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Casa Doñano

Spain   Galicia   Vilela, near Ribadeo, Lugo   Why Galicia?
Asturias 104km / Santiago 155km
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Reviewed by Laura Dibben

A YEARLY VISIT...........

A mere four kilometres from the Camino de Santiago’s Coastal Route and the Ribadeo Estuary that separates Galicia from its neighbouring land of Asturias, lies the small hamlet of Vilela. In the late 19th century, Jesus Millares, a young native of Vilela, crossed the Atlantic in the footsteps of many Galician and Asturian fortuneseekers or “Indianos”, of the time. Whilst the coal industry flourished in Cuba, this Indiano never forgot his roots. He returned to his hometown in 1907, purchased a hearty piece of land and built his holiday home to which he would return once yearly. He became known locally as “Don Año” (Don meaning Señor, and Año meaning year), a name that eventually evolved into “Doñano”.

The history of Casa Doñano has gone from one personal success story to another. In the year 2000 the house was completely renovated, and in 2006 was newly acquired by María Rosa Fisas, a native of Catalunya who returned to Spain to fulfill her lifelong dream of running a rural hotel after nearly 30 years in Venezuela. In perfect timing to celebrate its centenary year, this modern-day “Indiana” has not only brought personal flare and style to Casa Doñano but empathy to its history and joy to the locals, who have since been re-acquainted with their bithplace. It is remarkable how two travellers’ lives have become entwined, one hundred years apart.

Surrounded by emerald green lawns and manicured gardens, a typical “horreo” or raised granary compliments the stunning house. Fruit trees of apple, fig, chestnuts and walnuts, as well as lemon and orange trees dot the property. Refurbished stable doors swing open to reveal gorgeous stone walls adorned with colourful works of art and beauitful beamed ceilings. Add warm lighting, soft music, cosy sofas and a flickering fire to this equation – not to mention a pleasant hostess – and the result is a welcoming home away from home.

The Hotel’s 9 lovely bedrooms, each named in hommage to Jesus Millares’ life in Cuba, are overflowing with charm. An eclectic mix of antique furnishings and unique, one-of-a-kind pieces abound, and attention to detail is paramount. Wonderfully soft linen and fluffy pillows will have you sleeping like a baby. Comprised of five Doubles, two Twin and two Special Doubles (my favourite is on the top floor under the eaves), all have full en-suite bathroom and are equipped with TV, hairdryer and central heating. The Special Doubles feature hydromassage showers, flat-screen TV and DVD, as well as a movie and music menu to accompany.

Breakfasts are delightful. Fresh juices, homemade jams, quince jellies, cakes and crêpes, as well as fresh yoghurts are all prepared by the hands of Adela, María Rosa´s assistant. María Rosa´s love of food and wine shines through come dinner time when she takes the reigns in the kitchen. A fixed daily menu of local and international cuisine is served in the old hay store, now a charming dining room - be sure to reserve your table! Whilst lunches are not served at the Hotel, picnics can be arranged on request.

Walking routes can be enjoyed from the Hotel, and a visit to the Ribadeo is highly recommended. The best views of the town can be appreciated from the summit of Santa Cruz, where, on the first Sunday of every August a pilgrimage his held in celebration of local cuisine, music and folklore. Do not miss a visit to the beaches of this stunning stretch of Galician coastline; most notably at As Catedrais, where natural rock archways magically disappear when the tide rolls in....

An ideal Hotel if you are looking for charming accommodation with a caring host in tranquil surroundings, and a highly recommended resting spot en route from Galicia to Asturias, or vice versa.

(exclusive to Hotel guests)


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From 119€ to 159€

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Please note that pets are not permitted.

High Season: 14th July to 2nd September, Easter Week, Christmas & New Year Period and all Spanish National Holiday weekends.

Low Season: Rest of the Year

Minimum Stay: 4 nights during High Season, with the exception of Spanish National Holidays when a minimum stay of 3 nights is required.

Deposit: In High Season, the Hotel requires a deposit equivalent to 40% of the total reservation cost in order to guarantee a reservation.

In Low Season, the Hotel requires a deposit equivalent to 40% of the cost of one nights' accommodation in order to guarantee a reservation.

Cancellations made more than one month before the arrival date: deposit refunded.

Cancellations made between 7 days and one month before the arrival date: 40% of the deposit will be forfeited.

Cancellations made less than 7 days before the arrival date and "No-Shows" will result in loss of the deposit.

For all cancellations, will charge an administration fee of 15 Euros.