“Cuba meets Marrakech meets Paris in this hippy deluxe house (sleeps up to 12), set in a quiet medieval village near Girona”
There are 5 bedrooms, all upstairs, plus a downstairs lounge with daybeds, indoor and outdoor dining areas, and a leafy, private garden with pool.
Carmen is the grandest room, with space for a whole family (up to 3 children), or a generous option for a couple. Its huge bathroom has a shower and a wonderful claw-foot tub, and there's a large roof terrace with a hammock. Paco is also good for families; it has a child's bed, space for 2 rollaway beds, and an original painted ceiling from the 18th century in its bathroom (shower and tub). Frida is also lovely, with a double bed, a sweet small daybed made from wrought iron, and space for a couple of rollaway beds.
Kika, where we slept, has a small smoking courtyard, a giant bathroom with a double shower and freestanding bath, plus a quirky toilet tucked away in the corner of the room. The double bed is covered with a cheery yellow and red sprigged Indian throw, there’s a rail for clothes, shelves of French books, and a DVD player/TV. Room 218 is the smallest by a long way (there's no space for an extra bed) - fine for cosy couples, with a colourful and fun vibe. It opens onto the lounge. The bathroom has a shower but no tub.
All rooms have bathrobes, toiletries and hairdryers, an extra special touch considering the budget rates. My only complaints would be that the rooms aren’t terribly well lit for the evening, and the sound from the square outside, where children play, carries.
If you rent the whole house, you can use the kitchen, which is well equipped and laid out (the owners are ex-restaurateurs). There's a grocery in the village, open 7 days a week, with a butchers section too. Nearby eateries include a simple bar across the road (Bocca) and plenty of small tapas bars, patisseries and restaurants in nearby towns such as Colomers (5-10 mins' drive), or La Bisbal d’Empordà (20 minutes' drive). We would also recommend Hostal Sa Rascassa near Begur for a dinner by the sea, and the wonderfully bohemian bistro at Hotel Aiguaclara in Begur itself (40 minutes' drive).
When it's operating as a hotel, there's a bar-restaurant where breakfast is served daily. It reminded me very much of the open-house restaurants in Cuba: the chef, owner Sébastien, used to run a Thai-French restaurant in Paris, and serves up a 3-course meal 4 times a week in July/August (and on request for the rest of the year) but there’s no menu or options as such - you just have to go with it. Be aware that dinner, being communal, may be served late by UK standards - ours came at 9pm.
We ate anchovies on toast with tapenade, followed by paella with chicken, prawns and baby octopus, and a tarte au citron to finish, although cheese was also on offer. It was all delicious, and the accompanying wine list has been carefully selected and includes mainly French and Spanish wines.
This is a lovely house for a large family or two families, full of corners of wonder and items to delight children, in a small village where other children play football in the street. There are some sweet vintage tables and chairs around the place for children.
Babies (0-1 years), Children (4-12 years)
Most rooms can sleep one or more kids. Carmen fits up to 2 adults, 2 children on extra beds and 1 baby in a cot, and it has a hammock and outdoor terrace, giving you a bit of extra room. Kika can fit 2 adults, 1 child and 1 baby, Frida and Paco can each fit 1 additional bed or a baby cot, while 218 can only fit a baby cot.
In the summer months, Mary and Sébastien may be able to book a nanny or babysitter.
A baby monitor would work from bedrooms to the dining room downstairs so you could eat while they sleep upstairs.
Remember baby and child equipment may be limited or need pre-booking
When it's operating as a hotel, dinners are available at certain periods of the year, but you should ask about earlier dinner times for kids. Pasta and simple dishes can be arranged by prior arrangement with the owners.