CB 1000 Cal Micos - 7 bedrooms




This is another one of those best-value sort of places, with 7 bedrooms and 8 bathrooms, and a very nice pool within the lovely 4.700 m2 fenced-in garden area, large covered BBQ outdoor dining area right in front the kitchen, good location and great views.... all for about 27 Euros per night per person in the high-season and much less in the off-season. Located a few km off the AP-7 highway between France and Barcelona, this part of the hilly coastal plain is known locally for its good & inexpensive restaurants and food markets, a half a dozen spa towns, and the PGA golf course 7 km away in Caldes de Malavella. 6 km from Cal Micos in Sils town is the commuter train into Barcelona city center, every hour from 7 am to 11 pm, and the trip on the express train takes 50 minutes. The bullet train from Girona now takes 30 minutes.

Cal Micos, indoor dining room between and outdoor dining roomCal Micos is a house that has been gaining in attractiveness ever since I first visited the house back in April of 2000. The owner, Carmen (who is much liked by past guests) has plowed back a good portion of rental fees into household improvements, and now the area around the pool is all grassy lawn under shade trees, and she has put in a large covered verandah for outdoor barbecue dining, with a convenient sink for food prep and lighting for nighttime meals.

Location: This house is situated a kilometer up an unpaved but not rugged road from the main C-63 road just outside Riudarenes, 17 km from the coast, a village with a bakery, fishmonger, butcher shop, and a couple of good restaurants & bars - see my quite detailed travel info on this area in the above link. As I have mentioned before, this is an area known for its concentration of good restaurants, and Santa Coloma has an important Spa, the Magma, with very reasonable fees for day-guests, where you pay an entrance fee and then extra for the spa treatments you choose. The dirt track to the house is in good condition and can be taken quite fast. The house is surrounded by kilometers and kilometers of hilly fields and the wide sweep of the views of distant mountains on three sides is very impressive. The drive leads to the front of the house, where there is plenty of parking space. Directly in front of the house there is an old functional well with a little fish pond, and on the other side of that, some gardens, the pool area, and a small vegetable patch. Around the right side of the house is a little apartment the owner keeps for herself and uses when the house is not rented, now that her children are grown up, and she divides her time between Barcelona and Cal Micos, the house in which four generations of her family grew up.

Cal Micos, outdoor barbecue area is greatThe house: The early 18th C building has been completely remodeled, and most of the common rooms are on the elongated ground floor, each of which seems to have a convenient separate entrance from the lawn area in front. The main entrance opens onto a small vestibule, which separates the traffic: to the right for the hallway to the large kitchen and dining area, straight ahead for the staircase up to the first floor bedrooms, and a couple of steps up to the left leads to the main living room. (In the photos, this main living room is identified by the very tall glass front on the left of the old farmhouse, behind the haystack.)

Let´s start with the living room, which measures well over 45 m2, and has three sofas, and dining or game table for 10 or 12, a small cast-iron chimney, a TV with DVD player, and a good-sized radio/cassette/CD player. The sloping ceiling is high, and to the large windows, the room is very bright as well as spacious. Across the vestibule from the living room and on your way to the kitchen there is a small room with a small round dining table (the one with the fireplace in the photos) - maybe a good separate game room for or from the kids. From this room there is a hallway to the three downstairs bedrooms, each with a small private bathroom: two rooms with two single beds and one room with a double bed.

Cal Micos has a high-quality restaurant style kitchenNext down the hall on the right is the kitchen, a large modern chrome restaurant-style kitchen, a feature I though I might get complaints about, but as it turns out guests have written in to praise lavishly. I guess you can get good results cooking in a professional kitchen! Just beyond the kitchen is the indoor dining room with three tables with six chairs each, and just beyond that to your left, another sitting area with wicker chairs and a TV. There is direct access to the garden with sliding front doors - very convenient! So, so far we have encounter four different indoor sitting areas: the living room, the small round card table, the 18-seat dining room, and this second TV room with the wicker seating. Not bad as far as distribution.

Upstairs there are four bedrooms, two on each side of the landing: each room with two single beds and small private bathroom with one of those small half-bathtubs that are really to only to use for showers. The rooms are somewhat sparely decorated with not much closet space, but at least the rooms are of a good size, and the views from the upstairs rooms is delightful.

Cal Micos has a several living rooms, one small one is full of memorabilia on the house's historyAll told, this house has a great deal going for it. A great location, plenty of room indoors and out, a very nice pool and garden, and perhaps most especially, a very reasonable rental rate for what you get. Of course no house is perfect, so if I had to find something to criticize, it would have to be the somewhat spartan decoration of the bedrooms and bathrooms, but then again I doubt guests will be spending much time in their rooms in the summer and with this garden outside.

I have a lot of fond memories and anecdotes about the work I do, and one of them is a rental we had a few years ago with a group of cyclists who rented this house. Carmen, the owner, went to pick up the guests at the Girona airport, and the 12 cyclists followed Carmen´s car from the airport to Cal Micos, taking only back roads for safety, trailing Carmen´s car for 15 kilometers like baby ducklings. Carmen and the guests got along fine after that and Carmen later prepared them a traditional meal of paella and roast meats with garlic alioli, and a huge feast was enjoyed by all. Sometimes my work is fun and this house is a pleasure to work with!