There are many Casas Rurales, or rural inns, scattered across Spain but perhaps none as distinctive as Hosteria Cantarranas in the small village of Cuacos de Yuste. This unique inn blends the artistic sensibilities of its owners Charlotte Houman, a renowned Danish designer, and Cipriano Hernandez, a meticulous Spanish restoration expert. It’s an impressive life’s work, continually evolving as the years go by.
It all started 20 years ago.
Charlotte Houman thought she was just on a short holiday weekend in Spain after completing her studies in Danish textile design. She headed to Cuacos de Yuste, a medieval village in the western region of La Vera.
As many young tourists from northern Europe do, she visited the Real Monasterio de Yuste which was founded by Hieronymite monks in the early 15th century and is where Emperor Charles V lived his final days. Hidden under centuries-old Spanish oak and blackberry trees, rolling foothills and natural mountain springs, Charlotte was awe-struck with the monument where one can still hear monks singing a cappella behind the thick stone walls covered with olive-green moss.
Charlotte fell in love with her new surroundings, which seemed magical to her. Charlotte also fell in love with the villagers beneath the monastery and their way of life. To Charlotte it was like traveling back in time to the days when life was simpler. Shepherds roamed the hills, and donkeys and mules loaded with goods were brought to the stone fountains in the village square to drink before heading to the next village to make more deliveries.
In fact, it was among these humble surroundings that Charlotte met the love of her life, Cipriano Hernandez, whom she would marry and with whom she would build her new home and new way of life, quite different from what she was accustomed to in Denmark.
With her husband’s talent for renovating old houses back to their original centuries-old glory, plus her genius as a renowned designer, Hosteria Cantarranas reflects a unique combination of their creativity and ambition. The exterior fits in with the traditional old stone buildings by the village square, while the interior is decorated in a simple yet elegant Danish style. From the furniture to the wood trimmings covering the slanted ceilings, each room in the house reflects Charlotte’s exquisite taste and Cipriano’s eye for authenticity.
A few hundred feet behind Charlotte’s house lies a grassy area where frogs can be heard singing every evening, as the sun sets behind the rocky hills. If you sit on their stone porch to stare into the sunset you’ll be surprised to also hear the frog concert. “Cantarranas” or singing frogs is the name Charlotte and Cipriano chose for their house. Little frogs of all shapes and colors are displayed in hidden nooks throughout the inn for her guests to find.
Hosteria Cantarranas is a Casa Rural, a rustic Bed-and-Breakfast for travelers who are looking to discover the history, traditions, and nature that the region of La Vera has to offer.
In the case of Cantarranas, it also offers art. The entire top floor of Cantarranas is a brightly lit room enclosed by white walls and large glass windows overlooking a wondrous landscape of low-lying fields and high snowy peaks of the Gredos mountains.
Charlotte’s studio is where she gets the inspiration for her work in designing textiles for lampshades, tablecloths, curtains, and other quality linens for homes and businesses. Some of her designer textiles are custom made for special order; others are her own creations which she presents at expositions around the world. Guests at Hosteria Cantarranas are invited to Charlotte’s studio to participate in art clinics specializing in textiles designs.
If you choose to venture away from the typical Spanish tourist spots in Madrid, Barcelona, Toledo or Granada in search of a more natural, rustic and artistic experience, you may want to head westward and spend a few days at Hosteria Cantarranas.
Here you will have a unique opportunity to travel back in time, visit the royal grounds of Emperor Charles V, trek along the beautiful trails, and be inspired by distinctive Danish sensibilities and 16th-century authenticity.
We encourage you to visit their site – and to make reservations there too!