I fell in love – nay, became slightly obsessed – with the Galician “galerías”, beautiful window-encased balconies at the front of houses, meant to trap the sun (and heat) during winter months. And as luck would have it, I ended up having my very own galería for my last two nights in Santiago.
I had booked an AirBnB apartment for my stay back in June, which I knew was small, but as I wasn’t planning to actually be in the apartment a lot, I thought it would be fine as long as it had good WIFI. Which it did. But after moving in I discovered there were a few problems with the place, the worst of which were that it was not very clean (ick) and that the cheap single bed frame SQUEAKED with every movement, all night long. But hey, it was high season, and there was no way I’d find a last minute option that wouldn’t be double the price, so I decided to stay put and make the best of it.
Then one night I discovered a pool of water around the base of the toilet… wtf? It was leaking every time I flushed it (ewww). A message to the owner had her and the plumber around the next afternoon while I was out… after which they insisted there was nothing wrong, that I must have left the shower door open. WTF?? A second message to the owner had the plumber come back in the evening – and for some reason I was told I had to be there to let him in (really? I was a paying guest on holiday) but I did so and ended up having to deal with a crazy idiot who clearly knew nothing about plumbing and seemed to think it was okay to yell at me. I shall spare you the ugly details about this encounter, but suffice it to say shortly after he left the apartment owner got in touch saying she wanted to cancel out contract. Which meant I would either be out in the street the next day, or else paying through the nose for a hotel for the rest of my stay.
So I went out for a walk. Happily I was in good spirits from having enjoyed one of the best meals of my entire Galician Getaway that afternoon (more on that later) and while I was in one of the bars I’d gone to with Anna and Jorge on our Complimentary Tapas Tour I started seriously looking at my options. Eventually I found a small family run hotel that seemed to have a room free. First I checked with A & J who recommended it for what it was – hey, with a one-star hotel I wasn’t expecting the Ritz, just wanted to know if I should book. But instead of booking online I gave them a call and talked to a lovely woman who sounded like somebody’s grandmother. She informed me that there was a single room available and when I asked her if I could please have a double bed there was a pause, and then she said they could give me a nice double room for one person on the second floor, with windows overlooking the street. Well, I was in! Especially as it was 10.30 pm and I had to be out of my dread AirBnB by 11 am the following morning. So I booked the room, informed Anna & Jorge of my plans, and went home to pack.
Yes, the hotel was double what I was paying for the AirBnB, and the room was a bit “cosy”, but it had great WiFi, a nice firm comfy double bed and … MY OWN GALERÍA!!! Also, some of the nicest people you’d ever want to meet running the place. From the receptionists to the cleaning woman, I felt so welcome and cannot say there were any complaints at all. I also have to say that AirBnB also came through and offered me compensation for my hellish experience, which pretty much covered the extra cost of the hotel, so I was happy. All’s well that ends well. Especially because I got to spend my final two nights in Santiago de Compostela in one of the best areas of town (in my opinion) AND WITH MY OWN GALERÍA. Happy.
Hotel Fonte de San Roque
Santiago de Compostela