When our social media manager, Louis, returned from a sun-soaked, cava-infused holiday in southern Spain, we did what any self-respecting, envy-consumed colleagues in our position would do: we shunned him. But once our jealousy subsided, we begged to take a peek at his camera roll, which was filled with images of intimate boutique hotels, sunflower fields, and bougainvillea-lined courtyards. We could practically feel the afternoon rays on our shoulders and taste the gazpacho just by looking at the photos.
Here, we’d like to spread the
envy inspiration and share some of our favourite shots from Louis’s time at Casa la Siesta in Vejer de la Frontera, Corral del Rey in Seville, and Hacienda de San Rafael in the countryside between Seville and Jerez.
Left: Casa la Siesta has its own organic vegetable and fruit garden. While the menu is constantly evolving, in the past the hotel’s chef has whipped up peach gazpacho, sweet garlic creamed potatoes, and ceviche with persimmon. Right: The courtyard at Casa la Siesta and a friendly feline scoping what might be considered the most luxurious sun spot in the world for an afternoon nap.
A restored country house, Casa la Siesta is surrounded by open fields that transform into a golden sea in late summer.
Left: The Alcázar of Seville may look familiar to Game of Thrones fans. The Spanish royal palace – with its Moorish designs, intricately tiled walls, gardens, pools and elaborate archways – played the part of the water gardens of Dorne in Season 5. Right: You won’t see any dragons at the Alcázar, but you may spot a peacock or two.
Corral del Rey, a boutique hotel in Seville’s old quarter, has a rooftop pool and gardens. Of course, if you snag the Pool Terrace Suite, you’ll have your own private piscina that overlooks the Giralda Cathedral.
Every detail at Corral del Rey, from the pendant lighting to the lobby palm fronds, has been considered in order to transform this 17th-century palacio into a modern-day escape.
About an hour south of Corral del Rey, you’ll find Hacienda de San Rafael, a 14-room retreat with on a former olive estate.
Take your pick between the three outdoor pools at Hacienda de San Rafael, and if you get parched, there’s no need to tear yourself away. The Sunset Bar, where you can enjoy a refreshing G&T or splash of cava, is poolside.
Left: Gorgeous interiors call for an impressive entryway. Right: Down to the pottery and dried flowers found in the lobby, Hacienda oozes country charm.
It’s a good thing the grounds at Hacienda de San Rafael are so stunning, otherwise why would you ever leave your room? Guest quarters have high ceilings and original wood beams from the 18th century. Headboards have been sourced from Zimbabwe, Rajhastan and Andalucian haciendas. Yeah, we could spend the better part of a holiday here…
Featured image is Casa la Siesta in Vejer de la Frontera, Cádiz; all photos by Louis Sheridan