Already the invitations are going out for the exclusive ‘End of Summer’ parties across the coast’s beach clubs. It’s a timely reminder that we are well into August and we should make the most of the hot lazy days.
This week we had a very enjoyable al fresco lunch at the new Beach Club of the Finca Cortesin Hotel, on the small bay in Casares.
We were meeting new friends and it was a convenient location between Sotogrande and Marbella.
I have to admit it is a part of the coast I am not that familiar with, as I normally speed past on the autopista towards Tarifa or head inland to the villages of Casares or Gaucin.
Yet the club a little piece of heaven; Joanna Dias looks after the club and makes guests feel welcome. The service is natural and attentive and the venue’s design makes the setting feel exclusive. Sharing lunch with friends from the States made paella an inevitable choice!
We were invited for a tour of the Hotel, located just a few kilometres up the Casares road. The property is some 2 million square metres, and here has been created a magical retreat.
There is the hotel and spa resort, and an expansive golf club, with surrounding large fincas and villas available for rent and purchase. The golf course was created by Cabell Robinson; whilst the estate landscape design is by Gerald Huggan. Finca Cortesin has been put onto the worldwide golf map, thanks to it being home to the Volvo World Match Play Championships.
The resort design is ‘classic Andaluz’ and by combining a period architectural design with plenty of reclaimed materials means the resort has a surprisingly ‘established’ feel despite only being a few years old. Hotel Finca Cortesin is one of the coast’s genuine 5 star properties, and has worked hard to create an air of classic exclusivity that one might normally associate with The Marbella Club or a refined boutique property inland.
Marbella based architects Ignacio Sierra and Roger Torras were behind the Andalusian, traditional finca-inspired resort buildings that brings together the best of Southern Spain rural architecture.
The stunning public spaces of the hotel were designed by the late Duarte Pinto Coelho. The famous Portuguese decorator made Spain his home in the 50s, where his antiques business led him to create wonderfully rich, period style interiors. At the Finca Cortesin he has used a mix of reclaimed materials (like the wonderful flagstones in the lobby and public walkways that came from a Portuguese convent); Spanish artisan and antique pieces; together with new, bespoke furniture.
The result is a timeless, classic ambiance; a mix between a wonderful European private country house and an Al Andalus palace.
The secluded Andalusian patio, surrounded by shaded cloisters and a Moroccan salon is one of my favourite parts of the property. Worn, overlapping kalim rugs, exquisite ceramic tiles from Morocco, a Moorish inspired carved ceiling and richly upholstered chairs create a chic, welcoming environment to relax with a mint tea or cocktail.
The guest rooms and suites have been designed by Bilbao sisters, Ana and Cristina Calderón. The style is calming neutrals, with less emphasis on extravagance as seen in the public areas, and more of a focus on relaxation.
UPDATE: Since writing this piece we returned a couple of times to the Hotel, for an article on Cadiz and also for our anniversary.
P.S. If you are interested in 5 Star Hotel Interior design look out for my feature on Hotel Interiors and Gardens in the September issue of Home and Lifestyle Magazine.
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