Most Famous Residents: Ferdinand II of Aragon, Isabella I of Castile.
Castillo del Buen Amor/Buen Amor Castle near Salamanca, Spain, and less than two hours from Madrid, is a splendidly atmospheric place with a history going all the way back to 1227, and the reign of King Alfonso IX.
The property is huge, with a great amount of common space; there are a total of seven living rooms for example and outside there are beautiful gardens, a vineyard, a maze, a pine forest and a saltwater swimming pool.
They have a range of rooms and suites, 41 in total and all doubles or twins (all with king or queen size beds as standard), from Standard Rooms through Deluxe and Superior Rooms to the largest of all, the Junior Suites.
In most hotels there would be a great difference between these room types but the standard rooms here are elegant and spacious enough to warrant a grander title perhaps.
The deluxe and superior rooms though, apart from being slightly more ornate, have more space and more natural light and, as the price difference is relatively small, it’s probably worth the upgrade.
A further upgrade to one of their ornate suites give at least an extra 10 sqm in space with a sitting room and a distinct feeling of historical grandeur and opulence.
All of the accommodation is walled, for the most part, with original old Villamayor stone, an incredible 2.80 to 3.60 meters thick, and all is carefully furnished so as not to distract from the historical ambience.
That said they do have relatively modern bathrooms and such modern hotel standards as flat-screen cable TV & DVD player, WiFi, mini bar, air con. etc.
The building has a deeply historic ambience; it is centered around a Gothic Renaissance courtyard, complete with gargoyles and grand pillars, and has loads of common spaces where you can relax on comfortable seating in the company of antique furniture pieces and beautiful old tapestries and paintings.
There is a top quality restaurant here too where you can enjoy some lavish meals alongside some fine wine, including some of their own Castillo del Buen Amor range (the vineyards are planted with a mixture of tempranillo, syrah, pinot noir and sauvignon blanc grapes) and wine tasting sessions can be arranged too.
You can explore the gardens, get lost in the manicured, French style, maze, do some sun bathing, have a picnic, take a swim in the outdoor saltwater pool, take a boat around the lagoon or wander through the old trees of this vast estate, and with any lingering stresses or strains soothed by one of their range of relaxing massage services.
Castillo del Buen Amor is conveniently near the gorgeous, and very historical, university city of Salamanca, less than 20km away in fact. You can arrange guided tours of Salamanca from the castle as well as tours and excursions to other points of interest in the area; the old Romanesque town of Zamora for example or some of the many typically Castilian ancient villages in the surrounding hills, places like Ledesma, Mogarraz, Toro, Candelario, Miranda del Castañar and Villanueva de Campeán.
You can also arrange cultural excursions; a hike in the hills with a traditional shepherd for example, a traditional cheese making course or visits to fighting bull breeding, or Iberian ham producing, farms. These are just some examples be sure to consult with reception to discover more.
Madrid is around two hours away to the south east with Valladolid about an hour to the north east and Leon about an hour and a half to the north.
The Castle del Buen Amor was originally known as Villanueva de Cañedo and was originally an 11th century fortress built during the Reconquista, the reconquest of Spain from the Moors.
During the fifteenth century it belonged to none other than the infamous Ferdinand II of Aragon and Isabella I of Castile, the so-called Catholic Monarchs, whose marriage led to the unification of Spain.
It was a sturdy defensive fortress and served well as a base for the capture of Toro in Isabella’s war against Joanna la Beltraneja for the throne of Castile.
The Archbishop of Cuenca, Osma Avila acquired the property in 1477 from Alfonso de Valencia, who had himself received the property as a donation from the Catholic Monarchs in return for having given them back the city of Zamora.
Just a year later, in 1478, it was given to Archbishop Osma’s cousin, Alonso de Fonseca y Quijada, the Bishop of Ávila, who immediately set about transforming this defensive fort into a grand palace house for himself and his secret mistress Doña Teresa de las Cuevas.
Though still known as Villanueva de Cañedo the castle’s association with this clandestine affair led it to gain the more romantic moniker of Castille del Buen Amor; the Castle of Good Love, the name with which it is now more generally known today.
Despite its reported beauty and opulence it would remain uninhabited after the deaths of these two secret lovers and, quite strangely, would next see usage as nothing more than an agricultural warehouse, something it would remain to be for the next few centuries.
Worse was to come for this grand old property when it even lost its role as a warehouse and it was to be left abandoned with local people periodically turning up to remove sections of the great walls to build their own houses with. ￼
In 1958, by now in a state of considerable ruin it was acquired by the Fernández de Trocóniz Family who slowly, and carefully, carried out a very impressive restoration job on the property, returning it, down to the finest of details, to its former splendor.
WHAT OTHER GUESTS SAY:
“What a privilege to be able to stay in this magnificent castle. Our room was large, cool and atmospheric and the public rooms in the hotel were beautiful. In particular, the central courtyard area was spectacularly lovely. Breakfast was fantastic too, with a wide range of choices…”
“To stay in a superbly restored medieval castle like this is a real treat. The nearest experience would be at a Parador but this is smaller more intimate and of a very high standard. The evening meal was very good and the breakfast exceptional. We intend to return on our next trip…”
Address: Camino a Villanueva de Cañedo
- Swimming Pool
- Child Minding Services