Cortijo del Marques

Albolote, Granada & Sierra Nevada, Spain Book from Book from £104 per night

A unique hideaway hotel with superb cuisine in the mountains north of Granada; perfect for deep relaxation
A short whizz up the motorway from Granada, then a slower twist along a track through oak forest and olive groves, leads you to this imposing farmstead and chapel. Standing in splendid isolation amidst rolling fields of wheat, it feels Andaluz to the core: cobbled patios flanked by citrus trees and murmuring fountains wrapped within massive outer walls; towering cypresses and the chapel’s belfry silhouetted against an all-blue sky.

Silvia and Eilko - the cosmopolitan, relaxed and go-the-extra-mile hosts - spent years refashioning the main house and outbuildings. They created 15 characterful rooms and suites, along with an airy dining room, where the food is in a class of its own. The vibe throughout is peaceful, recuperative and deeply relaxing. A pool is hidden within a walled rose garden, with divine long views out to the Sierra de Arana, yet the myriad charms of Granada and its Alhambra lie just half an hour away by car.

Highs

  • Wonderful walking in the western Alpujarra, or explore on horseback or by bike
  • Great-value rooms, and we loved their original wood-beamed ceilings and exposed stone walls. One has quirky old pigeon coops, another features old horse troughs!
  • Candlelit dinners that would be hard to beat; the menu changes nightly
  • Set at an altitude of 800m, so even in high summer bedrooms stay deliciously cool (further helped by air con)
  • Multi-lingual hosts make everyone feel welcome

Lows

  • The pool is unheated
  • No TVs, so pack good books to read in the evenings
  • Expect the odd bump along the the track leading to the farm, even if you don’t need a 4x4 to get here
  • You'll need to drive to reach other restaurants for a change of scene

Best time to go

Spring is the nicest time of year, when the winter wheat is pushing through and the wildflowers at their spectacular best. Being so high (800m above sea level), summer nights stay pleasantly cool. Autumn is a great time for outdoor activities. The hotel closes from November through to mid March.

Our top tips

Day trip to the spectacular beaches of El Cañuelo and La Playa del Pino, which are just over an hour away by car. Once you get to their carparks, you need to do the final stretch on foot or by minibus. This is too much of a hassle for most of the beach-going public, which ensures that even in high summer the beaches remain blissfully quiet.

Great for...

Family
Foodie
Great Outdoors
Honeymoon
  • Boutique Hotel
  • 15
  • Restaurant and bar open daily
  • All ages welcome
  • Closed: 4 Nov 2018 - 17 Mar 2019
  • Outdoor Pool
  • Spa Treatments
  • WiFi
  • Pet Friendly
  • Disabled Access
  • Beach Nearby
  • Off-street Parking
  • Restaurants Nearby
  • Air Conditioning
  • Guest Lounge
  • Terrace
  • Garden
  • Gym
  • Bicycles Available
Room: La Terreza

Rooms

The 15 bedrooms vary in size and confab, following the organic assemblage of farm buildings. Some look out onto the courtyard, some are within the main house, the Deluxe Suite is housed in what was once a grain silo. This circular room, with bathroom below and bedroom above, has a huge fixed window framing the surrounding estate and distant sierras: it would be a great choice for honeymooners.

The decorative base elements are authentically Andalusian - terracotta tiles, beamed ceilings, shuttered windows - whilst the eclectic mix of antique chests, wardrobes, mirrors and desks are in sync with the sense of history that permeates the cortijo. The 2-bedroom Los Aljibes (Family Suite), measuring in at over 100m2, would be our top choice for a family. Romantic El Granero (Suite) is a massive courtyard-facing room with an open-plan bathroom, whilst El Palomar (Suite) is also huge, with quirky old pigeon houses. For ultimate privacy, choose El Mirador (Superior Double), set in the ancient tower with wraparound views.

Features include:

  • Air conditioning
  • Central heating
  • Hairdryer
  • Mosquito net
  • Toiletries
  • WiFi

Eating

Given the cortijo's isolated position, most guests choose to dine in. Meals are served inside the lofty, beamed dining room where wood-burners are lit in the cooler months. In warmer weather you can have an apéritif, then later your coffee, out in the courtyard.

Our dinner was a culinary tour de force. A scrummy appetiser of rich duck liver mousse was followed by the perfect counterpoise, a light leaf salad with goat’s cheese wrapped in mango with an avocado and fresh lime vinaigrette. The main course of fillet steak served with a truffle sauce and potato quenelles was eye-wateringly delicious. Eilko’s recommended wines are a match for the food and include several local cépages.

After a deep sleep, expect a big, buffet-style breakfast with delicious coffee and freshly squeezed juice served at your table by easy-natured waiting staff. Light lunches are available if you’re chilling at the farm for the day: sandwiches, salads and a selection of tapas.

Features include:

  • Bar
  • Children's meals
  • Restaurant
  • Room service
Eating:
Activity:

Activities

  • Laze in the walled pool garden, drinking in the vast views out towards the Sierra de Arana
  • Explore the mountain villages of the western Alpujarra. The walking in this region is spectacular
  • Spend a day in Granada (24km away). You’ll find comprehensive information about what to see in the guest file of your bedroom
  • Grab a mountain bike and follow one of Eilko’s recommended routes out from the farm
  • Saddle up at the local stables and head for the hills: the surrounding countryside has a real Wild-West vibe about it
  • Spend the day on the beach. You can reach spectacular, uncrowded beaches in a little over an hour. Our top tips: the shingle beaches of El Cañuelo and the Playa del Pino, both just west of Almuñecar
  • Watch an authentic flamenco performance in the gypsy caves of Sacromonte in Granada

Activities on site or nearby include:

  • Hiking
  • Historical sites
  • Horse riding
  • Mountain biking
  • Shopping / markets
  • Swimming
  • Wine tasting

Kids

Children are happily accepted and well looked after by the staff. Aside from the swimming pool, there’s little specifically laid on for kids but active older children will enjoy walking, biking and horse riding. Teenagers may become bored here if they're not so outdoorsy.

Best for:

Babies (0-1 years), Children (4-12 years), Teens (over 12)

Family friendly accommodation:

There are 2 Family Suites and one Family Duplex, which each have 2 bedrooms (a double and a twin) plus space for a baby cot; one has a roll-top bath too. The Standards, Superiors and a couple of the Suites can each fit 1 or 2 extra guests on solid extra beds or sofa beds. Nearly all bedrooms can take a baby cot

Babysitting:

By prior arrangement

Baby equipment:

    High chairs and booster seats
  • Baby cots and bedlinen
  • Toys and books

Remember  baby and child equipment may be limited or need pre-booking

Children's meals:

Children's dishes on offer include omelettes, croquettes, pasta

Kids Activities on site:

  • Swimming pool with shallow end and pool toys
  • Gardens
  • Bicycles with training wheels, mountain bikes and helmets supplied

Kids Activities nearby:

  • Horse riding April-October
  • Day trip to Granada
  • Lobo Park Wolf Reserve

Distances:

  • Airport: 30 minutes' drive (Granada)
  • Shop: 5-minute drive
  • Hospital: 24km
Kid Friendly:

Our guests' ratings...

Based on 2 independent reviews from i-escape guests

10/10
Room
10/10
Food
10/10
Service
10/10
Value
10/10
Overall

Absolutely loved our stay here. Would highly recommend this place to those visiting Granada/Andalucia. The food was fantastic.

10/10,

Très jolie étape loin de la foule du bruit des sites historiques . Accueil charmant, cadre enchanteur.. on a adoré !!! Charming place that I will really recommendI

9/10,

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Rates for Cortijo del Marques