Overnight visit to Santiago de Compostela in Spain | Santiago de Compostela, Spain | Two weeks ago, I joined a week trip by Relais & Chateaux Hotels and Restaruants, to visit all their current properties in Galicia, Spain and all over Portugal. Our first stop was Santiago de Compostela at A Quinta da Auga Hotel & Spa. This is my report on that first night. Stay tuned for the rest in upcoming blog posts. You may see all my photos and videos at my Instagram @carlosmeliablog 

A Quinta da Auga charm and boutique hotel, with a luxury Spa and gastronomic restaurant to discover the luxury and the beauty of Santiago de Compostela, Galicia. A Quinta da Auga, the only Hotel Spa Relais & Châteaux of Galicia, is one of the hotels with more charm of Santiago de Compostela. A Quinta da Auga design hotel stands out by his carefull restorage and decoration, a unique 5 stars Spa and the high quality of The Filigrana Restaurant a real Relais & Châteaux gastronomic experience through the “Galicia Haute Cuisine”.

Our stay and visit, was warmly hosted and coordinated by no other than Mamma Luisa and her charming daughter Luisa – owners of A Quinta da Auga. These two ladies are the sweetest ever, and if you are lucky enough to meet them, they will make your  stay even more special. But I must say that their energy and hospitality, extends to all their staff.  THANK YOU Mamma Luisa, looking forward seeing you soon again, in Compostela or anywhere in the world.

We arrive roughly past noon, and this was our warm welcome as we walked in. Traditional Galicia music and a glass of Cava, while our luggage was being taken away and the keys of our rooms were being distributed.

The grounds of this boutique hotel and spa are marvelous and charming. This boutique hotel is placed in a 18th century building and located by the River Sar, surrounded by Nature and with an estate of 10.000 m2 property. Ideal for weddings, corporate retreats, family reunions among others…

After a brief introduction to the property, a few glasses of Cava and a site inspection, was time to go to my room, refresh and get ready for lunch at Restaurant Filigrana, located in the hotel.

A Quinta da Auga is a charming hotel where you can feel at home. Each room is different, since the building is a 18th century construction, with decorations and elegant ambiences, that combine traditional galician stonewalls, wallpaper, antique and contemporary furniture with an atmosphere of peace and tranquility to enjoy a restful sleep.

Our first lunch at A Quinta da Auga, was hosted at their acclaimed restaurant – Restaurante Filigrana. There we enjoyed a feast of local traditional Galician cuisine, fresh dishes from a variety for seafood, octopus, king crabs, gazpacho among others. One of the best restaurants to eat in Santiago de Compostela and enjoy the best cuisine and wines of Galicia. Their Chef Federico Lopez, believes in traditional gastronomy with the treatment of Galician Haute Cuisine. He also carries a daily selection to bring to your table the best of each season.

The highlight of our lunch was indeed the lovely Sea Bass backed in Rock Salt, prepared to perfection and filleted and served right before our eyes. A journey through the flavors of the best products.

After a long morning, and a big lunch, was time to relax, unwind an indulge at the Spa at A Quinta da Auga. One of the most renowned 5-star spa and luxury Spa in Santiago de Compostela and Galicia. Its design and the quality of their hydrotherapy treatments and manual therapies make it a real treat for the senses. Located on the top floor under a glass roof and large windows so you can enjoy the view of the wonderful surroundings. A Quinta da Auga Spa Circuit is equipped with everything necessary for a complete hydrothermal ritual.

As the night fall, was time to get ready for our evening at A Quinta da Agua, which was promised to be a ” Traditional Galician Surprise Gala Dinner “. Hoping it would involve lots of seafood and sangria….

My natural first stop – of course – was at my favorite corner in the hotel, at this charming and cozy Living Room and Bar. Was highly time for my signature Filthy Martini. The first one of this week travel and A Quinta da Auga sojourn.

As we walked into the private room for our surprise dinner, it was a Galician Party, with local performers playing traditional music, and food and drinks everywhere ” Feria ” style. We even had a full lamb on the cross.

When you stay or visit a Relais & Chateaux property and restaurant, you always have two things guaranteed, and those are, great hospitality and exquisite cuisine, in every shape and form. From the Michelin starred and Haute Cuisine to the traditional and local flair.

” Conxuro da Queimada ” Queimada is a punch made from Galician schnapps and flavored  with special herbs or coffee, plus sugar, lemon peel, coffee beans and cinnamon. It is traditionally prepared in a hollow pumpkin. Typically, while preparing the beverage a spell is recited, so that special powers are conferred to the queimada and those drinking it. Then the queimada is set alight, and slowly burns as more brandy is added.

After a long exciting day, which began at 4AM in Monaco, and got me all the way to Santiago de Compostela, with a full belly and many amazing experiences, I was ready to dive into my bed. Yet another exciting day ahead, exploring Santiago de Compostela, and later crossing the border between Spain and Portugal, to our first destination Amarante and the Douro Valley. GOOD NIGHT. !!!

Early morning breakfast at A Quinta da Auga at this charming room, part of the Filigrana Restaurant. My breakfast went along on Coffee + Churros and Fresh squeezed Orange Juice.

A quick site inspection of the Suites at A Quinta da Auga, before checkin out and heading to explore the town of Santiago del Compostela.

Farewell A Quinta da Auga. Indeed a charming experience, I cannot wait to return. THANK YOU Mamma Luisa and daughter for such lovely stay and experiences. You made us all feel at HOME. A Quinta da Auga Hotel Spa Relais & Châteaux is a hotel founded by Lorenzo Garcia family and The Team is also a large family. Good service and hospitality of this hotel is based on a close relationship and , of course, in their galician character – Santiago de Compostela is a city that has more than a thousand years receiving visitors from all around the world.

Our luggage was loaded into our bus and we headed off to explore for 2 hours the town of Santiago de Compostela.

Santiago de Compostela is the capital of northwest Spain’s Galicia region. It’s known as the culmination of the Camino de Santiago pilgrimage route, and the alleged burial site of the Biblical apostle St. James. Santiago de Compostela (Old Town) is a UNESCO World Heritage Centre. Carved stone facades open onto grand plazas within the medieval walls of the old town. We spent a couple of hours walking along the Old town with a few stops on the way, for wine and food – as one does…

Of course there is always time to stop for a drink and try the local wines. This time we did so at 11AM at Bar Maria Castaña. Must Try. !!!!

The Cathedral of Santiago de Compostela, alleged burial site of the Biblical apostle St. James the Great, one of Jesus Christ’ Apostles. Romanesque structure, with later Gothic and Baroque additions. Part of the Roman Catholic Archdiocese. Historically been a place of pilgrimage on the Way of St. James, and marks the traditional end of the pilgrimage route.

One last stop for some tapas at El Papatorio Tapas & Brasas, before continuing our journey which would take us that day across the border from Spain to Portugal, and to our next destination – 3 hours away by bus – on to Amarante and to our next hotel Casa da Calcada by Relais & Chateaux.

Last stop, I could not help it, since I love interior courtyards, was the Claustro de Fonseca, also known as Pazo de Fonseca. Farewell Santiago de Compostela. Next stop Portugal… Stay tuned for my next posts on my week exploring Portugal from Amarante to Douro Valley, Porto, Lisbon, Cascais and Algarve. Carlos Melia Luxury Travel Curator – www.carlosmelia.com

(*) To book your own travel experience, do not hesitate to contact me either by email carlos@carlosmelia.com or phone # 917.754.5515. Also check our scheduled Travel Groups. I am an experienced Travel Agent with over 25 years of experience, member of LGTNetwork, VIRTUOSO, First in Service Travel, TZELL Travel Network. www.carlosmelia.com

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