Guest Reviews 2012

 

It doesn’t get any better than this.
Almendrillo is amazing. It’s even better than it looks on the website. Difficult to believe I know, but it really is all that and more.

You look at the photos and read the description, then you look at the photos again, and you remember website trickery and holiday disgruntlements of previous years, and you think “It can’t be that perfect. They must be hiding something.”

But it is that perfect. They are not hiding anything. In fact, it’s the opposite. They wish they could show you more. You need to feel the warmth and hear the cicadas and smell the barbecue and taste the Rioja and see the stars and the breathtaking panoramic vista that no photograph could ever capture. You need to experience the sense of peace and calm and family joy that comes with sharing all this in so generous and handsome a space as Almendrillo provides. And the only way you get to do that is if you go there. And then you don’t want to leave. I’ve been planning my next visit from the second day of my first one.

Get my email address from Mike and Emma if you need persuading.

The beautiful, cool house and the ample grounds have so many interlinking varied spaces,so well organised and furnished, that, however many of you are there, you need never feel too crowded, nor too sparse. It’s expansive and rather grand, yet homely and comfortable at the same time.

The interior is stunning but the outdoor spaces are what makes Almendrillo really special beautiful gardens, courtyards, games areas and a barbecue kitchen draped in vines. A choice of views to enjoy while eating al fresco. And NONE OF IT OVERLOOKED IN ANY WAY. Total privacy, total seclusion – but safe in the knowledge that the village is within walking distance and larger towns are a short drive away. There’s no noise, apart from the afore mentioned cicadas and the occasional clank of a tractor ploughing the distant fields beyond the olive groves.

The pool is clean, refreshing and HUGE. You can swim proper lengths, not pretend holiday-pool ones – stretching your muscles while looking at the mountains across the valley and the swallows swooping over you. You can fit a rowdy game of water polo in there. Several of you can drift around on lilos and never meet. Or you could leave all that to the kids and take your pick of fifteen different loungers in sun or shade and fall asleep with a book and glass of beer.

I’ve never been anywhere that accommodates so many people so comfortably and safely, and in such style.
Harry, UK, 2012

 

There was plenty of space for everyone.

Outside the property the views are simply breath taking. My family enjoyed sitting in the beautiful renovated courtyard, looking at the view and playing in the large pool. The sunsets from the terrace area are simply stunning.

Mike the owner was very helpful and arranged fabulous catered dinners at the Finca for our party. He is also knowledgable about the area and recommended several interesting day trips.

My family had an amazing time and I would recommend Finca El Almendrillo to anyone.
Kirstie Challis, UK, 2012

 

We had a fantastic time here. The house is home to Mike and his family for most of the year, and it certainly has the lived in feel as opposed to a holiday rental feel. There are loads of bikes, a table tennis table and plenty of sun loungers hammocks just where you want to find them (ie away from everyone else). There is also, in case you hadn’t noticed, a huge swimming pool. It is absolutely perfect, with 180 views onto the olive-covered valley below.

The rooms are great and the showers are fantastic. The central courtyard has the long trestle-table, and many evenings were spent dining under the stars till all hours.

Mike the owner is incredibly efficient in the booking process, answering every query promptly and generally making it all pain-free. His directions to the house are a masterpiece – we got their first time. We would definitely recommend El Almedrillo.
Matthew F, Uk, 2012

 

We went with a group of 20, which consisted of four families each with 3 children from babies up to teenagers.

There was so much room for everyone I never felt cluttered or in any ones way. All families had two or three bedrooms (all of good size and most with bathrooms). There are two kitchens and good indoor eating spaces if it’s too hot outside. The property is old and quirky with thick walls and lots of interesting features e.g. traditional doors and beams.

Outside is also great. Lots of room for everyone to explore. Numerous areas for sitting to either enjoy the views, relax on the hammocks or play table tennis. It also feels extremely safe with no scary drops etc that you have to keep an eye on. The best part of course is the huge pool which was enjoyed by everyone. There are lots of seating spaces and good shade for the middle of the day. (Also has a toilet next to the pool).

The views are fantastic and you get a great feeling of remoteness with just the occasional tractor going past. To get to the house you have to drive quite a way off the main road along some small tracks which is a bit of an adventure the first time you do it, but the excellent directions made sure no one got lost.

We had a great week and I wish we could have stayed longer – exceeded my expectations.
Matthew C, Uk, 2012

 

We go on holiday with a large group of friends every 2 years. There are 4 families all with 3 children, so a grand total of 8 adults and 12 children. This was around the 4th or 5th place we had stayed in as a group and everyone agreed this one was by far the best!

The Finca is set in an amazing location with stunning views over the unspoilt countryside in large and interesting grounds which are safe and secure for the young ones and lots of interesting places to explore and relax for the older children and adults.

The properties were both full of character, yet obviously carefully restored with loads of Spanish charm, but also with many modern luxuries such as many ensuites. The views from some of the bedroom windows are amazing, whilst the top floor of the farmhouse is a great space with wooden floors, comfy sofa’s and a great balcony looking out at the mountains in the distance and olive groves. Both kitchens were a great size and perfect for preparing food and eating.

Outside the pool was a massive hit with the children and adults. It was a really good size and had a nice shaded area and plenty of sun loungers and even an outdoor toilet and shower. The provision of beach towels as part of the linen pack for each bed was a great help too meaning we didn’t have to bring heavy towels in our luggage.

Having arranged a number of holidays for our group I always feel you can get a good indication of how good somewhere is likely to be from the responses you get prior to a booking and the help provided and Mike was excellent from the initial query through to when we are actually staying at the property. The information in the property was also really good with a folder of useful information and places to go.

Mike even arranged for catering in advance for our group with a local chef he knew where we pre-ordered meals for two nights and had some great food cooked and served for our group. This was a big hit with the adults and is highly recommended – they even did the washing up!!

The directions to the property was also worth a mention as 3 of the families in our group arrived late at night in the dark and made it straight to the house without any drama due to the amazingly detailed and helpful directions helping with the journey up the hill to finca.

Overall, I cannot recommend the property enough – stunning location, great property, grounds and facilities for a relaxing holiday.
Ivor W, UK, 2012

 

Our stay at Finca El Almendrillo easily ranks as the best holiday experience I have yet had at a villa in Spain.
It is set in a wonderfully remote and beautiful location with a very entertaining mountain road! We arrived to a genuinely warm welcome from the cleaning staff and the provision of welcome packs of supplies in each kitchen was a lovely touch.

The villa itself is beautifully and tastefully restored so that it retains all the charm and character of a traditional Spanish finca but still has all the conveniences that the modern world demands – Wifi, satellite TV, even an IPod docking station! Lots of things that we didn’t expect too – the fact that there were lots of children’s books and toys for our little ones to use made the fact that only limited toys could be brought with us much easier to handle! So many bedrooms that we didn’t even find one of them until day 2!

The pool was wonderful and the main focus of several days – securely gated so no safety worries for children and big enough for the whole party to splash around together. The awning is a wonderful touch – eminently practical but so well designed – typical of the way the whole villa has been developed.

Fantastic views across olive farms and mountains, especially in the early morning and late evening with some exciting bird life to keep the adults amused. We spent seven wonderful evenings eating outside in the main courtyard and drinking wine on the veranda looking out at the view.

A special mention must be made of Andy, the “contact on the ground” – his excellent English made my limited Spanish redundant and he was extremely warm, welcoming and helpful at all times – really, nothing would have been too much trouble for him. Also a very warm welcome at the bar in Fuente del Conde – a few cold beers there are definitely recommended!
I would heartily recommend this villa to any large group of family and friends who want some serious relaxation and comfort!
Toby S, Uk, 2012

 

We have just returned home from our superb week at the finca: we loved everything about it – the absolutely stunning views, the sensitive way the ancient farmhouse has been restored, the indoor space and the wonderful ceramics, the extensive pool with appropriate shade, and especially the cats. It was clearly a much loved family home, impeccably cared for, which we were privileged to share.

The website description was absolutely accurate but if anything, underestimates the atmosphere of peace and the impact of the views, directions were clear and accurate, so we found it without difficulty, and entering the courtyard for the first time was like walking into a bygone age – but without any discomforts!

The views are out of this world in every direction, and there are little corners on every side of the finca for sitting and relaxing. It is so quiet, secure, peaceful and utterly private and the bird spotters amongst us were thrilled to see hoopoes and eagle owls, as well plenty of swallows.

The finca is extremely well and luxuriously equipped, even down to toys, bicycles and books which were a great delight as we had 7 young children in our party who thoroughly enjoyed searching through the toy boxes. There were three fridges which ensured that everything could be kept cool, and plenty of bedding and clean towels, even pool towels. We ate out every night in the cobbled courtyard and made good use of the barbecue facilities.

We were a party of 20 – seven under 4, and two teenagers who managed to sleep until midday. The rest of us had space when we needed it, but plenty of areas where we could come together as a large group.

The obvious place was the pool, with its superb sculpted shady pergola. The pool is really generous and large: we had amongst our party, ex-competitive swimmers, who were able to re-discover their training. But the non-swimmers loved paddling around in the shallows by the steps and jumping in from the side into safe arms. And there was plenty of space over for play. We especially appreciated the toilet next to the pool, the shower and also the gate which ensured that no little children made unsupervised visits. The gardens are well-maintained and most attractive.

We had the pleasure of meeting Toni and Andy who were delightful and friendly and answered all queries. Antonio, at the restaurant and bar at the bottom of the hill was hospitable and served a delicious farewell lunch for 20 people without problems.
Carole L, UK, 2012