Finca el Tossal

near Bolulla, Valencia & Costa Blanca, Spain Book from Book from £80 per night

A traditional casa rural, 8km uphill from the Costa Blanca, with great views of the Marina Alta mountains and the Med
A stone and terracotta villa with wrought-iron balconies, it looks like it’s been here for a century or more, but Thorsten and Sonia Herrmann built this place from scratch - everything, even the furniture. There was nothing here, says Thorsten, except goats, ruined farmhouses, a ledge of wooded hillside and a sensational view. They opened in 2005 with just one guest room. Today there are 9 luscious suites, plus a cool pool terrace, Jacuzzi and chill-out area, and an intimate dining room and bar. It’s a very personal space, drawing influences from the Herrmanns’ globe-trotting past: German-born, they have lived in Italy and California; Sonia was brought up in Spain.

Their country retreat is a hybrid of Italianate villa and mini Moorish palace, set in a tranquil Spanish landscape where craggy mountains overlook a haze of coastal plains and a patchwork of lemon, almond and orange groves. In the gardens, trees cast pools of shade onto pristine lawns; you can smell the pines, and watch a light Mediterranean breeze ruffle the palms. Don’t be put off by the crowds who pour into nearby airports. Up here in the mountains, nature is the big draw. Opportunities for hiking, biking and fresh air open up a wild side to the Costa Blanca that tourists rarely see. You can see a glint of Benidorm in the distance, but you couldn’t be further away.

Highs

  • The wonderful views across mountains and valleys, down to the coast. You're high in the hills, surrounded by wonderful hiking and biking; there are mountain bikes to borrow
  • The 9 Junior Suites are large and sunny with handmade four-poster beds
  • A relaxed house-party atmosphere - spiced up by the mix of nationalities
  • Fantastic set dinners on the terrace at sunset, served with a gentle evening breeze, candles on the tables, cocktails and Rioja
  • Great value

Lows

  • It’s a bit out of the way so you'll need a car, and the access is steep via narrow lanes
  • Dinner is only available 5 nights a week (and no lunches) though there are restaurants in Bolulla, a 3km drive away
  • A maximum of 5 children area allowed to stay at a time (a high for some!)

Best time to go

Finca el Tossal is open all year round and, in an area that attracts visitors in or out of season, it claims 320 days of sunshine a year. In winter it can be cold, cosy and very quiet; spring and autumn are great for hiking, biking and the outdoors. Come in late spring for orange blossom, and in summer for lazing by the pool in the hot sun or day trips to the beach.

Our top tips

Guadalest (20 minutes by car) is a spectacular mountain village, speckled with the ruins of ancient Islamic castles. Reached via a rock tunnel, the castle village offers tours, souvenir shops and amazing views, but try to avoid peak-season crowds.

Great for...

Cheap & Chic
Eco
Family
Foodie
Great Outdoors
  • Rural Hotel
  • 9
  • Breakfast (+ dinners & restaurants nearby)
  • 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
  • Bicycles Available
Room:

Rooms

Each of the 9 south-facing Junior Suites has a lounge area and mountain views. The 3 on the first floor have a Juliet balcony; the 3 on the ground floor have doors onto the garden. The ninth sits in a studio to the side of the main building with it's own terrace. This suite also has a mini kitchen (hob, fridge and kettle).

The suites share a Mediterranean style, but each has has its own quirks and touches - perhaps antique Indian pillars or an unusually high-beamed roof. The handmade four-poster double beds are draped in floaty muslin. One can be made up with twin beds. Overall, expect earthy colours, kilims on cool tiled floors, Moorish arches, coloured glass and dark wood.

Bathrooms are simple and rustic, with a shower and toiletries. All rooms are equipped with air-conditioning, plus shutters to keep out the sun's glare. For the cool winter months, there's heating.

Features include:

  • Air conditioning
  • Central heating
  • Cots Available
  • DVD player
  • Extra beds
  • Fan (on request)
  • Hairdryer
  • Honesty bar
  • Internet access
  • Safe box
  • Satellite TV
  • Terrace
  • Toiletries
  • WiFi

Eating

The dining room is the hotel’s social hub, with tables set inside and out (or by a log fire in winter), and the food is fresh, seasonal and locally sourced - the kitchen garden provides some of the salads and fresh herbs. A 4-course set dinner is offered 5 nights of the week (usually not on Monday or Tuesday, though this isn’t set in stone and dinner times may vary). During our visit, it began with a delicious tomato pâté served with homemade bread, followed by a fresh fig salad with goats' cheese, slow-roasted leg of lamb with vegetables, and a tangy fruit compote with lemon cream. Menus are chalked onto a board during the day, giving guests a chance to make alternative arrangements if any of the dishes don’t suit diets or palates.

The bar offers a small wine list - including good Spanish wines at reasonable prices - and there’s usually a cocktail of the day on offer. There's also an honesty bar - a fridge stocked with drinks and mixers, where guests can help themselves to wines, spirits and soft drinks at any time of day.

Breakfast is a generous buffet of cereals, homemade breads, cakes and pastries, cheeses, cold meats and homemade yoghurts, served with freshly squeezed juices, teas and coffee.

For lunches and dinner on Monday/Tuesday nights, you'll need to drive into Bolulla (3km); Thorsten and Sonia can advise on restaurants.

Features include:

  • Bar
  • Breakfast
  • Dinner by arrangement
  • Organic produce
  • Vegetarian menu
Eating:
Activity:

Activities

  • Go walking: there are numerous mountain paths, suitable for all abilities. Thorsten or Sonia can discuss these with you
  • The area is popular with cyclists (particularly serious, lycra-clad roadsters as it is very hilly). Bolulla has often been a stage of the Vuelta de España (Spain’s Tour de France) thanks to its access to a classic ride: up the Coll de Rates, which zig-zags through the Marina Alta mountains. Lower down there are gentler routes as well as numerous tracks for goaty mountain bikers. The hotel can advise on local bike hire options
  • Stroll around Altea: 15 minutes’ drive, it’s one of the most attractive towns on the Costas, a labyrinth of white-washed streets, designer shops, galleries, a smart beach promenade, seafront restaurants and the blue domes of its distinctive church, La Mare de Déu del Consol (Our Lady of Solace)
  • Visit waterfalls: the Font Algar is the area’s biggest tourist attraction and it’s only 5 minutes downhill by car (you can walk it in half an hour). Go early in the morning before the day-trippers arrive, or ask Thorsten to direct you to a lesser-known waterfall
  • Hit the beach: the Costa Blanca is home to some of the finest, cleanest beaches in southern Spain. Suggestions include Portet de L’Olla (sand and shingle at Altea) or the beaches at Oliva (65km). The Herrmanns can also guide you to hidden pebble coves (the 5 Les Rotes bays near Denia are beautiful), and tell you where to find scuba diving, surfing, sailing and other watersports
  • Day-trip to Valencia, Spain’s 3rd largest city and the home of paella. Must-dos include the cathedral, the Museo de Bellas Artes (paintings by Goya, El Greco and Velázquez), the 15th-century Lonja de la Seda (Silk Exchange; now a World Heritage Site), the old town, the beaches, and the futuristic City of Arts and Sciences (designed by Valencian architect Santiago Calatrava)

Activities on site or nearby include:

  • Climbing
  • Golf
  • Hiking
  • Historical sites
  • Kitesurfing
  • Mountain biking
  • Museums / galleries
  • Plantlife / flora
  • Sailing
  • Scuba diving
  • Scuba diving courses
  • Shopping / markets
  • Surfing
  • Swimming

Kids

Children are welcome and outdoorsy types will flourish in the tranquil rural location.

Best for:

All ages

Family friendly accommodation:

The bedrooms are large enough for an extra bed or baby cot. One is a ground-floor studio with a terrace and mini-kitchen (hob, fridge and kettle)

Baby equipment:

  • Baby cots
  • High chairs

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

Kid Friendly:

Location

Finca el Tossal sits above the Algar Valley, 3km from Bolulla and 55km from Alicante in southeast Spain.

By Air:
The closest airport is Alicante (55km / 1-hour drive). Valencia airport (120km) takes a couple of hours by road.

From the Airport
The best option is to hire a car so you can explore the area while you're here. You can park for free at the hotel. Alternatively, take a taxi (but relying on taxis while you're here could be arduous).

Detailed directions will be sent to you when you book through i-escape.

More on getting to Valencia and getting around

Airports:

  • Alicante 55.0 km ALC
  • Valencia 120.0 km VLN

Other:

  • Beach 14.0 km
  • Shops 3.0 km
  • Restaurant 3.0 km

Our guests' ratings...

Based on 11 independent reviews from i-escape guests

9/10
Room
10/10
Food
10/10
Service
10/10
Value
10/10
Overall

Great views, excellent food, very friendly staff, good wine, clean, creative rooms with nice furniture and relaxing yacuzi.
A great place for resting and relaxing. And the staff breathes love around this place!

10/10,

It is remote but all the better for it! The food that is served in the evening is superb and also very imaginative and healthy. A special early meal was also made for our 6 year old that was delicious too.

9/10,

Absolutely amazing stay! Secluded and peaceful - offers total relaxation. Gorgeous, clean, spacious room with view of the mountains. The owners are attentive without being obtrusive. Beautiful and relaxing pool area even with children around ! There are only 9 rooms so it never feels crowded and it really feels like your own little villa. Gorgeous, fresh, homemade food cooked to perfection - the dinners were so good that we didn't actually leave the hotel once during our stay. The road up there is scary the first time you go but it is 100% worth it. Desperate to go back already!
Tip: bring your own bottles of water as you only get one bottle in your room and small bottles are quite expensive (there's an honesty bar in place which is brilliant for all other drinks) and in the summer you'll need a LOT of water!

10/10,

Spent a really enjoyable week at Finca el Tossall. The hotel was excellent - very comfortable! The pool area is a lovely relaxing place to stay a while. The food was a delight and was produced with great passion. A special place.

10/10,

Fantastic food, informal atmosphere and a good base for our walks. Lovely to relax by the pool and watch the birds. Sonia, Thorsten, Concha and the team could not be faulted! We thoroughly enjoyed our week there.

10/10,

Peace, comfort and indulgence (Sonia’s fabulous set dinners most nights) all in completely relaxing, unfussy and beautiful surroundings.
The sunlight on the mountains, bird song and the aroma of orange blossom was the perfect start to each day. We loved our stay.
The owners and their team are warm and welcoming, attentive and helpful but totally unobtrusive. Our special thanks to Concha - every establishment should have a Concha.
If you like stereotypical Costa Blanca or soulless 5 star luxury, El Tossal is probably not for you. If you crave beautiful scenery, a genuinely warm and honest welcome, you value great food and still need creature comforts with your rustic experience, this place will deliver!

10/10,

We had a wonderful stay at your place and definitely recommend it. We felt very welcome and at ease. Sonia is a wonderful cook and her husband and she are wonderful hosts. Kind regards Donald & Inge from Belgium

10/10,

What a nice place, and the staff were so nice. Lets say this place has the perfect karma!

10/10,

We arrived mid afternoon after calling to give our time of arrival. The distance from the lower village up the track is more than 5 miles and whilst we are used to difficult roads people who were there with us were very nervous of the track. Perhaps more emphasis on this could be made. When we checked in we were shown the two rooms that were allocated to us. One was as shown in your images very modern with an upgraded bathroom. The other however was not to the same standard. Our friends moved the second day to the same style room as ours.
The main upset for the men was that they were unable to cycle. They had pre ordered Road bikes. It was clear to the guys as soon as we got there that the terrain was not suitable and would be unsafe so had cancel the bikes. We did enjoy our stay the food was excellent, and the waitresses were wonderful and Sonia was very friendly. The location is stunning.
We visited Valencia, Villa Joyosa , Javea , and Altea and enjoyed each of these areas immensely.

8/10,

We stayed for a couple of nights at Finca El Tossal as a treat before the birth of our second child. We travelled in mid July.
The room we had was excellent, hand made furniture, large bathroom with full sized tub and a great shower with really great pressure. It's not just the secluded spot that makes this place so nice, it's the little details. The pool area was so clean and the addition of the hot tub was a masterstroke. When I talk about the details it's that the pool and hot tub (although it was a "cool tub" when we were there, the perfect spot to pop your feet whilst reading a book) are properly made, not plastic drop ins, well designed, lots of shade (vital in the 30 plus degree heat) and spotlessly clean. The honesty bar makes you feel as though it's just a big houseparty, that your staying with friends and is the perfect riposte to the big hotels "cashless" systems. Detail on the honesty bar is that all the glassware is washed and then dried by hand so the glasses are shiny and clean.

The owners go out of their way to make you feel welcome and have clearly dedicated themselves to this place, building it from scratch over 15 years.
The meals we had were excellent, from the "simple" sandwiches at lunch to the 5 course meal in the evenings. As a pure getaway it's hard to beat. We didn't have time to think about going anywhere as were only there two nights but it is up quite a windy road so my tip is to take a load of books and throw the car keys at the bottom of your bag and relax.

10/10,

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