A fabulous cortijo-style hotel, just a hop away from Seville: a seductive fusion of things traditionally Andalucian with spicier, Eastern flavours
Beguiling San Rafael stands in glorious isolation between Seville and Jerez, amidst rolling fields of wheat, sunflower and cotton.
The Reed family have owned this former olive farm for nearly a century and a half; the latest generation, Anthony and Patrick, have pulled it right to the top of the ‘hip hideaway’ rankings with a recent makeover.
The feel-good factor cuts in from the moment you are greeted, at a bougainvillea-clad entrance portal, by one of the staff with a glass of chilled fino or, in the warmer months, with a fresh lime juice or iced lemongrass tea.
The 14 guest rooms and casitas are huge with a gorgeous commingling of antiques, modern art and base elements of the original cortijo: terracotta tile, wafer bricking, massively thick walls, shuttered windows. They have private terraces, rich fabrics and rugs, freshly cut flowers and sparkling, open plan bathrooms.
You are pampered at every turn – fabulous gardens, superb food and a choice of three pools secreted away amongst groves of lemon, pomegranate, olive, and carob. One of southern Spain’s most narcotic small hotels.
Hacienda San Rafael in Las Cabezas de San Juan, near Seville, is a fabulous boutique hacienda with 14 rooms, with doubles costing from €225 for bed and breakfast.