“Country life with colonial spice at Ronda's most spoiling house-party hideaway (sleeps 14)”
The decoration of the 7 bedrooms mirrors the airy, uplifting vibe of its shared spaces. Owners Pom and Christina - who also own sister property Hotel La Fuente de la Higuera - have worked and travelled throughout the Far East and shipped lamps, four-poster beds, chests and cabinets back from Indonesia: what they didn't find ready made, they designed themselves.
The dark tropical wood and clean-cut lines are perfectly complemented by mosquito nets, luggage racks, African art and artefacts, and retro sinks and taps: there's more than a hint of Raffles here. Central heating keeps you cosy in winter (The Lodge stands almost 800m above sea level), and all rooms apart from the two lower ones have aircon units for hot summers. Expect top quality linens, a pile of snowy white towels, Gilchrist & Soames smellies, and bathrobes for your forays down to the pool and massage room or studio. Better still, each bedroom has a private terrace with hardwood table, chairs and a hammock.
The nicest of the seven rooms are those which wrap around the garden terrace and dining area. Queen Bee is room 1, which encompasses a massive slice of sleeping space with open hearth, an east-facing deck and comes with a bath and separate shower. Rooms 2 and 3 are in the same wing but face north so get rather less light. Room 2 benefits from having an open hearth (and can be made up as a twin) whilst 3 has a separate bath and shower.
Rooms 4 and 5 give onto the courtyard so feel slightly less private. Both are doubles, room 5 being the larger: it also has an open hearth. Rooms 6 and 7 are down a floor and in a separate wing next to the massage studio (the only rooms without air conditioning because they are naturally cooler). These are slightly smaller but closer to the pool, and can be set up as twins.
Some guests choose to self cater here, in which case you get use of a big snazzy kitchen. But most guests opt for serviced rental, in which meals are very much a part of the whole spoiling experience.
There are 3 packages, and you can choose a different one on different days:
All breakfasts are buffet style and are laid up at whatever time you choose. You get such a big spread - local breads, freshly squeezed juices, cereals, cheeses, cold cuts, fruit salad, yoghurt and so on - that you could treat this meal as brunch and forgo the tapas lunch.
However, both lunches and dinners are picture perfect: Christina is big on the visuals of fine dining. Many of the ingredients come fresh from the Lodge's organic veggie and herb garden whilst meat is organically sourced and fish brought in fresh from the slab. And with a choice of 3 different dining areas, all meals can be moveable feasts.
When it comes to drinks, you help yourself from the wine rack or from the fridges in the kitchen or poolside barbecue area (honesty bar set-up). The selection of vino isn't vast but is extremely good: new Ronda wines are given pride of place alongside a couple of better-known reds and whites.
Staff can recommend local tapas bars and restaurants if you want a change of scene. In Ronda, Tragabuches, Carmen la de Ronda and Almocábar are all excellent.
Bambinos are not only allowed but celebrated here and will get masses of TLC from the doting staff. With chickens to feed, woods to explore and a big expanse of lawn to play on, this is the stuff of which kiddie dreams are made, especially if you hire the whole property for a big family reunion.
Baby cots and extra beds are available (1 per room in #1, 2 and 5). All rooms have a bathtub.
On top of the rollaway beds and cots in the main house, there's also the option to put 7 rollaway beds in the yoga studio, so enquire when booking if you'd like to do this. Older kids would probably love the dorm-style independence.
Can be arranged with an English-speaking sitter
Remember baby and child equipment may be limited or need pre-booking
If you book meal plans, the chef is happy to cater for your little ones' needs, including making organic baby food on request. The unique set-up means that you can choose how, when, how much and what your family eats - it's not like a hotel. See Eating. Or you can self cater
It hasn't been childproofed to death: there are steps, a pond and an unfenced pool, so you need to keep an eye on errant children