Meet our friendly team before you come to stay. You will see a familiar face when you knock on the old chestnut doors that lead to the inner sanctum of Los Castanos!
Di Beach has been described as an anthropologist, world traveller and yachtswoman but in reality she is none of those.
She has a degree in anthropology generously granted by the University of California at Berkeley when she was long past the traditional age for graduating. She has lived in eight or nine countries but has never been west of Mexico or east of the Seychelles. She has sailed more than 20,000 miles in a pure sailing boat but it wasn´t her idea so she doesn´t feel she warrants the accolade of yachtswoman; deck hand would be closer the mark.
But she has been a successful food truck entrepreneur before it was trendy; several years were spent as a computer tutor to the wealthy dames of San Francisco in their opulent penthouses; and now this, her most recent adventure, building and running this romantic boutique hotel in a small unlauded village in southern Spain to which discerning hikers and nature lovers come to walk the lovely valley trails among the sweet chestnut trees and return to savour Di’s delicious dinners, fruit of her wandering lifestyle.
Now meet John another member of our friendly team. John and Di met when they were both ten or eleven when Di´s family moved from Canada to the UK, specifically Cheltenham. They were in the same class in a small private junior school and immediately became firm friends. But things change, lives move on, and Di´s family moved away.
Many years later a school reunion was organised and they were back in touch and when Di was in desperate need of help, John was on the first ferry over. Life in Spain was more appealing than “proper” work in the UK. He worked for a number of small engineering firms introducing electronics to process control and finally emerging as MD of a high security computer company.
But now, as in any small business, John wears many hats. He maintains the building, the electrics and plumbing and wifi. He has also learned a great deal about wines and is the sommelier. Sometimes he is a waiter if Silvia (see below) is not available. And he makes the best G & T you will ever taste!
The third member of our friendly team is our right hand person, Silvia, who is a Cartajimeña, born and bred, and never left the village. She came on board from the very beginning in 2004. She helped with the cleanup after the builders had left and has been learning with us through the years. She doesn´t speak English and no matter how hard I have tried to persuade her to learn, she is too busy to study. She has three children, the twin girls now in university, a large house to look after, a husband and his mother to cook and cater to, a dog and a creative mind so she is a busy person.