Pueblo Don Thomas
Privately Owned Apartment
La Gomera, Canary Islands
Reviewed by Christine Charlesworth
We arranged rental of this apartment first through Homelidays, who put customers in touch with the property owners. All houses and apartments at Pueblo Don Thomas are privately owned. The owners, who are Spanish, live on Gran Canary so all communication was via email to Maria or her husband Jesus. However, it was arranged that we would meet with Ivo, who looks after the property for the owners. We met Ivo at Cafe Thomas in the square of Playa Santiago and after having coffee together we followed his car up to Pueblo Don Thomas, where he showed us the way into the car park and helped us take our luggage along to the apartment.
Apartment number 10 is reached from the hidden, underground car park approached at entranceHibiscus. As the buildings are on a hill we walked out of the car park on the same level as the apartment. The approach to number 10 is via an individual walkway giving delightful vistas of other nestling properties, wonderful flowers, plants and trees along paths below and views down to the glistening blue ocean.
Entering the apartment through the large dark wood door we walked into a large open-plan hallway leading into the sitting and dining area to the right and bedrooms and bathrooms to the left. Immediately facing us was the door to the wide, well-equipped, galley kitchen. This light and spacious kitchen is fitted with granite worktops and cream painted cupboards hiding fridge, freezer, dishwasher and abundance of other storage spaces. There is a small side balcony off the kitchen, suitable for clothes drying and also an airy laundry room with deep sink. A second door leads from the kitchen directly into the dining area of the main room.
The main sitting area has a wall of French windows leading onto the spacious, terracotta-tiled terrace, which is equipped with two sun-loungers and a large table with six chairs for out-door dining. The view from this terrace was spectacular. We looked over the roofs of the lower villas down to the ocean below and over to Tenerife and the dominant Mount Teide to the left.
In the sitting room, opposite the window, there is a wall of fitted shelving set into the plasterwork housing a large television, CD player and DVD player. On the shelving there is a selection of CD’s and DVD’s, together with reading books, restaurant guides and cookery books, plus a number of leaflets about La Gomera. On the higher shelving there is a display of large Canarian terracotta pottery and the ceiling of this room is high, sloping and beamed. Two cream suedette sofas with side tables and a large coffee table, set on a rug, complete the sitting area, while the dining area has a large darkwood table and six chairs. The colour scheme is cream, beige and brown with splashes of orange from the two oil paintings which tone well with the terracotta pots. All the floors in the apartment are tiled with large cream ceramic tiles.
There are three bedrooms and two bathrooms. The main bedroom, with large double bed, has a walk through wardrobe, storage room leading to the ensuite bathroom with bath and shower. There is another large bedroom with full-wall fitted wardrobes and a double bed and a third bedroom with twin beds, fitted wardrobe and double-aspect window. These bedrooms share the second bathroom, which has a bath and shower.
Walking along the paths, through the gardens just below the apartment for a short way, we came to theDon Thomas Country Club which is available for guests. Here there is a large swimming pool, games room, library, lawns, a pool for children and a large number of reclining seats for sunbathing. There was a full-time pool attendant on duty who gave us pool towels to use each time we visited. There is also a tennis court.
The nearest shops are at Playa de Santiago, which is a short drive away down the valley to the coast. Originally a small fishing village with a tuna fish canning factory and a boatyard, Playa de Santiago it is now a delightful and still unspoilt small village nestling in the valley beside banana plantations with a few small, family run, restaurants. There are a few small food shops, cafes and bars just past the banana plantations, which reach right down to the beach.
One evening we ate at Restaurant La Cuevita. This restaurant is housed in a cave which was used as a place to mend the fishing nets and is opposite the small marina where the fishing boats still dock. The natural cave that houses the restaurant is still conserved and is a delightful place to eat. The restaurant opened in 1981 and is still run by Veronica Rosa Garcia Arteaga, her husband Federico Sivero Mora and their family. The speciality is fresh fish but they also do meat, including rabbit and kid. The home-made watercress soup is really amazing and we both agreed that it was a meal in itself. However, we did continue the meal with fresh fish, which was also wonderful. Wines were very reasonably priced and the service was very good.
For lunch one of the days we wandered over to a little restaurant right on the beach. It had sails stretched out in front to keep the sun from the tables and the roof to the bar was made from corrugated tin. However, the beer was cold, the service was extremely friendly, the fish was freshly caught that day and for pudding – everyone was given a banana from the large branch of a banana tree hanging at the bar.
Playa Santiago is the most magical place on a most magical and romantic island.
The apartment at Pueblo Don Thomas was a very special, peaceful and relaxing place to stay. Everywhere was very clean and the situation was wonderful. It is a great place to stay for a Winter Sunshine Break.
For more information or to make a booking visit www.homelidays.co.uk.