“A remarkable suite-retreat in the mountains close to Málaga, offering complete respite for body, mind and spirit”
There are just 4 suites at Fountainhead. Each is clean cut and modern, with its own plunge pool and outdoor terrace with loungers, as well as table and chairs for alfresco dining. Inside, there are fully-equipped kitchenettes, sitting rooms with either a sofa or cushioned bench seating, wood stoves, Casablanca fans, air conditioning and radio/CD players.
Each room takes its cue from its name and they all have the feel of an Aladdin’s cave, with more than a hint of tongue-in-cheek fun. The designer has given her theatricality free rein in her choice of fabrics: silk, damask, embroidered satin, taffeta and voile have all been colour-matched, as have vases, lamps and cushions. Outside, however, we felt the patios' bold blue were slightly out of synch with the beautiful themes inside.
Sultan has a blue, turquoise and gold colour scheme - this suite is suitable for disabled guests. Outside, its plunge pool has been gated with kids in mind. An annexe has recently been added to one side of Sultan's courtyard. It has a writing desk, a sofabed and jazzy paintings, as well as a small shower room and separate loo (available with the main Sultan Suite for an additional charge). Sultan would be perfect for any author wanting to hide away and find inspiration in the tranquility and beauty of the area.
Oriental has a ritzy and seductive mood and is decorated in reds and blacks. Indian carries on the eastern theme but has a lighter, more dreamy feel and a beautiful carved wooden bench, while in Arizona the backdrop is white, with splashes of taupe and blue to create a sunny, more expansive mood. This suite has a larger plunge pool, a deck and a second small bedroom which can sleep 1 or, at a stretch, 2 children.
All suites have fair-sized bathrooms curtained off from the main bedroom, with Jacuzzi bathtubs and overhead showers.
The restaurant, open to non-residents at weekends, was born a couple of years before the suites. This is where Helen, the designer, restaurateur and chef, reveals her artistic sensitivity in her cooking.
Presentation is picture perfect, seasonal veg is sacrosanct, local produce is sourced whenever possible and olive oil, the cornerstone of the Mediterranean-inspired cuisine, is produced from Fountainhead's olive crop. A further treat comes in the form of Peter's amazing wine menu. It includes more than 60 Spanish wines from - amongst others - La Rioja, Rueda, Toro, Jumilla, Priorat, Jumilla and Rias Baixas, all with his own evaluation. Most bottles are reasonably priced whilst, if you're feeling flush and fancy, the best Billecart French champagne and finest Ribera del Duero are on the list, too.
Dinner kicks off with an aperitif in the bar along with olives flavoured with ginger, cumin and orange, a bowl of roasted almonds and some other amuse-bouches which changes from day to day. There's a choice of 5 starters, 5 mains and 5 desserts. We chose Lebanese meatballs with harissa and deep-fried fish cakes with fresh coriander, ginger and chilli sauce as starters, then for the main course we opted for the lamb - it came with a confit of aubergine, red onion, lentil, cumin and thyme, and a seared tuna served with olives, capers, lemon and tomato. Everything we ate was aromatic, eye-catching and delicious - and our desserts - an apple and almond strudel with nutmeg ice cream and an orange and prune custard tart - were fabulous, too.
Lunch can be arranged in the restaurant but there is also a traiteur (deli) menu on offer, with a selection of tapas or warm herb bread with chorizo, tomato and grilled fresh cheese, which will be delivered to your suite. There are also basic cooking utensils in each kitchenette should you prefer to whip up a sandwich or salad.
Breakfasts are another example of the quirkiness of Fountainhead. You'll find most of the ingredients for this in your kitchenette's fridge - milk, local butter and eggs, fresh yoghurt, cold meats, cheese, homemade marmalade and chutney, fresh orange juice - and a basketful of hot croissants, pastries and home-baked bread will be delivered to your suite door at your chosen time.
Children are welcome. Cots can be provided at no extra charge in any suite and baby-sitting can be arranged on request. Bear in mind that the atmosphere is a one of tranquility and retreat, so it's not ideal for boisterous teenagers.
Babies (0-1 years), Toddlers (1-4 years), Children (4-12 years)
The Arizona suite has a small extra bedroom (for 1 child or 2 small children), a large deck and a plunge pool. The Sultan has a gated pool and, when booked with the new annexe, can accommodate a third bed.
Babysitting is available by arrangement.
Baby cots are available on request.
Remember baby and child equipment may be limited or need pre-booking