CB 1200 Mas Roca
Mas Roca is located on the same huge property (115 hectares) as Mas Grau, about three-quarters of a kilometer away. It is a house of a quite 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. This house has it all - a lot of pros and very few (if any) cons! Mas Roca is very well documented in the photos and if you place the cursor over each photo a descriptive text appears to compliment my written description. As you can see from the Comments Page past guests seem to be very happy with the place and especially with Conxita, the kind and able owner, who lives 2 km away.
Location: like Mas Grau, Mas Roca is situated a few hundred meters outside of the tiny hamlet of Estanyol, a couple kilometers by car or the bike path to shopping in Aiguaviva, and 8 km southwest of lovely historic Girona and the markets and supermarkets there. The house and large grounds are completely private and you have no neighbors nearby. The pool and the tennis wall are under 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 you can choose to shop in small specialty shops in nearby villages or go to the big supermarkets outside of Girona. 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 3) and there is a back door in to the back passageway where the washing machine is kept which goes directly to the downstairs bedroom and bathroom.
As you would expect, there is an shaded outdoor sitting area with the BBQ just outside the entryway to the kitchen and dining room. The dining room has a long wooden planked table and benches seating up to 14 or so, with a fireplace nearby. Stone walls and beamed ceiling 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 downstairs central hallway is the huge living room, about 50m2, which has two sofas, two easy chairs, more bench-type seating near the 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. This is a feature which really sets this house apart from the owner´s other house, Mas Grau. Mas Grau is monumental, but you would wish there were three large windows in the living room there! The large downstairs bedroom (1) is at the end of the downstairs hallway, up three steps (so not good for wheelchairs), and this bedroom has a double bed and a single bed, and a private bathroom, with a nice wide walk-in, slate-floored shower. The water pressure is excellent.
Upstairs there is a large central living room leading to the five other bedrooms, two of which are off on a separate wing, so all the rooms are somewhat far apart and more private than, say, rooms lined up in a linear hallway. Bedroom 2) with a lovely private terrace under crooked old wooden beams overlooking the pool, there is a large en suite room with double bed and private bathroom with bathtub. On one side of the upstairs salon, there are two rooms on either side of a bathroom, this a full bathroom with bathtub. Bedroom 3) has three single beds, and Bedroom 4) the other bedroom has a double bed. Across the hall there is a little wing with two bedrooms, Bedroom 5) with double bed and a small bathroom with shower, and another Bedroom 6) bedroom with two single beds. The small bathroom for bedroom 5 has two doors, one direct to the bedroom and one to the salon, for easy access for room 6. All windows are screened and shuttered.
Mas Roca is fast becoming one of our most sought after properties. Just to compare it with nearby Mas Grau: while Mas Grau is more grandiose and impressive, this house is just a bit more comfortable and conventional, a bit more modern but still with lots of charm. Dr Harris from Boston first rented Mas Grau but then fell in love with Mas Roca and came back 9 times in the last 12 years, staying a month each time.
Oh, and lastly, one of the things I really like about Mas Roca is the fact that there are so many trees around the house, offering much needed shade from the sun in summer. I didn't notice this really until we stayed here during a hot week in early July 2012. Many of the walls and windows are shaded by trees and ivy and vines growing up the side of the house. Wewere able to pick ripe lemons from the screened windows of the upstairs central salon and from the terrace just above the outdoor BBQ dining area - see the photos.
There are lots of photos provided in the photo link above. I know many of them are not great - I took them myself over the years - but what is lacking in quality is made up for in quantity. I counted over 35 photos of this house! However, if you would like me to send you more photos, I have many more not included here I can share with you, and I even have a movie or two that I don't include here in this listing as they show kids playing and I don't want to put them online...
So to sum up, Mas Roca is a more beautiful property than you would imagine from the photos here provided. The location is fantastic, an idyllic area full of great restaurants, including one with a nice terraced bar and two clay tennis courts (€5/hour) just a mile away from the house. This property is highly recommended.