“A hotel for lovers of high places and excellent cuisine, sitting above the village of Tolox near Ronda”
A big effort was made when it came to the decoration of Hijar’s bedrooms. Most are classified as Standard Rooms and can be made up as twins or doubles. The Junior Suites all measure in at 20sq.m: there isn't a separate sitting area as such but the extra metres heighten the sense of space. Then there are the fully fledged Suites with separate sitting areas: of these the one tucked away in the tower would be our top choice.
The rooms are simple, airy and clean as clean can be. Bright colour washes - blue, green, sienna, apricot - provide the backdrop for unusual contemporary prints and richly coloured susani - wall hangings from Turkey which are stapled to the bed walls. Bright Moroccan kilims soften the (rather ubiquitous) red quarry-tiled floors. The wooden, Mexican bedside tables, TV cabinets (these also hide a well-stocked bar fridge) and writing tables strike a more rustic note. Mod cons include WiFi (throughout the hotel) and DVD players in the suites.
All bedrooms have large, louvre-doored wardrobes with masses of hanging and drawer space. There are stylish bedside spotlights and Casablanca fans which even in summer may be superfluous: Híjar’s high, mountain perch really catches the breeze. Duvets are de riguer throughout the hotel whilst mattresses are firm, yet forgiving: you’re bound to sleep well. Bathrooms come decked out in white ceramic tiling with bathtubs and overhead showers (just 2 rooms have shower only).
And there are those views. We’ll treasure the memory of throwing open the shutters and gazing out to that unforgettable chain of mountains bathed in the purples and pinks of dawn. All rooms have small balconies.
The dining room is decorated in the same green, ochre and apricot colour washes that appear throughout the hotel. The mood is warm and festive, enhanced by unusual, bright yellow bar stools, which have a distinctly Dalí-esque feel, and an eclectic collection of contemporary prints. There’s an interesting selection of sounds, too: you’re more likely to hear the latest Tarifa fusion than those overplayed flamenco-for-foreigners classics.
Breakfast - charged as an extra - is laid-up buffet style in the dining room, though you're welcome to drift out to the garden when the weather permits. You'll find cold cuts, soft and hard cheese, croissants and cakes, muesli and yoghurts, a bowl of fresh fruit along with honey and a selection of jams. Expect 2 varieties of bread, freshly squeezed orange juice and superb espresso coffee, served à volonté.
Dinner feels like a special occasion, and the food isn't compromised by your remote location. Martin, chef-in-residence, trained at Malaga’s top cookery school La Consula before refining his art at one of the few Andalucian restaurants to have earned a Michelin star. He adheres to the Slow Cooking tradition and brings the latest culinary techniques to bear on traditional combinations of flavours. Vegetables are often caramelised whilst his foams, confits, souffles and tempuras are recipe book-perfect. We'd always choose his 6-course menú de creativo de degustación though there's also a 3-course set menu (changes daily and includes vegetarian options) which is less expensive. And there's a snack menu on offer during the busier season.
You can join Guillermo on a half day Clase Magistral during which you'll be shown how to make a perfect paella as well as learning about the origins of eastern Spain's most famous culinary creation. Two-day cooking courses are also on offer with guidance on how to prepare a 3-course Andaluz feast.
Children up to 12 years old receive breakfast for free and there's now a kid's menu on offer at both lunch and dinner. Older children will love the great outdoors here and cots and extra beds are available on request.
Cots Available, Extra Beds Available
Baby cots available on request.
Remember baby and child equipment may be limited or need pre-booking
There's a pool and plenty of outdoorsy things to do nearby, plus you're only an hour from the airport.