Andalucian tiling, Moorish archways, salvaged castle doors – it’s near impossible to believe that Finca Cortesin in the Costa del Sol, was recently built from scratch. Opened in 2009, this modern classic has quickly become a favourite with the discerning luxury traveller – especially for a Mr & Mrs Smith romantic getaway.
Picture the scene: Mr Smith fancies a golfing holiday. Mrs Smith is thinking sunshine and spa treatments. Both have a weakness for exciting wining and dining. What would we prescribe? A long weekend in Finca Cortesin’s flower-filled 70-acre enclave of southern Spain. Trust us, we know from experience.
We flew into Marbella on the Costa del Sol, and Finca Cortesin near Estepona was under an hour’s drive from the glamorous tourist hotspot. The 67-room property had a timeless charm from the moment we glided into its cobbled courtyard and stepped through the pristine whitewashed entrance. After a warm Spanish welcome in the breezy reception area, we had a snoop around the couple of traditional-yet-elegant sitting areas, and strayed out onto a terracotta-tiled terrace that looks out across the pretty plumbago- and bougainvillea-dotted gardens and the rolling green golf course, with the blue sea on the horizon.
For him? Golfers will be wowed by the manicured 18-hole world-class golf course designed by Cabell Robinson; the club not only has a Jack Nicklaus Academy but it is now where the Volvo World Match Play Championship are held annually. This is a luxurious land where golf buggies even come stocked with chilled drinks and snacks. Either hit the post-card perfect greens together, or meet back at the chic Clubhouse.
For her? A sleek unisexy spa with Turkish baths, a Finnish sauna and every fitness-centre thrill, Finca Cortesin even has the country’s only ‘snow cave’. Duck in for the –12º icy therapy and you’ll feel transported to the Artic while your circulation gets a livening up – especially when alternated with some steam-room action and a few laps in the heated hydrotherapy pool. True sybarites will want to sign up for treatments such as a Caviar Facial or a hot-stone therapy massage.
For the pair of you… Finca Cortesin fastracked its way to our hearts through our stomachs: attention to detail for us included a potted tree of homemade sweets in our room on arrival; then the two destination restaurants that flourish under the imagination and skills of executive chef Schilo Van Coevorden soon had us smitten. Even a simple gazpacho in the pool bar for lunch was sensational. Book Schilo well in advance to enjoy a tasting menu of Modern Spanish, Arabic and Asian delights on Thursday, Friday or Saturday nights. Expect the roll-call of A-list ingredients: for us the original dishes were laced with truffle, langoustines, foie gras and even gold flakes, all fused flamboyantly with the freshest meat, fish, vegetables and fruit. This kind of culinary theatre made Charlie’s experiences at the Chocolate Factory seem like a visit to the motorway services: pictured above is our second dessert dish, a chocolate cherry tree.
Pure unadulterated R&R is guaranteed at this Spanish golf and spa hotel, as are spectacular courses – in the gourmet and golfing sense. And if you’re a luxury-travel stickler for high-quality bedrooms and fit-for-a-king facilities, Finca Cortesin is heavensent.
Plan ahead With 320 days of sun a year, the Costa del Sol is pretty wonderful whenever you go: even in January the temperature only dips to what can feel a balmy 12 degrees for winter. In March, this part of the world celebrates Europe’s most emotionally charged festival, Semana Santa – Holy Week. Two weeks later it is Feria de Abril, and local cities come to life again with fireworks and lashings of sherry, heralding spring. Ring our Travel Team to book your stay at this peaceful retreat now on 0845 034 0700, and remember to ask whether the hotel has any special deals running.