The Calma side of our family (my mom and her nine siblings) have opened a boutique hotel in Davao City, Philippines. It’s called Hotel Vicente, named after their father (my grandfather), and is built on the land where their old house once stood.
It feels more like a house than a hotel; it’s cozy and comfortable, and very Filipino-Spanish. At first glance, everything might look shiny and new, but for my mom, aunts, and uncles, it really does feel like home. That’s because parts of their old house were saved and incorporated into the furnishings of the hotel. Doors, banisters, wooden beams, even a sitting rock that my grandfather used to sit on — they were lovingly planned and refurbished into Hotel Vicente’s decor.
(All of these were from the old house!)
Unfortunately, I never met my grandfather. He passed away before I was born, and I have no memories of him or the house the way my older cousins do. This hotel is the closest that I have to my family’s history, and it was amazing to walk around the hotel as my aunts and uncles pointed out things and reminisced about their childhood. “This is where the girls slept — this used to be the kitchen — this is where the boys would fight,” etc.
Hotel Vicente also has its own restaurant and bar called Cristobal, named after my grandmother, who is turning 94 years old and now resides in Davao. Before she moved, I would see her during the holidays, where she would beam with pride if asked how she raised her 10 children in the province. She and my grandfather somehow managed to put all 10 children through college and into very distinct, successful careers – dentist, doctor, engineers, executives, entrepreneurs, I.T…. All of these careers eventually culminated in a hotel that was designed, built, decorated, and managed by the 10 Calma siblings. How 10 siblings can all get along is beyond me, let alone build a hotel together! When I walked around Hotel Vicente, I couldn’t help but feel immensely proud of what they had achieved.
Hotel Vicente is along F. Torres Street in Davao City, Philippines. We’ve already had some guests stay with us and we’d love for more people to come and tell us what they think. To book, you can call Hotel Vicente at +63-82-295-7053 or +63-82-295-7393 or e-mail them at hotelvicentedavao [at] gmail [dot] com. If you have questions, you can ask them here and I’ll pass them along. I hope more people can come and see it; hopefully, you’ll feel the warm, familial love that serves as the foundation of our hotel. Thanks!
Early reviews of Hotel Vicente:
Florentino Torres Street, Davao City 8000, Philippines
Phone: +(63 82) 295-7053; 295- 7393; Fax: +(63 82) 295- 7383