We were looking for somewhere quiet to spend a few days enjoying scenery, the odd walk and exploring the mountains of Andalucia. Having not been to Southern Spain at all before we weren't sure what to expect but were pleasantly surprised with everything!
Now under new ownership and has a catchy new name, this used to be the Palacete de Manara. . We stayed very soon after the new owner had taken it on and had a fantastic 4 day break. It promises to be lovely little hotel. Despite being run off his feet trying to man reception, the bar, kitchen and train new staff, Chris (proprietor) made us feel extremely welcome. We got a special deal on the price of the room as not everything was properly up and running but Chris went to extra effort to make up for this and it didn't affect out stay..
We were met with a log fire in reception and home-made cake (I was won over just by this in email correspondence before we booked!) - a nice touch.
The hotel is in a small-ish mountain village near Ronda. Situated on the small main square, it's a traditional old building with terracotta floors. We stayed in the one newly refurbished room which was lovely. It was spacious, had modern furnishings and overlooked the square. All new and clean. One of the best showers ever and always had hot water (essential after a long days walking). Being in the centre of the village you can hear passing traffic and people below in the square but it's not intrusive. The room had air-con, probably essential in summer, but also can be used to heat the room in winter (also essential - it was quite chilly in the mountains in December - take slippers or thick socks too as the terracotta floors are also chilly on the feet! ).
Cosy little bar and restaurant downstairs, and we had some very tasty food despite there not being a chef yet! It was December so a quiet time of year but there were a few other guests around, sometimes we had the bar to ourselves. A few locals would also pop in for a coffee or drink.
Good range of food was offered for breakfast -cereal, bread, cheese, cold meats, fruit and cooked breakfast. Breakfast time appeared to be flexible - some Spanish guys don't get up too early at all (11am?!). Some days we were up for 8.30 as wanted to make the most of the day, this didn't seem to be a problem. Other days we were still having breakfast at 10.
There are a few parking spaces in the square, it can be tight. Although at first glance the streets are narrow (tip - definitely hire small cars for venturing through small villages in this area of Spain!) we didn't find it a problem to find parking further down the main street if the square was full.
We look forward to returning one day to see what Chris has done with the place, he certainly seems to have a lot of ideas to improve the hotel. Would be nice to go in the summer when the doors are open onto the terrace and small pool too.
Would definitely recommend the area, its very scenic, good for exploring, walking + biking etc and no doubt Chris will become a mine of info if you need help planning days out etc.