We’re off to sunny southern Spain this week to award an old olive mill a very special accolade. Step forward La Fuente de la Higuera in Ronda, Andalucia, land of dizzying, deserted gorges, heady hilltop towns and today’s happening hotel of the week…
Style Trad Andalucia
Setting Close but no Costa
Why this week? It may be summer everywhere in the northern hemisphere, but chances are it won’t be as reliably sunny where you are as in Ronda. Smith members can top up their tans for longer with our special offer: stay 7 nights for the price of 6 this July and August.
Our favourite bits We love the generously proportioned bedrooms and their canopied beds and doors opening onto the lavender-filled garden. Bathrooms are just as big, and their cool stone floors are exactly what you’ll want to feel under your feet on a baking summer’s day. The hotel helps guests live the Andalucian dream with flamenco and Spanish classes.
Mr & Mrs Smith say ‘It never ceases to amaze me how close the beauty and character of real Spain is to the most overdeveloped, soulless resorts. Most of our drive from Malaga airport to Ronda was through the rugged, glorious – and almost entirely deserted – landscape of southern Andalucia.
La Fuente de la Higuera is a rather stately converted 18th-century olive mill, set into a hillside with views over to Ronda and the surrounding rugged sierras. The gardens are just as impressive: a soft, lush contrast to the craggy mountains around them, forming a well-watered oasis around a swimming pool. The glorious setting meant our hopes were high for a fabulous room, too, and we were not disappointed. We walked into a beautifully cool, calm living room with an eclectic mix of furniture, including comfy wicker chairs and antique leather loungers. Curiously, there is also a fireplace – curious because it’s difficult to imagine a toasty fire when it’s 40°C outside, but we were assured that it does snow here in the winter…’
You say ‘We thought this hotel was exceptional. The standard of food and hospitality considering it only has nine rooms is incredible. I don’t really have any external restaurant recommendations because once we had lunch here when we arrived we did not leave the hotel for a meal for the next two days. The chefs put on an excellent dinner menu which changes daily. This hotel is perfect if you are doing a travelling holiday in Andalucia and want to completely chill out by the pool with excellent food and hospitality for a few days.’
(Neil, BlackSmith, stayed on 24 Jul 2010)