It’s one thing to get away and take a break from everyday life. And another thing to actually go on full vacation mode at a sanctuary that offers serenity and solitude.
The latter is what guests can expect when they visit Villa Teodora, a luxury boutique resort right at the heart of Libertad in the province of Antique.
One might call it a “love project” of charming couple, Jim and Gemma Leith who started to transform the area about seven years ago into what is now a cozy and homey property with top-rate accommodation.
The couple has been based in Oman for 14 years now with their 18-year-old son but visits Villa Teodora two to three times a year to check on the resort as well as unwind.
“It’s nice here. It’s refreshing and away from chaos. We come here to recharge,” said Gemma.
At present, the resort has four rooms, including two luxury villas the interiors and furnishings of which can rival those found in top hotels. Rates start at P4,000.
Jim designed the buildings while Gemma, who loves interior design and the arts, took care of the interiors.
“Most of the furnishings in the bedroom, the lighting, the paintings we bought overseas,” revealed Gemma.
An added bonus for those who book Villa Elsa (named after Jim’s mother) is that they get to see Gemma’s own abstract painting in the room.
“One thing about the layout of this place is that it is purposely done so that there’s a lot of space in between each building. So that when you’re sitting on the porch, there’s a long, empty space to look at, there’s nothing right on your face,” said Jim.
The couple also believes in homegrown talent as most of the resort’s wooden furniture, including the chairs, tables and doors were sourced in Antique and done by the locals.
Gemma said that they wanted to build a resort that is not the same as the ones Antique already offers.
“Straight away, I really felt the place had to be something different from the rest of the holiday accommodation in this area. Because I prefer that the place would also cater to our needs as well and we really wanted to offer a new concept of holiday accommodation,” she said.
Villa Teodora is ideal for the traveler who yearns for peace and quiet.
“It’s for anybody who wants a quiet retreat. It does not have all the bright lights and (loud) music of other resorts ‘cause it’s quiet and secluded,” said Jim.
Guests can take their own sweet time while lounging by the pool or head out to the beach front to view the sunset or take a dip. Or they can go kayaking or snorkeling.
Gemma said they are planning to offer biking as well and eventually, day tours to neighboring tourist attractions such as Boracay.
Villa Teodora is also the perfect venue for wedding receptions, birthday parties, and other group events. The resort can accommodate about 100 people in an outdoor set-up. There is also the Gecko Lounge, which is spacious enough to seat up to 10 persons in its dining area and is ideal for lunch, dinner or after-meal drinks.
Since Villa Teodora’s opening in 2017, the feedback of guests, mostly from Korea, the UK, Canada, France and some locals, has been generally positive, something the Leith couple is grateful for.
“They love the place. They say it is private and quiet,” said Gemma.
Not that the guests need any more convincing. Here, privacy is priceless, service is warm and personalized and their stay, whether brief or long, will always be worth their while.
*Villa Teodora is located in barangay Barusbus, Libertad in the province of Antique. For inquiries and reservations, call 0945 480 6688 or check out their Facebook page.