CC 500 Can Cabanas
Can Cabanas is a very unusual independent rental property in that it has 7 rooms and 8 baths. I asked the owner why he went to the trouble to put in so many bathrooms, and he explained that one of his daughters, who is now studying Tourism, might eventually decide to turn the house into a B&B. This house would make for a very nice B&B, but for now, Can Cabanas makes for an even nicer independent rental property. It has all the advantages of a B&B which can be enjoyed by one family or group at a reduced rental rate!
Location: Situated just outside of Casserres, a small and sleepy but not unpleasant agricultural town just 7 km west of Puig Reig and the main C-16 road between Barcelona and Toulouse, Can Cabanas is on the edge of town, which means you have privacy and lots of room to yourselves, but you can still walk or zip in town by car in minutes to shop or have a meal or a drink or pick up fresh croissants at the bakery for breakfast. A safe distance behind Can Cabanas is the town´s municipal pool and sports complex. I have been asked if the proximity of the municipal complex presents any sort of problem such as noise, but everyone has written in to say this is not the case - the complex is far enough away and orientated at the back of the house. The pool and BBQ area and huge lounge are on the other side of the house looking out over wide fields and unspoiled views and the house is very private. In any case, the sport complex is only open during the summer months, has a couple of pools with lifeguards on duty, a football pitch, dressing rooms, and a small bar. This is a very welcome feature for kids, and daily entry fee is about 4 Euros.
The outdoors: Directly in front of the large main entrance is a curious sort of patio: the front gate opens onto a solid block of stone onto which Can Cabanas was built back in the 18th Century. To the right you have the fenced in pool area, which has nice non-slip terra cotta tiling and a shower, and beyond the pool and lawn which surrounds it is a covered outdoor sitting and BBQ area for outdoor meals. One of the most striking feature of this hilltop house are the lovely views of the Caplot and Bergueda mountains to the north.
Between the pool and the house the owners have converted an old shed into a huge designer banquet hall, measuring well over 100 m2, with good lighting (despite the quality of the photos below), plenty of seating, a dance floor, a large wooden bar with sink and large fridge, and a fireplace. This is really a fantastic place and it serves to free up the interior of the house pretty much except for the purposes of sleeping and bathing. Around the perimeter wall of the house is lots of wide open spaces where to kick around a football or just stroll and as I said before, the views are lovely.
The indoors: The large wooden main doorway opens onto an atmospheric ground floor, measuring well over 120 m2, that sets the mood for what is to come. Most of this ground floor has been carved out of the living bedrock, with huge cornerstones supporting dramatically illuminated stone arches leading to a series of rooms: a vestibule from which the stairway goes up to the main living quarters, followed by the large ping-pong room flanked on one side by what used to be the cattle trough - for until a generation ago, this is where animals were kept, right below the owners living quarters! Downstairs there is also a small sitting area with a card table, and there is also the washroom (with the washing machine, iron, and a hand-wash basin).
Upstairs the stone stairway opens onto the dining room, with wooden planked seating for up to 14 or so (I would love to have one of these tables in my apartment). To one side of the room is the entrance to the spacious kitchen, with large fridge, electric oven, gas stove, extractor, dishwasher, microwave, stick mixer, toaster, kettle, and lots of extras. Across from the kitchen there is a main floor bathroom for the common area, the only toilet that isn´t in a room. This toilet is off the main dining area in a sort-of separate glassed-in gallery with great views of the mountain range to the north. On the other side of the dining room is the contiguous living room, with a sofa and some lazy chairs, an cast iron fireplace, a TV video and DVD player, and a radio/cassette/CD player.
On this first floor as 3 or the 7 bedrooms. Working our way from left to right, the 1st bedroom is painted a light yellow and has two single beds, and a full bath. All rooms in Can Cabanas have a full bath, meaning bathtub, sink, and toilet. Bedroom 2 is light blue in colour and also has two single beds. On the other side of the house and across from the living room and off the staircase going upstairs is the large master bedroom 3, also painted blue with a double bed and a single bed. This is the room we stayed in and where I bathed my kids.
For privacy, there is a door closing off the stairway up to the second floor. The upstairs consists of a large high-ceiling salon measuring over 60 m2 with two sofas (which in fact are double sofa beds), and several different sitting areas: a game table and chairs and a small library of most English best-sellers, as well as a large fireplace and TV and some speakers connected to the stereo downstairs. On either side of this salon are the other four rooms: working our way around clockwise, a yellowish bedroom 4 with a double bed, another burnt sienna color bedroom 5 with two single beds, and a light orangish colour bedroom 6 with a double bed, and a 7th light greenish bedroom with two single beds. Important: the access to these bedrooms is s through a small vestibule, to mitigate noise from the salon. As I mentioned earlier, the two sofas in the upstairs salon are fold out beds, and the owners have put in a good-sized closet so that anyone sleeping on the sofas will have where to keep their clothes. However, there are also fold out beds on offer for larger groups, and all the bedrooms are big enough to take an extra bed.
Well, there you have it. I think I´ve described this house accurately. I have stayed in this house myself with my wife and daughter and we thoroughly enjoyed it. Mrs Roy of Canada stayed in Can Cabanas for three months in 2004 and kindly wrote in to say she liked it too. Three months is the supreme test! It also helps that the owners, who live on Casserres old high street behind the church (locally famous for its Barroque alterpiece) are very kind and thoughful. With a house like this, it shows. It is a really well-cared for, pleasant house. I´ll try to get more pictures for you, and don´t forget to ask me to send you a Google Earth photo showing the location of Can Cabanas in relation to the village and surroundings.