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Casa Gustavo Holiday Accommodation in the Picos de Europa
West Yorkshire
Level Contributor
4 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 4 helpful votes
“A fabulous holiday”
Reviewed 20 January 2013

Our first-ever guided walking holiday with full board ticked all the boxes. Mike fetched us in Santander airport and for the rest of the week chauffeured us tirelessly, by van or by Land Rover, up hill and down steep, rutted mountain tracks to and from the best vantage points for all the walks he knows intimately well, saving us lots of leg work so we always walked through stunning landscape with beautiful views. On day one, without causing a fuss he quietly and accurately gauged our walking strengths and weaknesses. Another couple had booked the same week and we turned out to be well matched in ability and temperament, as Lisa had suggested when she took the bookings.

Once he knew his guests, Mike delivered just the right walk every day, taking the weather into account so we shared lunch with an alpine chough on a mountain top one sunny, still day, and walked along lower mountain ridges amongst herds of goats and ponies the next day, when it was windy. He even carried our lunch! Lisa, ably assisted by Lydia, ran the B&B. In our little company we had one non-meat eater and one person who did not eat garlic; these restrictions were cheerfully incorporated in the menu and we either all had fabulous fish and hearty vegetarian stews with pulses, or non-meat, non-garlic alternatives were provided for those who needed them.

This is a small B&B run from and in a family home, so the service you get at Casa Gustavo differs a little from that of some hotels you may have visited. Lisa cheerfully washed our smelly mountain kit and let us stay one more night on a whim, in our spacious room with balcony facing the valley, again providing a lovely evening meal; the kids talked to us as if we were real people; and Mike and sometimes Lisa joined their guests for a drink and a chat on the balcony most evenings, watching the sun go down over valley. That balcony view is something else and on Les' birthday, it came with champagne - on the Casa. We were made welcome, and made to feel at home.

  • Stayed October 2012, travelled as a couple
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Helpful?
1 Thank Ulla_and_Les
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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42 reviews from our community

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Traveller tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (9)
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English first
Brighton
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
Reviewed 20 January 2013

We stayed at the Casa Gustavo in August for seven days (two adults and two kids) and we can't recommend it warmly enough. We arrived as complete strangers and left feeling like members of the family.
We chose Casa Gustavo because of our dislike of big hotels and impersonal establishments, and also because we can't drive, love hiking and wildlife and are on a limited budget.. We wanted a place which was in the countryside but was also accessible by public transport. And we wanted somebody who had an intimate knowledge of the area.
In every respect Casa Gustavo met our expectations.
The house is simple but very comfortable- an old stone Spanish farm house with wooden beams, balconies and an outdoor sitting/dining place covered with geraniums,cactuses, grapevines and amazing views of the Picos mountains. We had two spacious rooms and comfortable beds.

If you wanted to, there was space for silence and solitude, as some guests during our stay wished for and had. But we loved the fact that it was a working family household, pets and all. The house is full of books on the local geography and history, skis and walking boots, and two very friendly dogs and cats, Spanish neighbours and their kids would drop in, there was a lot of laughter over long breakfasts (with proper continental coffee and delicious local honey) and even longer evening meals fuelled with local red wine.
Our sons and children of other guests quickly made friends with Lisa and Mike's children and spent evenings looking for toads and hedgehogs.
We often chose to stay and eat a delicious home-cooked dinner cooked by either Lisa or a local lady but also went a few times to Potes and the two local café/restaurants. For those wanting simple regional food, Casa Gustavo and the nearest hamlet are perfect, while those seeking more up-market fare are spoilt for choice in Potes.

Mike was amazing at helping us with finding the best tracks and whenever he could, he took us is in his car when he was under no obligation to do so.

We saw vultures, our eldest son found a boar skull that he and Lisa spent all afternoon preparing for its long trip back to England. We went canyoning and abseiling with Mike and two local Spanish lads, went on a ski-lift and saw the most spectacular landscapes.

Our hosts were incredibly generous with their time and local knowledge and they are highly spirited and passionate about the local countryside and just about everything else. We are hoping to come back to this place again- maybe on one of the ski holidays that Mike is famous for.

The Rudkin family, Brighton. Stayed in August 2011

  • Stayed February 2012, travelled with family
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Helpful?
1 Thank Charles R
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Devon
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
Reviewed 18 January 2013

This is a wonderful place. I have come every year but one since 1995. Above all, it is a family home in an ancient, beautifully restored farmhouse. Perhaps, therefore, you need to be 'grown up' rather than requiring soulless, pristine, hotel-standard accommodation. Here, you have wonderful, locally sourced food and wine for dinner, immediate access to remote hills and mountains, full of exceptional flowers, birds and butterflies, and set in a genuine, tiny village community, yet only 2 miles from Potes, perched above the valley. Mike is an exceptional mountain guide, both for walkers like myself and for climbers and skiers. If you want something, just ask. Dining is communal and, therefore, you need to be up for making an effort to communicate and make the most of the company around you. Dinner in the courtyard on fine summer evenings is a wonderful experience. Yes, there are children, cats and dogs always around and, if you don't want them, don't choose to come here! Obviously, I wouldn't stay anywhere else in the locality. I sleep like a log and awake to the sound of cow bells and the dawn chorus of black and common redstarts and blackcaps.

Room Tip: The best view is on the road side. Traffic is minimal, but the occasional farm vehicle early in the...
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  • Stayed June 2012, travelled solo
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Helpful?
1 Thank barkperson
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
London
Level Contributor
5 reviews
4 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
Reviewed 18 January 2013

I have stayed three times at Casa Gustavo (so obviously I like it).

Los Picos are an area that is beautiful and empty. On many of our walks we did not meet another soul. Mike knows the area like the back of his hand and will gauge his walks carefully to suit the group he is walking with.

Breakfasts are ample and healthy. Dinners are something to look forward to with Lydia's superb cooking.

You are staying in a house that includes a family (and other animals), so it is not for someone looking for Travelodge conditions.

Room Tip: As this is a conversion of an old house, the rooms are very individual. Talk to Lisa about your nee...
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  • Stayed June 2012, travelled solo
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Helpful?
Thank angloscot2
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Oxford, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
38 reviews
17 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 35 helpful votes
Reviewed 13 January 2013

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.

  • Stayed August 2012, travelled as a couple
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Helpful?
1 Thank Travellingfar2
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
LisaPicosdeEuropa, Owner at Casa Gustavo Holiday Accommodation in the Picos de Europa, responded to this review, 18 January 2013
Thankyou for taking the time to write your comment. I'm really very sorry you didn't enjoy your stay with us and that it coincided with us having a puppy and kitten. On the bright side we have replaced the older towels, widened the breakfast options and Jessie is now fully house-trained.
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC

Travellers are raving about these Cillorigo de Liebana hotels

Manchester, United Kingdom
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
Reviewed 6 January 2013

This is a really beautiful property, i stayed her for 6 weeks during november and december. The surrounding valley is absolutely stunning and the owners (Mike and Lisa) are lovely, fun and accomodating people with a great knowledge of the surrounding area. Well done i say.

  • Stayed November 2012, travelled with friends
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Helpful?
1 Thank adam c
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Perth, Australia
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
Reviewed 21 October 2012

We (3) came to the Picos for the hiking, and were not disappointed. Mikes' local knowledge is extensive and we were taken to places we would never have ventured on our own. The hikes were in a variety of landscapes and the scenery was amazing - glad for the new camera. We were happy to be influenced by Mike each day, but did get to have a say as to how hard or easy the days hike would be - not dictated to. It is true the atmosphere in the house can be a little surprising at first, but we were there for 7 days, and simply got used to it, we were not going to let the busy workings of family life hamper our enjoyment. If you don't like cats on your lap, don't let them up! It's not promoted as luxury accomodation, it's a living breathing working household, but if you're there for hiking or skiing, just enjoy it. Breakfast could be more interesting it's true, but the evening meals are worth waiting for, every single time :)

  • Stayed September 2012, travelled with family
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Helpful?
1 Thank AustralianFamily-14
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about Casa Gustavo Holiday Accommodation in the Picos de Europa

Property: Casa Gustavo Holiday Accommodation in the Picos de Europa
Address: Casa Gustavo, Aliezo | Cillorigo de Liebana, 39584, Cillorigo de Liebana, Spain
Region: Spain > Cantabria > Cillorigo de Liebana
Amenities:
Pets Allowed ( Dog / Pet Friendly )
Hotel Style:
Ranked #3 of 4 B&Bs / Inns in Cillorigo de Liebana
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): £
Number of rooms: 7
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 

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