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We don’t often write whole posts dedicated to a place we’ve stayed, but sometimes a rare find pops up that is so darn wonderful (and photogenic), it has to be shared, and Mas Can Batlle in Santa Pau, Catalonia was one of them. It’s the product of a young couple’s dream and for that reason it was something we could relate to. For the past nine years, Albert and Cristina have been transforming what was an abandoned farmhouse into a designer guesthouse that skillfully retains the charming character of the building’s history. Best of all, neither of the couple have any formal training in architecture or design, but what they’ve produced is worthy of designer accolades, and is testament to their vision, dedication and stunning attention to detail. We went there for the night prior to our hot air balloon flight, and it was truly is one of the most beautiful places we’ve ever stayed. Here are the photos to prove it.
To get to Mas Can Batlle, you drive up a small winding road through woodland and past a waterfall, until you reach the historic farmhouse. It is even said that a claimant to the throne of Spain stayed here in the 1870s.
Our room, Suite number 134, was beautifully plush with the type of bed you never want to leave.
The bedroom wasn’t the only part of Suite 134 to love. There was also a living area complete with open fire and bunkbeds, and a bathroom that took my breath away (there’s nothing like a roll-top bath to keep a traveller happy).
The balcony from our suite revealed the sweeping views of Garrotxa, a natural reserve and volcanic zone full of wooded hills. I was amazed to find this scenery just an hour and a half from Barcelona.
No space is neglected in Mas Can Batlle and there are stylish details everywhere. In the corridor from the entrance, Albert and Cristina decided to keep the house’s old chapel intact. The faded wallpaper whispers of the place’s history and helps set the tone for the vintage decor.
Downstairs is the dining area where breakfast and dinner are served. The cosy open fire and colourful vintage details epitomise the style that makes Mas Can Batlle so special.
The kitchen looked like a page out of a vintage magazine, and had the added bonus of a fabulously-stocked mini-bar. It’s done on a trust basis and guests are free to make our own cocktails. In the future, Albert has plans to create a more formal bar.
One of our favourite elements was the library, a beautiful place that made one tempted to start a novel. Who can resist a typewriter like that?
On the lower ground floor, leading out to the garden was a wonderfully light and airy conservatory space. Albert sees it as a place where meetings could be held, or simply as a place for guests to relax.
We had the chance to snoop around the rest of the suites including number 70, which had a headboard I may just steal the idea for one day.
Suite 74 delighted us with a homemade poster of a quote from one of our favourite songs – Home by Edward Sharpe and the Magnetic Zeroes.
The highlight of Suite 31 had to be the homemade garden outside on the balcony – that’s real grass on the daybed!
As with everything else, the garden was full of enchanting detail and also included a pool and plenty of seating to take in the views…
…which you would definitely want to do.
So there it is – Mas Can Batlle – a place that both surprised and delighted us, and also showed us that with a little (or lot of) hard work, dreams do come true. The hotel is relatively new so I’d get there soon before a design magazine finds it and catapults it to wild popularity.
P.S. They also have an awesome dog named Leila.
Thank you to Mas Can Batlle for inviting us to stay. It was an absolute pleasure.
Useful information on Garratoxa and Catalonia
To get to Santa Pau, we decided to hire a car in Barcelona. It took about an hour a half to get there, and was a pretty easy drive (saying that, we did take a few wrong turnings on the highway as the massive junctions can be confusing, but that was easily fixed). Other nearby places worth visiting are Olot and Besalu. For things to do in Barcelona, read our posts: Things to do in Barcelona and Where to eat, drink and go out in Barcelona.