“Scotland with sunshine and sherry: an elegant, family-run guesthouse in the wooded Aracena hills”
The result is a large pink affair sitting atop a hill, with a tiled roof, castellated walls, a panelled drawing room, a sweeping central staircase and characterful guest bedrooms. Today the operation is largely run by their son Charlie. We loved sitting back with a glass of sherry and enjoying the view from the shady terrace - or the conservatory, or the nearby open-air pool... Scotland's loss is Spain's gain.
- The family atmosphere and lovely dinners were a highlight of our stay - cuisine and company alike, it's as if you are staying with friends
- The setting feels in the middle of nowhere but is only an hour from Seville
- Wonderful walks straight out through the estate and some of Andalucía's prettiest villages right on your doorstep
- Whole house rental available
- If you seek undisturbed privacy, the friendly, personal atmosphere may not suit, and bear in mind that guests and family all dine together at one table
- If you dislike dogs and find nature dull then look elsewhere
- We visited when Sam and Jeannie were at the helm. Since then, their son Charlie has taken the reigns - no doubt things are largely unchanged and we look forwarding to dropping by soon...
Best time to go
Our top tips
- Boutique Guesthouse
- Breakfast (+ other meals on request)
- All ages welcome
- Open all year
- Outdoor Pool
- Spa Treatments
- Pet Friendly
- Disabled Access
- Beach Nearby
- Off-street Parking
- Restaurants Nearby
- Air Conditioning
- Guest Lounge
- Daily Maid Service
- Towels & Bedlinen
- Bicycles Available
Come bedtime, it's easy to forget you're in a hotel. Packed with novels, photographs, watercolours and assorted bric-a-brac, the bedrooms feel very lived-in. Bright wallpaper and rugs add to the welcoming atmosphere, while in the bathrooms you'll find large towels and a huge range of Pecksniffs 'Mood Therapy' products: gel, conditioner, shampoo, moisturiser and soap as well as sewing, nail care and vanity kits.
In some ways it's like being at your favourite aunt's. Only here, if you want to sit back against the hanging pillow-rail and work your way through the entire fiction library, no-one will come and ask you to do the washing up. The endless view of woodland might give it away too, particularly in the twin bedded Pink Room: the bathtub is perfectly positioned for the calming vistas.
Of the other Standard Rooms, the double-bedded Yellow Room has views from its small sitting-dressing room, and a private shower room across the hallway; while the freestanding Pool Room (available from June to September) is set alongside the infinity pool.
There are also 2 suites which work well for families: each has a double bedroom, an ensuite bathroom and a small study which converts into a second bedroom. The Corner Suite, has a shower room and a single sofabed, while the Blue Suite has a bathroom and a twin sofabed - both have a good level of privacy as they are set on their own levels.
You can also rent the Whole House, sleeping 12-14 people, with a cook and domestic help. Being so secluded and homely, it would be perfect for a family get-together or celebration.
- Central heating
- Cots Available
- Extra beds
- Honesty bar
As soon as the gong summons you from the depths of a fireside armchair to a candlelit wood-panelled dining room, you know you're in for a treat. Sitting around a long, neatly laid table in the stimulating atmosphere of a smart-casual dinner party, delicious Andalucian country fare.
A little ramekin of creamy bacalao and scrambled eggs sets you up for succulent slabs of duck with crisp-roast potatoes and crunchy broad beans in a tomato and herb sauce. Round it off with a chocolate mousse suffused in rosemary and red wine, then adjourn to the fireside for a camomile infusion or something stronger.
Although it may not be strictly local, what better way to start the day than with fried eggs and bacon to supplement freshly squeezed Seville oranges and homemade crabapple, apricot or raspberry jam on toast?
Let them know the day before and they'll happily prepare lunch for you, too. Expect scrummy salads, local cheeses and Buen Vino's own chorizo and saucisson whilst nearly all the veggies are organically grown on the estate.
- Communal dining
- Dinner by arrangement
- In house cook
- Lunch by arrangement
- Vegetarian menu
- Cookery courses
- The Aracena region and Picos de Aroche Nature Reserve make ideal walking, kayaking or mountain-biking country; ask for maps and advice on routes through the woods to forgotten villages and crumbling castles
- Horses are available by the hour or for the day at 2 centres nearby (difficult to pre-book; best to ask on arrival)
- You can go fishing for coarse fish in the Lake of Aracena with a current fishing permit
- In summertime, head to one of the surrounding towns for the regular weekend flamenco fiestas
- Climb up through Aracena's warren of narrow streets to its 13th-century church built by the Knights Templar atop the remains of a hilltop Moorish castle, and don't miss Spain’s largest cave system in the 'Gruta de las Maravillas' (film location for Journey to the Centre of the Earth). Afterwards you can sample the prized jamon serrano or wild mushrooms at a buzzing local bar
- Seville is only an hour or so by car, allowing a day trip to the home of tapas bars, carnivals, flamenco, and the Giralda and Alcazar
- For a real change, you can visit the nearby Rio Tinto mining area, which includes Roman works, a cemetery, a steam engine and mining museums, not to mention a rather unlikely Victorian housing estate. Guided tours are available
- Don't miss the extraordinary 9th-century Moorish mosque in Almonaster la Real, one of the prettiest local villages
Activities on site or nearby include:
- Cooking classes
- Horse riding
- Mountain biking
- Plantlife / flora
A great place for older children who enjoy walking, cycling and exploring. The rates are significantly reduced for under 12’s, and even more so for under 6’s (see Rates). Cots are available for toddlers, though pray that they don’t disturb the civilised atmosphere.
Family friendly accommodation:
The Corner Suite and Blue Suite have sofabeds (twin or single) making them the best choice for families. Though all rooms have space for baby cots.
Baby cots available on request
Remember baby and child equipment may be limited or need pre-booking