Mas de la Serra, Spain
Mas De La Serra!
What does an exotic truffle, an almond and exceptional whisky have in common?
The answer lies hidden in the wilderness and mountains of Aragon. I genuinely love the name of this region – Aragon. It sounds like a medieval wonderland!
Travelling through the countryside of Spain all the way South of the Pyrenees, driving past Motorland and through Alkinez, the scenery starts to change. You once again become aware of the mountains and the forests. Take care to look out for the sign to this exclusive wilderness escape – Mas De La Serra.
My travelling partner loves singing old songs, and from the moment he heard where our next accommodation is going to be, he bursts out in song on the melody of Guantanamera singing: “mas del la serra! oh-oh-0oh mas de la seeeera!”
It became our travelling theme song. Catchy!
The Mas de la Serra sign points up the hill, taking a sharp left onto a dirt road, the little Panda had to bear its teeth to stay put on this steep uphill. Higher and higher the carriage took us. At times you feel like a king looking down on, his kingdom; far down below from this mighty mountain, a tiny little village peeks up at us.
Around the last bend, a stone tower looms. Like a fortress of old, but with a modern twist of big windows.
We are met by “Clark Kent”, or so it seems. Imagine a grey-haired Clark Kent, with extra-ordinary grey-green eyes, with a brown spec in the left eye. One of those men that just stepped out of your imagination – a prince of sorts!
Little did we know – he is indeed a prince of sorts! Married to his equally beautiful Lewis Lane!
Mas De La Serra has a history that dares you to write a novel. Build as a fortress to protect the farmers of the area from their enemies.
This region’s farmers deserted their farms frightened by dictators of the time. Ruins standing like fallen heroes all over the countryside – a silent testimony to the wars and the heartaches of its people. As with Mas De La Serra.
Allistair Grant (our “Clark Kent”) fell in love with Aragon and came looking for a place to buy and call his own – owner, developer, whisky scion, travel program producer and visionary bought this old fortress and turned it into a super luxe hotel. They make movies about mavericks like Alistair!
A boutique hotel, where guests are mystified by a vista of untouched nature. In the morning have your coffee on the terrace and watch a golden fox scanning the red poppy fields for an early prey and enjoy Jenny’s handcrafted breakfast.
So what does a truffle, an almond and whisky have in common? Mas De La Serra! It is an almond farm, where truffles hunters come to hunt for most exotic truffles and whisky? Well, Alistair is a son of the world famous Scottish clan, William Grant and Sons, brewers of the world’s number one, Glenfiddich Single Malt Whiskey.
Mas de la Serra is a 5-star wilderness retreat! Condé Nast describes it as a ‘wilderness’ resort! Once you ascended the 1000 m ‘pass’ to get to the Masia, you are welcomed and enveloped in luxury and the wonder of not seeing any sign of civilisation as far as your eyes can see – sublime lux – completely ‘off the grid’!
While shooting a travel series in Peruvia, Alistair met the local chef and hospitality guru Luis Alberto and the moment the hotel was guest-ready he imported Luis and his wife Jenny to manage this wilderness resort. They are just plain wonderful! Jenny’s speciality is Peruvian cuisine and her dishes to dine for! Look out for the lamb prepared in the outside oven.
Mas de la Serra is a paradise for family holidays – a place in the wilderness for families in this crazy techno age to rediscover themselves and also an exquisite wedding venue for, may we say it – the rich n famous.
But especially for artists! Book into Mas, bring your sketch pads and watercolours, there are a hundred paintings begging to be captured. Every nook is crammed with a sketch opportunity. It’s an artistic wonderland. Imagine sketching all day, in villages like Valderrobres and driving up that Serra to Jenny Alberto’s Peruvian styled Catalan dinner, on a terrace overlooking a breathtaking wilderness panorama. After dinner a Glenfiddich on ice: take s a sip, it’s not every day you enjoy a whiskey with your host’s name on the label.
To Alistair, thank you for the seven years of love and sweat it took you to create this haven for us! What a pleasure!
After a few nights and days in dizzy Barcelona, this Masia is just the place for you to catch your breath again.
PS- don’t forget your sketchpad and when you book, ask about the art and sketching packages.