We spent my birthday in Axarquia, the region east of Malaga. We stayed at the small rural hotel, Cortijo Bravo. We were last there when it first opened a few years ago.
It’s a new hotel, but in the style of a rural cortijo, with beautiful internal patio/courtyard. It’s really peaceful and has a relaxing ambiance. It has changed management, and the chef is now behind the running of the property, and they’re working to get the gardens back up to standard after a lull over the winter period. There was a beautiful flame tree outside our corner suite.
We ate well, with a relaxing lunch on the sun drenched terrace and dinner in the intimate dining room – although the chef as a bit of a 'sweet tooth', so many dishes have sweet honey or sweet caramelised onion in them, so if you prefer things more savoury make sure you mention it to the waiter. The service was natural and friendly and we were really well looked after.
To the east are the stunning natural parks of the Sierras de Tejeda, Almijara y Alhama- this is where I went canyoning in the beautiful River Verde last year.