 722-2526. Fax: (077) 722-2739 & 722-2727.  Mobile number: (0927) 313-5616.