Coming in to a long entrance way always stirs my curiousity… where will this lead? It is in the least bit disappointing: what a beautiful restored Hacienda appears after the extensive entry! A Hacienda, being a Spanish rural estate with a manor, offers space and of course the wonderful climate of the country.

I was greeted by a very hospitable Lea and over a refreshing welcome drink who tells me all about Hacienda followed by an extensive tour. Wow, what a special place and such tranquility… paradise found! The central building with its comfortable salon and the beautiful old courtyard where the walls are covered with deep pink coloured Bougainville. Here the 11 Deluxe rooms are situated. Then we walk through the gardens, filled with lovely scented flowers, lush plants and fruit trees. There are 3 pools, spread over different places on the estate. By dispersing the outside amenities, privacy and quietness are guaranteed.

One of the pools is exclusive for the residents of the Casitas. The 3 Casitas are situated at the back of the estate and are newly built in an authentic atmosphere. I was so lucky to have one of them as my lodging for the night and as the name suggests you get a whole house for yourself: with a spacious living, kitchenette, bathroom with bath and separate shower, separate toilet, enormous bedroom with a mezzanine for extra beds. Outside you find your own garden with sun loungers and a covered lounge area with a daybed and a dining table. The perfect place to unwind! The Casitas are the most expensive lodging possibility at the Hacienda, but the Deluxe rooms are affordable and decorated with equal amounts of care and style, all different but very charming. Real cosy Hideaways!

As a guest of Hacienda de San Rafael you are really pampered, besides a small fridge with refreshing drinks you can pick up the phone and order yourself another drink or something to eat, this will be served at your own terrace or in your room. In the morning you will find a jar of fresh coffee in front of your door, and you can order in breakfast at a time you prefer. A delicious 3 course dinner with accompanying wines is served in the attractive dining room in the main building or, weather permitting, in the lush garden.

Would you like to explore the beauty of Andalusia? The staff can recommend all the best places in the area that makes this a perfect base for road trips. You find yourself a half hour drive away from the coast, lovely Jerez the la Frontera is just around the corner (also with an airport where the lowcost airlines fly into and Seville airport is close by too), the typical white villages of Andalusia are nearby and Seville takes just half an hour by car. In Seville, one of my favorite cities, I recommend to stay in their sister hotel Corral del Rey where you can enjoy the sumptuous tapas and Seville by night to the fullest: a perfect combination with a couple of nights at the Hacienda.