Casa La Calma

Near Ribadesella (Asturias), The Basque Country, Spain Book from

Recommended awaiting i-escape review
5-room B&B near the Costa Verde in Asturias, where the focus is on relaxation, well-being and the glorious surrounding countryside
Owner Morelia left behind a stressful city life in the UK to set up this 5-room rural B&B in Asturias (northern Spain, a couple of hours west of Bilbao), and has never looked back. Her hostelry is focused around peace and relaxation, with a wellness centre offering massages, Reiki, reflexology and private yoga classes, plus her expert guidance to get the best of this lesser-known region in Spain. Just off the Costa Verde, La Calma is close to long sandy beaches, dramatic mountains and pretty villages, not to mention a coastline once stalked by dinosaurs. The nearest town, Ribadesella, holds regular festivals while the Picos de Europa, a 30-minute drive away, hide glacial lakes and lush mountain pastures. There is plenty to do, whether you want to hike, drink cider fresh from the cideries, relax on a beach or kayak down a river.

The purpose-built B&B was designed to look like an old Asturian farmhouse, with stone, granite and wood, and is surrounded by gardens and fields beyond them. It’s a great base for a relaxing holiday and the chance to immerse yourself in a wholly Spanish experience; you may go a week without hearing another English speaker. We can’t wait to visit.

Highs

  • The room details: Nespresso machines, carefully chosen Riojas and Cava in the minibars, and power showers
  • Great value for money
  • Morelia’s fantastic de-stressing massages
  • An excellent breakfast, and great restaurants nearby for both high-end dining and tapas
  • The personal service from Morelia will make your holiday

Lows

  • There are only 5 rooms so it might be too personal for some, and they are all doubles, which is a shame as we think Casa La Calma would be great for friends
  • You’ll need a car to get here and to drive out for dinner as only breakfast is served (though there is 1 restaurant within walking distance)
  • No pool or jacuzzi in the wellness centre, and you only get robes and slippers if you book the Wellness Package
  • There’s a 5-night minimum stay in high season
  • It can be chilly in winter and early spring

Best time to go

Asturias has a year-round appeal. For those looking for sun and relaxation, early summer and early autumn are beautiful. There is a jazz festival in July in Ribadesella and a kayaking festival in August. Beware of this month however - August is holiday month in Spain so beaches will be extra crowded. Snow can fall in the mountains between October and April so walking in the highest peaks can be off limits at this time, but if you're happy to stay put and cosy up, the region will be wonderfully quiet.

Our top tips

  • Visit in July for the Ribadesella International Jazz Festival, when the square in front of the town hall fills up in the evening and the scent of churros fills the air
  • Bring a variety of clothes with you. Being close to the sea and the mountains, the weather can change quickly and it can be cooler than you’d hoped
  • There are regular Sarah Maxwell women-only boot camps held at the B&B. The 6-day course includes group and private sessions on fitness, nutrition and relaxation; enquire for details
  • Great for...

    Cheap & Chic
    City Style
    Great Outdoors
    Spa
    • = Recommended
    • = Best in region
    • = World favourite
    • Boutique B&B
    • 5
    • Breakfast only (restaurants nearby)
    • Adults only
    • Open all year
    • Pool
    • Spa
    • WiFi
    • Pet Friendly
    • Disabled Access
    • Beach Nearby
    • Off-street Parking
    • Restaurants Nearby
    • Air Conditioning
    • Guest Lounge
    • Terrace
    • Garden
    • Gym
    • Concierge Service
    Room:

    Rooms

    La Calma has 5 modern double rooms. On the top floor are 3 Superiors. These are the quietest rooms and 2 have private balconies, 1 has a very large window with views of the gardens and countryside beyond. On the floor below, the 2 Standard rooms are the same size but with lower ceilings and a standard window, no balcony.

    Both room types are decorated in the same low-key way, using natural materials in the Asturian style, and soothing pale colours. Bedding is neutral in colour, armchairs are a pale plaid, and throws are beige, brown or green, all adding to the feeling of calm.

    As well as a nod to the traditional, there are modern facilities like power showers, Nespresso machines and baskets of L’Occitane products. All rooms have a discreetly positioned 22” plasma TV and share the small DVD library in the salon; the TV is local only, rather than satellite.

    Guests also share the salon, with sofas and armchairs, and the large garden with its picnic tables and scarlet parasols.

    Features include:

    • Central heating
    • Dvd player
    • Fan
    • Hairdryer
    • Minibar/fridge
    • Nespresso coffee machine
    • Toiletries
    • Tv
    • WiFi

    Eating

    La Calma only serves breakfast, but in a fantastic rural setting with access to great produce, it is a breakfast to shout about. Expect a Spanish feast with Manchego cheese, Serrano ham, chorizo, homemade muffins and cakes, and organic local honey. It’s a self-service buffet but with plenty of thoughtful touches and local flavours. There are 2 sittings, at 9.15am and 10.15am.

    Rooms come with well-stocked minibars including carefully chosen local Rioja and Cava, as well as a selection of snacks. Each room also has a Nespresso machine, from which there are 2 free coffees and teas every day (the rest are charged).

    For lunch and dinner, Morelia should be your first port of call when it comes to deciding where to eat - she knows the region well and can show you on an iPad exactly how to get to each of her recommendations. Food is a serious part of Asturian culture: Cabrales cheese is its most famous export, along with cider, fish stew and apple tart. There are cider bars along the river in Ribadesella (3km), providing an atmospheric and traditional take on the area; you'll find stylish cocktails and fine dining at the more upmarket La Huertona, and if you don't want to drive, walk to Mesón la Fuente and feast on hearty Asturian stews on their charming outdoor terrace.

    If you’re walking in the hills, ask for a packed lunch including some of the region’s traditional delights. Many of the nearby beaches have snack bars and restaurants.

    Features include:

    • Breakfast
    • Minibar/fridge
    • Packed lunches on request
    • Restaurants nearby
    Eating:
    Activity:

    Activities

    • Relax, relax, relax: read books on the lawn or head to the wellness centre for Reiki, massages, reflexology or personalised yoga, pilates and meditation sessions

    • Explore Ribadesella, the nearby fishing village (3km), which has beaches, a busy centre and an outdoor food market winding through its streets on a Wednesday

    • Hit the beach. La Calma is only 3km from the closest beach, lovely Santa Marina, which is within walking distance of Ribadesella's centre. Vega Beach has a snack bar and a good fish restaurant

    • Take a day trip into the mountains. It takes 30 minutes to drive to Cangas de Onís, the gateway to the Picos de Europa, and from there you can drive to the Covadonga glacial lakes, pretty mountain towns and wide pastures. It’s a great area for walking

    • Hike a stretch of the Camino de Santiago, the pilgrimage route that runs nearby, or ask Morelia to arrange pony treks

    • Morelia can also arrange quad-biking and canyoning, or point you to nearby golf clubs

    • Kayak down the River Sella. Half-day courses can be booked via local tour operators, and there’s also a kayaking festival in August, such is the sport’s popularity in these parts.

    • Visit the coast of the dinosaurs, where you can walk in their footprints and learn all about them at the Jurassic Museum of Asturias (MUJA) near Lastres, a 30-minute drive away. Since 2005, palaeontologists have unearthed dinosaur fossils and footprints between here and Ribadesella, and all along the coast

    • Marvel at some of the oldest portraits of women in the world at Tito Bustillo Caves, near Ribadesella, where prehistoric cave paintings cover the Palaeolithic cave walls and date back to 22,000 BC

    • Enjoy the region’s specialities, including cider brewed in rural cideries and poured from a great height in cider bars along the river in Ribadesella, accompanied by a variety of tapas

    Activities on site or nearby include:

    • Canyoning
    • Golf
    • Hiking
    • Historical sites
    • Horse-riding
    • Kayaking
    • Museums / galleries
    • Plantlife / flora
    • Quad biking
    • Reiki
    • Shopping / markets
    • Swimming
    • Well being
    • Yoga

    Kids

    This is an adults-only spa destination hotel so children are not permitted.

    Our guests' ratings...

    10/
    Rooms
    7/
    Food
    10/
    Service
    9/
    Value
    9/
    Overall

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