Casa Vina de Alcantara

Jerez de la Frontera, Costa de la Luz, Spain Book from

A gorgeous country house hotel in the rolling vineyards of the Del Rio González-Gordon wine estates, just 10 minutes' drive from Jerez
Gonzalo del Rio y Gonzalez-Gordon, owner of award-winning Seville hotel Casa No 7, has again waved his magic decorative wand at Casa Alcántara to create a hotel of cool, subtle elegance. This former hunting lodge stands among mature forest on the edge of the family’s vineyards: the palomino grapes for their Tio Pepe sherry are grown here. The delicate, deco-ish façade is evocative of the French Riviera, a feeling heightened by twin cypresses flanking the main entrance and slender washingtonia palms.

A team of butlers will be there to greet you, whisk your bags to your room, and pamper you throughout your stay. There is more than a hint of Graham Greene: drinks delivered on a silver tray, silver service at breakfast, eggs poached or scrambled... The decorative style incorporates oil paintings, antiques, frescoes and floors of polished buff limestone. Bedrooms and bathrooms are superb; secreted away in the garden is a spectacular pool whose obsidian finish mirrors the surrounding forest.

Highs

  • The cool interiors and shady gardens are a real oasis, especially during the hotter months
  • Extraordinarily attentive service from team of butlers whose enthusiasm makes up for their limited English
  • We enjoyed lounging in the drawing room with our afternoon tea ( it's also a great spot for pre-dinner drinks)
  • All fittings, linen, mattresses and fabrics are top-of-the-range: the hotel breathes an air of solid well-being
  • A really stylish place to stay near Jerez, and a great base for touring the white villages, visiting sherry bodegas or playing golf at Montecastillo or Arcos

Lows

  • You’re close to the old Jerez-Arcos road, but a new motorway has taken much of the traffic away
  • You may not get to meet Gonzalo, who is often at his Seville hotel, but you will instead be in the caring and capable hands of Maria, his daughter
  • Unless requested in advance, no meals other than breakfast are served, but you are just 10 minutes from central Jerez and 2 minutes from one of its best restaurants
  • You will need a car, clearly

Best time to go

Any time of year is a good time to visit Jerez. July and August can be uncomfortably hot but at other times you are almost bound to see some sunshine. It would be great to visit during the annual Jerez feria which follows that of Sevilla (i.e. early-mid May) - though you'll need to book very early and be prepared to pay nearly double the price. Bear in mind that the Jerez Moto GP - another extremely popular weekend - takes place in March every year.

Our top tips

The fairly high price tag means that this might be a special 1 night treat for some of us. But you could easily justify a second or third night given that there is so much to see and do within easy driving range.

Great for...

Foodie
  • = Recommended
  • = Best in region
  • = World favourite
  • Boutique Hotel
  • 10
  • Breakfast (+ other meals on request)
  • All ages welcome
  • Open all year
  • Outdoor Pool
  • Spa Treatments
  • WiFi
  • Pet Friendly
  • Disabled Access
  • Beach Nearby
  • Off-street Parking
  • Restaurants Nearby
  • Air Conditioning
  • Guest Lounge
  • Terrace
  • Garden
  • Gym
  • Concierge Service
Room: Standard Room

Rooms

Gonzalo is a self-confessed Anglophile and his decorative style is all about refined elegance and comfort - with just a hint of chintz. Most memorable, perhaps, are the many oil and water colours painted by his mother, Luisa, that grace both the bedrooms and the drawing room. These and the many antiques combine beautifully with the pastel colours and matching fabrics.

Ground floor rooms are high ceilinged with floors of polished limestone whilst those of the first floor are rather cosier in feel with parquet floors and attic ceilings. Expect first class linen sheets, white cotton bedspreads, top quality thick towels, the very best mattresses, an easy chair, lots of wardrobe space, subtle lighting and muted pastel colour schemes with lovely fabrics (some floral) for curtains and bedspreads. The feel is one of studied elegance.

Bathrooms are as good as they get. Bathtubs have been sculpted round with marble-tops, there are double sinks, repro taps, bathrobes and lots of toiletry goodies. Shower heads are enormous and thanks to the flow and pressure of the water you feel as if you were standing in a tropical downpour. And a host of smaller details like turn-back, delicious chocolates or a thermos of iced water help to make this a hotel which tries hard to spoil you at every turn.

Features include:

  • Air conditioning
  • Bathrobes
  • Central heating
  • Cots Available
  • Extra beds
  • Honesty bar
  • Phone
  • WiFi

Eating

Breakfast is either served at highly polished drop leaf tables in the airy dining room or in a cobbled courtyard beneath the lemon trees. You are treated to silver service and will always be offered an English breakfast of lightly scrambled (or poached) eggs with bacon, as well as croissants, homemade cake, fruit juices and yoghurts accompanied by pot-fulls of tea and coffee. The butlers are attentive without being intrusive. Each table has its own buzzer that you can press should you need anything: it all feels like just the right way to kick off the day.

With advance warning both lunches and candlelit dinners are now available, often served alfresco on a citrus-scented patio that leads out to the estate gardens. The culinary accent is on home cooking of the kind that the family would prepare for their own meals. Expect a seasonal vegetable soup, gazpacho or consomé al Jerez followed by fillet of beef or fish fresh from the slab in the Jerez market. After a dessert of homemade ice cream or fresh fruit salad coffee is served in the adjacent drawing room. The included wines might be the family's own Beronia Reserva, Cune Imperial or perhaps Hacienda Monasterio, a prize-winning red from Ribera del Duero. And if you're staying here as part of a larger group more elaborate menus can always be put together.

Just 2 minutes from Alcantara is the superb Venta Esteban, one of the best eateries in Jerez, and La Cueva, a rather brassy 4-star hotel just a few hundred metres away, has an excellent restaurant. In the centre of Jerez you are spoiled for choice: masses of colourful tapas bars and restaurants for all budgets. Gonzalo’s personal favourite is La Mesa Redonda, and Time Out agrees: "Don't be deceived by the plain exterior of La Mesa Redonda - it’s one of the best traditional restaurants in town."

Features include:

  • Breakfast
  • Dinner by arrangement
  • Lunch by arrangement
Eating:
Activity:

Activities

  • Visit any number of sherry bodegas including, of course, that belonging to the Gonzalez-Byass family
  • Seville, Cadiz, Arcos and the Grazalema park are all an easy drive away
  • For horse lovers the Royal Equestrian School in Jerez is a must. There are shows twice a week and daily visits to the stables. You can also ride at the stables of the farm adjacent to Alcantara
  • You are within striking distance of several Atlantic coast beaches and the Donana Park, Europe's largest protected wetland
  • And this is a great base to explore the White Villages from: Arcos is only 15 minutes away, its whitewashed houses and stone castle walls teetering on the edge of a limestone cliff
  • Or play golf at the nearby Montecastillo course - a 160-hectare, Nicklaus-designed extravaganza (the carts even have GPS systems) which hosted the Volvo Masters for 5 years. The superb Arcos Gardens course is also very close to Alcantara
  • You could even head across to Morocco for the day: the motorway linking Jerez and Algeciras makes this journey much faster and easier
  • Or stay put and chill out by the shady pool, then wander through the vineyards to the lake to feed the ducks, have a picnic or do some sketching

Activities on site or nearby include:

  • Birdwatching
  • Golf
  • Hiking
  • Historical sites
  • Horse-riding
  • Shopping / markets
  • Traditional cultures

Kids

Casa Vina de Alcantara accepts children of all ages even if the vibe of the house does feel pretty grown-up. Extra beds are available for children up to the age of 15 for a supplementary fee.

Family friendly accommodation:

Standard Rooms #2 and #7 are the best to book if you're thinking of adding extra beds.

Kids Activities on site:

There's a pool on site, but note it is unfenced.

Kid Friendly:

Our guests' ratings...

10/
Rooms
9/
Food
10/
Service
9/
Value
9/
Overall

{{ review.firstName }}{{ review.countryName ? ', '+ review.countryName : '' }},
Feedback is only from guests who have booked and stayed through i-escape

Rates for Casa Vina de Alcantara