Have you ever wanted to escape from it all and just write? Would you like to spend time in a peaceful place that inspires creation? Well, look no further because Casa El Pelaire, in the village of Perarrúa on the Esera River of northern Spain, is just for you!
When I was planning my summer trip to Spain, I searched high and low for a place that would provide the best backdrop for writing. I wanted a quiet place in a small village that also had enough artistic flair to inspire my next novel. Since my Artania series features art history, I needed places where I’d learn about Spanish artists. And when I saw Casa El Pelairie’s website I knew that it was the one.
And I was right. Those days at this Gaudi inspired hotel in the tiny village of Perarrua were absolutely unique. Each room is individually designed with names like Amanacer (sunrise), Spring, Sakura, and Mare Nostrum which I stayed in.
When I entered my room, it was like stepping through an artist’s doorway. With seashells covering the shower wall, beds shaped like the ocean waves, and murals of the Mediterranean coastline on the wall, wonder waited in every corner.
But the beauty didn’t end there. Oh no. In addition, the kind owner owner greeted me with the peacefulness of a Buddhist monk, patiently helping me to find whatever adventure interested me. Whether it’s hiking in the nearby forest, river rafting, or simply strolling through nearby towns to see Spanish architecture, Javier was there to help me out.
Every morning I would rise, grab my computer, and skip down the stairs to the breakfast room. Here the peaceful owner, Javier, greeted me with a freshly made cafe con leche and a plate of cheeses, fruits, tomatoes, and eggs. Then in the quiet of the early morning, I’d look around and dream.
Later, when I had run out of ideas I’d walk upstairs to my room admiring the sculpted light fixtures, statues, and broken mirrored tile reliefs skirt the stairway.
Then I’d explore the surroundings areas where travelers canoed, cycled, hiked, or rode horses. I trekked to medieval churches and monasteries, strolled the lonely river, and trudged up the mountain to view the wonder Pre-Pyreneees. And little by little I started to find the new book.
How did such a gem of a hotel come to be? According to their website, Casa El Pelaire, this was brother and sister Javier and Ana Diaz Calvo’s lifelong dream. The pair wanted to create a space where the artisan ensures that the dreams of his neighbors are deepened. That caring spirit is evidenced in every square inch of this lovely hotel.
Casa El Pelaire, a one-of-a-kind hotel.
Laurie Woodward is the author of The Pharaoh’s Cry, Kidnapped Smile, and Dragon Sky from the fantasy series The Artania Chronicles, as well as the middle-grade Forest Secrets. She co-wrote Dean and JoJo: The Dolphin Legacy and was a collaborator on the popular anti-bullying DVD Resolutions. Bullied as a child, Laurie is now an award-winning peace consultant, poet, and blogger who helps teach children how to avoid arguments, stop bullying, and maintain healthy friendships. She writes on the Central Coast of California. More about her work can be found at artania.net