10 great places to stay in southern Spain | Holidays in Andalusia
Hotel Cortijo del Marques, Albolote
Located in the mountains north of Granada and surrounded by olive groves and oak forests, this picturesque estate has been restored into a charming 15-room retreat. Combine mornings at the Alhambra – Granada is just half an hour’s drive away – with afternoons by the pool in the pretty walled garden, or spend your time exploring the surrounding Alpujarran mountains on foot, by bicycle or on horseback. Original beamed ceilings and exposed stone walls give the rooms an authentic, rustic feel and the three-course dinners offer the best of local Andalusian cuisine.
Doubles from £89 B&B; cortijodelmarques.com
Casa Olea, Priego de Cordoba
English-owned and surrounded by the green hills of Subbética, Olea is a comfortable six-bedroom hotel that makes an ideal base for exploring Cordoba, Granada and the Renaissance towns of Ubeda and Baeza – all around an hour’s drive away. Combine sightseeing with relaxing afternoons on the flower-filled pool terrace, or go hiking or biking along centuries-old trails through the surrounding olive groves. Dinners can be a communal paella or paintings – charcuterie and cheese platters – with a veggie option always available.
Two-night stays from £236 B&B; casaolea.com
Cerro de Hijar, Tolox
The perfect choice for hikers, retreat seekers or those looking for a place to soak up spectacular views in absolute silence, this classic Andalusian mansion, located above the ancient spa town of Tolox, is a true find. Perched on the eastern flank of the Sierra de las Nieves National Park, there are fabulous walks from the hotel’s front door, with top-notch dining as a reward for returning in the evening. Vibrant rooms combine colorful Moroccan rugs and kilims with contemporary artwork and dark wood furniture, but the real joy is opening the shutters or balcony doors to reveal the gorgeous views.
Doubles from £124 half board; cerrodehijar.com
Los Castanos, Cartajima
Nestled in pretty Cartajima – a sleepy white-walled town that has managed to stay under the tourist radar – this small, traditional hotel makes a great base for delving into the larger and better-known white towns (Ronda is 11 miles away) . The six bedrooms are simple but warmly furnished, with Moroccan mirrors and local artwork, and although there’s no pool, there are armchairs to sink into and patios that make the most of spectacular views. In the evening, a fixed menu of slow food dishes is one of the best in the region.
Doubles from £111 B&B; loscastanos.com
The Fuente de la Higuera, near Ronda
Close enough to Ronda to dive in and out, La Fuente offers something a little different from many Andalucian hotels, with bright, airy rooms dotted with antiques and exotic items, wood and sandstone floors and furnishings elegant hardwoods. It’s a great choice for those looking for an active break, with canoeing, mountain biking and paragliding easily organized by the hotel. With Ronda just a 10-minute drive away, it can be tempting to go out for dinner, but the hotel’s suppers are fresh and organic with vegan and vegetarian options always available.
Double from £169 room only; hotellafuente.com
Ideal for couples looking for peace, space, and uninterrupted time together, Fountainhead has just four ornate suites, each with its own private plunge pool and deck. Don’t expect rustic simplicity; the suites blaze with color – bottle green walls and deep burgundy red – while the restaurant offers inventive gourmet dishes, with a wine list delving into Spanish vintages. The Bath House offers restorative spa treatments and salt and essential oil baths, as well as individual yoga classes.
Doubles from £193 B&B; fountainheadinspain.com
La Almunia del Valle
Just a 15 minute drive from Granada, La Almunia feels like a different world, perched on a hill surrounded by rolling khaki and golden mountains. The hotel is effortlessly chic, with cream-walled rooms warmed by plush armchairs, berry-hued carpets, and vases of fresh flowers. Breakfasts on the terrace are the perfect fuel for a day of discovery, with walks starting from the doorstep and the pretty village of Monachil easily accessible on foot. Dinners, which must be booked in advance, are three-course menus consisting of simple Mediterranean dishes.
Double from £113 room only; laalmuniadevalle.com
Molino del Arco, near Ronda
A characterful converted oil mill with a sophisticated, low-key atmosphere, Molino del Arco is a rural hotel, with works by Braque dotted on the walls and antique furniture in the lounges. It has a charming Moorish-style garden, with orange, almond and persimmon trees. Rooms exude rustic chic, with terra-cotta floors and pretty printed fabrics, some with romantic four-poster beds. The hotel’s rich vegetable garden provides plenty of ingredients for sumptuous evening meals, with the well-stocked bar ideal for a nightcap under the stars.
Double from £146 room only; hotelmolinodelarco.com
La Bobadilla, near Loja
A perfect steal and flop, Bobadilla is a luxurious country estate located in the heart of the Sierra de Loja, surrounded by 350 hectares of private grounds. It’s larger than many hotels in the area — 83 rooms — and offers a wide range of experiences, including walking tours, olive oil and wine tastings, and bike rentals, while helicopter tours and hot air balloon rides can be arranged. Kids will love the farm animals, outdoor play area and separate children’s pool, while foodies will be spoiled for choice, with two restaurants serving upscale Spanish dishes and Andalusian cuisine more rustic.
Double from £210 room only; barcelo.com
El Paraje del Chef, Laroles
An adult-only dining escape, El Paraje del Chef (Chef’s Place) is the creation of chef Juan Carlos Espejo, which offers a “gastronomic experience getaway”, with an evening menu of fusion dishes, using ingredients sourced from the local and Grenada farms. and the food markets of Almería. There are just three individually styled ‘cabins’, each with a wood-panelled seating area and luxurious en-suite bathrooms with exposed brick walls. The surrounding Alpujarras countryside is crisscrossed with more marked hiking trails than anywhere in Spain.
Doubles from £215 dinner, B&B; elparajedelchef.com