Depending on what you are looking for, you might love or dislike (but definitely not hate) El Juncal. The setting is majestic with pools, outdoor seating areas, and right next door, a working vineyard. We happened to be there on wine harvest day and the wine-making process was to begin immediately but unfortunately we had to leave. Those who live in urban areas and rarely get to see a starry sky will be in heaven! It was so magical to actually see even the Milky Way!
Our room was spacious with a very large private terrace convenient for reading or just enjoying the perfect weather. As a destination, El Juncal could keep you happy and relaxed for many days. But, and here is "may dislike" part, you will not be able to walk back and forth to the town of Ronda. So if that is what you want to do, you'll have to take a taxi or try to figure out where on earth you could possibly park. In season, I'm sure parking would be impossible. Because of the terrain and that it's a hundreds of years old town, cars just are not easily accommodated.
Rondo is one of the fabled "white towns" so named for the painted houses on the top of a sheer cliff. The history is fascinating, with Ronda being the last stronghold of the Moors, who were there until 1485! The Catholics had long since overtaken the Moors in other areas and once you see the topography, you will see why Ronda was easily defended. In fact, up to about 60 years ago, Ronda was a favorite hiding place for bandits and other criminals. A delightful museum in town pays tribute to them, including some women who were as bad as the men!
El Juncal contains a restaurant that attracts guests and outsiders too. It is quite a surprise given the almost rural setting to find such splendid offerings presented in a quite cosmopolitan style. The food was delicious, among the best meals we had in Spain, but you need to know that there is a set menu. The wine from the vineyard is offered and purchase of past vintages is possible as well as other wines.
All in all, we very much enjoyed El Juncal. We liked the very modern hotel in the country setting. There was clearly an attention to detail in the choice of materials used and the furnishings both indoors and out. The hostess, from Czech Republic, I believe, was fluent in many languages and therefore could converse and be helpful to the guests from countries from Germany to UK to Latin America. The small trading library was a godsend since we had run out of reading material and still two days left before flying home. The varied books left behind spoke well of the previous guests! Quite a lovely time.
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- Also Known As:
- El Juncal Ronda
- Ronda El Juncal Hotel