Whenever possible, The Scoopettes stay in small, unique hotels in Spain. We love places with a story and a personal touch. That’s why we’re pleased to share with you today at great find in Andalusia, Almohalla 51. Cat Gaa stayed at the boutique hotel and has the scoop!
By Cat Gaa
Aww, Ronda gets all the fame. Like the beautiful older sister, she’s the gem of the white villages of Andalusia and the de facto capital of the Serranía de Málaga.
But tucked into these northern mountains of the province, far from the holidaymakers on the Costa del Sol, are a host of small ‘pueblos’ that hide the true Andalusian spirit, ‘en español’ of course. Almohalla 51, a couple-run boutique hotel in the small village of Archidona, mixes an eclectic style with classic Andalusian hallmarks, and has helped transform the sleeply village into a tourist draw.
The Story of How
The Almohalla 51 owners have long had ties with Spain. In fact, Myles summered in the Costa del Sol as a child, and when the pair decided to grind their corporate lives in London to a halt, their next step was clear.
Checking out properties in the geographical center of Spain, he and his partner David bought two crumbling houses from a local family and did a major renovation, striving to conserve as much of the original furniture and making the home eco-friendly. Solar panels heat the rooms and running water, and local artisans were hired to repair or recreate furniture when possible.
The Hotel and Amenities
The result of the renovations is a cozy, five-room space with several common areas and en suite bathrooms. One of the highlights is the ‘Gallinera,’ a hidden deck with a pool and small bar where guests can enjoy a glass of sherry and take in the views. David and Myles are excellent company and cooks, serving us up a hearty breakfast and giving us tips and suggestions for the ‘pueblo’ and beyond.
There are a number of stairs in the hotel, so children are not allowed, and Almohalla 51 is not recommended for those with mobility issues. Rates vary by season, but expect to pay between 80€ and 115€ per night, with breakfast, linens, housekeeping and VAT tax included.
What to do in Archidona
Perched on the side of the Sierra de Grácia, Archidona serves up inspiring vistas of the surrounding countryside, and Myles and David take their loveable dog on walks to the sanctuary and ramparts that tower over the village. Archidona is also noted for its Baroque architecture, evident in several convents and the Plaza Ochavada, the central square.
David and Myles are available to help with itineraries and suggestions on where to eat in Archidona, and where to get local specialties like ‘porra archidonesa’, a cold, tomato-based soup.
Get info and make bookings at: http://www.almohalla51.com/
Arriving to Archidona
The town is a mere 20 kilometers from Antequera, making it easy to reach thanks to the high-speed train and its connections from Madrid and around Andalusia. It’s also an easy drive from Seville on the A-92 and the Costa del Sol, just catching the A-45 and turning off at the A-354 highway.
Cat Gaa left the skyscrapers of Chicago for the olive groves of Southern Spain over five years ago, developing an allgery to the olive trees along the way. While she calls Seville home and writes about it on her blog, Sunshine and Siestas, even this city girl needs a country escape from time to time. You can find her on twitter and instagram at @sunshinesiestas.
****My stay was graciously provided by David and Myles, the owners of the hotel. All opinions (and the kilos gained from their food recommendations in the village) are mine, all mine.