La Vega de San Mateo, Gran Canaria
Buzz Trips opinion:
Las Calas is the sort of place that slaps a smile on your face and makes you want to kick off your hiking boots, tuck your sketch pad and pencils under your arm and head barefoot to the lawn to sketch the tree festooned with coloured glass baubles and lanterns. It’s a neo-hippie, chill-out zone of quiet corners, quirky objets d’art and gentle vibes where you’re left to simply settle in, let the little dogs show you around and enjoy the place as if it were your own. Personally, I could happily have moved in.
We arrive at the closed gates of Las Calas after a long, hot walk from Parador de Cruz de Tejeda. It’s 5pm and the heat is lying heavily across our tired shoulders. From out here in the dusty street, I wonder how this place can possibly impress me after the comfort of the Parador, but as the gate slowly opens and I step across the portal into its floral oasis, I’m already smitten.
Set within its walled gardens three kilometres outside the town of Vega de San Mateo in the rural heartland of Gran Canaria, this stunning 19th century, traditional mansion has been immaculately restored into one of the best rural hotels on Gran Canaria. Crammed to its restored rafters and enclosed wooden balconies with charm, chic style and modern comfort, Las Calas is exquisitely furnished in antiques and collectables giving it bags of personality to go with its good looks.
Nine rooms are individually styled and themed and located in their own space within the grounds giving all the privacy you could want and the perfect romantic getaway location. As soon as we opened the door to number seven and walked into its amber glow, I was in love with the space. Terracotta floor tiles and walls given the traditional Canarian finish of exposed patches of stone were coupled with cottage furnishings, oodles of floor space, comfy twin beds and a large, elegant bathroom with a Jacuzzi bath.
A flat screen TV and free WiFi in the room provided enough communications means just to ensure the rest of the world was still there while the romantic setting and rural tranquillity left us not really caring if it was or not.
The dining room of the main house doubles like a small tasca where traditional Canarian foods are prepared and served along with a small selection of wines. We enjoyed our somewhat winter-oriented menu of thick vegetable soup and a beef stew despite it being a tad incongruous given the June temperatures. Breakfast is served in the enclosed conservatory and is a delightful affair consisting of cold meats and cheeses, bread, cereals, fruit and home-made jams. Tea lovers will dither endlessly over the herbal and aromatic choices of tea bags beside the kettle.
A small swimming pool, sun terrace and chill out area provide a rustically stylish venue in which to catch the sun, surrounded by profusions of geraniums and watched over by the dogs and a life sized model of a Friesian cow. There’s a cosy bar complete with tartan blankets to go with your rum shots for those chilly winter evenings and a large lounge area where you’ll find helpful maps, walking guides and information about restaurants and nearby attractions.
Double rooms with breakfast at Rural Hotel Las Calas start from €96.
Buzz Trips were guests of Gran Canaria Natural at Hotel Rural Las Calas.
Andrea (Andy) Montgomery is a freelance travel writer and co-owner of Buzz Trips and The Real Tenerife series of travel websites. Published in The Telegraph, The Independent, Wexas Traveller, Thomas Cook Travel Magazine, EasyJet Traveller Magazine, you can read her latest content on Google+