Growing up, Maffy Soler-da Roza always looked forward to out-of-town escapes with her family.
With a lineage steeped in show business, the Solers cherished their quiet, quality time away from the bright lights and the big city, driving up to a small but cozy rest house in chilly Baguio then savoring the sunshine and ocean breeze in laid-back La Union.
Fast-forward to several years later when Maffy ties the knot with then-actor Robin da Roza, who comes from an illustrious showbiz family as well. Their love for big get-togethers and big celebrations inevitably grows, eventually prompting the Soler family to decide to seek out and invest in a place they could truly call their own.
Finding the One
It is in the coastal, historic town of Balayan, Batangas that they discover the picture-perfect setting for their family getaways: a quaint house in a secluded patch of land dotted with coconut trees, a stone’s throw away from the shore and vibrating with the hum of crashing waves and the chirping of birds. Robin, an interior designer, immediately saw the raw potential. Transformation ensued. “We lifted the whole place to make it safer,” Maffy tells DG Traveler. “We added bedrooms and constructed the pool and the boathouse, and made adjustments so the rooms could fit more people. The place was really bare, so we just wanted to make it beautiful.”
Today, Soler Sea Resort is not only beautiful—think airy bungalows, lush greenery, clever design elements, Filipino-inspired furniture conceptualized by Robin himself, aesthetically pleasing corners (there’s a veranda overgrown with vibrant bougainvillea that makes for a pretty portrait background; you’re welcome), and a sprawling perspective of the majestic mountains and deep blue sea—but spacious, functional, and serene as well. With five rooms that comfortably fit 42 people and thoughtfully executed amenities and activities, the Solers’ long-standing dream to simply own a family vacation home in which they could entertain guests has blossomed into a genuine desire to share their space with other families and groups of friends who crave respite from the daily grind.
“Here, you can enjoy all the comforts of home,” Maffy tells us, beaming with pride. “You can bring your own food and drinks, and cook your meals in our fully-equipped kitchen. We also strongly encourage our guests to disconnect from technology and connect with their loved ones instead.” Making family togetherness and quality bonding time a priority, Maffy is contemplating on whether or not to install WiFi in the rooms and common areas. “Right now, there’s just an LTE spot,” she says. “It’s funny how when people go on vacation, the first question they always ask is, ‘What’s the WiFi password?’”
A quick tour around the premises, however, would make you forget about your feed, if only for the time being. Take in the natural, unassuming charm of the place and realize that contentment doesn’t need to be complicated: lounge on the deck with a refreshing drink in hand, trade recipes in the kitchen and whip up a delightful feast for everyone, share a scrumptious meal and soulful conversation at the dining area, go for a fun round of water sports or karaoke, gather everyone at the function room to play mahjong, darts, and board games, take a dip in the stunning infinity pool while gazing out into the glorious hues of the sunset, or climb onto the bunk beds after hours and swap stories until you doze off.
Soler Sea’s family-oriented atmosphere is also fueled by its warm, friendly staff—all of whom hail from Balayan, thus treating guests as if welcoming them into their homes. The resort has put down solid roots in the supportive seaside community as well, throwing a generous Christmas fiesta every year for the residents and empowering local fishermen by encouraging guests to buy fresh seafood from them.
“Our staff is trained to treat you like family,” Maffy says. “They’re around 24/7, so they’re happy to help if you need anything. We also offer a paluto service for a fee, and for your convenience, we can arrange for our accredited caterer, Agot’s Catering, to plan and prepare your meals. They serve delicious food at an affordable price, great for big groups, and can even set up a romantic poolside dinner for you on special occasions.”
Here to Stay
As one of the newer resorts in Batangas, one that’s generated much buzz and continues to climb in popularity, Soler Sea foresees a lot of growth. “We’re constantly making improvements, but we’re targeting that everything will be finished in three years,” Maffy says. “We hope to build 8 more rooms by the end of 2019, and our ultimate goal is to be able to accommodate up to 100 people.”
“It’s rare to find a place like this away from Manila,” she declares. “It’s truly our home away from home, but mi casa es su casa, so it’s yours, too.”
Soler Sea Resort
Brgy. Carenahan, Balayan, Batangas
(0995) 782 4913
(0921) 769 4761
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