The Doña Elvira hotel.
Doña Elvira’s house was always open, always ready for visitors from the north who came to these lands in León in search of “Asturian sunshine” and ended up staying in the rooms above. It was a house without a key and without time, where conversation filled the still hours.
The Doña Elvira hotel keeps its arms open in a town where night and sleep welcome the traveller who decides to stop on their journey.
Light and silence.
The sun slides down the staircase that leads to sleep. There is peace in the night where only the call of a tawny owl can be heard. The colour of the old wood does the rest. Sleep comes as easy as breathing. Walk barefoot on the oak floors. See a clear night of stars. Wake up in the peace of the wheat fields.
This house is a portrait of Doña Elvira, like the nest of the bird that moulds it. Potters without hands, birds are forced to carve their houses with the pressure of their body and give it form with their own heartbeat.
The hollow heart of this house is its courtyard, its living portrait, carved with simplicity and height, like a niche for Doña Elvira. That is why the doorknocker is shaped like a heart, to make the interior beat from the outside
This is a house without a threshold, and to enter is to be outdoors still. Slatted wood, lattices and gardens create that transparency. The entrance to the hotel is a green pavement with a natural doormat of thyme, lavender, flowers and rosemary. When you go through the front door and down the corridor, in two steps you reach the inner courtyard without feeling the roof, still outdoors in the air and the light.
In the courtyard there is a magnolia tree and a fountain. The sound of water is the whisper that sings and implores, as the saying goes in old Spanish. Here, the house where Doña Elvira lived all her life in neighbouring Rosario Street lives on in Jiménez. The courtyard was her kingdom; a courtyard with a well and a centennial pear tree which outlived her and gave her long afternoons of sunshine and conserves. Tree and water in the album of memory.