Amazing welcome from Almudena. The apartment was exactly as we expected, but the view was even more spectacular than we had hoped. During the day you have views over the valley, olive groves and the blue sky. As you watch the sun set, fantastic colours transform the mountains from green to purple to shades of black. Then the stars. Oh my God. We saw the milky way, planets, stars. Spectacular.
The swimming pool takes full advantage of these spectacular views. It is beautifully landscaped with a planted rockery waterfall at the deep end and easy steps in at the shallow end. There are sun loungers and umbrellas for all-day sunbathing as you soak up the views. All is enclosed by hedges and a gate. The land around is farmed by the family - they make money from the oliver groves (usually harvested between September and March).
The views are best from the front apartments. We stayed in 'Atroe' which is probably the best. A really spacious 1 bed space. Access is up via steps at the front of the old farm buildings overlooking the threshing floor and valley. There's a roomy terrace with table, two chairs and discreet clothes rack where we spent most of our time drinking in views. Old country style double doors lead into the kitchen/dining/living area. Reasonably sized with small kitchenette area, dining table with 4 chairs, double sofa, log burner, sofa & satellite TV. The bedroom is down a couple of steps with two armchairs, coffee table, double wardrobe and sets of drawers and plenty of room for a cot or child's bed. There are a couple of steps up to spacious shower room. All windows have shutters and insect nets so you can take advantage of the cooling winds in the evening.
You are left alone to enjoy yourself here, but occasionally, you'll bump into one of the family with an offer of home-baked cake or cactus fruit from the garden (delicious, but don't pick them yourself - they are dangerous to handle unless you know what you're doing!)
There are 6 apartments developed from the old farm buildings. It's a couple of kilometers to the nearest village. But a local baker, a fisherman and the local store all deliver direct several times a week. We cooked some amazing clams and prawns for lunch one day.
There are local restaurants within a short drive at Mondron, Periana - and our favourite was Los Pirineos in Alfarnatejo. Hearty meat dishes at reasonable prices. We did local area trips (less than an hour's drive) to Competa (ace), Comares (stunning views), Riogordo (local food shopping), Periana (good views to La Vinuela reservoir).
Further away but well worth the drive are family beach resort of Nerja (good market on Tuesday morning on outskirts of town), the quiet beach at Benejarafe (nr Rincon de la Victoria on outskirts of Malaga), Granada's Alhambra (awesome, 'nuff said), and an overnight trip to Cordoba - which was really lovely (see my review of Hotel Lola there).
This is a FANTASTIC base from which to see a good slice of the Malaga region of Andalusia. The apartments are exceptional value and the hospitality was spot-on for us. Rustic country with a warm welcome. All the facilities you need without too many frills. And a view to die for. One of our best holidays ever.
Suzanne and Mark, September 2011
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- "Cortijo Las Monjas", Rural Accommodation situated between Periana and Alfarnatejo in the north-east of Málaga Province. Our apartments are about 590 metres above sea level, boasting marvellous views over mountains and valleys, within an area of outstanding natural beauty, the High Axarquía."El Cortijo", a farmhouse and outbuildings over three hundred years old, which have been completely and sympathetically restored and divided up into six self-contained apartments for two people with bedroom, bathroom, fully-equipped kitchen, and dining/living room with wood-burning fireplace, terrace or porch. ... more less
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