“A traditional casa rural, 8km uphill from the Costa Blanca, with great views of the Marina Alta mountains and the Med”
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.
- 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
- 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
Our top tips
- Rural Hotel
- Breakfast (+ dinners & restaurants nearby)
- 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
- Concierge Service
- Bicycles Available
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.
- Air conditioning
- Central heating
- Cots Available
- Dvd player
- Extra beds
- Fan (on request)
- Honesty bar
- Internet access
- Safe box
- Satellite tv
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). 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.
- Dinner by arrangement
- Organic produce
- Vegetarian menu
- Go walking: there are numerous mountain paths, suitable for all abilities. Thorsten can provide maps and routes
- The area is popular with cyclists (particularly serious, lycra-clad roadsters). 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 has mountain bikes to borrow
- 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:
- Historical sites
- Mountain biking
- Museums / galleries
- Plantlife / flora
- Scuba diving
- Scuba diving courses
- Shopping / markets
Children are welcome and outdoorsy types will flourish in the tranquil rural location.
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 cots
- High chairs
Remember baby and child equipment may be limited or need pre-booking