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For those of you who adore mountains, tranquility and luxury, read on…

August 13, 2010

First off this is NOT a sponsored post, I’m writing today out of the sheer delight that something wonderful can be found in a country well on the road to peace — Colombia.

I was reintroduced to this country last year while travelling in Panama. Travellers couldn’t stop raving about the changes in the country in particular Bogota with the introduction of bi-cycle only days in the city centre, the ongoing development of Cartagena and the flushing out of corruption and general nastiness from the urban jungles and Amazon. Don’t get me wrong I’m not in a fuzzy daze about Columbia, but there is change going on in this country and I have an urge to see it for myself.

Even on a recent visit to Rosmarie my incredibly talented hairdresser couldn’t stop talking about her trip to Columbia, and she actually comes from there.The pineapple sauce on burgers instead of honey mustard has been firmly planted in my memory, along with freshly squeezed goats milk and brandy.

When Veronica Lucena emailed me about her company’s  Mesa de los Santos (Table of Saints) new boutique hotel Hacienda el Roble, I was intrigued. Usually hotels and accommodations don’t feature on my list, that’s what travel guidebooks are for, but this hotel differed. From what I can see, from what I’ve read and questions I’ve asked Veronica, Mesa de los Santos is an authentic organic, bio friendly, Smithsonian certified, Rainforest Alliance certified coffee plantation where tree frogs are happy, workers (some 500 plus migrants) get paid above minimum wages and produces some of the finest Colombian coffee around. This plantation is not small, around 300 hectares of caffeine and the hotel is located right in the middle.

Visitors who love this sort of environment coupled with fresh cool mountain air, good local food like cabrita (goat) and pepitoria (chicken stew), can kick back for a few days in unassuming luxury reminiscent of colonial years. The Hacienda is furnished with heavy dark wooden furniture, cow hide mats, terracotta tiled floors, and tropical fauna, giving a sense of rustic style complimentary to the coffee plantation outside.

For aspiring coffee experts, the hotel offers complimentary coffee tours on horseback if you like and cupping sessions (similar to wine tasting). Walkers can enjoy wandering through the numerous trails around the plantation and bird watchers can wake early to capture some of the country’s native and exotic bird life on audio, video or on camera.

Or you can wander through the courtyard gardens or take the view in from the from — all while drinking some of the freshest coffee around.

Green in more ways than one, I can imagine myself on one of these horses making my way through the trails heading over to a point where I can see the mountains in the distance (imagining I own the place!!) before toddling back to the hotel for a spot of dinner.

The hotel opened recently and has yet to set up and English website. But if Spanish is your thing then click here for more information on prices and a better gallery: Hacienda el Roble/Cafe Mesa

Details: The plantation is located close to the colonial town San Gil, within some of the most stunning scenery in Colombia, and an hour’s drive from Bucaramanga airport. Transport is also available upon request.

Caffeinated Traveller

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4 Comments
  1. August 13, 2010 1:28 pm

    fascinating stories about your travels-you have a special knack just for relating your tales. thank you!

  2. August 14, 2010 9:24 am

    You are most welcome Neil 🙂

  3. August 17, 2010 10:58 am

    Bicycle only days? I like that. You’ve shared some interesting observations on Columbia’s self-transformation and the Hacienda el Roble sounds like a real find!

    • August 17, 2010 6:17 pm

      That is what I enjoy about the internet connecting with places like Hacienda el Roble. Looking forward to see what you have discovered in Puerto Rico.

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