Descending the Cares river route towards the sea of San Vicente de la Barquera we are close to discovering a unique hotel space, on the plain of Cabezón de la Sal. El Jardin de Carrejo, takes its name from its hamlet; because of its size one would say there is no other garden in Carrejo but this one. This is the reason it resembles an established public park, in which huge trees such as sequoias and cedars grow in close proximity of each other, along with a few Washington palm trees so common to these “Indiano” homes in this northern region where the stone pool system surprises us in what used to be a fish farm and “light factory”, with its canals and sluicegates . Beautiful industrial archaeology. The Sajón river-bed goes through the estate irrigating this three hectare plot, which also contains elms, maples, hollies, walnuts, birches and lime trees, with an 800 m path to stroll along. Amongst all the greenery stands the main house, dating back to 1881. Built of masonry, typical of the area, it was once the estates caretakers home, stables and barn. It surprises us with modern rooms, vanguard spaces and warmth from the fire place. An impeccable property which has been a “smoke free hotel” since it opened, espousing a healthy life style which is apparent throughout the complex. The decor has been expressly designed for the hotel. Walnut and chestnut wood have been used by local cabinet makers, from the walls hang the work of great contemporary Spanish photographers such as Chema Madoz, Garcia Alix, Ciuco Gutierrez amongst others. In another area of the property where the chicken house once stood, we find two cubic suites particularly comfortable for clients with reduced mobility adding a modern component to this grand centennial garden.
The hotel has 2 modern suites in the garden, with an adapted bathroom. Signaling in Brail and relief on different points of the hotel such as other elements (signs of Let me rest or please do up the room, to hang on the door).
Amongst the activities offered by the hotel are tandem bicycle rides along the Valle de Cabezón to the river Saja and walking trails along the Saja-Nansa. Golf is available at the small practice area in hotel garden as well as at the following courses: Santa Marina (18 holes) and Oyambre, Comillas and Abra del Pas each 9 holes. Four by four tracks through the nature park, horseback riding and canoeing down the Deva river.
The hotel location permits us to visit the Cornisa Cantábrica area, Bilbao , Gughenheim museum (1 ½ hours drive) Picos de Europa, Potes, Lagos de Covadonga, Ribadesella, Oviedo etc.. al 1 ½ hours away. Less than half an hour away are Parque Natural de Saja, Parque Natural de Oyambre and its beaches San Vicente de la Barquera , Comillas and Santillana del Mar. Along with the Parque de la Naturaleza de Cabárceno, Cuevas de Altamira and the Monedas and Castillo caves, as well as the impressive Cuevas de El Soplao. Reservations can be made though the hotel.
Cantabria, Guía Low Cost 2010. Everest. By Mar RAMIREZ. 10€
Cantabria, Guía Viva, 2008. Various authors. Anaya Touring. 15€
Las mejores excursiones por Picos de Europa. El Senderista, 2011. Miguel TEBAR. 19€
The light fare menu at this hotel consists of local produce, salads, sandwiches and desserts typical of the area, which change on a daily basis. The main menu also changes daily using vegetables from the kitchen garden, meats from the region and fish from nearby ports, available daily during high season and on weekends during low season. Featured dishes are baked cod and veal cheeks in a raspberry sauce. Menu is priced at 21€
Chestnut-wood baskets, albarcas (sandals). Pastries (sobaos, quesadas, corbatas de Unquera) anchovies, bonito del norte (tuna) and cheeses.