First of all, Hacienda Baza is a good 2-3 hours from Villa de Leyva (the closest town, Tibana, is 4 km away). This 17th-century monastery (a retreat for Dominican friars) is located on a country road linking Tibana with the town of Turmaque (both traditional towns of the Boyaca region surrounding Bogota). In the mid-1800s, the church sold it to the great grandfather of Francisco Ordonez who converted it into a cattle ranch where vegetables and fruit were cultivated. In the 1960s, it fell into the hands of Francisco's great-granddaughter, Lucia, the current owner who also lives on the premises.
Lucia lives on the property and is a gracious and elegant hostess, who speaks English fluently. Before converting the monastery into a hotel, she spent long years carefully restoring both the original buildings and replanting the (sizable) surrounding property with native Andean species. The fruits of her labors can be enjoyed by following one of several well-marked trails that lead over creeks and through lush woods draped with canopies of brilliant orange "Ojo de Poeta" (Poet's Eye) blossoms (aka black-eyed Susans), a landscape that is lyrical and otherworldly (happily there are benches on which to sit and fields in which to sprawl - with a book - or a picnic lunch).
Other fruits (grown on the premises) - as well a wealth of delicious, nicely, priced local fare - can be savored in the dining room (formerly the chapel), where all three meals are served. Thankfully, the menu is extremely diverse (the produce all fresh and local and prepared on a wood-burning stove in the original kitchen) because it's not as if there are a slew of other eating options within close proximity. The kitchen is very amenable and willing to make soups or sandwiches for those who feel like eating a light meal in their room, while staring into a crackling fireplace (nights can get chilly in the Andes).
I say "room" but lodgings are akin to private villas with soaring ceilings and rustic, yet tasteful and warm furnishings. Most have stone patios that gaze out onto beautifully landscaped gardens whose visual allure is complemented by the sound of fresh water gurgling in stone fountains and flowing through narrow canals.
Additionally, there are various common rooms; a salon, a game's room, a library, a bar, all outfitted with fireplaces and regional antiques, all highly atmospheric and inviting.
All this to say that Hacienda Baza is idyllic, bucolic, remote, and even somewhat dreamlike (providing it's not raining; avoid the heavy rain season!). Although many people come for a day or a weekend, it makes for a wonderful getaway for those in need of respite, tranquility, and peace of mind. My mother and I (we're a pair of very well-traveled Torontonians - in our 40s and 70s) were pretty much swept away by this place.
We didn't have a car (which is useful for exploring surrounding towns and countryside - although Lucia can arrange guide trips and local transport) - but were perfectly content to wander off into the woods, read books in rocking chairs, play croquet against an Andean mountainscape, and just chill out in a rarefied setting that allows you to step out of the world for a while.
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