Casa Viña de Alcántara
, Ctra Jerez - Arcos Km 8,6, Jerez de la Frontera, (Cadiz).
Casa Viña de Alcántara lies concealed in a deeply wooded garden of palms, cypresses, myrtle and bay, a delightful country house boutique hotel where the tall trees and abundant greenery soften the heat of a Spanish summer. Built originally as a shooting lodge in the late 19th century, the Hotel Casa Viña de Alcántara remains in the Gonzalez-Byass sherry family and managed by one of the family. It almost goes without saying therefore that you'll be offered an excellent glass of fino, or a smooth amber oloroso if you prefer.
The extensive lands around the hotel are a real treasure, where the lovely mellow swimming pool lined with natural stone lies in a verdant lawn, and guests can take short walks in the woods or long ones out through the vineyards and down around the lake which is a magnet for ducks and other waterfowl.
The décor of the house reflects touches of arts-and-crafts blended with traditional Andalucian style and some surprising English elements, befitting of the anglophile owner. Downstairs, the polished limestone floors give a light and airy feel, while the oak parquet on the upper floors is richer and more sonorous. There are painted wooden dados, rich natural hardwoods, and a scattering of antique furniture, paintings, and family mementoes.
Nine comfortable bedrooms are warmly decorated in muted colours. Some have steep beamed ceilings, and all the bathrooms are really special: lots of crisp white marble, thick soft towels and invigorating showers.
Casa Viña de Alcántara is an oasis of fine living. It’s location close to Jerez makes it ideal for visiting the great sherry bodegas of the city, the ancient port of Cadiz, the pueblos blancos on the inland hills and the long sandy beaches of Spain’s Atlantic coast.
Breakfast is English-style with some Spanish touches, like eggs fried in olive oil and fragrant honey from hives in the nearby hills. An appetising start to the day, served in gracious style.
Although there is no restaurant for lunch and dinner at Alcántara, there are plenty to choose from in the close vicinity.
Out and About
Beaches. The nearest beaches are those around El Puerto de Santa María, Rota, Chipiona and Sanlúcar de Barrameda. Playa La Puntilla, Playa Santa Catalina, Playa de la Costilla, and Playa Chipiona come recommended. If you want to venture further afield, there are some great beaches near Conil de la Frontera too, south of Cadiz.
Horse-riding (Jerez is almost as famous for horses as it is for sherry!)
Golf (Montecastillo, a spectacular championship course only about 1 km from Casa Viña de Alcantara)
Motorsport. The Jerez circuit is host to the Moto GP, Formula 1 winter testing, and more.
Places to visit:
Jerez. To see the sherry bodegas, of course, and we'll particularly mention Gonzalez-Byass, though there are others of course. While there, don't miss the Alcazar, the cathedral and the gypsy quarter. Also, there is the Feria de Caballo (Horse Fair) in May.
Cadiz. A sort of Spanish Venice without the canals.
Coto Doñana National Park. A huge area of wetlands, ideal for bird-watchers and other nature lovers.
Pueblos Blancos. The white villages of Andalucia are in the mountains to the east. Just drive off and see what you find.
Inland Lakes. Near Arcos de la Frontera there are several huge man-made lakes (reservoirs) that add yet more beauty to the mountain scenery.
All the rooms are subtly decorated with soft earth colours continuing the atmosphere of the huge estate that runs behind the house. Everywhere you will find evidence of the family owners: photographs, paintings, embroidery, furniture.
The ceilings of the rooms, located on the top floor, have impressive wooden beams and all the bathrooms are delicately decorated in grey-veined white marble, with friezes of painted wood.
Reviews from Little Hotels Travellers:
|On arriving to the hotel, we could see that we were not in a massive hotel, as the initial welcome was delightful. "George" was the most attentive person I have met and his attention to detail was brilliant.
Our room was very clean and very large, it was spacious and had plenty of light, the bathroom was also of a large size, there was no compromise on space. On our first day we decided to have lunch and wine at the hotel, we ordered a local vineyard wine, and it was amazing, very Spanish and delicious, the food was plentiful.
Over the course of the 4 days we were there, the hotel staff were extremely helpful and informed us of the places to eat locally, even took us by car to the restaurant so we could enjoy the local wines.
I have no hesitation in recommending the hotel to everyone, I also will only use Little Hotels in the future, as this is a much better service than Bookings.com where algorithms work out what they think you need.
If I was to have anything to complain, is that I understand that smoking is still very big in Spain, however staff should refrain from smelling of it when serving breakfast as it can be off-putting.
|The Casa Vina de Alcantara was a real treat. We had it almost to ourselves and the setting and house were so enchanting that we spent a day walking nearby and then relaxing in the garden (and I even swam) instead of going to Cadiz as originally planned. We arrived by taxi and were immediately offered the services of Alex to drive us back into town as and when we needed. The hotel was elegant and comfortable, the staff obliging and discreet, and breakfast, our light lunch and dinner on the second evening all fresh and delicious. And when the bill came we felt it was excellent value for such luxury.|
|We stayed at Casa Vina de Alcantara in Jerez, but not booked through yourselves. We were the only guests for 3 nights and had the personal attention of Jorge and Jose all to our ourselves. A truly memorable experience, including dinner cooked and served by Jorge and tapas in the garden - Wow.|
|Wonderful and a totally different experience; no expense had been spared to make the house and rooms a comfortable place to stay. Personal service and advice about the area was forthcoming and anything we might want was available.|
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BOOK THIS HOTEL
Gonzalo del Rio y Gonzalez-Gordon has created another stunning hotel, this time making use of a hunting lodge on the family estate. I am entranced.
A Word from the Owner
This house was built by my great-grandfather in 1890 and has been in our family ever since. Today it is a pleasure to share its special ambience with the discerning guests who stay here. Join me for a 'copa'.