L A   E S P E R A N Z A   G R A N A D A

N A P O L E O N   B U S T I L L O

Interview} Ken Waller 

Photography} John Russo

Location}  La Esperanza Granada, a Preferred Hotel 


KW: Can you give us a brief background on yourself and how you found your way to working at the property.
NB: I arrived at La Esperanza Granada on September 1, 2020, which was the first day of the property under new ownership. The owner had purchased it sight unseen amidst the pandemic with the idea to turn it into one of the most distinctive luxury boutique hotels and private villas in Spain. She asked me if I would like to be part of this project, which seemed interesting. So without hesitation, I said yes. I drove ten hours from my hometown of Gijon, which is across Spain in the exact opposite direction, into the wild environment of Andalucia. I remember navigating the winding roads and thinking to myself: “Where is this place? What have I got myself into?”
However, the moment I drove up to the property and got out of the car, my only thought was: “Finally, I have found my place.” I have been part of La Esperanza Granada since, and the owner and I undertook the renovations and reconstruction of this property together during COVID. We chose every plant, every tile, and every piece of furniture and transformed it from a private home of an expatriate couple to a destination hotel that luxury travelers from as far as Costa Rica and Singapore have booked just to experience hacienda life.
KW: Has your role been the same at the property, or have you worked in other roles at the company?
NB: I’ve always been a partner of La Esperanza Granada since Day 1. In the early days, this meant everything from painting ceilings to weeding out the fish pond. However, about six months into the project, the owner and I realized that the general manager role would be a natural fit for me. I know everything about the property, and I love it. Moreover, I enjoy taking care of guests and have a talent for logistics.
KW: Can you tell us the brand philosophy of La Esperanza Granada?
NB: We want to be the most interesting and beautiful small property in our part of Europe, if not in the world. We would like to achieve this by offering guests an incredibly personalized stay in a beautiful environment that is both authentic Spain and also an authentic hacienda experience. We are not just another hotel near famous tourist sites. We are a truly authentic Spain experience that happens to also be near several famous tourist sites. We intend that most guests who stay at La Esperanza Granada will never forget their time with us.
KW: Can you tell us about the hotel’s connection to the region or local culture?
NB: We are at the core of the Granada region and Granada culture. Everything we offer — from the food we serve to the experiences — is the best in the region. Authenticity and minimal carbon footprint are very important to us, so there is almost nothing on the property that is from outside Andalucia. We have also taken the time to shortlist the most incredible experiences in Southern Spain and put these on our menu of offerings. For example, guests who book our private flamenco show will be treated to a real gypsy outpouring of emotion and creativity rather than a dance show. Meanwhile, our in-house astronomers offer a stargazing experience highly recommended by National Geographic Traveler. These passionate professionals set up one of the world’s largest portable telescopes in our garden and spend hours regaling guests with stories of dying stars and new galaxies.
KW: What makes your property different from staying at other hotels in the area?
NB: There is nowhere like La Esperanza Granada in this world. We are not just a hotel or another beautiful place to stay. We are a hacienda to be experienced and savored by guests who appreciate culture, art, beauty, and luxury.
KW: What about your property keeps guests returning for multiple stays?
NB: Everyone loves our rooms, designed in the distinctive Andalucia style and furnished with fine art and antiques. They also enjoy the amazing views from almost everywhere on the property. However, most of all, I believe guests return for the personalized service we provide. We will try to make guests as happy as possible, and it is very easy to do so at La Esperanza Granada. So they think of our hotel as their happy place. Some guests have already booked three or more stays with us this summer alone.
KW:  Does your property offer any unique curated experiences?
NB: Everything we offer is a curated experience that we chose to reflect the culture of Granada and the experience of being in Andalucia. Even our sightseeing itineraries are tailored to the preferences and interests of our guests, as are our evening entertainment offerings ranging from private Spanish classical guitar concerts to flamenco shows and stargazing experiences on the grounds of our exquisite hacienda. There is nothing typical about our offerings, and we pride ourselves on the kind of experiences that people cannot just Google or replicate.
KW:  Can you tell us about your dining options?

NB: We offer only farm-to-table dining at La Esperanza Granada. For breakfast, we offer a traditional Spanish hacienda breakfast created with fruits and vegetables from our gardens with an option for hot dishes. For lunch and dinner, our private chef can create a gastronomic menu of Spanish dishes inspired by the deep culture of Granada with locally sourced ingredients. This gastronomic experience is very popular. Some guests book the private chef on the first night of a two-week stay and like the dinner so much that they book him every night. Of course, we also have an a la carte menu of Spanish, continental, and Japanese dishes that can be served at guests’ convenience and a bar that is open for guests whenever they feel like having a drink — whether it is 4 PM or 4 AM.

to learn more about La Esperanza Granada.
visit LaEsperanzaGranada.es