Andalucia Gastronomy – One of the Best

No, I’m not talking about Jamon, which is delicious, popular and everywhere – especially the best pata negra.  Andalucia gastronomy varies from town to town and province to province but one spot which should definitely be on your list is Riofrio in Granada.

Why? I hear you ask. Well Riofrio produces black sturgeon caviar. About an hour south of the lovely city of Granada with the unmissable Alhambra Palace is the tiny town of Riofrio which has produced caviar of more than fifty years. Incredible as it sounds it is only in recent years that it’s become public knowledge rather than the whisper of chefs. Sturgeon isn’t the only roe they produce but also salmon and sea urchin.

Caviar Cubes @Riofrio

They also keep up with the times and innovate with new products, what about a Caviar Cube instead of an olive in your Cocktail or Martini.

Plan a visit to the only certified organic sturgeon farm in the world but if you can’t there’s a virtual visit and an online shop – Caviar de RioFrio


Unusual Spas in Spain – Wine and Oil Massages at Hotel Villa de Laguardia


The Hotel Villa de Laguardia in the heart of Rioja Alavesa has created an exclusive and unusual Spa using the local produce –  grapes. Its signature experience is a massage with grape oil.

Divided into two independent spaces the thermal circuit complete with an ancient olive tree and surrounded by a foot bath in a barrel and a covered outer area which is stunning at night.

Hotel Villa lGuardia cupola

The thermal circuit has different contrasting showers, a Finnish sauna, a Turkish bath and an ice fountain. All designed to invigorate the body, activate the circulatory system and relax the mind.


The curved swimming pool has water jets, water beds, duckbills, geysers, hydromassage benches and cold water basins, so that the visitor gets the most benefit and therapeutic effect. Not forgetting the herbal teas and relaxing hammocks.

The other area has 15 theme massage cabins for facial and body treatments and various hydrotherapy techniques where you can experience natural treatments based on wine and olive oil from Rioja Alavesa.

The Wine Oil Spa offers you a novel à la carte experiences based on the cosmetic properties of products such as chestnuts, sloes, truffles and local aromatic plants like thyme, lavender and rosemary.


Some of the winetherapy and oiltherapy treatments on offer are:

Wine Oil Scrub: An exfoliating cocktail with Arroniz olive oil emulsified with grape skin, pips and natural grapes scented with mint.

Moisturising Body Massage: A creamy emulsion massage with grapes or olive oil

Body Wrapping: Black grapes (anti-oxidizing), olive oil (restoring), chocolate (nourishing), black truffle (mineralising), black mud (analgesic) or seaweeds (draining)

Take your pick and be wined and oiled in luxury at Hotel Villa de LaGuardia.

Two Adult-only 5* Hotels on Tenerife

When it’s an adult-only, child-free location you want these two fabulous hotels on the Canary Island of Tenerife definitely fit the bill nicely.

Grand Hotel Salome


Located on the Costa Adeje the Grand Hotel Salome has 120 rooms and 24 luxurious suites all with free wifi and flat screen TV. Make the most of this child-free environment and enjoy the Thai Zen Spa, workout in the modern gym, the heated indoor pool or playing tennis but if just relaxing is the name of the game bask in the sun by the large pool.

Set between Duque and Fanabe beach this is also an ideal spot for diving, windsurfing and also golf.

Grand Hotel el Mirador

The colonial style Grand Hotel el Mirador is just off the Duque Beach giving fabulous views of the ocean.  This 120-room luxurious adults only hotel has elegant luxury suites with walk-in closets and canopy beds. The private furnished balconies have beautiful ocean-views for a cosy sun-downer.

It has everything necessary for a relaxing island holiday.  Free Spa, fitness gym and a huge, heated pool which surrounds the main building.

Breakfast and dinner in the restaurant is Canarian and International buffet-style, there is also a poolside restaurant and a gourmet restaurant – El Cenador and by pool the Tosca bar offers drinks and tapas day and night.



Both hotels are instantly bookable via
Grand Hotel El Mirador ~ Grand Hotel Salome


Hotel Las Caldas Villa Thermal ~ Award-winning Spanish Spa Hotel

The award-winning Hotel Balneario Las Caldas Thermal is a fabulous 5* star Spa Hotel which has walked away with the Spanish ‘Best Health Hotel’  award and it was also named in among the top hotels for Iniciative in the category for  health.


Hotel Las Caldas Villa Thermal is in Asturia a northern province of Spain, just 8 kms from the city of Oviedo. A fabulous spot for exploring the north of Spain and a high-class hotel for enjoying a relaxing, healthy holiday. The Spa offers a wealth of wellness programmes and massages.


Its origins began in XVII  century as the Hotel Balneario and now as then it upholds its great tradition and reputation and after undergoing modernisation it became Hotel Las Caldas Villa.

Its  beautiful, pooled 4,000 sq mt huge gardens are reflected in the large complex. With 79 exclusive rooms covering several Renaissance buildings its quality, luxury and style gained its well-deserved prize in October 2014.

Hotel Las Caldas Villa

Hotel Abadia Retuerta Le Domaine

Spanish 5* Vineyard Hotel in Ribera del Duero

The Estate Abadia Retuerta LeDomaine, once a 12th century monastery, now a 5* star Relais & Chateaux hotel with the Michelin star restaurant – Refectario.

Nestling between vines along the River Duero it radiates luxury and peace and quiet rule from the inside the historical Romanesque-Baroque monastery walls.

Abadia Retuerta Le Domaine @ Relais & Chateaux

North of Madrid in the region of Castilla y Leon and east of Valladolid this is wine growing country so a vineyard visit is a must but there are plenty of other experiences available, Horse riding, Cycling or Hiking Trails, Historical and cultural guided tours, Medieval falconry and the almost obligatory wine tastings.
Hotel Abadia Retuerta Le Domaine


Eight Great Thalasso Spas in Spain

The word Thalasso comes from the Greek Thalassa meaning the sea or energy from the sea and these days Thalasso Spa is the therapeutic use of seawater. Thalasso treatments use seaweed, seasalt and ocean water which allows the absorption of important vitamins and minerals to help balance the mind and body.

The idea of a Thalasso treatment is that sea water has strong healing properties, in  tests algae and sea weeds have proven to have powerful natural antiseptic and antibiotic properties,  and possess a large range of vitamins, calcium, iron, proteins and minerals.

Gran Hotel Elba Estepona  Thalasso Spa

Since Roman times the benefits of bathing in mineral or thermal waters where known and were used to treat medical complaints. In Thalasso Spas thermal water is used for baths, showers and inhalations in combination with relaxing, beauty  treatments, all for our general well-being and to ease aches and pains.

Seawater has beneficial effects upon our pores  and is applied as either  marine mud, algae paste,  inhalation or by showering.  Thalasso therapy is a natural  way to help you regain inner unity and harmony.

We’ve picked eight great Thalasso Spas hotels, five on the mainland and three on the Spanish Islands. The links are to the best, easiest and most  immediate way of reserving hotels these days. They are affiliate links which means if you book via them we get a small commission to carry on bringing you great content.

Gran Hotel Elba Estepona & Thalasso Spa – Andalucia

Barcelo Estepona Thalasso Spa – Andalucia

Thalasso Hotel El Palasiet – Castellon

Hotel Blancafort Spa Termal – Catalonia

Hipotels Eurotel Punta Rotja Thalasso Spa & Golf – Mallorca

Mercure Thalasia Hotel & Thalasso Center – Murcia

Hotel SBH Costa Calma Palace Thalasso & Spa– Fuerteventura

Gloria Palace San Agustin Thalasso & Hotel – Gran Canaria



Hotel Viento 10 – Review

Small and chic with a charming twist of modern interwoven with ancient Moorish pillars and arches. A lovely vision of clean white lines and charm greeted me when the door was opened with a welcome smile framed by a beautiful patio beyond.

DSC_0547 - Copy

Step inside and calm overtakes and washes away the stress of travelling. Hotel Viento 10, named after it’s street and number, is a boutique hotel, in my terms – unique, small, privately owned and impeccable.

The well-renovated small house town house means some of the rooms are small too, our room, the largest overlooked the front which is a narrow side street between the Jewish quarter and the River Guadalquivir. A great location just a few minutes walk to the bustling centre and the Mezquita.

Hotel Viento 10, Cordoba

White and charming beamed ceiling,  the most comfy hotel bed ever, and a huge spacious sink and surround. A surprise too were the Woods of Windsor toiletries, home from home, behind the pink glass doors a very spacious and powerful shower and loo. All spot on.

Woods of Windsor
From our first-floor passageway we could look down on the patio and breakfast room, which seeing the set tables enticed us to partake in what is the prettiest breakfast I’ve ever had.

Hotel Viento 10, Cordoba

The lounge/breakfast room has an honesty bar for your nightcap and lots of reading about Cordoba and its surrounds.
There is a delightful petit roof terrace complete with sunbeds and city views, unfortunately our stay in December didn’t entice their use!

This is a delightful retreat with only eight bedrooms to which I thoroughly enjoyed having my own front door key even if it was only for a short period of time.

See Hotel Viento 10 on Only Spain ~ Boutique Hotels