Sumptuous holiday homes: part four - Castrillo del Val, Burgos

Situated on the outskirts of an ancient village dating back to the year 900, this luxury country home is not a typical pilgrims stop-off. So peaceful and tranquil is the home and local surroundings, once you took your walking boots off, they wouldn’t find themselves back on your feet to complete the 500 kms to your final destination of Santiago de Compostela.  

The holiday rental has been lovely restored using local materials by the Arroyo family and is now run as a holiday home by daughters Teresa and Sara Arroyo Conde.  

Holiday rental Camino de Santiago

How did you come to own the house?
I remember when we were children, my parents looking for an old farmhouse close to the city of Burgos in the province of Castile and Leon. They wanted a weekend retreat, where we could get out of the confines of the city and be totally encompassed by nature.  

They loved the location of Castrillo del Val, but it wasn’t easy finding a traditional home with a large garden - one of my parent’s requirements. Most homes were situated in the village itself, with very few detached properties available. Each property had a designated allotment, on the outskirts of the village. This stems from the agricultural’ era, when every family grew its on produce. My parents were delighted when they found our house. It was one of the few that perfectly met their needs: outside of the main nucleus of the town, within its own grounds and with farmland to cultivate.  

Castrillo del Val Burgos

Can you tell us about the history of the home?
We believe the original construction took place around 150 years ago, although the main facade bears the date of 1938; the last date renovations were carried out on the home, before we took over. 

The town of Castrillo del Val dates back to around 900 ad and has changed very little in its anatomy. Traditional materials and construction methods are still used to build and renovate the local homes and buildings. Wandering through town, you encounter a peacefulness, rarely found today. A feeling of a place stopped in time. The atmosphere is almost as if you were living in old Castilian times.  

Is the design of the home typical to Burgos?
Rural retreat holiday rental SpainIt is typical of the Alfoz de Burgos region, where homes were built with an attached annexe to house livestock. Originally there would have been a barn for the animals and a separate barn to store farming equipment.  

What was the philosophy behind your redesign and renovation of the home?
We wanted to maintain the original physique of the home, respecting its original features. We left the stone walls and framework exposed, displaying the centuries-old trusses and wooden beamwork. This helped to maintain the original volume and space of the interior, rather than closing up space.  


With the interior design we wanted to create a warm and comforting atmosphere, which radiated the character of our family and our experiences. We chose antique furniture, artwork and original objects from different periods and places. Many of them were inherited and these pieces give the home a very intimate feel. We also added two fireplaces, which are the centre of attention on wintery evenings.  

Did you face any major challenges during the renovation?
Possibly the greatest challenge lay in keeping the original patina work throughout the house, without sacrificing the level of comfort expected from today’s standards. To do this we had to radically change the use of each level. The ground floor is now devoted entirely to bedrooms and bathrooms, where formerly the kitchen and stables occupied this level. All life centred around the kitchen, it was the only place that gave out real warmth and therefore where all inhabitants converged to keep warm. 

The main floor was originally divided into smaller quarters, which during the renovation were opened up to create one large open space that now houses the kitchen, dining room and main entrance hall. The old barn, with its double-height ceiling was converted into the main lounge, with it’s cosy reading alcove. We created a second mezzanine living space from the gallery of the old barn. With its sloping roofs and inset windows, it floods the space with light and is used as a games/study area with a fireplace.  

Rural farmhouse Spain

Aside from structural reforms and integral design, one of the greatest challenges for my mother was to create comfortable accommodation for guests. Over the years, we have made various and constant improvements and updates, such as the upgrading of mattresses in all bedrooms and the introduction of Egyptian cotton sheets and towels. Through the years we have preserved little touches, which improve the overall experience of our guests: delivering fresh bread every morning, providing carefully selected toiletries, a local-rate international call service, free drinks and we also have bikes that are available for guests to use.  

Did you use any special techniques on the exterior of the property?
We used original construction materials: masonry limestone and ancient Arabic ceramic tiles. We strengthened the walls and extended some parts of the building out towards the garden. We replaced much of the window and door joinery, the work was carried out using natural wood by local carpenters.  

Christmas rural holiday rentals SpainWho or what was your inspiration?
We are a family of art, architecture and travel aficionados. The complete renovation was inspired with these foundations in mind. Guided by our respect for the past and for other cultures. 

What’s your favourite corner?
I love the miniature library alcove situated on the main floor. It’s an enchanting nook, sitting just off the main double-height living room. Across the living space you have views out to the garden and you can also enjoy the comfort and warmth of the fireplace in winter. The contrast of the two windows opening out to the gardens and the central fireplace is mesmerising.  

Is there a connection between the house and its natural surroundings?
Thanks to the use of local and traditional materials, the house blends seamlessly into the surrounding rural environment. No part of the exterior renovation is forced, it appears as if the house has been there forever, nestled amongst the wheat fields and forests. 

Renovated farmhouse Spain

Did you have a hand in the design of the garden and landscapes?
When we purchased the house, it was surrounded by farmland, which had been plowed by tractors. We tasked ourselves with creating a lush meadow-like landscape, not overly designed, just a relaxing, fresh landscape. The gardens are distributed over three levels and have evolved naturally over the years; helped by the hand of nature, rather than human hands.  

What grows in your garden?
Various native trees such as pines, plums, maples and firs. The passing of the seasons is noted with various deciduous shrubs such as elderberry and sloe, or bridal-veil creepers and wild jasmine, which floods the air with its delicate scent throughout the summer. We created a vine-covered shaded dining area and during springtime, our roses are in bloom, which bring a subtle touch of colour to the overall garden canvas.   

Rural luxury holiday home

What can visitors expect from the local region?
There is an all-encompassing sense of peace and tranquility surrounding the house.  A world away from the daily chaos of contemporary living.  

In the immediate vicinity, guests can discover beautiful Romanesque architecture, such as the San Pedro de Cardena Monastery. This ancient sanctuary evokes memories of El Cid and his wife Doña Jimena, who fled here during their banishment. Also situated closeby is the Cartuja de Miraflores Royal Pantheon and monastery, as well as the famous Santo Domingo de Silos monastery, where you can listen to the monks singing Gregorian chant.  

burgos cathedral


The city and province of Burgos has a rich and diverse heritage: UNESCO world heritage sites, beautiful architecture and protected natural areas. Our home is also located between two of the most important wine regions in Spain: Ribera del Duero and La Rioja, so it’s an excellent base if you are planning a Spanish wine holiday or activity.    

All-in-all the local region offers over 300 declared cultural attractions - it’s the birthplace of the Castilian language and culture, seven protected natural areas, over 50 hiking trails and prehistoric archaeological sites. 

Your home in one sentence?
"A step back in time to the days of the Castile.” 

Castrillo is a beautiful country house, situated in Castrillo del Val, Burgos. It comprises four bedrooms, three bathrooms and sleeps up to eight guests.


More articles in this series: 

Part One - Almiral de la Font in Sitges 

Part Two - La Casa de la Princesa in Genova, Mallorca 

Part Three - Fain Viejo in Arcos de la Frontera, Cadiz