“Style and comfort in the Sierra Nevada at this bucolic mountain hideaway, only 15 minutes' drive from Granada and 20 from the ski resort”
All the rooms have the same soothing style, but all are different. Wander around and you’ll find padded bedheads, Mies van der Rohe chairs, a fascinating collection of contemporary art on the walls, rugs, TVs, books and good lighting.
You get ceiling fans, pretty throws, Mediterranean colours and terracotta-tiled floors. Beds are immaculate, with eiderdowns and the crispest linen. Every room has a couple of delightful armchairs - small, well-made and sumptuously upholstered - which face towards the windows. First-floor rooms get the longer views, while those on the ground floor have doors that open onto the garden. One is built into the side of the hill and has a stone wall, whilst 2 glass-fronted rooms have recently been added on a higher terrace: these 2 are simply stunning. For extra space and a terrace, opt for a Large Standard Room or a Superior Room.
Bathrooms (all ensuite) are similarly indulging. Some come with a shower only; others have a bathtub as well. All are spacious, but some are huge. You get hand-thrown ceramic sinks, mosaic walls in the power showers plus pretty glasses, big mirrors and candles as well as soap, gel, shampoo, conditioner, body cream along with linen dressing gowns and slippers.
A welcome tray with coffee, tea, biscuits and chocolates is replaced daily, as is the water and juice in the complimentary minibar.
Extensive buffet breakfasts offer a daily surprise: sliced fresh tomatoes, delicious home-made orange and lemon cake and ensainmadas (like a croissant). You’ll also get cereal, home-baked toasted rolls, yoghurt, lots of fruit as well as a cafetiere of coffee, fruit juice and a selection of teas, the latter served to you at your table. Stylish white crockery on crisp white table cloths with proper linen napkins make it feel even more special, as do those eye-watering valley views when it's served alfresco.
During summer - June to September - 'casual' lunches are served down by the pool. Whilst you laze on your lounger a young chef prepares pizza, quiche and salads as well as more traditional raciones (plates of the best local cold cuts and cheeses) at an open poolside bar. It feels convivial and spontaneous, and makes for an even more relaxing day.
Three-course dinners are available, if arranged in advance. Patricia loves to cook and goes to the market in Granada every day. She cooks simple Mediterranean dishes with lots of flavour - loads of fish, chorizo and crepes, terrines, steamed vegetables, and Piononos, a sweet, local, alcohol-soaked pudding. Some vegetables come from her organic garden, as do castañas (chestnuts) in autumn, figs in summer, oodles of cherries in May and June as well as the best virgin olive oil from the terraced groves that surround the house. Our dinner was light and tasty - bacon and egg terrine followed by grilled Dorada with potato salad, then caramel cheesecake. Coffee is served in the sitting room. You can head out onto the roof terrace, but some guests prefer to stay chat. You can also get a good brandy.
Monachil has a couple of restaurants, where you can get something simple, but if you want a slap-up dinner, you’ll have to head into Granada. Manuel and Patricia will be there to point you in the right direction: their current top recommendation is Puerta del Carmen, a sumptuously decorated bistro-style restaurant at one side of the Plaza del Carmen. The food is first class and it has an enormous range of wines from around the country.
Children are welcome even though the owners were at pains to point out that La Almunia del Valle is not a family-focused hotel. Free cots are available in all rooms.
One Large Standard Room, number 8, can accommodate an extra bed (for under 7s), and extra beds can be added to all Superior Rooms, which have private terraces
Baby cots are available on request.
Remember baby and child equipment may be limited or need pre-booking