Luxurious Andalusian Hotels on Conde Nast List

I’m always looking up and visiting great hotels in Spain, they are my passion and the sole reason for starting my Only Spain ~ Boutique Hotel collection. It’s taking me a while and it’s not easy visiting gorgeous hotels but the portfolio is growing and most quickly in Andalusia the region of Spain in which I live.

Hotel Cortijo Bravo

When I stumbled upon the Spanish Conde Nast list El Lujo es un Cortijo – Luxury is a Cortijo (country house)  I was very happy that I knew about (but have not visited) most of them. The one new addition (Cortijo Los Malenos) to my  list of ‘lovely places to stay that I want to visit for Only Spain’ makes me wonder whether I’ll make it around the whole of Spain when Andalucia is so large and diverse. It’s a huge country to a Brit like me but one I delight in exploring.

Hotel Molino del Arco, Ronda, Jose Salto

How Conde Nast managed to limit their list to eleven  I don’t know but these ones are indeed gorgeous, luxury cortijos which are now small hotels or B&Bs.  I thought the list should be shared in English – if you’re looking for a great place to stay then this list won’t make your choice easy!

Luxurious Cortijo Hotels in Andalusia

Cortijo Carligto – Canillas del Aceituno, Malaga

Hotel Cortijo Bravo – Velez, Malaga

Molino del Arco – Ronda, Malaga

La Amunia – Monachil, Granada

Cortijo Los Malenos – Cabo de Gata, Almería

Finca Las Encinas – Iznajar, Cordoba

Finca La Guarda – Alcala del Valle, Cadiz

Molino Rio Alajar – Aracena, Huelva

Hacienda San Rafael – Cabezas de San Juan, Sevilla

Cortijo El Sarmiento – Mojacar, Almeria

Finca Cortesin – Casares, Malaga

The only part of this list I’m not happy about is that there is at least one hotel from every one of the eight provinces in Andalusia except my home province of  Jaen. How sad is that. I know Jaen doesn’t have the same amount of luxury properties as other more touristy  and famous areas but there are some special places here too! Check out Boutique Hotels in Jaen Province on Only Spain to see.

The only one on the list that is on Only Spain at the moment is Finca Las Encinas.

Finca de las Encinas

The source for this post was this article – Conde Nast Spain if you want to see the original post in Spanish.

To read other posts about Hotels in Spain here on Luxury Spain Travel have a look at the Review page.

Cordoba – Lots to See and Do

At just over an hour from my home in Jaen province Cordoba is a frequent day trip and often an overnighter too. The Casco Historico I know pretty well, but not so the new sprawling town, which is where the train station is. If you’re heading to Cordoba by car there’s lots of on-street free parking on the other side of the bridge from the main monumental area.

Cordoba – Lots to See and Do

Crossing from this side makes a great start to a visit, walk across the Roman bridge that straddles the River Guadalquivir. Although called the ‘Roman bridge’ what we see today is mostly an Islamic re-construction built on the ruins of the 1st century Roman Bridge.

Hotel Viento 10, Cordoba

As you pass over the 9 metre wide 247 metre long bridge into historical Cordoba a first glimpse of the incredible Mezquita is in front you and the Royal Fortress or to give it its full name – Alcazar de los Reyes Cristianos (Castle of the Christian Monarchs) to your left. Both are must visits. The Mezquita, an enormous Islamic Mosque has a huge orange-tree-filled courtyard with a minaret tower and an enormous prayer hall. If you can, go at the beginning or the end of the day to it’s appreciate its size and splendour in almost solitude and silence.

Visit the Alcazar fortress and palace with beautiful Moorish design gardens and a great many Roman mosaics recovered from the Plaza de la Corredera. Adjacent to the fortress in the Royal Stables where Andalusian horse shows are regular features. Do try and see one if you can, horse lover or not it’s an incredible display of human and animal interaction which I thoroughly enjoyed.

Hotel Viento 10, Cordoba

For garden lovers the Cordoba Patio or Courtyard Competition at the beginning of May, is a glorious riot of colours and great time to visit. Many private patios are open to the public for two weeks while the competition is on, some are open year- round and you can have a guided tour instead of trying to find them yourself with a map. The range, style, design and flowers of these, unique, patios are stunning, even my non-gardener, flower-ignorant hubby enjoyed it. Although I only took him once, each year would be pushing it! Some of these historical patios give a glimpse into the past, with tiny patios, wells, communal wash rooms it’s easy to imagine neighbours sitting out in the cool of the night singing and dancing flamenco. In recent years some of the patios have opened over Christmas and New Year too.

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One of my favourite spots for coffee, if the weather is fine, is the amazingly large Plaza de la Corredera. Some spots like this can only be seen on foot or possibly by Segway. I have done a Segway tour (great fun when you learn how to stop) and a sightseeing bus tour which we took when we just did not want to walk anymore! I recommend both but enjoyed the segway tour more as we went through the narrow streets (only just avoiding tourists) and saw interesting corners and buildings which we revisted on foot afterwards. It’s a great way of having an overview of the city and getting your bearings.

Segway Tour in Cordoba

Plaza de las Tendillas is another lovely old square, more commercial than Plaza Corredera with restaurants and not just bars, for another refreshment stop. If you like Spanish Tortilla then you’ll love the enormous ones made in a tiny little bar near the Mezquita – Bar Taberna Los Santos, famous for their tortillas made from 30 eggs and five kilos of potoatoes. Where to Eat near the Mezquita. Stop here for a tortilla tapa and a fino wine, if only to see the size of the Tortillas!

Another great eating place is the gastromarket Mercado Victoria in a lovely old forged metal structure dating from 1877. Around 30 stalls provide tapas and rations from Oysters to T-bone steaks. Buy your drinks from one stall and food from others. A lovely way to try lots of different dishes, meat for one, fish for another, and a lively fun atmosphere too. I prefer visiting at lunchtime as the evenings are for the younger crowd and much noisier.

Cordoba

One of my favourite visits is to the Palacio de Marquises de Viana or Viana Palace a gorgeous house/museum dating from the 14th century with, you guessed it, lovely patios! In fact there are twelve unique patios ranging from Roman and Arabic to Renaissance styles and the museum is really interesting too.

Heading Out of Town

Medina Azahara,Cordoba

About 6km to the west of Cordoba by Abd-ar-Rahman between 912- 961, a huge, costly and time consuming project. The restoration and Unesco site, Medina Azahara, are the ruins of an Arab palace, more like a city, buildings are ongoing but it’s an incredible eye-opener to the way and wealth of the times. The on-site museum holds many treasures discovered on site and is the first port of call, then you take the bus up to the ruined city. You can park at the museum, but can’t take cars up to the ruins, a bus runs constantly between the two. There are also buses that run from Cordoba city to the site several times a day, if you don’t fancy the drive.

Hotels I recommend in  Cordoba

With such a choice of hotel in Cordoba it’s difficult to know where to start, but I’ve got two great suggestions for you – Hotel Balcon de Cordoba and Hotel Viento 10 they are both on our sister site Only Spain ~Boutique Hotels and you’re sure to like one if not both of them.

If you have any questions about Cordoba that I can help you with don’t hesitate to leave a comment in the comments box below.

The Best of Cordoba in 36 Hours

Cordoba old city, world heritage site, fabulous monuments, tradition and history. Centuries unfold and merge together uniquely but if your time to visit is short what should you experience, where should you stay and what should you eat? My recent overnight stay included the best of Cordoba, I’d been before and planned well.

The Alcazar

The Royal Palace with lovely gardens and water features, especially if you visit at night when the water features are lit with a colouful display. A day time visit is also good, climb the top tower for the city views across the River Guadalquivir, once navigable from the Atlantic Ocean in Cadiz. The gardens are charming and relaxing but what amazed me most was the Roman mosaics in the palace discovered in and moved from the Plaza Corredera.

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The Royal Stables Show – Espectaculo Ecuestre
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The enormous Royal Stable next to The Alcazar, the king’s palace is not only an incredible bit of architecture but hosts a fascinating display of carriages through the ages and once or twice weekly horse shows. On this visit to Cordoba this was the highlight. An hour of horse exhibits showing the incredible mastery of both man and beast. I would have been sitting on the edge of my seat except that being on the front row the horses came within reach so I was leaning as far back as possible. Check the dates at certain times of the year there is only one show a week.

The Mezquita

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An absolute must-visit and probably the main reason you’re planning a trip to Cordoba. Try and go early in the day or at the end of the opening hours so it’s not so busy and the awesomeness and enormity really impact your experience. No amount of photos or videos prepared me, it is (especially when empty) overwhelming and was the best bit of a previous stay.

Bodegas Campo

A wonderful traditional olde worlde traditional wine cellar, bar and many different roomed restaurants with top-notch service and a blend of old and new mainly Spanish but also Mediterranean dishes.

Bodegas Campos, Cordoba

Where to Stay in Cordoba

These are two of my favourite small boutique hotels in Cordoba, click to read my review of them.

Hotel Balcon de Cordoba

Hotel Viento 10

Read my Cordoba, Spain Full of UNESCO Sites posts on my sister site Only Spain.

Read my 36 Hours in Granada post.

Hotel Balcon de Cordoba Bedroom

Small Luxurious Personal and Perfect – Hotel Balcon de Cordoba

The Hotel Balcon de Cordoba is adorable. Just around the corner from the incredible and huge Mezquita, on the doorstep of all the main monuments in the narrow cobbled streets of ‘Old Cordoba’, neither location nor service could be better.

Charming hotel in Cordoba
Hotel Balcon de Cordoba Patio

My stay began with a contented sigh before heading into the beautiful patio of this absolutely delighful small hotel. The four hundred-year old home on two floors with three patios, balconies, terraces and a roof terrace is not only cosy and beautiful but archaeological treasures abound throughout.

Hotel Balcon de Cordoba Reception
Hotel Balcon de Cordoba Reception

Beautiful corners, attention to detail, fabulous fabrics all add to the delight of this unique boutique charmer of a hotel.

Hotel Balcon de Cordoba Bedroom
Hotel Balcon de Cordoba

If you’re looking for something special in the heart of Cordoba you won’t find anywhere to equal this looked-after personal experience, so central and so charming.

See Hotel Balcon de Cordoba on Only Spain ~ Boutique Hotels