“Delectable, relaxing guesthouse and casitas in a village at the eastern end of La Alpujarra, reachable from Granada and Almeria - an ideal base for hiking”
Guests at Las Chimeneas get to choose between an ensuite room in the main house or one of 3 adjacent small village houses (or casitas) each with 1 or 2 bedrooms and kitchen-living area with wood-burning stove. All of them feel utterly in sync with the local architectural style. The wooden windows and doors are painted in the traditional bluey-grey colour of the region, some rooms have period deco-ish tiles whilst others make use of locally quarried slate. Whitewashed poplar beams, antique lamps, marble-topped bedside tables and some lovely old prints imbue the rooms with an air of Times Past. And terracotta tiles have been used to provide attractive corner up-lighting. Beds are either standard or queensize with decent cotton sheets and white counterpanes.
Bathrooms are simple, rather spartan affairs, but nothing is missing. Some have half-length tubs but you’d be better off showering here.
In two of the casitas you get your own private terrace with the same gorgeous views. Given the choice, we might opt for a casita in the winter, as these bedrooms can be particularly cosy because they're smaller, and a room in the main house in the warmer months as they're big, light and airy although there are plenty of radiators and one of the bedrooms has its own fireplace.
All meals are served in the adjacent restaurant.
The evening meals are prepared by Soledad who has been part of the Chimeneas family for many years. The menu is a delicious blend of traditional Alpujarran and North African cuisine with recipes handed down over generations. One big plus is that an interesting vegetarian option is on offer every night, along with a choice between fish or meat. And the 3-course set menu is remarkably good value. You'll have the chance to see the chef at work, whether it is to learn the secrets of marinading your own olives or preparing the locally dried peppers and tomatoes for a delicious soup, the food here is prepared with love and attention. At certain times of year the Casa holds dedicated cookery weeks with demonstrations from guest chefs. Sam Clark, for example, writer of the acclaimed Moro cook books, is a huge fan.
Soledad uses local meat and veggies whenever possible and a real effort is made to source organic products, some of which come straight from David and Emma’s own smallholding beneath Mairena. Wine, too, is locally sourced. The house red is Vega Camacin, from nearby Laujar, an appealing full-bodied red. And there are bottles from further afield should you prefer the better-known Spanish tintos. You’re welcome to BYO - indicative of the relaxed approach which seems to permeate Las Chimeneas.
Breakfast, included in the price of your room, is a simple affair. There’s always a big bowl of fruit on the table, natural yoghurts, chunky bread and pot-fulls of coffee. Ask if you would like an egg or cheese.
And walkers are provided with a really good picnic to take on their rambles. Light lunches can be provided: raciones of cheese or ham, chilled gazpacho, bread, olives.
The 3 Casitas have their own kitchen facilities so you can go self-catering if you like.
Extra beds are available on request. David and Emma have 2 children themselves so they have books and toys for kids as well as baby paraphernalia. A few times a year they run children's activity weeks devoted to specific kids' workshops such as circus skills or soap making.
Babies (0-1 years), Teens (over 12)
The two large family friendly double rooms in the main house have terraces and views, and the 2-bedroom Casita also has a terrace as well as an open-plan living room/kitchen.
Babysitting is available on request, see Rates
Remember baby and child equipment may be limited or need pre-booking