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Introduction: at last a property where you can really say "the more the merrier!". Mas Dalt is unique. Situated on a huge 15-hectaire (over 37 acres) hillside wooded property with great views, Mas Dalt offer 17 bedrooms and 15 bathrooms in three different fully independent living quarters, each with its own kitchen, living room, terrace, etc. (There are a total of 13 double beds and 17 single beds.) For extra large groups, keep in mind that 12-bedroom Can Tapies is only a 10-minute walk away. Situated 4 kms east of Banyoles, 2 kms to Camós, this is an ideal area for holiday-makers.
NB: put your cursor over the photos for more information
Mas Dalt: I have been offering this property as separate apartments for years now, but in 2004 the owners have decided to restore an old stone building next to the huge mansion and put in a new pool, and rent the entire place as a self-catering villa.
The idea behind the enlargement is to have a very large property which is comfortable for large groups or several families who want to be together but not necessarily crammed into one house. Each living quarters here is fully independent of the rest, with full kitchen (including dishwasher and washing machine) and dining/living room (including TV and stereo), and each apartment has its own outdoor seating and BBQ. However, the 10 bedroom part of the main house has a huge living room (about 100m2) and, along with the large dining room where everyone in all three apartment can have indoor meals together, and there is a very handsome 130m2 covered terrace overlooking the pool, with lighting and BBQ area next door for outdoor meals, day and night.
The owners have had the private road paved to the front door. From there, the unpaved road continues across the hillside to Can Tapies passing 12th C Santa Maria de Camós, (which you can see in some of the pictures), a church which still holds some services. Weddings and receptions are best held at Camós church at rectory, 2 kms away. From the area where you have left the parked cars, the main door opens on to a small vestibule with some coat racks where there are there are two flights of steps: one leading to the main floor and kitchen and dining area and 6 bedroom, and to the right the staircase leading up to the huge 100m2 plus living room and the 4 upstairs bedrooms.
Here is the detailed run down on the bedroom and bathroom distribution, floor by floor:
The main house - upstairs 10 bedrooms:
Let´s start with the main floor: the kitchen here is the least modern of the three kitchens at Mas Dalt, but is just about made up for by having lots of character and a large old fashion cold-storage closet dating from the 20s that still works, wooden doors and all!. The kitchen also has a modern refrigerator along with the cold storage closet, and old marble sink, a gas stove and oven, a microwave, a dishwasher, a fireplace, and there is a food prep area you can sit down at and a huge collection of glasses and plates.
Beyond the kitchen is the dining room with four red-checkered cloth covered tables seating up to 6 or 7 guests each, set around another fireplace, and with windows affording nice views across the Pla de Estany out towards the sea. There is a pantry and wash and ironing room just off the dining room with another modern fridge and a full bathroom which doesn´t get much use as all the rooms around here have private bath. Around this living room are three bedrooms:
- one large room with a double bed (150x190cm) and a small bathroom with shower, and extra single bed in a corner, and a nice little balcony
Just off the kitchen and up four steps are three more bedrooms to your left along a long hallway:
- one bedroom with two single beds - can be pushed together to make a double
Upstairs from the vestibule is the huge living room divided into five different sitting areas, one around the TV (local channels only, DVD player) and stereo (with CD, radio, and cassette), and other sofas and card tables scattered around the huge wood-panelled and heavily beamed room. Off the main living room is the only bedroom on this floor:
- one large room with double bed and private bathroom with half-bath
Just like on the floor below, off the kitchen, there are four steps up off the living room to a back hallway with 3 bedrooms and a bathroom on your left:
- one bedroom with two single beds - can be pushed together to make a double
Downstairs of main house:
The downstairs part of the house can be reach either 1) from the ancient and atmospheric stone spiral staircase on your right on the main floor vestibule and dining room, or 2) from the large stone-arched main entrance downstairs, or 3) from a side entrance, which has some outdoor seating for this part of Mas Dalt and a BBQ. The downstairs 3-bedroom part of Mas Dalt is like a well proportioned private apartment, somewhat darker than the more luminous upstairs rooms, but not humid, and also a lot cooler in summer than the upstairs rooms (which can be kept cool if you remember to keep the shutters closed during the day, keeping the sun out, and only opening up when it is cool outside at night. The massive nearly meter-thick stone walls will do the rest.)
So, the spiral staircase down from the upstairs vestibule leaves you in front of the huge downstairs door in the downstairs hallway. To one side, there are two bedrooms:
- one room with double bed and bathroom with shower
On the other side of the long downstairs hallway is the central kitchen/living/dining room, measuring a good 50m2 under a gorgeous stone and brick vaulted ceiling. The modern kitchen has a double sink, a dishwasher, refrigerator, stovetop and microwave, but no oven. Up 6 steps from the kitchen is another large and mostly empty 30m2 living room, also under vaulted ceilings, barely furnished, with a table seating 6 and a small wicker sofa seating two. Just off this living room there is the third downstairs bedroom:
- one room with double bed
A door leads outside where the hillside is terraced and there is some seating and a barbecue and an old marble sink with tap water...
New 4 bedroom house:
The newly restored, spacious, and well-appointed house backs the swimming pool and has a huge terrace of nearly 130m2 overlooking the pool and the Pla de L'Estany below. The views are magnificent, completely unspoilt panoramas of checkered fields and church spires showing where little villages dot the landscape. This fully independent house is divided into two "L"-shaped floors, the kitchen, dining room, and living room and a small WC on the main floor, and the bedrooms below, somewhat underground to keep them cool in summer, but with windows for natural sunlight...
Upstairs: the modern kitchen has a fridge, dishwasher, electric oven and hob, double sink, washing machine, microwave, etc. Next door the dining room has seating for 12, and after that, the living room has a TV and CD/radio/cassette player, the speakers are out on the terrace, and there is a little WC in the hallway with toilet and sink - no shower. This is the 16th bathroom at Mas Dalt! Doors from the living and dining room lead out to the terrace.
- 4 bedrooms with private bathroom, all these bedrooms have 1 double bed and 1 single bed, and all four bedrooms have a private bathroom, one bathroom with a bathtub, and the other 3 bathrooms have showers. So 4 bedrooms and 4 bathrooms.
You may have noticed that the description of the layout adds up to beds for 43 guests: 13 double beds, 17 single beds, and this doesn´t even take into account the baby cots and a couple of fold outs kept in the huge living room upstairs..... But this house is licensed for 34, 2 guests in each of the 17 bedrooms, and that is how it works, at least officially...
The good-sized kidney shaped pool is surrounded by 14 loungechairs, a couple of different tables and chairs under parasols, and there is a poolside bathroom with shower so that you don't have to go into the house to go. In front of the main house is a large sloping lawn about half the size of a regulation football pitch, and there are two movable goal posts for football.
On both sides of the larger house are large playing fields with different outdoor sitting areas, two of which have BBQs for outdoor meals, although I guess most of you will have meals together on the huge terrace above the pool.
The road up to Mas Dalt is now fully paved. There is parking for half a dozen cars in front of the main floor of the main house, and in that photo of Rosa sitting on the swing in her red sweater (see the last photo below), you will see the arched garage and old BBQ area. Before the huge covered porch-terrace was built above the pool, this was where guests would have their BBQ feasts sitting on long wooden-planked tables and benches.
The location is excellent, and I´m not saying that just because my wife and I have been renting little a place just on the other side of Banyoles for years now. Nearby Banyoles (4 kms away) is a market town with a huge array of shopping, including an impressive collection of no fewer than 12 supermarkets set around one traffic circle, but also you´ll find a weekly farmers market on the 11th Century arcaded square, and a huge variety of little specialty shops like butchers, bakers, fresh fruit and fishmongers, etc, in the historic pedestrian center of the old town. While the beaches are about 35 kms away, mostly highway driving (the C-66 highway exit is 3 kms from the house!), you have closer to home the lovely environmentally protected lake of Banyoles, with its grassy beaches with lifeguards on duty, and the open playing fields and bike paths going all the way around the lake. Be sure to read my extensive guide to the excellent restaurants in this area. I know the area very well as it is where my family and I have spend our last 4 summers! (see little 4-bedroomed La Quintana in our Costa Brava - Pyrenees listings.
Oh, and one last thing. The owners have three local ladies who clean the house between rentals and these ladies also offer to come in and cook and clean for guests at very reasonable rates, something along the lines of 12 Euros per hour, and offer some very good menus of local fare for about 25 Euros per adult, including good wine from one of the many local agro co-ops!Mas Dalt is simply fantastic! The feedback is excellent. Be sure to read the wonderfully generous comments sent in from past guests - see above. Why not give it a try?
Indeed, the more the merrier!
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