“Luxurious country estate in the Sierra de Loja where the high arts of pampering are practised with flair”
The big, plush bedrooms give you what the price tag demands: an overdose of luxury. Some rooms have a contemporary style (fresh colours, clean lines, no clutter), others are more traditional with pastel colours, big wicker chairs and padded headboards, but all come with a private balcony, terrace or garden, so you can throw open the doors and relax in the sun. Space is abundant and rooms get lots of light, but all have shutters to keep them cool.
Classic Deluxes have space for armchairs, but we went for one of the huge Junior Suites where we got sofas, antique tables and chairs, and terracotta-tiled floors. The Suites have even more lebensraum. Some open onto an exquisitely-tiled interior courtyard where a fountain sings (and in which the housekeeper leaves flowers floating daily). The more you spend, the more you get, and the top-end Suite Deluxes all come with 2 bedrooms, an open fire and something to elate: a domed ceiling, a hand-carved wooden bedstead or a gigantic bathroom with views across open country. Oddly, they're also the only category in which tea- and coffee-making facilities are provided. Since our visit, the Superior Deluxe rooms have been added, aimed squarely at couples, we're yet to personally view them.
Bathrooms are excellent, most are huge and every detail is catered for: bathrobes and slippers, lotions and potions, big bathtubs and separate showers, and fluffy white towels coming out of your ears. Whilst some of the ritzy, silver and gold bathroom fittings look a tad dated, they are, nonetheless, top of the range.
There are 3 on-site restaurants, all of which are overseen by attentive, friendly and helpful staff.
For a sense of occasion, La Finca Restaurant serves superb Mediterranean-fusion cuisine (with prices to match). Our starter of scallop served on a savoury pop-corn cake with caramelised Mencal wine and nutty caviar from Rio Frío, was a culinary tour de force. One part of the restaurant has huge views over fields of olive trees - the fruit and oil of which you can eat in the restaurant.
We also dined in the more rustic, Spanish-influenced El Cortijo Restaurant, where we dug into mixed croquettes (simple and delicious), a chicken and mushroom main course (slightly underwhelming), and a waiter-recommended ‘Leche Frita’ pudding (yummy fried custard with thyme honey, mango sauce and vanilla ice cream). Fine Iberian ham is a speciality and an extensive wine list caters for all.
La Plaza offers a great-value lunch menu of authentic tapas, gazpacho, salads, sizeable sarnies and paella, as well as early evening drinks and snacks - try the local ale. In summer, the El Mirador Chill Out Bar serves evening cocktails overlooking the pool.
Breakfast - a feast of pastries, fruits and cooked options - is served anywhere you choose. If you want it in your room it’s served on a starched white tablecloth with a vase of fresh flowers.
Expect all meals at La Bobadilla to be accompanied by soft, piped guitar music: it feels relaxing, or mildly irritating, according to where your musical sympathies lie.
Set within a vast 350-acre plot, Bobadilla's wealth of facilities and inclusive atmosphere make it perfect for families. And all reservations with children under 12 include free spa access, daily afternoon snacks and the planting of an olive tree with the family name on a plaque.
Book a Deluxe Family Suite to get a double bedroom and separate twin room, plus space for extra beds; a Junior Suite can take an additional two children, generally Suites are best for families with one child. Most rooms can hold a baby cot and every bathroom has a bathtub and shower. There are two Deluxe Superior rooms which can interconnect for families
English-speaking babysitting available by arrangement (although it can be expensive), and the summer kids' club affords extra adult-time
Remember baby and child equipment may be limited or need pre-booking
The hotel's free Mini-Club runs over Easter weekend and July until late August, allowing parents to enjoy a lazy brunch, spa treatments or a child-free dinner
The hotel's restaurants have a good children’s menu full of favourites like spaghetti, ravioli, chicken breast, swordfish, burgers and sausages with chips and salad. Children under 12 get a complimentary daily snack in the afternoons
Note that the large exterior pool is shut in March and November