El Gran Sueno

near Infiesto, Asturias, Spain Book from Book from £108 per night

COMFORTING FOOD COMFORTING FOOD
Mountain retreat and eco-chic guesthouse, where the views are magical and the service is sublime
Why Asturias isn’t more well-known is beyond us. Its pristine emerald pastures and snow-capped peaks provide the most refreshing antidote to the heaving Costas of the south and the sweltering concrete of Madrid. You can hike all day here and not see another soul, save for the odd wild horse, yet you’re never too far from a hearty bowl of fabada (Asturian bean stew) and a bustling sidrería (cider bar) packed with merry locals. Join the fiesta and get in on the secret: Asturias is a beauty waiting to be explored.

Follow a small mountain road through the foothills of the Picos de Europa to reach El Gran Sueño, a cossetting 5-bedroom guesthouse set in a picturesque hamlet. The delightful owners, Javier and Dave, decided they'd had enough of city life in Brighton, so headed for pastures new here in Javier’s ancestral region. Not only have they built something surpassingly comfortable and stylish, but everything has been done with the utmost love and care - from the eco-friendly ground source heating deep under the garden, to the quirky record player (and great vinyl collection) in the communal living room. This is absolutely not your standard Spanish hotel. El Gran Sueño means The Big Dream, and with the blissful getaway they have created here, it is indeed hard to imagine a sweeter dream than this one.

Highs

  • Breathtaking views towards the jagged peaks of the Picos de Europa mountains: a true hiker's paradise
  • Warm, welcoming bedrooms with spoiling extras and very friendly prices
  • Javier and Dave are natural hosts who put their heart and soul into their work - and it shows
  • Dave’s home cooking: organic, seasonal and restaurant-quality, with excellent vegetarian and vegan options
  • This part of Asturias has it all - mountains, coast, culture, food, tranquility

Lows

  • Strict no children policy (a plus for many!)
  • Although the hotel is full of creature comforts, this is rural Asturias; there are no shops or restaurants within walking distance
  • Only one room (Jardín) has a bathtub
  • The climate here is wetter than other parts of Spain, but the reward is green, green, green!
  • Apart from your hosts, almost no English is spoken locally (which is why we love it) - learn a few phrases before you come

Best time to go

The warmest months are end of May to end of October, but if you’re here for the beaches, avoid August. Asturias is wonderful at any other time. Infiesto´s very own Feria de Abril is in April; there’s jazz in July in Ribadesella, a hazelnut festival in early October. The wild flowers of Picos de Europa are the most diverse in Europe: a glory from April to June.

Our top tips

While the nearby village of Infiesto (7km) may feel like a very typical Asturian town, it hides a one-of-a-kind gem: the bustling wine bar Vinos Alvarez Nava. It's filled floor-to-ceiling with dusty bottles and dark wood, and has been run by the same family for an astounding 8 generations. We think this is the best place in town to get a glass of Spanish vino (and a gratis pincho alongside) and soak up the lively Asturian vibes on a rainy afternoon.

Great for...

Beach
Cheap & Chic
Eco
Foodie
Great Outdoors
  • Boutique Hotel
  • 5
  • Breakfast and dinner (booking required)
  • Over 16s only
  • Open all year
  • Pool
  • Spa Treatments
  • WiFi
  • Pet Friendly
  • Disabled Access
  • Beach Nearby
  • Off-street Parking
  • Restaurants Nearby
  • Air Conditioning
  • Guest Lounge
  • Terrace
  • Garden
  • Gym
  • Concierge Service
Room:

Rooms

El Gran Sueño offers 5 immaculate double rooms, each large enough for leisurely lounging.

We stayed in Terraza (Deluxe Double with Terrace), which is seriously worth splashing out on. Its large furnished terrace has a breathtaking mountain and pastoral view, where you can watch the sunrise. Terraza connects to Jardín (Deluxe Double with View) via a private corridor - useful for groups (but no under 16s). Inside, it boasts original features, a bathtub with overhead shower, and dreamy country views. Both the Terraza and Jardín rooms can be set up with twin beds.

All the rooms are full of light, but Galería (Deluxe Double with View) has a traditional galleried window that is particularly bright. Loft (Deluxe Double) overlooks picturesque barns, and has a seating area under the eaves (the cosy mezzanine reached by a ladder) plus a skylight view of the stars. Plaza (Deluxe Double), overlooking the rustic hamlet, has a gorgeous bathroom with an exposed brick wall.

Expect nothing but the best high-quality mattresses, top-notch linens, super-soft towels and posh toiletry sets by La Chinata. There are characterful touches, such as salvaged wood for bathroom shelves and framed records for art. Lovely extras include Bose speakers and underfloor heating.

Features include:

  • Bose bluetooth speakers
  • Central heating
  • Hairdryer
  • Internet access
  • Radio
  • Toiletries
  • TV
  • WiFi

Eating

An all-organic breakfast (included in the room rate) is served at crisply dressed tables in the dining room, or on the terrace in sunnier months. The standout feature of breakfast is the love and care that goes into the food on your plate; almost everything is homemade - cakes, jams, freshly squeezed OJ and even sourdough bread (Dave rises early!).

Their set three-course dinner has a real posh dinner party feel. The daily-changing menu is based on the market choice that day: fresh, seasonal, and unwaveringly local. We loved our starter of tiger prawn and monkfish salad (salpicón), followed by French favourite coq-au-vin and a vegan chocolate brownie for dessert. Wines are all Spanish and carefully chosen. The whole experience really felt like a lovely evening in with friends. Book dinner well ahead, and note that in August the restaurant doesn't offer 3-course meals, but light bites and raciones (tapas) are available instead.

If you fancy heading out, your hosts know the best little eateries nearby, from simple bars in Infiesto (7km) to a Michelin star restaurant in Arriondas (25km). Our top pick is nearby eatery Pusáki, who offer a sublime 7-course Asturian tasting menu.

Features include:

  • Breakfast
  • Dinner by arrangement
  • Room service
Eating:
Activity:

Activities

  • You're on the edge of wild, snow-capped Asturian mountains: circular walks from the doorstep lead through rolling green hills, chestnut and apple orchards, and you may spot vultures or semi-wild Asturcón ponies
  • Kayak down the River Sella, or try horse-riding, canyoning and potholing with local operator Frontera Verde (Dave and Javier can advise and book)
  • Check out the luscious beaches of the emerald coastline - sandy sweeps, pebbly coves, great surf, no crowds - stopping off in the villages of Ribadesella (45km, stamping-ground of Queen Letizia) and Lastres (40km, densely-packed fishermens' houses)
  • Nearby Infiesto (7km) is an authentic, gentle town with cafés, markets and sidrerías, where you can try locally brewed cider, poured from a great height
  • See the Romanesque churches of Santa María (Villamayor) and San Juan de Berbío (Infiesto), which line a stretch of the Camino de Santiago pilgrimage route

Activities on site or nearby include:

  • Birdwatching
  • Canyoning
  • Hiking
  • Horse riding
  • Kayaking
  • Plantlife / flora
  • Pot-holing
  • Private guided tours
  • Surfing

Kids

El Gran Sueño welcomes over 16s only.

Kid Friendly:

Our guests' ratings...

Based on 4 independent reviews from i-escape guests

10/10
Room
10/10
Food
10/10
Service
10/10
Value
10/10
Overall

We’re already missing this hilltop retreat and its three residents - Dave the modest master of sauces, who takes such care over every detail, Javi with his gentle warmth and personal recommendations and the adorable Carson, who won our hearts from the outset.
If you’re looking to recharge your batteries, eat delicious, thoughtful meals, drink in endless mountain views and come away feeling like you’ve stayed with good friends, this is the place to go. Highly recommended!

10/10,

We had a truly great couple of days at El Gran Sueno and we will certainly be going back to explore the region further and to enjoy Dave's and Javier's exceptional hospitality. Our room surpassed our expectations and the memory of sitting on the terrace listening just to the sound of cow bells and taking in the stunning scenery will stay with us throughout the winter months. Dave's cooking was exceptional and Javier's cocktails were spot on - all in all, a really wonderful place to stay!

10/10,

Great location, magnificent scenery, peace and tranquillity.
Clean, spacious room and tastefully decorated. Comfortable bed and good sized, well thought-through en suite. Friendly and knowledgeable hosts, focused on making our stay really enjoyable.
We were delighted by our first evening meal: gaspachio, roasted butternut squash and mascarpone risotto, falafel with tzatziki, followed by fantastic local artisan cheeses. It was an easy choice to eat there again most evenings, and Dave's varied and expertly-cooked menu didn't disappoint (breakfast was great too!)
A wonderful week. We look forward to staying there again...10/10!

10/10,

El Gran Sueno is a beautiful, peaceful house in a lovely rural setting surrounded by hills. Nothing was too much trouble for the owners Dave and Javi, who were full of great advice about places to go and things to do. Dave's home cooking is amazing, with homemade bread, jam and cake for breakfast every morning and delicious vegetarian-friendly dinners. There's some great walking in the area, as well as beautiful beaches, canoeing, and swimming in clear, cold, blue water straight down from the mountains, but you definitely need a car to get the most from it.

10/10,

{{ review.rating }}/10, {{ review.firstName }}Anonymous{{ review.countryName ? ', '+ review.countryName : '' }},

Rates for El Gran Sueno