Carles, Iloilo is gaining popularity in recent years thanks in part to visitors flocking the Gigantes Group of Islands for their island-hopping fix. [Read: Gigantes Islands Day Tour with Sample Itinerary] Carles is located in the northern part of Iloilo, and some 4 hours away from Iloilo City. It is reachable via van in Jaro or via Roxas City in Capiz from which one only needs to travel for a couple more hours to get to Carles.
While Carles is a small town complete with all the province feels one could ever want, it is also home to the first and only high-end beachfront accommodation, Solina Beach and Nature Resort. Its location serves as the perfect jump-off point when doing a Gigantes island-hopping tour. Solina’s goal is to bring world-class accommodation and luxurious amenities to complement a rejuvenating Gigantes island-hopping escapade. [Check rates and availability] So.much.space.
|Solina Beach and Nature Resort|
|Golf carts are available for guests to help with transporting luggages or if you just want a random taste of royalty.|
First thing to notice about Solina is the expansive space it sits on. At 7.8 hectares big, it looks less of a resort and more akin to country clubs privy only to the elite. Add to that the golf carts used to shuttle guests around the property and it’s easy to feel like you’re living the life, albeit for a few days. This self-effacing feature guarantees privacy and ample opportunity for those I-need-time-and-space moments.
|Bikes are free for use of guests and can be picked up anywhere as long as no one is using them.|
|Kids will have a grand time running around in addition to enjoying a mini playground all to themselves.|
A personal highlight for me is Solina’s pool area where you can enjoy a lap pool, a ‘normal’ swimming pool, a jacuzzi, and a kiddie pool which is anything but the kiddie-sized pool we are all used to. Needless to say, one would have a hard time bumping into another guest with the pool options available for everyone, not to mention the beach which is just a few steps away too.
|Swim all you want, swim all you can.|
|The view from the kiddie pool is enough to make adults envious.|
|Wicker pool beds for when you want to lounge after a few laps.|
|Whatever the angle, Solina’s pool area is a hands-down stunner.|
Rooms/ Accommodations As there are pools aplenty, so are the accommodations you can choose from depending on the number of people in your group, or just your budget. Solina has 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.
|Duplex villas are better suited for families or bigger groups.|
|The Balay Hari features one king-sized bed.|
|Aptly called the Balay Reyna, this room features two queen-sized beds.|
|Each duplex has its own balcony that offers a view of the pool nearby.|
We happened to stay at the Kamalig which is their cabin tent. Against a backdrop of trees and hammocks hanging around them, the rows of Kamaligs resemble a safari camp and is Solina’s take on glamping. If not the pools, this might be what Solina is most known for as the rustic feel offers a stark contrast to the elegance of the pool area. Different but endearing nonetheless.
|Glamping you say? Nothing tent-y about the Kamalig as its interiors are as fully furnished as the other room types.|
|Hammocks abound by the Kamalig area.|
|Safari feels in the heart of Carles, Iloilo.|
Other Resort Features A full-service restaurant called Angga serves Filipino and International dishes for every budget type and is located adjacent to the pool area. Talk about the convenience of ordering refreshments after a dip while resting in one of the pool beds!
Solina also recently opened their beachside tower bar with a commanding view deck called Dayon Tower Bar, where guests can order sumptuous grilled seafood dishes and other delicacies, and alcoholic beverages. The view deck offers a glimpse of Masbate, and Olotayan Island in Capiz through a telescope.
|View from Dayon Tower Bar|
Solina also offers different water activies like banana boat rides and kayaking.
|Lest one forgets, sunset by the beach is always a good idea.|
With the various amenities the resort has, Solina allows its guests to personalize an experience unique to themselves – whether it be a day spent pool-hopping, biking around, having a barbecue party by the beach, or just savoring the tranquility of the resort’s nook and crannies. More than a resort, Solina is an encounter you wouldn’t want to miss. Our trip was made possible by a number of partners who ensured we had the best Western Visayas experience: Air Asia for our Clark-Iloilo and vice versa flights, Atty. Helen Catalbas of DOT Region 6 for our transportation during the Panay loop tour, and Aph Cruz and Alex Española of Las Islas Travel and Tours. For bookings, contact:
Las Islas Travel and Tours Punta Dulog, Pueblo de Panay, Roxas City, Capiz
(just right across the Roxas City Terminal)
Bancal Port, Carles, Northern Iloilo, Iloilo
(just right across the covered gym and close to the Carles Tourism Office)
Along Balasan-Carles Provincial Road, Brgy. Guinticgan
Carles, Iloilo 5019
About the Author
Beng Fontiveros works as an analyst for a global bank. She bonds with Excel from day to night so she loves spending her free time traveling, practicing yoga, or just at home to Netflix and chill.