We are seasoned and easy going travellers who accept that if you are travelling a bit rough and ready that that sometimes means taking the rough with the smooth. The Picos is beautiful, unspoilt and a walkers paradise, we would recommend it to anyone. Unfortunately we cannot say the same for Casa Gustavo. It could be a fabulous place to stay and easily all it claims on it's website - a bit ramshackle but a warm and friendly home with easy going hosts who are very knowledgeable about the area and who could give you good tips and advice about walking options. Were were there for 7 nights and hadn't read any reviews about it before hand so didn't pick up that it might be a bit of grim experience. As another reviewer who stayed around the same time as us has written, "...it felt as if something had gone seriously wrong over the last year as the previous year's reviews were far more positive". This is a good description; the atmosphere when we were there in August certainly wasn't a happy one.
On a positive note, we did have a room that was a reasonable size, with a small bath and a good hot shower and plenty of hanging space; if you looked past the excoriatingly rough, frayed and torn towels etc) it was fine. Sadly that is where acceptability ended. When we were there the house was scruffy and unkempt with cat wee and puppy poo hazards to be negotiated. The breakfast offered was unbelievably dreary. This was the cheapest supermarket food that could be bought (cheap cereal, cheap yogurt, bland jam and horrible tasteless bread). The only redeeming feature was a jar of local honey. Given that just a couple of miles down the road there are fabulous and inexpensive local cheeses, hams and bread available, it made the breakfast options being offered to us inexplicable. Not least because the website offers the enticing statement that Mike and Lisa make... "use of as much local and seasonal produce as possible". At 30 euro's a night you can't expect fine dining or super soft towels and robes but what was being offered by Mike and Lisa during our stay fell far short of acceptable. It wasn't just the practicalities, it was also a peculiarly odd and charmless experience and its taken a long time to commit to print. Looking back it was as though guests were received as neither welcome or wanted visitors; more they were an inconvenient nuisance to be endured. Casa Gustavo has obviously been better at than we found it and maybe it will pick up again. I hope so. For us it was a relief to leave.
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- Casa Gustavo is a 500 year-old converted farmhouse. Small and informal, it is run by an English family with children, cats and dogs. Set in the hamlet of Aliezo, it's only 5 minutes from Potes, 30 minutes from Fuente De and 50 minutes from the coast. It offers comfortable rooms, a shaded courtyard for summer evening meals, sitting-room with books, maps and balcony, and access to a wealth of information on the area. ... more less