‘The Hidden’ is an appropriate name for the hotel; we travelled via windy terraces and gnarly olive groves to find this a lovely corner of Spain. In May, clusters of scarlet and violet spring flowers seemed almost photo-shopped onto the sepia-toned landscape.
The hotel is owned by the ex-England football manager Terry Venables; the lawn actually used to be a football pitch! It was built in 1891 and opened as a 10 roomed boutique hotel in 2014. The hotel oozes character from its restored beams to original stonework, and plenty of attention has been paid to the communal spaces which are light yet cosy.
The bedrooms are beautifully decorated, with plenty of tasteful features. Although we were a little perplexed by the earplugs on the nightstand; the only sounds we heard all stay was birdsong!
A wander to the shaded viewpoint preceded a cocktail on the terrace as the shepherd gathered the sheep in and the sun set behind the mountains. Not a bad start to an evening!
Depending on where you sit in the inviting restaurant you can get a glimpse of the action in the busy kitchen. The British chef creates delicious dishes with the unusual mix of refined presentation and decent portion size. The tasty in-between course treats were an unexpected bonus.
Breakfast on the terrace was leisurely and glorious, with the aromas from the lavender beds and views of the almond groves creating a wonderful ambience to the generous a la carte menu (plus additional buffet style choices should you want more!) The service from all the team was exemplary; friendly, informative and helpful.
There is still some work to be done (private rustic cabins are due for completion in 2015) and planting was still underway in the herb borders and generous flower beds. But this hotel is definitely one to watch- and return to.