But sometimes, when you look behind old walls, you find something completely new...
On a typical Arcos street, behind a typical whitewashed façade, is a hip little haven gleaming in the shadows. Boutique Suites, the brainchild of creative owners Gareth and Paul, is everything you don’t expect: all jazzy wallpapers, state-of-the-art lighting and gilded furnishings. A marble staircase leads up to four sumptuous suites, each a work of art with individual design pieces and bold patterns that dazzle. In a smart lounge, breakfasts of fresh pastries and Spanish hams are served, and up on top, a roof terrace takes in wide vistas of Arcos’ rooftops. An unexpected masterpiece in a hidden gem of a town.
- Each suite is a work of art, tastefully decorated with smart lighting, Art Deco design pieces and flamboyant patterns that are jazzy but not clashy
- The roomy roof terrace is a lovely spot for a sundowner while gazing out across Arcos’ rooftops
- Arcos de la Frontera is one of Andalucia’s most attractive white towns, dramatically sited above a deep river valley within the Sierra de Cadiz, east of Jerez, with great hiking and cycling trails nearby
- The hotel has private parking, which is a real treat in Arcos
- No kids allowed
- You're a fair distance from the coast here; the nearest beach is Cadiz, a 40-minute drive
- Breakfast only, and it costs extra, but there are a bunch of good tapas bars and tavernas outside
- Arcos isn’t much fun to drive around, but you won’t need the car once you’re here
Best time to go
Semana Santa (Easter Holy Week) is an important calendar event in Arcos, and quite the spectacle, with sombre processions and a bull run in the old town on Easter Sunday. The three-day Feria de San Miguel, a fiesta dedicated to the town’s patron saint, takes place in late September.
Our top tips
- Boutique B&B
- 4 rooms
- Breakfast (restaurants nearby)
- Over 18s only
- Open all year
- Spa Treatments
- Beach Nearby
- Pet Friendly
- Disabled Access
- Car essential
- Restaurants Nearby
- Air Conditioning
- Guest Lounge
The four suites are deliciously indulgent. Colour schemes are daring, lighting is soft, artworks are plentiful, and gadgetry is top-end (on-demand streaming services, USB ports).
Junior Suite Grazalema is the smallest room, but don’t let that deter you. Its flashy yet flawless look blends teal wall panelling with jungle-print wallpaper, golden accents and a bright coral headboard. This is only the room with a private terrace, from which you get blissful views across to the Grazalema mountains.
San Pedro, named after the church at the top of the town, is the next size up. Its roomy, open-plan layout has a kingsize bed framed by a double arch, a smart shower bathroom, and a living area with eclectic trinkets – think mini globes and evolution-of-man-inspired sculptures mounted on modern display cabinets.
Corredera, Gareth and Paul's personal favourite, is cavernous (40m2) and has moody interiors to match. Its kingsize bed is set against the far wall, where three large picture windows with Juliet balconies look out onto Corredera Street below. The colour palette is pastel pink, mauve and dusty blue, but it’s the lighting that catches the eye here: spherical glass lamps, and star-shaped fittings that twinkle from the ceiling.
Guadalete, which takes its name from the river running below town, is the newest addition, and the largest suite at 50m2. It’s a duplex with an olive-green colour scheme and smart living spaces on three different levels. This suite can be set up as a double or a twin, and it also has the biggest bathroom of the lot.
- Safe box
Breakfast (extra cost) is served in a smart lounge where round tables are dressed in crisp white tablecloths. The daily spread includes fresh pastries from the local pasteleria, assorted hams and cheeses, pots of yoghurt, OJ and machine coffee. You can request for it all to be brought to your suite if you prefer.
You’ll need to head out for other meals, but that’s no hardship; there are plenty of good tavernas in strolling distance. The nearest is La Chumina, located across the street, which serves classic Spanish fare that’s heavy on meat and fish, and has excellent wines from the region. For tapas, try Bar La Lola, which has regular live music nights, or Bar La Carcel, located in the old jail of Arcos. Staff have plenty of other recommendations - just ask.
Thanks to its location in the campo (countryside), Arcos is surrounded by land used for horticulture, so you get lots of flavoursome, locally grown vegetables in the cooking. Typical dishes in these parts include potaje, (chard stew) and alboronia (made with chickpeas, tomato, pumpkin and legumes). Make sure you try some of the local sherry from nearby Jerez too.
- Restaurants nearby
- Room service
- Arcos is a lovely place for a wander. Old alleyways lead off from Plaza del Cabildo, snaking up past old churches to the Ducal Castle, which was built by the Muslims in the 15th Century. Make sure you stop at the viewpoints as you pass, which offer fantastic panoramas across the Guadalete river valley
- If you drop down the hill, you're just a half-hour drive away from both the Parque Natural de Los Alcornocales and that of Grazalema. In both parks you can walk your socks off, cycle, jump on a horse or just meander your way from one stunning hilltop village to the next
- Outdoor activities are bookable via the hotel's concierge service and include hiking packages, canoeing, climbing and canyoning
- Jerez de la Frontera makes a lovely day trip (30 mins by car). Explore its sherry bodegas and famous riding school, where you can watch Andalucian thoroughbreds being put through their paces. The city hosts an annual flamenco festival in Feb/Mar, which is a spectacle worth seeing if you’re in town
- Sanlucar de Barrameda is a 45-minute drive away and is famous for producing manzanilla and hosting an annual horse racing event on its beach (in August). It’s also the gateway to Donana National Park, one of Europe’s most beautiful wetlands
- The beach isn’t particularly close, but if you’ve got a car, you can get down to the Costa de la Luz in about an hour. Long, sandy beaches, bars and restaurants await – try Cadiz, Chipiona or Conil de la Frontera
Activities on site or nearby include:
- Historical sites
- Horse riding
- Museums / galleries
- Plantlife / flora
- Shopping / markets
Boutique Suites is in Arcos de la Frontera in Andalucia, southern Spain. The nearest city is Jerez de la Frontera.
Jerez De La Frontera (40km) is the closest airport, but you could also fly to Seville (100km), Gibraltar (120km) or Malaga (180km).
From the Airport:
Airport transfers are available, but you'll probably want to hire a car to reach Arcos and make the most of the area. See our car rental recommendations. The hotel has a private, gated car park a short walk away, which is free for i-escape guests.
There is no railway station in Arcos. The nearest mainline station is in Jerez, so you'll need to take a taxi or organise an airport transfer from there (30km).
- Jerez 40.0 km XRY
- Jerez 100.0 km SVQ
- Beach 60.0 km
- Shops 0.1 km
- Restaurant 0.1 km