We have been travelling for what feels like an age, but in fact, because of spending almost every night at a different place, it has been just over a week. Our last port of call before catching the train back to Barcelona was a beautiful Spanish estate – Trasierra – that has been lived in, loved and cared for by the same family for the last 30 years, and who now run it as what can only be described as a hotel like no other.
Rated by Tatler and Conde Nast Traveller alike (these awards can become so frequently bestowed on places that they become meaningless…but just to give this place some context: it is well regarded), this place, which began life as a family home, is a haven. It’s so successful I think because it is just like a hotel on one level but also, at the same time, nothing remotely like one: you are in someone’s home but with the luxe and freedom only a hotel can provide.
A constant ongoing project for the owner Charlotte Scott, an interior decorator with serious flair and imagination, Trasierra is run day to day by her daughter Gioconda who lives onsite and is passionate about life in Spain, and in particular, life here.
And it’s not hard to see why. Gioconda has not only grown up living in, and loving, this incredible collection of houses that makes up the estate, some of which date back 500 years, but has also developed a deep respect for the land it sits upon. She has a beautiful organic veg garden and every piece of vegetable that ends up on your plate at lunch or dinner is homegrown. She also personally sources all of the meat and fish within a maximum radius of 100km.
Food, if you want to eat here (if you don’t, the nearest village is an easy 2km away) is simple, rustic home cooking – delicious and unpretentious and priced at €25 per person, including a bottle of wine (for lunch; €40 for dinner). No scary prices for the add-ons. You get the impression they have really tried to be reasonable and by charging a decent whack for the rooms, they can ease up on the cost of the extras which I much prefer and you don’t leave feeling robbed. (Even the espadrilles for sale in the shop were only €10).
The reason Trasierra gets under your skin is that it has evolved slowly in to what it is today. Everything has been thought through carefully and over time.
Charlotte claims to be a notoriously uneasy guest and has tried to make the Trasierra experience feel like you are staying in a beautiful home while the hostess has just popped out, (making sure you had everything you might need, and more, before she left) giving you free reign over the house and land.