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The progress of Aqua et Oleum

Press 24 May, 2018 2 Comments

The American Henry Joseph Shortell, a famous designer from Dallas (Texas), has set his eyes on the tourist potential of Sierra de Gata. On January 3, the company Aqua et Oleum SL created to build a Hotel Spa in an old oil mill in Villamiel. A project that promises to be a quality reference for the new content tourism.

When will Hotel Aqua et Oleum open in Sierra de Gata and when is it scheduled to open?

We expect to begin construction in late spring or early summer 2018. This would mean we could be open to visitors in the summer of 2019.

What has caught your attention the most about Sierra de Gata and Extremadura in general?

I came to Extremadura 37 years ago when I was studying at the Sorbonne in Paris and I worked for a summer on a fruit farm in Las Vegas del Guadiana. The people were lovely and welcomed me with open arms and some of them are still my friends. I also discovered that the land was very rich in history, agriculture, and traditions. I returned 4 years ago after a long absence and discovered with great satisfaction that Extremadura had preserved its charm, its mystique and its beauty. When I discovered Sierra de Gata I felt that I had landed in the middle of a fairy tale: ancient stone villages, ruined castles, mountain rivers with old Roman bridges. I believe that Extremadura is the secret jewel of Spain and the Sierra de Gata is its pearl.

What content is the hotel going to have and what type of audience is it targeting?

I have lived in Texas for the past 37 years and while everyone who appreciates Extremadura and especially Sierra de Gata is welcome, I will be targeting the North American market. In Texas, we have more than 500 years of Spanish heritage and our State was once under the Spanish flag. Considering that most of the great conquerors have come from Extremadura, I think that many people will be interested in coming to this little-known region and discovering how the events happened. Our heritage and our history are linked.

I want the hotel to become a destination for groups of special interest who stay for periods of a week both to carry out their workshops – cooking, art, birdwatching, etc.- and to explore the surroundings. It will also be an excellent location for weddings and family reunions. We will keep all the original equipment of the olive oil mill so that people can see how it was made and we will have a lot of original art and sculpture to be a kind of mini-museum.

How important will the world of olive groves and olive oil be in the hotel?

It will be very important. Olives and olive oil have been around for thousands of years. This production was essential for the economy of the Sierra de Gata and the mills were located here because there are many rivers that could move the mill wheels and equipment. Olive oil is a superfood and this oil mill provided employment for the people of Villamiel and its surroundings for generations, and my intention is that through the transformation into a boutique hotel it will give work and life again. Visitors who come here will be fascinated to hear the history of this mill and the tradition of olive oil in Sierra de Gata. I will try to talk to as many people as possible to learn the stories that this earth has to tell. The project is called “Aqua et Oleum”, Water and Oil in Latin, both sources of life in this lower valley of Villamiel.


View Source: https://extremadura21.com

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What our guests
are saying

A big favorite!

We discovered an authentic wonder in Sierra de Gata, a small corner of paradise all about its heritage and the environment. We felt a genuine soul based on serenity, the taste of creation, and the care given to the welcome. Joseph has a presence that honors you with his humanity. Chef Ruben has the alchemy that transforms the products grown on the site into delicacies, with a smile that makes you feel like you are part of his family. A big favorite!

Lucas I.

We will definitely be back!

A small boutique hotel that has just opened in the Sierra de Gata area. The place is perfect to spend a few days of absolute relaxation in the middle of nature... decorated with exquisite taste (large, comfortable, beautiful rooms with all the facilities) and luxury attention from all the staff. We will be back!

Maria S

Simply spectacular.

Aqua et Oleum is a magical place. A hotel built with great care and attention to detail. In the middle of nature, next to a stream, under the gaze of a castle, is this ideal place to rest, disconnect and recharge your energy. We spent some incredible days there. Simply spectacular. Thank you for everything.



The hackneyed phrase "we want you to feel at home" was made true.


Highly recommend!

A charming place, surrounded by pure nature and very friendly staff. Highly recommend!

Carmen S.

We will be back!

Aqua et Oleum is a unique place to disconnect, a location of incomparable beauty. Unbeatable guest treatment, along with exquisite surroundings made with passion. Continue with the dedication and love that you put in. We had a wonderful weekend and will be back for sure. Hugs!


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