The Lodge Ronda

Ronda & the White Villages, Spain Book from Eur798

Country life with colonial spice at Ronda's most spoiling house-party hideaway (sleeps 14)
We could reveal the names of the English duchess, the celebrity chef or the party leader who all recently checked in at The Lodge. But enough of prying paparazzi: let's just say that if you're looking to escape the mundane with a group of family or friends, at a supremely stylish yet utterly relaxing rural retreat, then look no further than this snazzy house rental for up to 14. Fusing Asian and African design and materials with a quest for light and sense of well-being, the building's wrap-around verandah, high window openings, planked floors and isolated ridge-top setting are evocative of the best safari lodge architecture with its inside-meets-outside brief.

Inside, the vast open-plan living room and 7 stylish rooms (all doubles or a mix of doubles and twins) are delightful spaces to relax in. And to help you unwind further, there's a yoga studio in the garden where you can have private lessons, or indulge in massages and beauty treatments. Couple all this with top in-house catering, a stunning pool, friendly Spanish staff, that delicious sense of cosseted privacy, being a hop away from Ronda and pretty local villages, and you'll understand why The Lodge is making big waves amongst the travel intelligentsia.

Highs

  • With a top-notch chef, organic veggie garden and state-of-the-art kitchen, foodies will be in their element. Choose from a range of meal plans, or self cater if you prefer
  • The vast, open-plan sitting room/diner/kitchen makes for easy interaction between guests and friendly staff
  • Masses of space: set in a 28-acre private estate so you'll have lots of room to spread out
  • The building's contemporary, angular lines and big windows make a refreshing change from traditional cortijo style
  • Access to the concierge services of Hotel La Fuente de la Higuera nearby

Lows

  • The garden rooms (#6 and 7) don't have quite the same caché as the 5 upstairs but are pretty swish nonetheless
  • A rather strict cancellation policy

Best time to go

For outside dining and swimming visit during May-late September, but at any time of year a stay at The Lodge is going to be a once-in-a-lifetime experience.

Our top tips

Few people associate Ronda with all things oenological, yet this relatively young DOC is now producing some remarkable wines. Try to programme in at least one bodega visit: if he's around, Lodge owner Pom Piek will give you the lowdown on which to go to.

Great for...

Family
Foodie
Great Outdoors
Spa
Wedding
  • = Recommended
  • = Best in region
  • = World favourite
  • Boutique Villa
  • 7
  • Meals on request + self catering option
  • All ages welcome
  • Open all year
  • Outdoor Pool
  • Spa Treatments
  • WiFi
  • Pet Friendly
  • Disabled Access
  • Beach Nearby
  • Off-street Parking
  • Restaurants Nearby
  • Air Conditioning
  • Guest Lounge
  • Terrace
  • Garden
  • Gym
  • Daily Maid Service
  • Towels & Bedlinen
  • Bicycles Available
  • DVD library on request
Room:

Rooms

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.

Features include:

  • Air conditioning
  • Barbeque
  • Bathrobes
  • Blender
  • Central heating
  • Coffee tea making
  • Cots Available
  • Dishwasher
  • Extra beds
  • Fan
  • Fireplace
  • Fridge
  • Full kitchen
  • Hairdryer
  • Honesty bar
  • Internet access
  • Iron
  • Microwave
  • Minibar/fridge
  • Oven
  • Terrace
  • Toaster
  • Toiletries
  • Tumble dryer
  • Washing machine
  • WiFi

Eating

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:


  • Country meal plan: breakfast and a big tapas-style lunch prepared, laid up, then cleared up
  • Deluxe meal plan: breakfast and a gourmet 3-course dinner, the latter prepared by the excellent in-house chef and formally served to you (see below) inside or out
  • Perfect meal plan: breakfast, a tapas lunch and a 3-course gourmet dinner - perfect if you want to switch off completely from food concerns

    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.

    Features include:

    • Breakfast
    • Children meals
    • Coffee tea making
    • Communal dining
    • Cooking classes
    • Dinner by arrangement
    • Fridge
    • Full kitchen
    • In house cook
    • Lunch by arrangement
    • Microwave
    • Minibar/fridge
    • Organic produce
    • Oven
    • Room service
    • Toaster
    • Vegetarian menu
  • Eating:
    Activity:

    Activities

    • Check out a few of the award-winning local bodegas: Conrad, Schatz, Los Aguilares and Descalzos Viejos all get our thumbs up

    • Chill by the pool, jog through the forest then head for the massage studio and treat yourself to an aromatherapy or hot-stone massage (book in advance). There are various beauty treatments on offer, too

    • Join in the culinary preparations with the Lodge's chef and learn a few secrets of Spanish cuisine

    • Wander the labyrinthine streets of Ronda's Moorish quarter and marvel at its bridge and gorge

    • Play boules on the lawn, slump in your hammock, put on a CD: staying at the Lodge is about total R&R

    • Hike in Grazalema or Sierra de las Nieves Parks: the trails are stunning and guides can be arranged

    • Staff can organise a range of other activities, too: private yoga classes, horse riding, hot-air ballooning, kayaking, guided mountain bike tours

    • Head off to Granada and the Alhambra for a day: timings work out perfectly with the train

    • Seville, Cordoba and Málaga are all 2 hours’ drive away - or head for the beach at Marbella

    • Go underground at the Pileta Cave and check out some of Europe's best preserved troglodyte art

    Activities on site or nearby include:

    • Birdwatching
    • Cooking classes
    • Hiking
    • Historical sites
    • Hot air ballooning
    • Kayaking
    • Kitesurfing
    • Language courses
    • Mountain biking
    • Museums / galleries
    • Shopping / markets
    • Snorkelling
    • Swimming
    • Tennis
    • Well being
    • Wildlife
    • Wine tasting
    • Yoga

    Kids

    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.

    Best for:

    All ages

    Family friendly accommodation:

    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.

    Babysitting:

    Can be arranged with an English-speaking sitter

    Baby equipment:

    • Cots
    • High chair
    • Baby bedding
    • Night light
    • Food blender
    • Microwave

    Remember  baby and child equipment may be limited or need pre-booking

    Children's meals:

    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

    Kids Activities on site:

    • Unfenced outdoor pool
    • Large gardens with chickens, woods and a great expanse of lawn
    • DVD library

    Kids Activities nearby:

    • Marbella beach (50km away)
    • Ronda playground
    • 'Indiana Jones' ballpool/soft play area nearby
    • Guided mountain biking, kayaking, hot air ballooning and horse riding (arrange with management)

    Families Should Know:

    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

    Distances:

    • Airport: 90 minutes
    • Doctors: 10 minutes
    • Nearest shop: 5 minutes
    Kid Friendly:

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