Last weekend I was able to show off Andalucia again,with a friend who had flown out to escape the winter grayness of the UK. We were lucky with the weather, so firstly we made a flying visit to Laguna Village that has just opened near Estepona. I think it is worth a visit in Summer as the beach club looked a lot more sophisticated and intimate than the others on the coast.
Then we drove to Ronda – as we had booked into the Hotel La Fuente De La Higuera.The hotel had been on my list of places to go for some time and it didn’t disappoint. Our trip was truly special. For me the one thing that can make or break a trip is the friendliness of the staff. Here the hotel staff and owners are so friendly and relaxed you can help but quickly unwind and enjoy yourself. We arrived late afternoon in warm winter sunshine. The email directions at first looked complicated, but in fact it was easy to find the hotel. We had taken advantage of the winter offer of a free upgrade to the next best available room, so we both got a suite which was a treat. The rooms are like the owners, Tina and Pom, very welcoming. The decor is simple yet sophisticated, with pieces of art throughout the property. Small sculptures in the rooms for example made each space feel unique – a touch I really liked. I slept like a log – the mattresses were superb – although my enthusiastic use of the generous stocked honour bar may have had more to do with it!
Later, after a shower and change of clothes, we had dinner in the restaurant – an intimate room that in summer spills out into the glass conservatory style extension and onto the terrace. This winter weekend we were joined by two other tables – both Spanish couples: We both thought it was a good sign that not just foreigners chose the hotel. The food was unfussy, robust and really tasty. Pom is clearly loves his wine and was obviously excited when we asked for a recommendation. He proposed a really well priced Rioja that was not one I knew, but it was superb and cheaper than the more familiar one I was about to opt for out of safety. The other guests seemed to be equally relaxed as us – getting up when a CD had finished to choose one of their favourites. Little things like that made us all feel at home.
Breakfast was simple. There was not much choice but almost everything was clearly home made, from the conserves to the cakes. Tina greeted us with a friendly smile and served an excellent double espresso that helped me deal with the excess of the honour bar and the red wine of the night before!
Saturday morning Pom took us to the amazing lodge, (Rise-Lodge) that he and his wife built. It is like arriving at a South African game reserve – amazing. It´s available for private rentals – so lets hope one day we get to experience it.