We have all said it at some time over a holiday - `if only'.` If only we had booked to stay at this hotel for longer. If only we were staying in this place instead of moving on'. From 6000 miles away in England La Islita sounded like an 'If only' hotel, our kind of hotel. So why not build our holiday around it. Thorough research suggested Granada could be an excellent base, so we booked the best room at La Islita for three weeks solid, fortunately at a time when, if we had stayed at home, we would have been under water.
La Islita is a boutique hotel of eight rooms. Five years ago it was a house which, although close to the Parc Centrale and Cathedral, stood on its own as though it were a small island. It was bought by Tim and Andreas who gave up a career and a business in Miami to convert it into a hotel of their own considerable design skills,
They literally paved themselves up to the nearest road so that the hotel now sat at the end of a cul-de-sac with the mighty Mombacho volcano as a backdrop. On opening day they waited expectantly with family and friends for the first visitor who - wouldn't you know it? - turned out to be a Yorkshire man. 'I were just tekking a walk and thought `eh up, what's this..' We roared with laughter and approval when Tim told us.
Our spacious room of twin full-size beds was blessed with a wide balcony woven with bougainvillea and equipped with two deckchairs and view of the cathedral dome.
It was the room everybody looked up to, not without envy, as they approached the hotel.
Breakfast is taken in an inner courtyard of considerable charm, and served by two irrepressible
maids, Victoria and Pamela. It is unfailling generous, colourful and original - fruit, fruit juices, eggs any way you want them, pancakes, omlettes, breads and, of course, excellent coffee never too hot to drink. You helped yourself to beers, and chalked it up on a sheet.
Tim and Andreas roped in any number of friends to create holiday highlights for us every day. We had the services of a private tour guide, Jessica, who took us with a great Canadian couple to places the street tour companies could not reach. They included a glorious private estate for lunch and the use of the owner's own horses to ride in the foothills of Mombacho. I had never ridden before, so naturally they put me on `Dynamo'.
We were among first guests at their friends' new La Laguna Beach Club, built down gardens on the rim of the Apoyo volcano now filled with a silky, blue lake heavenly to swim and kayak in. We went three times, preferring to give up plans to head for the Pacific coast beaches. And we discovered many of Granada's charms for ourselves, some the hotel were keen to learn about.
As a finale we were invited to La Islita's famous Chinese New Year party given for their friends, the hotel dressed exotically for the occasion by party-planner Andreas. It will remain in the memory for ever.
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- La Islita, a cozy boutique hotel with Spanish Colonial charm, is undoubtedly in the best location on a quiet street in the heart of Granada's historic center. Restaurants, shops, language schools and cultural sites are a quick walk away. Our eight rooms are equipped with A/C, Cable TV, Hot Water, Stylish Fans, and Wi-Fi access. Two suites have oversized private balconies. A refreshing saltwater swimming pool in a tropical garden is available to all guests. The rooftop terrace offers some of the best views of Granada. A great value for your money. ... more less
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