CB 1200 Mas Roca - 6 bedrooms
Mas Roca is located on the same huge property (115 hectares) as Mas Grau (see the 8 to 10 bedroom historic stone mansion in our Costa Brava listings, see ref. CB 1100), about three-quarters of a kilometer away. It is a house of a high standard which is being rented at a very competitive rate in order to get many bookings. In fact I had the pleasure of being the first to stay in this house when it was inaugurated as a rental villa in the Spring of 2002. I was there with my wife, Maria, and my mother, who was visiting from the US, and we couldn't have been more pleased. In 2017 this villa got a complete make-over and the owners had the pool fenced, the full Spa put in a new wing of the house, the padel court and playground was constructed, as well as the two new terraces near the barbecue. This house is now the best villa for a fabulous holiday in paradise.
Location: Mas Roca is situated a few hundred meters outside of the tiny hamlet of Estanyol, a couple kilometers by car or on the bike path to shopping in Aiguaviva, and 8 km southwest of lovely historic Girona and the many markets and supermarkets there. The house and large grounds are completely private and you have no neighbors nearby. The pool and the padel tennis court are amidst pine and holm oak (the owners sell cork to some of the big Catalan cava producers). There are very good restaurants in the area (you can walk to two restaurants in Estanyol itself, one of them quite nice and with an elegant terraced café just 500 meters from Mas Roca and the other one with two tennis courts where guests are welcome to play for free!) and you can choose to shop in small specialty shops in nearby villages or go to the big budget supermarkets outside of Girona, like Carrefour or Lidl or Dia or any of the spanish chains, the best being the huge El Corte Ingés Hipercor supermarket. Locals buy meats and breads and veggies and perhaps even wine by the liter in specialty mom n pop shops and only go to the supermarkets to stock up on basics.
The house: the villa is tucked just behind a curve in a little transited road between Estanyol and Bescanó, where there is a good horseback riding club with restaurant (and one guests wrote in to tell me there is a good wine shop there too - see the comments page). A dirt path winds around the front of the house, passing the swimming pool on the left, to the large parking area around to the back. One of the things I like about Mas Roca is that there are three entryways into the lower floor: 1) the rather grand wooden-planked main entrance into the central downstairs hallway 2) another nice old large doorway enters into the main dining room and kitchen area, and 3) and there is a back door in to the back passageway where the washer and dryer are kept and a hall leads directly to the Spa and the rest of the downstairs..
Between the house and the pool are a couple of newly tiled terraces near the barbecue and the kitchen entrance - all very convenient and as always there are lights for outdoor meals at night. Between the kitchen and the barbecue area is the dining room, with a long wooden planked table and benches seating about 14 right in front of the fireplace. It is all very well thought out. Stone walls and wooden beamed ceilings make it rustic and cozy in equal measure. The kitchen is right next to the dining table but in a separate room. The kitchen is quite spacious, about 25m2, and well equipped with plenty of counterspace lining three of the four walls.
Across the atmospheric downstairs central hallway is the spacious living room, about 50m2, which has two sofas, two easy chairs, more bench-type seating near the Satellite TV (DVD, CD/radio/cassette player), and one of those round card tables. The TV has cable which allows you to watch movies and shows in original version - meaning in most cases English! 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: the large downstairs bedroom (1) is at the end of the downstairs hallway, up three steps (so not a good house for wheelchairs) and this bedroom has a double bed (150x190cm)and a single bed (90x190cm), and a nice private bathroom 1) which features an lovely walk-in, slate-floored shower. I like these designer showers with no steps or curtains...
Upstairs there is a large central living room distributing to the other five bedrooms, two of which are off on a separate wing, so all the rooms are set somewhat far apart and more private than, say, rooms lined up in a linear hallway.
Bedroom 2) has a lovely private terrace under crooked old wooden beams overlooking the pool and this en suite bedroom with double bed (150x190cm) has a private bathroom 2) with bathtub and shower nozzle.
On the other side of the upstairs central you'll find bedrooms 3 & 4 on either side of a full bathroom 3) with bathtub and shower nozzle. Bedroom 3) has three single beds, and Bedroom 4) has a double bed, 150x190cm.
Across the central room there is a wing going off towards the back of the house with two bedrooms, Bedroom 5) with double bed (150x190cm) and bathroom 4) with shower stall, and then Bedroom 6) which has two single beds of 90x190cm each. The bathroom between the two rooms has two doors, one direct to the bedroom 5) and one to the salon, for easy access for room 6.
All rooms have proper closet space and dessers. and all windows are properly mosquito-screened and wooden shutters for sleeping in late.
Mas Roca is fast becoming one of our most sought after properties. One family from Boston (hi Dr Harris!) has rented Mas Roca for 9 consecutive months of September in the last 12 years. One of the things everyone remarks on are the large number of trees and vines surrounding the house offering much needed shade in the summer. I didn't notice this really until we stayed here during a hot week in early July 2012. The thick stone walls of the house were further protected by ivy and vines and fruit trees and I remember you could pick ripe lemons from the window of the central hallway upstairs.
So to sum up, Mas Roca is a beautiful and comfortable house in a great location surrounded by excellent restaurants. Whenever we stay here we make a point of going to a different restaurant for lunch before heading into Girona or down to the beaches for the rest of the afternoon. I remember once asking the (now retired) owner Conxita which were the good restaurants in the area and she very wisely told me that they were all good, otherwise no one in the area would go to them and they would close up. I thought that was a very magnanimous statement and through the years has proved true. It is practically impossible to find a bad restaurant in the area, whereas in my touristy neighborhood in Barcelona it is getting hard to find a good one! The excellent caretaker at his villa, Josep, is the young son of the owners of the nearly L'Estanc Nou restaurant, a 10 minute walk from the villa. It is a very nice place!
Again the area is gorgeous, but you are close to Girona town for a nice stroll around the beautiful medieval quarter, and the beaches are a quick 35 kms away... This house and Estanyol bring back so many good memories. I recommend you store up come Estanyol memories of your own...