“SO WHAT IS THE CONCEPT OF AN ART HOSTEL?”
– asked me one of my volunteer. She was studying art therapy and was the first person giving me this question straight.
“You know, when you make an art work, and you have the silence in you, and that focused attention, others might call it ‘flow’… I want to have a place where you can have this feeling easily, a place which actually make you create something, which inspires you. I would like to add tools in people’s hand to have this feeling, and I want to have the same, of course, I want to be inspired. And this creation can be anything, can be a song in the morning, a small drawing on a piece of tea filter paper, can be a sculpture made of mud. Can be anything, a small little thing..” I told her. And i think, this is still true, this is the philosophy of my hostel. (Bea, founder of CaminoArt)
WELCOME TO CAMINO ART HOSTEL, SAN MATEO
We are happy to introduce our building and land to you!
Our building – called Casa Mireles, after the family who established the original property – was constructed almost 90 years ago, in 1930. The original foundation goes back much longer in time: you can still see hand built stone terraces on the land from about 200 years ago.
The building has a long brick shape structure with rooms on one side and a long corridor with big windows on the other side. There is also a long patio in front of the house where you can sit down and observe the magical old valley, listen to the birds or follow the hunting sessions of the local falcons.
This part of the house is actually the common room and the dining area in one. We have the „reception”, the „lobby” and the “art shop” here as well. We organize exhibitions in this area too.
All the rooms open from the corridor (except the Birds Nest Double Room which used to be the tools storage room and has a private entrance from the patio). At the entrance door you can sit down on the sofa and choose a good book from our library, or check out the maps of the island that we store in a separate folder for you. If you walk towards the kitchen, you can find our art shop with small art pieces that you can buy. You can find larger art pieces (painting, photos) on the corridor or room walls as well. If you buy any of the art pieces you support the artist directly. Camino Art Hostel doesn’t take any commission for selling art. You support the hostel as well because our goal is to connect art with visitors and you contribute to this flow.
The Double Nook
This is a small cosy private room with a very little space around the double bed. This is one of our room which actually has a window, so it might be a bit more fresh than the other ones (bit colder in winter too). There is an old combing table, a little wardrobe in the room where you can fit your things easily. You will find some painted stones in the room. Also a few classic style remake of paintings which helps to disconnect the present time and bring the space back to the past.
The Shelter Dorm
This is our biggest room, covered with the original wooden roof structure and clay tiles. It has two sections, divided with a wall. The smaller area used to be the library in the old times. Now the room has bunk beds and a few single beds for 8 people. We used textiles for decoration and made little spaces for our guests to feel a bit more private. But in general this is the room where you will meet exactly your type of people during your stay.
The Green Family Room
Our Family Room is large enough to accommodate a little family. There is a double bed and a single bed in the room, but if it is needed we are ready to prepare a baby cot too. Besides the antique combing table, there is a big comfortable armchair in the room and some little toys that might be useful if you arrive with small ones. This room makes you feel you spend your days in an old hunting lodge. Also, you can find two paintings from Hajnal Miklos from her bird series.
The Birds’ Nest Double Room
This is one of our most beautiful room. We turned an old shed full of gardening and carpentering tools into a cozy little hut room. Repainted the wall, which made the whole space lighter and cleaner. We arranged the sleeping area in a small little half cave room where you can have your space for a relaxed sleep. The larger room of the little space is a mini-salon where you can sit down to read or have a tea. On the walls, you will see Mandala works from Hajnal Miklos (new pictures of the rooms are coming soon)
Our main bathroom is super new! The very special thing about it is the natural light which comes through the upper window which opens to the roof. This light channel is covered with a transparent plastic piece, not to let the rain fall in but perfect to have natural light inside all day long (and during the night by full moon).
The building has a small kitchen but it is very well equipped. A small storage belongs to it where we store all the pots and plates, etc. There are boxes to store food in front of the kitchen door, next to the antique water filter stone. This filter is a special part of the kitchen. These type of constructions were very common on the island about 100 years ago. Now, thanks to it’s size and weight, nobody uses them any more. We keep it and also try to keep it’s good condition by cleaning the big stone bowl time to time.
The old toilet
We also kept the original toilet of the building. This is a very small space with a tiny little circle shape, porcelain toilet inside with its funny design.
We have changed the laundry room into a multifunctional room: storage room, art studio, laundry and pet hut. This is a room which leads to the large rooftop, has a window and caracole stairs. We store here a lots of tools for making art, not only paintings but glues, textiles and different materials to create whatever you feel like. This is also the place the hang out if it gets late and chilly outside, this room is warm and far from other guest’s room so you can enjoy a good conversation.
The top of the building is a large rooftop. It has four different parts, one for the roof top shower, one for the yoga and common area, and the others are for the laundry and also for sitting, having a meal or just watching the stars.
All along the building there is a long terrace where you can have a seat, enjoy your breakfast or lunch or just have a coffee. You can have the greatest view from here to the whole Valley of Mireles.
In front of the entrance of the building you can find the garden with it’s two level. The upper level has a few area to sit down, also a few herbs and large quantity of aloe vera grow here. The camp fire place is in the lower level of the garden, just like our baby fruit trees. There is also a small little tiny little secret terrace with a comfortable bath-tube-chair, perfect place for morning coffee or meditation. The Sun rises just on the other side of the valley, so if you are able to wake up early, it is worth to take a blanket and sit outside with a mug of hot coffee or tea and wait for the first rays of the Sun.
Almost the half of the valley belongs to the property. There are 8 caves, many terraces and a few meadows on the land. We kindly ask you to walk around and visit the sights carefully, strictly for your own risk. We don’t take any responsibilities for accidents that happen because of your lack of attention or abilities. The paths are steep and slippery, and climbing up on the trees, even though we prepared support by clearing ways, fixing ropes, or laying down wooden boards, is dangerous and need special attention.
We have 8 caves on the land, two of them is turned to Natural Cave Room. These caves used to be spaces for animals, or storage spaces for gardening materials, tools or products. Now most of them are dangerous (not the two Cave Rooms!), and they are only for observation. Please don’t touch their walls, or try to climb up on the wall, inside or outside, they are not properly fixed. We cleaned them only to give you an idea how they were used long time ago. The two Cave Rooms are safe to enter and stay in.
The Family Cave Room
This cave is safe to enter. We offer this room for our adventurous guests who would like to spend a short time in the nature. The room doesn’t have electricity but it is cosy and comfortable. It has a double bed and a few furniture to give comfort for those who choose this room for their little escape from the world. You have to use candle or the sun-power little lamps that you can find in front of the caves to make light inside. Please be super careful and attentive while using this cave. We want to protect the original state of the cave and the beautiful nature around.
The Soul Cave Room
The cave is a bit smaller than the Family Cave. It has seating area, and a double bed. No electricity. Natural walls. We use curtains to make the room private, which gives a very special vibe it the morning when the rays of the sun gently runs through the textile. You have to use candle or the sun-power little lamps that you can find in front of the caves to make light inside. Please be super careful and attentive while using this cave. We want to protect the original state of the cave and the beautiful nature around.