The Villa of Señor Ancil
When in 1888 Esteban Ancil returned from years spent on Cuba to his hometown of Murillo de Lónguida nr. Pamplona, he started having a marvelous new house built for himself. To this day, the striking villa clearly attests to the affluence of its original owner. Undressed stone and red bricks, dressed ashlar and bright clinker bricks, then a crown of crenellations interrupting the colorful ceramic panels – all of this serves to lend the upper-class residence a sense of luxurious elegance coupled with a touch of extravagance. And the building reveals this joy in decoration on the inside, too. The interiors bask in opulence: the ceilings are suffused in ornate stucco, the walls with clad in lavishly carved wooden panels or ornamented tiles. Elaborately inlaid parquet covers through the floors of the salons.
When a little while back architect Fernando Oiza set out to awaken the villa, long since abandoned, from its beauty sleep and turn it into a small but refined hotel, he attached great importance to preserving all this glory so typical of its day. On the other hand, he wished to avoid creating a museum feel. The fittings therefore had to harmonize with the original and yet also from an exciting contrast to it. Oiza had the perfect solution: “The USM Haller product line exudes a sense of calm that stands out perfectly from the highly decorated rooms.” The desire for absoluter quality, so the architect-cum-developer believes, unites the USM system across time with the villa. And thus, the USM Haller system is to be found both as book shelves in the library and as cupboard in the lounge, as shelves in the dining room and as a sideboard with an integrated desk in the bedrooms. USM offers a wide range of colors – and Oiza chose classical black, enabling the furniture to form a calm counter-pole to the rooms’ colorful décor.
Fernando Oiza has named the small hotel with its nine rooms “Villa Clementina” after Esteban Ancil’s niece. The loving restoration work has turned the glorious residence into a discerning hideaway in the picturesque countryside in the foothills of the Pyrenees. Its owner hopes that the guests will find it as restful as did once the much-traveled Esteban Ancil.