Mas Roca was restored in 2004 with holiday rentals in mind. This handsome villa offers a high level of comfort, including all the modern amenities (washer and drier, dishwasher, satellite pay TV, etc), as well as a new 10x6 meter unfenced swimming pool and a tennis wall (the Spanish play "fronton" - like Basque jai alai but with tennis rackets).
The overall look of the place is rustic but it has to be stressed how practical the layout really is!
Entryways: on the ground floor you have three entryways: the rather grand wooden-planked main entrance into the rustic central downstairs hallway; another nice old large doorway enters into the main dining room and kitchen area from the outdoor dining and BBQ area, so it is a straight shot from outdoor BBQ and table to the kitchen and dining room.... a great advantage I wish houses had!
Then there is a back door which leads directly to the large downstairs en suite bedroom. This bedroom is very private, separated from the rest of the downstairs by a hall door, linking the central hallway to the livingroom, dining room & kitchen, as well as the stairway to the rest of the bedrooms upstairs.
The walk in kitchen is quite spacious, about 25m2, and is well equipped with all the usual appliances, large fridge, dishwasher, 4 burner stovetop, over, extractor, double sink, microwave, toaster, mixer, juicer, kettle, expresso maker, etc... The kitchen has plenty of counterspace lining three of it´s four walls, and there is lighting all the way around for easy food prep. Fronting the kitchen is the dining room, with a long wooden-planked table seating around 14 guests in front of a large fireplace. A wide door from the dining room leads to the outdoor dining area, made up of 3 tables and chairs seating up to 16, and you can move the tables to where you prefer, under the shade of a tree or on the paving stone below the balcony. The BBQ is 3 steps away and there is plenty of lighting for al fresco meals at night.
Across the downstairs central hallway is the large & comfortable living room, about 50 m2, which has two sofas, two easy chairs, more bench-type seating near the TV (Satellite channels, DVD, CD/radio/cassette player), and one of those round card tables. Perhaps the nicest feature of this living room are the three large double-glazed windows affording nice views out onto the garden and letting in lots of sunlight.
Bedrooms: as mentioned earlier, the large downstairs bedroom (1) is at the end of the downstairs hallway, behind a hall door, up three steps (so not good for wheelchairs unless you request a plank to roll down - let me know about this), and this bedroom has a large (150x190cm) double bed and a single bed. In the private hallway outside there is a bathroom with a walk-in shower.
Half way up the stairs to the first floor is a two bedroom separate wing, a large bedroom (2) with a large double bed (150x190cm) and another bedroom (3) with three single beds (90x190cm) separated by a full bathroom with large bathtub. This is quite convenient for a family of 4 or 5.
Upstairs there is a rather elegant large central living room leading to the remaining 3 bedrooms and 2 bathrooms. Each bedroom is on different sides of the central living room, so all the rooms are somewhat far apart and more private than, say, rooms lined up in a linear hallway. The nicest room, en suite bedroom (4) has a 150x190cm bed, a lovely private terrace with table and chairs under crooked old wooden beams overlooking the pool, and a private bathroom with bathtub. Across from the top of the steps is bedroom (5) with a two single beds (90x190cm). Diagonally across the hall is bedroom (6) with a double bed (150x190cm) and direct access to a bathroom with shower. This bathroom has two doors. One to the bedroom and one to the hallway. The idea is that parents in room 6 and the kids across the hall in room 5 have access to the bathroom. The other upstairs bedrooms have their own bathrooms. It is a good setup.
To sum up, Mas Roca is an exceptionally comfortable and practical villa to rent for a holiday. The garden and pool and outdoor dining areas are gorgeous, green, shady, welcoming. I know. I have stayed here often!
I have been offering Mas Roca in exclusivity since 2004, when Conxita (also the owner of Mas Grau 800 meters away) offered it to me and at unusually low rates. A lot of our guests for Mas Roca return to this house over and over, like the Harris's from Boston, who, after 8 years of one month rentals in mid-September, have become like part of the family. I have lots of Testimonial emails to share with you if you are interested. Just let me know. Everybody loves Mas Roca and Estanyol and Conxita!
Now with WIFI and ADSL internet and a brand new ping pong table, summer 2011!
Oh, I forgot to mention that there are 7 mountain bikes available at Mas Grau and Mas Roca.
|Size||Sleeps up to 14, 6 bedrooms|
|Nearest beach||Sant Feliu de Guixols 35 km|
|Will consider||Corporate bookings, Long term lets (over 1 month), Short breaks (1-4 days)|
|Nearest Amenities||2 km|
|Nearest travel links||Nearest airport: Girona, the house is not affected by noise from ai 10 km, Nearest railway: Girona or Fornells de la Selva 8 km|
|Family friendly||Great for children of all ages, Suitable for people with restricted mobility|
|Notes||Pets welcome, No smoking at this property|
|Luxuries||Log fire, Internet access, DVD player|
|General||Central heating, TV, Video player, CD player, Table tennis, Games room, Satellite TV, Wi-Fi available|
|Standard||Kettle, Toaster, Iron, Hair dryer|
|Utilities||Clothes dryer, Dishwasher, Cooker, Microwave, Fridge, Freezer, Washing machine|
|Rooms||6 bedrooms, 5 bathrooms of which 2 Family bathrooms and 3 En suites|
|Furniture||Single beds (6), Double beds (4), Cots (2), Dining seats for 14, Lounge seats for 10|
|Other||Linen provided, Towels provided, High chair|
|Outdoors||Balcony or terrace, Private garden, BBQ, Bicycles available|
|Further details outdoors|
Outdoor sitting area with BBQ under shady tree just outside the entryway to the kitchen and dining room. 10x6 meter unfenced private swimming pool and tennis wall ("frontón" in Spanish).
The standard method for making a reservation is by paying a deposit of 25%, usually directly to the owner´s bank account. This deposit is to guard against no-shows, and the amount received is deducted from the total cost of the rental. The remaining 75% is due either prepaid well ahead of your arrival or in cash upon occupying the property (you will be met at the property by the owner, who lives in Girona, 8 kms away).
There are many ways to make the deposit. By far the most common method is by Electronic Bank Transfer, and most of you will simply make a transfer from you online banking account, but in some cases I can make a charge on your VISA or Mastercard or you can send a Certified Bankers Cheque directly to the owners. I describe these methods in detail in email 2 of 3 on deposits. You decide which method is best for you, or feel free to come up with your own method. European Union bank account holders will want to send bank transfers as there are now absolutely free charges and commissions between EMU countries, EU regulation 2,560/2001 which came into effect July 2002.
2) Price all inclusive and changeover times
Rental fees quoted in our website are all-inclusive and there are no extra or hidden charges of any kind. All properties are rented clean, with plenty of clean sheets and towels and kitchen linen, etc., as well as your usual cooking utensils, and in many cases some basic start-up foodstuffs, like salt and pepper and olive oil, vinegar, coffee, etc. is there upon arrival. Some houses offer more generous welcome packages of food and drink. Those who rent for two weeks get a house cleaning and sheet and towel and linen change at the end of the first week included in the rental. Additional maid service is available upon request (usually at about 10 to 12 Euros per hour, minimum 3 hours). You are kindly requested to leave the house pretty much as you found it at the end of your stay.
There is no damage deposit. We trust you to contact me or the owners if something is broken so that we can fix or replace it before the next guests come in.
In the summer high season, most properties try to not to lose a day between rentals, and rentals are back to back, so incoming guests are kindly requested to occupy the house in the afternoon starting as of 5 pm and depart relatively early on the last day, usually before 10 am, so as to give time for a thorough cleaning between rentals. This is standard everywhere in the villa rental business. If you want to show up early, please check with me first. We can try to arrange for you to leave your things somewhere safe in the house and come back later when the cleaning crew has finished. Do not go into the house and please stay out of the way of the cleaners, gardeners, and pool maintenence staff or they might not finish their jobs! I get a lot of complaints from owners about guests who show up early and interrupt the cleaning. If you are arriving late in the day when shops are closed at 21:00h or on a Sunday, or on a holiday, I can arrange to have the owners do a shopping for you.
3) Balance due
The balance due for all rentals must be either prepaid well in advance of your rental (see email 2 of 3) or handed over in Euros cash upon arrival and getting the keys for the property from the owners. Payment at the end of the rental is not acceptable. Owners do not want to be in the position of having to chase after their guests for payment. In fact I advise owners not to hand over the keys until they have full payment.
It is up to you to make sure payment in full is made prior to arrival or be prepared to pay in cash upon arrival. Don´t leave this to the last minute as local ATM machines will not give you more 500 Euros per day, and local banks will not accept more than a few hundred Euros worth of traveller´s cheques due to massive fraud in that sector.
While you are here, house owner´s and/or their caretakers are always on hand in case you need them, as am I (Charlie). I'll be sending you an email asking for all your arrival details. Let's work together to make things go smoothly for all concerned. To a large extent, this sector of the "hospitality industry" depends on mutual trust and respect between owners and their guests. I can always be reached so feel free to call me or have the owners call me with any questions you may have, whether it be ahead of arrival, when you are with the owners, or during your stay. My telephone numbers are in the signature below.
Charlie @ villasbarcelona
What can one say about the Costa Brava?
Often considered a blend of the Côte d'Azur & Tuscany but with a Spanish flair for fun, the Costa Brava is rightfully famous as one of Europe's premiere holiday destinations. Why?
From the breathtakingly beautiful coastline, where wide beaches of golden sand and crystal clear waters alternate with rocky promentories and little coves backed by sheer cliffs topped with pine and oak forests, the Costa Brava boasts 150 blue-flag, top notch beaches. The interior of the Costa Brava is every bit as stunning as the coast (and far less touristy, of course!), with pristine medieval villages set in typically Mediterranean landscapes on the coastal plain, looking very much like Tuscany, and quickly ascending to typically Alpine landscapes as you work your way up into the Pyrenees, with trout-filled streams feeding environmentally protected lakes - like the one in Banyoles - offering a welcome alternative to the coastal beaches, yet only half an hour away by car.
There is always plenty to do. My 90-page guidebook describes 10 routes you can take on daytrips throughout the region. From village to village and including historical sites, recommended beaches, local festivities and folklore, restaurants, market towns, etc -- the guidebook in indispensable for gettting the most of your holiday and steering you clear of the worst tourist-traps in the area. Included are info on the 14 golf courses on the Costa Brava, numerous aquaparks & go-carting circuits, and every town seems to have a horseback-riding club & bicycle rental.
... but of course the main reason for coming to this part of the world is for the good weather, the laid back and friendly local atmosphere, and the excellent and very affordable food and drink. My guidebook explains local dishes, recommends restaurants and cafés, markets and specialty shops, and includes a guide to Spanish wines and cavas. By the way, my favorite local prix fix lunch menus cost about 10 Euros for a 3 or 4 course meal, including wine.
While I am being asked to talk about the Costa Brava, most people enjoy a day trip or two to Barcelona, city center is only one hour away by car or local commuter train. Many guests will also make their way to the Port Aventura amusement park, two hours due south, just off the AP-7 highway, just a few kms from the house. Day trips into Southern France are also recommended, the French border is just a 40-minute drive due north.
When you book your rental villa with me, I will send you a copy of the Guidebook as a .pdf file.
To sum up in one quick phrase, the Province of Girona and Costa Brava is often described as "a quintessentially Mediterranean experience". After only 23 years living here, I couldn't agree more!
Where to begin!?
Mas Roca is just 8 kms from the regional capital Girona. 25 kms inland from the coast, 90 kms north of Barcelona, and a short drive northwest to the Pyrenees and France....
This area is one of Europe´s greatest playgrounds. Whatever is of interest to you, whether it be art, archeology, folklore, sports, gastronomy - you name it! - Girona has it all and in abundance.
Just to give you an idea, there are 17 golf courses within a 40 kilometer radius, including the PGA course just 10 kms from Mas Roca. There are also water slide parks and go-karting and horseback riding clubs sprinkled throughout the region, especially along the coast. Skydiving is best at Empurias and hot air ballooning best at Santa Pau.
There are three 3-star Michelin rated restaurants within 25 kms of Mas Roca... but my favourite restaurants and the ones I recommend to guests serve prix fix menus, first dish, main dish, dessert, salad and bread and wine - all for just 10 Euros! and the food is excellent! Just try to get that anywhere else in Europe.
There are 70 blue-flag, top notch beaches along the coast, each cleaned and controlled by the local tourism authorities. Their website includes photos and a list of amenities at each beach. I live a 5 minute walk from the beach in Barcelona so I prefer getting away to the mountains. In Girona, if you drive half an hour to the east, you reach any number of excellent beaches, but if you drive half an hour inland, you are in the low-Pyrenees, with gorgeous alpine landscapes and historic villages that have little changed in a thousand years. Oh, and the food in the mountains is even cheaper and better than on the Coast!
So much for the Costa Brava as a whole. Now back to Mas Roca. This house is situated two hundred meters outside of the tiny hamlet of Estanyol, just two kilometers on the bike path to Aiguaviva, and 8 kms southwest of lovely historic Girona. The house and large grounds are completely private and you have no neighbors nearby. The pool and the tennis wall are under pine and holm oak. There are very good restaurants in the area (you can walk to an excellent restaurant and terraced café in Estanyol in minutes) and you can choose to shop in small specialty shops in nearby villages or go to the big supermarkets outside of Girona. The house is also located only a short drive away from half a dozen quality golf courses.
In short, my guidebook is 90 pages long and includes a village by village description of 10 of the most interesting routes on the Costa Brava, Province of Girona. It also lists restaurants, shopping, & local festivities. I describe how to check the local papers for listings of festivals in nearby villages, one of my favor passtimes when I stay in the area. Locals and visitors are often found at these fiestas eating and drinking and dancing till dawn.
Bring a free copy of it along and make the most of your holiday.