Casa Grande do Bachao is a typical 18th century Galician manor house, with two houses, corn granaries, a stone cross, and spacious stone terraces. It is surrounded by 150 hectares of woodland, and lies just outside the historic pilgrimage centre of Santiago de Compostela in Spain. A family-run hotel, full of antiques, original artworks, and the family’s personal belongings, it feels very much as though you are guests in a private home. The decor is different in each room and the views from the terrace across the trees are stunning.
Choose Casa Grande if you want to be within easy reach of Santiago de Compostela yet away from the bustle of the city. It’s a peaceful, idyllic setting for a holiday, especially if you have kids and want plenty of outdoor space for them to run around and a pool where they splash around. It is possible to book the whole hotel for exclusive use, so it is ideal for a trip with an extended family: there’s room for multi generations to do their own thing without being on top of one another, but you can join happily together for meals and other activities.
This is a boutique property with just nine double rooms, two single rooms, and a suite. Each one has its own unique character and decor, and is named after royalty, nobility, or a a saint who went on pilgrimage to Santiago nine times. Their stories are intriguing: Sofía de Holanda was a Dutch countess who was stabbed repeatedly but didn’t even get scratched; Felicia de Aquitania was a princess turned hermit who was murdered by her jealous brother.
All rooms at Casa Grande have spotless en suite facilities, wooden floors and beams, and flashes of bright colour on the walls and rugs. Shutters on the windows ensure it is completely dark at night, and keep things cosy in the winter months. Rooms enjoy views over the woodland and hills or over the stone cross or huge grapevine. From the windows in Monxoi, you can see all of the way to the cathedral in Santiago de Compostela.
Guests are made welcome in the charming sitting rooms and the library, which has a range of books in English, Spanish, and French.
If the afternoon is not too hot, you’ll want to sit outside on the sunny terrace, and perhaps also take a dip in the outdoor swimming pool. Other facilities include a sauna and a games room with honesty bar.
Food and Drink
You approach Casa Grande’s dining room under a huge mature vine which is lit with fairy lights at night. Dinner is served in a stone-built barn, with starched white tablecloths, fresh flowers, and views out onto the garden. It’s awfully romantic! All food is sourced from local markets and the reasonably priced set menu depends on which ingredients are in season. Food is carefully prepared and imaginatively presented, and includes local meats, pates, and seafood. A range of excellent and inexpensive local wines is available. You can take breakfast in the breakfast room or outside on the terrace. The buffet has a variety of fruits, pastries, breads, meats, and cheeses, and the selection of hot and cold drinks includes sparkling wine.
The grounds of the hotel offer opportunities for walking; an hour’s walk will take you right down to the River Tambre. Joining the pilgrims walking to Santiago de Compostela is possible from the hotel. The city of Santiago de Compostela is about seven miles away. It’s a UNESCO World Heritage Site. The Cathedral of Santiago marks the end of the ancient Way of St James pilgrimage route. If you are interested in taking one of those pilgrimage routes read:
Camino de Santiago: The French Way (Camino Francés)
Camino de Santiago: Finisterre Way (Camino de Fisterra)
It’s an extraordinary Romanesque structure with additions in the Gothic and Baroque architectural styles. Other attractions in the city include the 12th century Church of Santa María, the Galician Centre for Contemporary Art, and the Monastery of San Martiño Pinario (where is it also possible to stay).
Wi-Fi is available and is free.
A double room costs €50 per night in high season. Discounts are available in low season.
Value for Money
Casa Grande offers excellent value for money — €50 would barely get you a hostel room in the city, but here you have oodles of space, great comfort, and a high level of customer service.
Ryanair has direct flights to Santiago de Compostela from London Stansted from £46 return. You can then pick up a rental car from the airport and drive to the hotel in 15-20 minutes.