Solina Beach and Nature Resort Review
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For such a long time, I have been wanting to revisit Carles in Iloilo to finally experience the beautiful Gigantes Islands. The last time I attempted to visit the island failed due to a bad weather condition, so when I got an invite for Las Islas Travel and Tours to explore the place, I said yes and immediately cleared my schedule for the trip.
The absence of internet and limited accommodation option were the major reasons why visiting this place was in my least priority. However, there’s a new hotel in the área that changed my perception in the place – the Solina Beach and Nature Resort (resort info).
For such a small town, I never thought a luxury resort would rise up in this place – and I must say that the owners of the resort are not just taking a huge risk in building a huge resort with a premium feel – but they are also turning into a tourism game changer in the entire province. With such beautiful islands located near the resort, the place really needs a good accommodation option for those who demands a good and quality place to stay.
“As summer closely beckons, we want to show that Carles can compete with other popular tourist destinations in the Philippines,” said Solina co-owner Mr. Joseph Solis.
“I grew up in Carles and went to Manila for work, but my heart always belonged to Carles. Building this resort is my way of giving back to my hometown. This is the legacy I want to leave behind,” he added.
Solina Beach and Nature Resort (check rates here), officially opened its gates to the public, in time for summer. It is the first and only high-end beachfront accommodation in Carles Town – the jump-off point to the rising tourism destination Gigantes Group of Islands, “At Solina, we are bringing world-class accommodation and luxurious amenities to complement your rejuvenating Gigantes island hopping escapade.” Mr. Joseph Solis said.
Solina – from the names Lina and Solis – is the brainchild Mr. Solis, who hails from Carles Town. Aside from helping promote the Gigantes Group of Islands, Solina also aims to leave a mark on the community. He employs about 50 employees, 85% of which are purely Carlesanons with the goal of providing job opportunities to the locals for community development.
Solina is located at Carles, Iloilo near the magnificent Gigantes and Sicogon Group of Islands, Solina Beach and Nature Resort. It is a gem yet to be discovered and a worthy addition to the country’s world-class tourist spots, as it offers the excitement of going on an adventure with the peaceful ambiance a resort can have.
The resort is an hour and a half away from Roxas City. It is also 10 to 15 minutes away from the town center and the Carles port.
Solina’s hotel manager personally welcomed us on our arrival. They gave us a cold towel and a green mango juice as a welcome drink. After getting our set of keys, the genial staff assisted me on my luggage and escorted us to our individual Kamalig with a golf cart. Kamalig is a unique type of tent accommodation similar to the one in African Safari places, but with a feel of luxury and utmost comfort.
Accommodation in Solina
Solina Beach and Nature Resort (discounted rates) boasts 7.8 hectares of land, housing eight duplex villas totaling to 16 rooms, eight pods good for two persons each, and 25 cabin tents that can accommodate couples and small groups of four to six. Each room at Solina has a private comfort room with hot and cold shower, complete vanity, and toiletry kits, and face and body towels.
The resort features various accommodation for different guests needs – from full-service villas for families, pods and glamping tents for big groups wanting to stage different activities.
Balay are villas divided into two types. First is Reyna which has 2 queen-sized beds while and a Hari, housing 1 king-sized bed and 1 daybed. All villas have split type air conditioning unit, a 32 Ultra HD curved TV with Cable Sattelite TV, Toilet and Bath and Hot and Cold Shower.
These are pods with two single beds, and considered to be the most affordable accommodation option in the resort.
The Kamalig are basically luxurious tents divided into three types. First is the Reyna type with a single bed, Duwa with two single bed and Apat with four single Beds. All Kamalig rooms have window type ACU, Toilet, and Bath with hot and cold shower and Small LCD TV with a veranda.
The Kamalig Experience
During my first night, I stayed at a Kamalig (tent room) # C19. By looking from afar, the Kamalig looks like an ordinary tent, but to my surprise, it was elevated.
Upon entering my room, the first thing I noticed was the room smells fresh and clean. Unlike other normal tent accommodation, the Kamalig room was actually huge and it even has an AC unit. What makes this tent-like accommodation different is that it’s equipped with a nice bathroom, complete with towels and toiletries.
I guess my favorite part of the room is the veranda, where I spent my idle time while completing my online tasks. I get to commune with nature as my accommodation is situated in the middle of a lush forest.
The Balay Experience
On my second and third night, I stayed at Villa 4A, from a rugged luxury tent, this room was completely a perfect treat.
My room has a high ceiling, spacious terrace with a view of Guinticgan Beach.
It has access to a free WIFI and cable TV channels. The villa has a private entrance and a beautiful veranda with sea view. The Villa has a bigger room space and the bathroom is also bigger. I love their hot and cold shower too. The rooms here are excellent – lots of space inside the room, plenty of furniture, a large jewelry and laptop safe box, decent sinks/shower area and separate toilet cubicle.
My Gastronomic Experience in Solina’s Angga Restaurant
I got to savor on classic Ilonggo dishes and the freshest seafood at Angga Restaurant. This restaurant has the perfect view of the pool and the sea which makes the whole dining experience a memorable one.
For breakfast, my personal favorite is their Daing na Bangus, Tocino and Ilonggo Breakfast – a plate with fish tocino and crispy flat dried fish.
For lunch and dinner, I had the Sinigang sa Batuan, Bangus Sisig, Seafood Platter, Chicken Inasal, Laswa, KBL and pinakbet.
Soon to rise is a beachside tower bar with a commanding view deck called Dalayanon, where guests can order sumptuous grilled seafood dishes and other delicacies and alcoholic beverages.
At present, resort amenities include a stylish swimming pool, jacuzzi, and a kiddie pool as well as an 8- day tour cabanas for family and barkada picnics and get-togethers. As mentioned on my dining experience, there is a full-service restaurant called Angga serving Filipino and International dishes for every budget type.
The resort also offers laundry service. In case you wanted to roam around the área and breath some fresh air, there’s a free use of bike for all guests of the resort.
But that’s not just it, Solina also has a small aviary and an eco-friendly bonfire place for a group who wants to do additional activities while in the resort. In the pipeline, there’s a gym, spa, and clinic.
How to get there
From Manila, you can book a domestic flight going to Roxas City via Philippines Airlines, CebGo, and Cebu Pacific. Flight duration takes about an hour to get to Roxas Airport. The second option would be booking a flight going to Iloilo Airport, via Philippine Airlines, Cebu Pacific, and AirAsia.
When you arrive in Roxas City, take a bus going to Estancia. Travel time takes about one and half hour, then alight in Balasan. From there, you can ride a tricycle going to Carles.
If you alight in Iloilo City, (Ceres Bus Terminal located in Tagbak) have buses that offer direct trips to Carles. Another option is traveling from Kalibo, Aklan, where travel time takes 4 hours.
The setting is very pleasant – with the restaurant, bar, deck, and pool facing onto the sea. Solina Beach and Nature Resort offer impeccable service and all the essential amenities to invigorate the weary traveler. The staff was very accommodating and the restaurant serves one of the best Ilonggo dishes to date. Top-notch features of the property include free Wi-Fi in all rooms, daily housekeeping, wheelchair accessible, 24-hour front desk, facilities for disabled guests.
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Solina Beach and Nature Resort (Book now)
Address: Brgy. Guinticgan, Carles, Iloilo, Philippines
Contact Details: (Globe) 0917-110-8344 | (Smart) 0920-949-0557.
Email Address: firstname.lastname@example.org.
For Bookings, you may also email email@example.com or call (Globe) +63995 335 7310 (Smart) +63999 430 0133.