The Hotel El Bandolero is a boutique hotel in the village of Juzcar in the Genal Valley of Andalucia, an area rich in history and natural charm, and home to a very popular annual mushroom conference.
Several of the rooms offer vistas of the surrounding mountains, and the valley below Juzcar, and all eight rooms are equipped with en suite bathroom, TV, tea and coffee making facilities, heating, and can be reserved in twin, double, or suite.
The Casas de Parauta isn’t just a hotel, in fact rooms are available though perhaps the most significant option is to book into an apartment or casa rural managed by the hotel of which 12 are available that sleep from 4 to 8 people.
Parauta is a quaint white washed village in the Genal Valley, and within the boundaries of the Sierra de las Nieves Biosphere. Views of the countryside are spectacular, an artists dream.
Activities in the area are nature based, from hiking to nearby villages and enjoying the uniqueness of the Genal Valley, to horseriding, mountain biking, and nature excursions with trained guides.
Guests at the Hotel Casas de Parauta can choose from different room types or self-stay accommodation and all are comfortably apportioned with heating, kitchen, full bathrooms, private living spaces (apartments only), views of the countryside and more.
The hotel has its own restaurant and bar where guests can sample some of the popular dishes Andalusia is known for. Shared facilities for the Casas de Parauta include a solarium, outdoor swimming pool, and relaxing gardens.
Bicycles for rent are available for guests who would like to do some sightseeing around the area, and car hire can be arranged at reception.
The mountainous landscape of the Serranía de Ronda is in full view around the Hotel Caballo Andaluz, located near to one of the prettiest of the white villages, Gaucin. On a clear day, views to Gibraltar and across to the Rif mountains of North Africa are stunning.
Peaceful rural breaks are how the owners describe their hotel, which with just 12 rooms means you’ll have space to unwind whilst also making new friends with like minded souls. The Hotel Caballa Andaluz is a special place almost equidistant between the Parque Natural de Alcornocales and the Sierra de las Nieves UNESCO Biosphere. Enjoy long walks around the mountains and valleys, or ask reception to arrange a horse trekking excursion.
The fourteen room Hotel Rural la Fuenticilla near Algatocin is gives the appearance of a country summer camp of old with its huge nearly Olympic sized pool and nearby activities, however the hotel is anything but.
Rated at only two stars, the comfort and relaxed environment of the hotel would have you believe the essessor must have been blind, this is a hotel for a holiday.
Just 29km to Ronda and her history, or 35km to Manilva and the beaches of San Luis de Sabinillas, La Duquesa, or Bahia de Casares, your stay could be anything but boring.
The hotel’s restaurant is as good place as any to sample traditional Andalusian foods. The bar is also stocked with fine wines, some of them distinctly Andalusian. There is also a snack bar within the Hotel Rural la Fuentecilla. The front desk is manned all the time by friendly staff to aid guests with whatever concerns they may have.
All rooms at this hotel are air-conditioned, necessary for guests to beat the heat of the Andalusian sun which during some summer days could be very hot. During the winter months, guests can still be cozy as the hotel has a heating system for their rooms. An outdoor swimming pool is also available seasonally.
Wi-Fi internet connection is available at the hotel for free. Public parking spots are also available onsite. The parking space is large enough that guests need not reserve a spot.
I recently had the pleasure of staying at Los Castanos Hotel in the Genal Valley south of Ronda. The hotel is in the centre of Cartajima, a very small village about 15km from Ronda and can be reached on the Ronda-San Pedro road, just follow the signs for Cartajima.
Di and John, the hosts at Los Castanos welcomed me in Ronda, a service they often provide for guests, and we had lunch in a favourite bar on the outskirts of Ronda before heading to the hotel to settle in and get to know the area.
My first impressions of arriving at the hotel were coloured by the weather, walking to the main entrance with my head down to avoid rain drizzle hitting me in the face, and then looking up and seeing the church belfry towering over the hotel which looked quite small, yet is in fact very large.
With a handful of rooms it is easy to think of Los Castanos as a small hotel, but entering through the 18th century doors and turning to view the salon immediately impresses on you how large the hotel building is, certainly more than big enough for couples wanting to get away and relax for a spell.
I was taken to my room by Di, with good intentions of giving me the grand tour, she showed me the facilities, the bar fridge, the tea and coffee, air conditioning, emergency procedures, then the phone rang; we were in the midst of the great Icelandic ash cloud and several of Di’s guests weren’t able to return home or were stuck in transit, so as needs must my tour of the terrace was cut short.
This worked in my favour, I had the chance to throw open the bedroom window and terrace doors, and simply stand on my own private terrace whilst I soaked up the sounds and smells of Cartajima and the Alto Genal. Nearby I heard men chatting at the Ayntamiento, and over there the sound of rushing water, I later discovered Cartajima sits on the edge of a small valley with a lively stream coursing its way through.
A keen walker I am, so a short adventure around the village was called for, and with camera in hand, I claimed my right to explore the nooks and crannies of the village, discovering places many of the locals may not even know – actually that’s a lie, but I thought a nice turn of phrase nevertheless.
Cartajima is very small, but sits in the heart of some of the Serranía’s most spectacular scenery so I understand why Los Castanos get so many walking guests. Birdwatching around these parts is a favourite activity, and you’ll often see twitchers parked on the side of the road staring at the mountains.
Several evenings Di cooks for guests, and on my night we had all decided to stay in, and what a surprise, five of us were entertained by John over pre-dinner drinks around the fireplace, and then Di called us to our places. Normally guests eat at separate tables, but as we were all enjoying the company we pushed and dragged our tables together much to Di’s amusement.
The entree was a delicious miniature red pepper filled with cheese and what I think was fish, certainly the blends of tastes made it difficult to identify individual ingredients, however they came together in spectacular fusion.
The main course was a dish I’ve never tried before, beef squares with prunes cooked in a traditional Moroccan stewing dish known as a Tajine, then served with Cous Cous and a side of green salad. Di is very modest so blushed like a school girl from our compliments, deserved as they were; her beef and prune tagine is something I’ll be requesting on my next trip.
I stayed up late talking to another guest, a chap who had recently founded a new publishing house, and I believe we stayed up till 1am sipping a rather nice red bought locally, I believe from Bodega Joaquin Fernandez.
Before breakfast the next morning I wandered the streets of the village as it started to wake, and explored parts of the valley with it’s olive groves and almond trees, all the while serenaded with bird song. I’d slept well, Los Castanos have very supportive mattresses on their beds, so I was ready for a climb and the hills above Cartajima were not going to defeat me, and I’m glad I did because the views from above looking over Cartajima toward Parauta are well worth seeing.
If you’d like to stay at Los Castanos Hotel with Di and John, here are the hotel contact details;
Set within the scenic Ronda Mountains, the Hotel Hacienda La Herriza provides guests with a relaxing view all around. The hotel is just outside of the village Gaucin at the little village of El Colmenar, which is itself just a short distance away from Ronda or the Costa del Sol and its beautiful beaches.
Relaxation is easily attained in this hotel all rooms have terraces idea for soaking up the scenery of the area, especially as the grounds are well-kept. The area is know for its outstanding natural beauty and pristine condition.
The Hacienda la Herriza is made up of 17 individual cottages, with the option of one double room or two double rooms. All cottages are equipped with air conditioning, heating, satellite TV, minibar, hair dryer, and private terrace.
The hotel has bicycles for rent for people who would like to explore the surrounding area. Horseback riding classes are also available. An outdoor swimming pool is open seasonally as are sun lounges for attracting a sun tan, and BBQ facilities are available on site. An in-room massage service can be arranged to relieve tight muscles and enhance your enjoyment of the Andalucian experience.
A tour desk is also available to help guests plan the route they would take to visit some of the popular sites around the area. Special diet meals can also be prepared at the hotel’s restaurant upon request. Wi-Fi internet connection is available as are parking spots.
A restaurant, El Hacho, and named after the mountain on which Gaucin sits, is attached to the hotel and specialises in offering contemporary Andalusian and Mediterranean food, and a selection of Ronda and Spanish wines.
Just outside the Andalusian white village of Benarrabá you’ll find the Banu Rabbah, a cozy little hotel reminiscent of bygone ages with its huge interior patio that could be stuck in a time warp from the golden era of hotel decor. This hotel is nestled between chestnut and oak trees in the heart of the Genal Valley, giving guests a real taste of Andalucian forest nature on their doorstep.
The Banu Rabbah offers two room types, double rooms with a mountain view and double rooms with a garden view. All rooms are air-conditioned and heated, offer with en suite bathrooms, and non-smoking rooms are available on request.
The hotel’s restaurant, Kábilas, offers guests a taste of locally produced organic foods, and live Flamenco shows are a popular option. The self-service bar provides tea, coffee, soft drink, and alcoholic beverages. A small souvenir shop is also provided for guests.
For holiday makers preferring the more sedate lifestyle, a library onsite is free for guest use, and the large pool with sun terrace is not far. Nature and adventure lovers will delight in the many public walks that can be taken through pristine forests along the Genal river banks. Hotel staff will even prepare a packed lunch for you.
Wired Internet is installed in all public spaces, and a laundry service can be arranged. Larger groups needing conference facilities are catered for, and there is plenty of parking in the immediate vicinity.
Hotel Banu Rabbah Photos
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