“A fabulous cortijo-style hotel, just a hop away from Seville: a seductive fusion of traditional Andalucia with spicy, Eastern flavours”
San Rafael's Deluxe Rooms are in the main hacienda building, wrapped round a lovely inner, bougainvillea-clad courtyard. These are large split-level rooms with either twin or double beds, a small galleried sitting area and their own slice of terrace where you're welcome to have any of your meals. All have been conceived with a maximum of cosseting comfort, and intimacy, in mind. Beds are big with Egyptian cotton sheets, Indian bedspreads, very comfortable mattresses and duck feather duvets. Most have both a bathtub and a separate shower and a stylish mix of old and new in decorative detail. Most memorable, perhaps, are the drop arches which divide the open-plan bathrooms from the main bedrooms. Some have air-conditioning, others whirling Casablanca-style fans; all have WiFi.
A discreet distance from the main house, some Casitas (thatched cottages) have recently been created in the garden area. Ideal for honeymooners, these are larger and more luxurious than the Deluxe Rooms (phone, minibar, music system, air-conditioning) and have their own shared infinity pool. Exuberant stands of mimosa, lavender and eucalyptus ensure a maximum of privacy and each has its own thatched chozita for shade dining. All have gorgeous, high-ceilinged living rooms and massive bedrooms. There are slick, slate-walled showers as well as a bathtub and double sinks in the open-plan bathrooms. The thatch of the roof, Indian bedspreads and other oriental memorabilia evoke the lodge-style hotels of South East Asia: photos from the Reid’s family albums remind you that you’re in Andalucia.
Every meal is a feast at San Rafael and a movable one in the strict sense of the word: you can choose to dine by candlelight, on your own terrace, in the dining room or beneath the stars on the east or west terraces at a linen draped table. San Rafael's food has oodles of aesthetic and culinary appeal - a blissful change to the run-of-the-mill offerings of so many of Andalucia’s hotels. Candles, slick service and a great selection of wines complete the picture.
Set 3-course dinners change by the day, following the dictates of the season and can always be crafted to individual requirements The culinary creations look to both the Mediterranean and East for inspiration. Signature dishes include pan fried sea bass with pomme purée, braised baby gem with carrot and orange sauce, and fillet of venison with a truffle and solera sherry sauce. Wine, mineral water and coffee are included in the set price.
Lunches are also served - a reduced à la carte menu - by the pool. The included breakfast is of the continental variety with fresh orange juice, cereals, creamy yoghurt and local honey, a bread basket with locally baked rolls and croissants and homemade jams. Extras are fruit salads, eggs and bacon, ham and cheese, smoothies and yoghurt. If you want a more substantial repast, just ask.
Don't expect gourmet dining in the local restaurants though if you're looking for local flavour you'll find plenty of it just down the road: at Venta Santa Luisa or at Manolo Mayo in Dos Hermanas. A little further afield Besana in Utrera and El Frasquito in Espera offer more refined cuisine.
The Reid family have a sister hotel in Seville and know all of its best restaurants. They can also arrange for a great local guide to take you on a tapas tour of the old city on foot or by bike. But with no restaurants within walking distance, and such scrummy food on offer at La Hacienda, most guests choose to dine in.
Even though San Rafael feels best suited to couples kids are made very welcome. Cots and high chairs are available for babies whilst the 3-course set meals can be catered to children's needs at a substantially reduced price. Pasta, pizza or burgers or simple fish and chicken dishes can always be prepared - just ask.
Two of the Casitas can sleep up to 4 (with a double bed plus 1 single bed and 1 single sofabed). Most of the Deluxe Doubles have space for 1 extra bed and all rooms can fit a cot.
Babysitting is available by arrangement.
Baby cots and a high chair are available on request.
Remember baby and child equipment may be limited or need pre-booking