Hotel Rural Las Calas
El Arenal, 36 La Lechuza-Vega de San Mateo, San Mateo, Gran Canaria, Spain, 35020
- Recommended for:
- Couples, Families with teenagers, Mature travellers, Seasoned travellers, Sporty types, Escaping the crowds, Nature / wildlife, Relaxation, Romance, Sightseeing
Expert review of Hotel Rural Las Calas
Set below the peaks, Las Calas is a relaxed retreat far from the party scene on the coast. Thank goodness, I can become a Grumpy Old Woman in a glorious garden. Alone. Not that any grumpiness lasts for long in surroundings that are the Canarian equivalent of an English cottage garden.
This quirky old Canarian country house (finca) has been sensitively converted by Magüi, the arty owner, whose friendly dogs will greet you warmly. Expect a moody verandah, stone walls, shutters and traditional Canarian furnishings. Here and there are Moorish touches, including intricate latticework. The cottage-like rooms are individually designed, often enlivened by splashes of colour in the form of Magüi's bold paintings.
Secluded in delightful gardens, the rooms of this country house fan out around a charming courtyard. But it’s the gardens that make this rustic retreat so engaging, helped by a splash pool and shaded sitting area. Guests are actively encouraged to scrump fruit from the orchard - pears, plums, oranges or almonds, depending on the season.
Vega de San Mateo is the nearest small town and has a few simple restaurants as well as a lively cattle fair and farmers' market at the weekends. Las Calas itself makes a good base for walking through the rugged countryside, or for exploring the island’s interior, including historic towns such as Teror, one of the loveliest on the island. Hikers will be drawn to the UNESCO-biosphere haven, including Tejeda and Roque Nublo. But there are plenty of walks closer to home, as well as an equestrian centre - perfect for a canter through the countryside. If you feel in need of some cultural life, then Las Palmas is within easy reach.
As Las Calas is high up, set at an altitude of 1000 metres, it is cooler than on the coast in the evenings and can be chilly in winter. A car is essential for exploring the surrounding area. To reach the hotel from the airport, take the GC-1 towards Tafira, the GC4 to Santa Brigida, and then the GC-15 to San Mateo. At Vega de San Mateo, follow signs for Tejeda, then La Lechuza.
The comfortable rooms, each with its own personality, open onto a tranquil courtyard and garden. The shuttered, upstairs rooms lead off a Canarian wooden verandah. Two suites, with a charming cottage feel, are slightly more secluded and seem like secret garden retreats. Bedrooms can be half-timbered and whitewashed or painted in pastel shades. The traditional bedrooms have more charm the more contemporary options, which are decorated in a vibrant red. Bathrooms have mostly been well-modernised, and one even has a Jacuzzi bath. Rooms come equipped with satellite-TV, safe and mini-bar.
The stone-and-wood structure is enlivened by ethnic touches, such as Moorish latticework in the bedrooms or African sculpture in the sitting room. Some of the indoor public spaces tend to be under-used.
If you’re there in summer, the best period, relax in the tented open-air sitting room, or cool off in the small swimming pool. Guests are also encouraged to scrump fruit from the orchard (pears, plums, oranges, mandarins) and admire the abundant vegetable garden.
If the weather is fine, the breakfast buffet is served in the garden rather than in the cosy dining room. It includes home-made pastries, fresh juices, cheese, cold cuts, rolls and yoghurts. There are mixed reports on dinner, served at 7pm and centred on a communal table. At its best, the three-course meal is a friendly affair, based on simple but hearty Canarian cuisine, with wine extra. Other options include dining in neighbouring San Mateo, 4 kms away, or in the Restaurante Martell, a bodega in El Madrional.
Although lovely all-year-round, the garden really comes into its own in summer, when the (unheated) pool is in use. Given its rural nature, facilities are limited but include a sitting-room, a lounge-bar with a fireplace, and private corners for reading or hiding out.
Service is generally friendly, and personal, if limited, but can feel rather rushed at dinner-time. There is also a shortage of information about where to go and what to do.
An international mix of quiet couples, families and escapists who want to get away from the beach scene of the southern resorts.
Ponder choosing half-board as there are other options locally.
More information on Hotel Rural Las Calas:
- El Arenal, 36 La Lechuza-Vega de San Mateo, San Mateo, Gran Canaria, Spain, 35020
- Free tags / Keywords:
- Rural Hotel, Hiking
- Parking, Restaurant, Swimming Pool