Walk up to the main house and a serene courtyard welcomes you; water runs in the fountain and the scent of rosemary and jasmine fills the air. This beguiling jumble of volumes feels centuries old yet is a mere babe in arms: 25 years ago there was only a lowly farmhouse here. Now the style is smart, rural and timeless, with soaring brick arches in a marble hall, terracotta rooftops tumbling down hill, a bell tower in the courtyard - there's even a private chapel. Wonderful rooms have balconies or terraces, a huge shimmering pool lazes in a bowl of lush lawn, 350 hectares of private estate wrap around you. Tracks and trails lead out into it, so choose your mode of transport - foot, horse, bicycle - and set out to discover your own Xanadu.
- Luxury, peace and natural beauty all entwined, 3km up a private drive. The finest hotel in Andalucia?
- When we last visited we loved that there was so much to do: on-site activities, local excursions, a pampering spa and acres of grounds, including the amazing pool open April-October
- Families are very welcome - kids' club, pool, menus, and farm animals
- Big luxurious rooms all have private balconies or terraces
- Three good restaurants, all with excellent, friendly service
- Larger and more corporate than our usual hotels; easy to get disoriented amid the rambling floor plan
- You'll need a hire-car to get here, but you probably won't use it that much
- If you want to eat out, it's a bit of a hike to get anywhere
- Popular for weddings - if you're not part of the party, you may feel left out
- High chair
- Baby bedding
- Food blenders for guest use
Some equipment may need to be requested in advance
English-speaking babysitting available by arrangement (although it can be expensive), and the summer kids' club affords extra adult-time
The hotel's free Mini-Club runs over Easter weekend and July until late August, allowing parents to enjoy a lazy brunch and spa treatments
The hotel's restaurants have a good children’s menu full of favourites like spaghetti, ravioli, chicken breast, swordfish, burgers and sausages with chips and salad.
- Kids pool and outdoor pool (heated in April & October)
- Indoor spa pool (between 1pm-2pm and 4pm-5pm and usage is free for one visit per family booking with children under 12, otherwise charged)
- Outdoor playground
- Farm animals and a lake with turtles
- Horse riding and guided pony rides
- Kids DVDs
- Mountain biking
- Table tennis
- Tennis courts
- Lobo wolf park, Antequera (50km away)
- Boutique Hotel
- 83 rooms
- 3 restaurants + bar
- All ages welcome
- Closed: Mid-Nov until end of March
- Spa Treatments
- Beach Nearby
- Creche / Kids Club
- Car recommended
- Pet Friendly
- Disabled Access
- Restaurants Nearby
- Air Conditioning
- Guest Lounge
- Tennis Court
- Bicycles Available
The big, plush bedrooms give you what the price tag demands: an overdose of luxury. Some rooms have a contemporary style (fresh colours, clean lines, no clutter), others are more traditional with pastel colours, big wicker chairs and padded headboards, but all come with a private balcony, terrace or garden, so you can throw open the doors and relax in the sun. Space is abundant and rooms get lots of light, but all have shutters to keep them cool.
Classic Deluxes have space for armchairs, but we went for one of the huge Junior Suites where we got sofas, antique tables and chairs, and terracotta-tiled floors. The Suites have even more lebensraum. Some open onto an exquisitely-tiled interior courtyard where a fountain sings (and in which the housekeeper leaves flowers floating daily). The more you spend, the more you get, and the top-end Suite Deluxes all come with 2 bedrooms, an open fire and something to elate: a domed ceiling, a hand-carved wooden bedstead or a gigantic bathroom with views across open country. Oddly, they're also the only category in which tea- and coffee-making facilities are provided. Since our visit, the Superior Deluxe rooms have been added, aimed squarely at couples, we're yet to personally view them.
Bathrooms are excellent, most are huge and every detail is catered for: bathrobes and slippers, lotions and potions, big bathtubs and separate showers, and fluffy white towels coming out of your ears. Whilst some of the ritzy, silver and gold bathroom fittings look a tad dated, they are, nonetheless, top of the range.
- Safe box
There are 3 on-site food and drink venues, all of which are overseen by attentive, friendly and helpful staff.
For a sense of occasion, La Finca Restaurant serves superb Mediterranean-fusion cuisine (with prices to match). Our starter of scallop served on a savoury pop-corn cake with caramelised Mencal wine and nutty caviar from Rio Frío, was a culinary tour de force. One part of the restaurant has huge views over fields of olive trees - the fruit and oil of which you can eat in the restaurant.
We also dined in the more rustic, Spanish-influenced El Cortijo Restaurant, where we dug into mixed croquettes (simple and delicious), a chicken and mushroom main course (slightly underwhelming), and a waiter-recommended ‘Leche Frita’ pudding (yummy fried custard with thyme honey, mango sauce and vanilla ice cream). Fine Iberian ham is a speciality and an extensive wine list caters for all.
La Plaza offers a great selection of drinks - try the local ale. In summer, the El Mirador Chill Out Bar serves evening cocktails overlooking the pool.
Breakfast - a feast of pastries, fruits and cooked options - is served anywhere you choose. If you want it in your room it’s served on a starched white tablecloth with a vase of fresh flowers.
Expect all meals at La Bobadilla to be accompanied by soft, piped guitar music: it feels relaxing, or mildly irritating, according to where your musical sympathies lie.
- Kids' meals
- Room service
- Vegetarian options
- La Bobadilla is wrapped in 350 hectares of private farm land; all of which is yours to roam, be it on foot (hiking maps and picnics can be provided), or by bicycle (5-25km trails available). A rich migratory bird life passes through, so bring your binoculars and a field guide
- The beguiling cities of Cordoba and Granada are both about an hour’s drive and utterly unmissable - full of dazzling Moorish architecture and ancient culture
- The hotel can arrange Helicopter tours, light aircraft jaunts and hot-air ballooning (as far as the Alhambra, if you want); they can also book tee times at Antequera's golf course (35km)
- Tasting sessions (olive oil, wine) and walking tours are available 5 days a week
- The manicured lawns and gardens have a huge lagoon-style pool (1,500 sq.m.) (open May-September only). The area is sprinkled with palm trees, parasols and loungers; a higher terrace holds Balinese beds
- There's an opulent spa complex with indoor heated swimming-pool, thermic loungers, sauna, Turkish steam bath, hydro-massage tubs, gym and solarium, massages and beauty treatments
- Finally, come to get married here; lots of people do - they even have their own chapel
Activities on site or nearby include:
- Historical sites
- Hot air ballooning
- Table tennis
Best Time to go
Our Top Tips
La Bobadilla, a Royal Hideaway Hotel is in the hills of the Sierra de Loja, Andalucia.
Granada (70km) or Malaga (60km). Click on the links below for a list of airlines serving these airports.
From the Airport
Transfers can be arranged but a good motorway network passes close by and hiring a car is a great way to see the area.
For car hire see our car rental recommendations.
You can get the Eurostar to Paris then Madrid and then onwards to Maria Zambrano railway station (Malaga). The hotel can arrange a transfer. The Antequera High Speed Train is just 35km from the hotel.
Directions to the hotel will be provided with confirmed booking.
More on getting to Andalucia and getting around
- Granada 70.0 km GRX
- Malaga Pablo Ruiz Picasso 60.0 km AGP
- Beach 100.0 km
- Shops 10.0 km
- Restaurant 0.1 km