, Calle Iglesia, 40, Cartajima.
Owner Di Beach threw up the glamorous life of San Francisco to come to this quiet corner of Andalucia and to establish her little six-bedroom hotel in the tiny village of Cartajima. The result was Los Castaños, where a warm welcome awaits the intrepid visitors who come in search of the authentic Andalucia. Despite its apparent remoteness Cartajima is only 10 miles from the historic town of Ronda and 30 miles from Marbella so you're never far from the tourist trail and bright lights.
The hotel is a large village house next to the church right in the centre of the smallest of the Pueblos Blancos, so "real Spain" doesn't get any more real than this. John and Di are a charming hosts, putting all their emphasis into quality and comfort, within a totally relaxing atmosphere. There is a rooftop terrace with incredible views, loungers and a Moorish pool should you wish to take the sun; in winter curl up by a roaring fire in the drawing room with a good book from the extensive library. And let's not forget the fully-stocked bar famed for John's killer G&Ts.
Each of the double rooms is a carefully designed sanctuary with a kingsize double bed, a sitting area and a balcony. There is air-conditioning and heating. Uniquely, there are sketching materials in every room so all guests can try their hand at capturing the inspirational views from their windows or balconies. (Yes, most rooms get a private balcony too.)
Cartajima lies between woodlands of sweet chestnut trees (chestnuts are the basis of the local economy) and spectacular mountain crags. The area offers marvellous walks for the energetic, a convenient centre for cultural expeditions for the enthusiastic, peace and quiet for the world-weary. Outings with the local bird-watching expert are a favourite activity as are day trips to Ronda, Sevilla, Jerez, and the Costa del Sol. Detailed hiking routes of varying lengths and levels of difficulty are available upon request. There is a history here that goes back thousands of years, stretching from pre-historic cave paintings through the traces of Phoenician visits to the long periods of Roman and Moorish occupation to the final flowering of Christian Spain. Visitors here can enjoy it all, as well as soft beaches, a warm sea, cool mountains, stunning architecture and views all the way to Africa.
Los Castaños has been given the prestigious award of 2017 Inland Hotel of the Year by the Malaga Academy of Gastronomy. Well done Di!
Read Di's blog posting about opening her little hotel in Cartajima.
Los Castaños serves 3-course candle-lit dinners most evenings. Meals are cooked to order so guests ask at breakfast to dine that evening. The culinary focus is Western Mediterranean flavours, Spanish and Moroccan, using local produce. Small plates-to-share are also available throughout the day.
Dinner: 30.80 euros per person for appetisers, three courses, coffee.
Out and About
Walking: paths link the 7 villages that comprise the Alto Genal (Di can provide route notes)
Horse-riding in Ronda
Caving and rock-climbing in Los Riscos behind Cartajima
River swimming (if you've never experienced it, do try it!)
Bird watching (Di can arrange a day-long guided ornithological outing, and there are occasional week-long courses)
Ronda: many places of historical and cultural interest
Marbella: lively resort, for a bit of a change!
Beaches: all along the Costa Del Sol, about 45 minutes away
Pueblos Blancos: make a tour, for those who prefer to drive.
Serranía de Ronda: the mountains are all around
Each of the en-suite rooms is harmoniously decorated with a sumptuous king-size bed (or two twins) and comfortable Spanish rocking armchairs where you can let the stress dissolve away as you gaze out at the peaceful views. One of the two double rooms has a delightful view from the balcony over the flower-filled Moorish courtyard. The other has a half-balcony and overlooks the village and the townhall with the mountains in the background.
The en-suite bathroom is equipped with many necessities and little luxuries including a hairdryer. Each bathroom has a walk-in shower.
Each room has air conditioning and heating.
So many guests have commented on the inspirational quality of the views from their room, so Di provides sketching pads and materials.
The superior rooms are large and airy, decorated with style and provided with many little necessities - such as sketching materials! They have a balcony for sipping that pre-prandial glass of wine or early morning cup of freshly brewed coffee while watching the village come to life.
Each of the en-suite rooms is harmoniously decorated with a sumptuous king-size bed (or two twins) and comfortable Spanish rocking armchairs where you can let the stress dissolve away as you gaze out at the peaceful views.
The en-suite bathroom is equipped with many necessities and little luxuries including bathrobes, slippers, and hairdryer. Each bathroom has a shower and one has a bathtub as well so please ask when reserving if this is important for you.
Each room has air conditioning and heating.
Please note that there are no televisions in the rooms, but who wants a television when they could be sketching on the balcony instead?
For those who want a little extra privacy, the Special Retreat even has it's own private entrance. South-facing, there's a balcony for sipping that pre-prandial glass of wine or early morning cup of freshly brewed coffee while watching the village come to life.
The room is lovingly decorated with a sumptuous king-size bed (or two twins) and of course it includes Di's signature sketching materials so you can create your own memories.
The en-suite bathroom has a drencher shower, bathtub and bidet, and all the usual little extras like bathrobes an toiletries.
Kingsize bed with 100% cotton linen (two single beds also possible)
The name says it all! This big room has east-facing views of the mountains so you can lie in your king-size bed in the morning and watch the sunrise. It's packed with all the usual Los Castaños features.
Kingsize bed with 100% cotton linen (two single beds also possible).
Reviews from Little Hotels Travellers:
|Our stay was an idyllic, personalized experience in the middle of the Pueblos Blancos. We love the hosts, the food, the way there and the overall experience. We will be back.|
|We had a two night stay at the above hotel near to Ronda in Spain.|
We had a lovely time,the hotel was nicely appointed and we enjoyed our two evening meals, albeit not as outstanding as other reviews had led us to believe.
Breakfast was very nice and plenty of choice.
However, we feel that we should point out that we were kept awake on both nights with noise from the adjacent 'village bar'.
We had a lovely room to the front of the hotel with stunning views, but we estimated that our room was probably only about 30 yards from the bar as we looked out onto the little square.
We did stay on a Friday and Saturday evening and therefore expected there to be some noise but not the volume nor the length of time that it lasted.
On the Friday night clearly the local worthies were celebrating the end of the week and the bar didn't close till around 2.15.
On the Saturday night it was not so much the bar as the local kids who were playing outside including kicking a can about again until around 2.00am.
Other guests who stayed on the Friday night like us also mentioned the noise to Di and John who hadn't realised how bad it was as they are at the back of the hotel.<br> Di did say that they are intending to install double glazing and that hopefully that would reduce the noise level.
Maybe the answer is not to stay there at the weekend!!
|The hotel was wonderful in every way, with Di and John superb and helpful hosts - they couldn't do too much for you. The decor, the feeling of space and the fantastic views met every possible expectation.|
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BOOK THIS HOTEL
Los Castaños is a delightful village house in a tiny and charming village surrounded by stunning mountain scenery. We rather like the hotel motto: "country not city, rural not rustic, stylish not stylised"
A Word from the Owner
In the peaceful mountains, breathe the pure air, relax in the sun and recharge.