traditional-farmhouse-holiday-rental-for-big-groups-in-andalucia-guest-reviews-2015

 

Heaven in Andalucia!
Our large family group (20 people aged from 23 to 71) has just returned from a truly special week at El Almendrillo. Everything in every way exceeded our expectations! Every box was ticked!

The whole house is sympathetically and beautifully furnished, yet is very functional too. The bedrooms reflected the old place too, some being quite magnificent, some quirky, but all lovely. Interesting and comfortable areas everywhere inside.

The position of this wonderful and characterful old property was amazing. Out on its own in stunning countryside. So peaceful! We thought we’d arrived in heaven after the drive up from Fuente del Conde!

We spent many hours marvelling at the views at every time of day and pinching ourselves for being so lucky as to be there!

Outside the house were so many little areas with comfy chairs and tables, where folk could escape or sit quietly if needed. We all found our perfect personal favourite spots! The courtyard with it’s long table was where we gathered for meals chat and music in the evenings…perfect! And no risk of annoying anyone with our noise and entertainment!

The BBQ area is conveniently situated in its own outbuilding, & was very user friendly. A real perk was the area where drinks could be stored, in a proper fridge. As a family getting together in a big group often, drinks storage for lots of folk can be a problem….but here it was perfect! And better STILL, Andres, the manager was able to pre-order not only all the drinks we could possibly want including a chilled barrel of beer on tap ….all ready for us on arrival! And at a very good price too.

Another highlight (which we’d read about in other reviews) was the special catered Spanish evening meal. A local chef and his helpers came along and prepared served (and cleared away after!) a marvellous tapas meal for us all one evening. A treat!

And that pool! A real wow! Enormous, and with awesome views! There were folk in there the whole time, playing competitive volleyball or just chilling…the weather was glorious, considering we were there towards the end of the season.

The table tennis area, table football, and a pool table were all well used too!

Local shopping (25 mins away) was excellent, and cheap too! And much easier without the drinks!

We could have ventured further than we did, making it to Granada, and to Benalmadena where we took the cable car and visited the Birds of Prey education centre.

For the Alhambra (a must!) it is key to book way ahead for tickets…we missed out!
But mostly we were happy just chilling in this wondrous place! Thank you so much !

Anne T

 

A perfect holiday or wedding venue in real Spain
Upon arriving at the Finca, after a year of daydreaming about the place, it didn’t disappoint. As you venture up from Fuente Del Conde through the olive groves and up over the ridge, you are presented with what can only be described as the sublime. An awe inspiring 180 degree view across the farmland, groves and onto the mountains. It truly does take your breath away every time, even after popping to the local shop and into your second week there!

It has to be said, the directions provided by Mike are excellent and the parking at the Finca is superb for a big group. Probably up there with a car park at the Grand Canyon for views! We arrived through the large gates and into the stunning courtyard where we would spend many evenings, through into the excellently kitted kitchen to a friendly note from Mike and some very kind supplies for our first night.

Exploring the Finca is one of the best things about the experience. We have a large family who arrived across the first two days at different times and every single guest was more than happy with the facilities and rooms provided.

This is a place so peaceful and so quiet, that we almost forgot we had a wedding to organise. It is so very easy to sit in a hammock, stretch out on a sun bed, plunge into the magnificent swimming pool or have lazy lunches picking a different spot every day to dine.

We would advise making an early visit to the large supermarket in Anterquera to ensure the property is fully stocked but the local shop sells bread, coffee and other essentials. Antonio’s Bar is an absolute must for a Cerveza, a (very large) Sangria or the grilled prawns.
The local area is stunning and Iznajar provides both the old town for those wishing to walk up to the castle via the tapas bar or for those who need a day at the beach, head to the lake where there are pedaloes, kayaks and a lovely beach bar.

Back to the Finca (which became a common phrase) we had a wedding to plan and gradually throughout the week, one by one the alcohol arrived, the haybales were unloaded by the farmers, the caterers set up and courtesy of a very helpful local chap our guests arrived, each with the same gawping, awe inspired expression as they made their way across to the lawn for our ceremony.

People always say their wedding is the best day of their lives and it was ours.. If you are thinking about booking the Finca El Almendrillo for your family holiday or perhaps even your wedding, don’t think, just book it.

Lex W

 

Idyllic setting for any large group holiday!
We wondered whether the photos and reviews were too good to be true but the reality surpassed expectations. We were having a family get together for mum’s 70th and totalled 23 people including young children.

There was plenty of space for us not to get in each other’s way but communal areas so that we could spend long nights dining and making merriment under the night sky with meteor shower laid on! Loved the barbeque, kitchens and giant paella pan! So many nooks and crannies to explore and plenty of shady areas to relax during the heatwave Spain was experiencing. Some family members read whilst someone else practised yoga whilst another painted. Kids climbed rocks and others swam and a cold barrel of beer beckoned to others! The pool was huge and spotlessly clean and an ideal way to cool off or set swimming challenges. The most wonderful thing about this property is its remote hillside location with the ‘ridiculous view without any blot on the landscape ‘ (quote mum). Sunsets were breathtaking and we loved the tiny black specks aka goats taking an evening stroll far below us with bells tinkling.

Mike was not in Spain during our stay but he left the property in very capable hands and he maintained email or text contact to ensure all was well. There were people who tended the garden or cleaned the pool and carried out any maintenance without fuss or invasion of privacy in any way. Andres, who incidently speaks fluent English, was lovely and immediately saw to any requests such as ordering more drinks from the recommended supplier or arranging a party size celebration tirimisu cake with only a few days notice.

We were all sad to leave. Some people saw no need to leave during our week stay having already done some city sightseeing prior to arriving. It was a perfect place to completely relax and spend rare family time together.
Thank you.

Nikki W

 

A luxurious stay and stunning views
I was part of a group of 18 adults and children who enjoyed a lovely stay at Almendrillo in July 2015. This really is a very spacious house with two separate accommodation areas and grounds on all sides in which to wander and admire the stunning views.

For peace and solitude there are restful spots in the shade of olive trees or hidden away on the second storey balcony, alternatively you can swim and splash in the luxury pool or enjoy al fresco eating in the Finca’s courtyard around the communal dining table.

The house is decorated in a traditional style with Moorish overtones and great attention to detail from the wooden floorboards to the lighting fixtures. If you want the comforts of modern living there is also easy access to wifi, a TV and plenty of games such as table tennis and table football. It means there are distractions for all ages.

We lazed around the house and grounds mainly, but close by there is rolling countryside and small sleepy towns where tourists are few and far between and you can get a real feel for the local way of life. One of the nearest is Iznajar, perched above a large lake with a castle and a pretty church. Granada and its magnificent Alhambra is also in easy day-trip range.

Bob T

 

Feel the stresses of life melt away…
We stayed at Finca el Almendrillo in July (4-11) 2015 with our family, including daughter (2) and son (1), joined also by other friends from the UK. Our day began with a relaxed breakfast in the cool, early-morning air, at one of the many patios overlooking the rolling hills dotted with olive trees, with the foothills of the Sierra Nevada in the distance.

The views are like something from a classic film. You half expect to see a group of serene travellers passing through in the distance on horseback…

As for the marvellous house itself, you pass through an ancient wooden gate set in whitewashed walls, revealing a cobblestone courtyard and various doors to this extraordinary and painstakingly-restored, massive dwelling. The numerous bedrooms and sitting rooms are beautifully appointed with a combination of modern amenities and antiques. The bathrooms are luxurious and well designed. A small hill punctuated with a massive tree provides shade and a stunning view of the valley. This also overlooks a large lap pool. There are activities for children of all ages. Ours were too young to make use of the ping-pong, table-football and billiards table, but they made plenty of use of the many children’s books, toys and pool. Wifi was provided. The three kitchens are well-equipped, including an outside kitchen with a large BBQ. There is also a handy, separate beer fridge just off the courtyard.

The area is rich with history and has activities for all tastes. There are ample possibilities for hiking in the area around the Finca, including in the valley below, or in the mountains close by. A day at the beach in Malaga is also realistic. There is the rich culture of Cordoba and Granada (both of which are easy day trips), and smaller villages even closer by, including the village of Iznajar with a castle and old church, which is a mere 15 minute drive from the Finca. We personally enjoyed sipping a glass of Rioja and tapas at small cafés in the many, surrounding villages.

Mike and Emma were truly gracious hosts, supported by local managers who were readily available to answer questions. We would certainly come and stay here again with a large group.

Jeff H

 

Wonderful accomodation with spectacular views
A group of 16 of us had a great time at Almendrillo. After a relatively short drive from Malaga airport we arrived to find our pre-ordered drinks already stored away for us in the cool chest – need to get priorities right!

Almendrillo is a wonderful old Finca with lots of space and interesting rooms full of character. The weather was so good that most of our time was spent outside eating, playing and relaxing. The breeze in the hills was welcome in the heat, as were the numerous shaded ‘break out’ areas (ideal for smaller groups to pass the time) and a lovely large pool, again with shade.

The views from the Finca are spectacular and its situation within striking distance of Granada, Cordoba and Seville could not be bettered. We finished the week with a meal cooked and delivered to us from the local village bar.

We would thoroughly recommend Villa Almendrillo.

Alan K

 

Beautiful house with stunning views
We stayed for a week at Almendrillo in July and it was a truly idyllic, wonderful holiday. It is set in breathtaking countryside, with stunning views of the hills all around.The finca has been meticulously renovated and is authentically Andalucian in feel – complete with touches like hand-painted tiling, wooden beams and shutters and beautiful hand-carved, dark-wood furniture.

It’s also very comfortable, with all the modern amenities we needed, including powerful showers, fans, excellently-equipped kitchens and a utility room.

In our group there were 18 of us – spanning three generations, and ranging in age from toddlers to elderly. Almendrillo suited all of our needs perfectly and provided plenty of space for all of us.

The grounds are huge, and there is something for everyone – there are several tranquil, comfortable spots to sit in the sun or shade overlooking the stunning valley, there’s table tennis – which for us was a big hit with both adults and children – table football, lush green lawns complete with a swing and trees to climb, and, most impressively, a superb swimming pool with a panoramic view across the beautiful hills that surround it. We spent hours in this idyllic spot each day. The pool is enormous and immaculately maintained – the water is crystal clear – and also has a good-sized shallow end with built-in steps which was perfect for the younger children in our group. The pool area is equipped with loads of comfy sun loungers and a shady area, and even has its own WC/changing room.

Inside the house there are two kitchens, and a huge amount of space, plentiful bathrooms and communal living rooms, complete with a billiards table and TVs. In the lovely, cobblestoned central courtyard – where we spent our evenings enjoying long, leisurely dinners at the long table – there is a further barbecuing/cooking area. The lovely, friendly owner Mike, who was extremely helpful and thoughtful throughout – organised for a local chef to make us a delicious paella one evening.

We spent most of our time at Almendrillo as there was plenty there to keep us all entertained. We popped into the local village just down the hill, where there is a friendly bar, a shop and a children’s playground. We also visited the lovely nearby town of Loja, and also spent a day at Iznajar, where we visited the amazing 9th century Moorish castle and the beautiful beach on a freshwater lake.I would thoroughly recommend Almendrillo for a large group holiday in a beautiful rural setting. As soon as we got home, our children were already asking us when we could go back there!

I would thoroughly recommend Almendrillo for a large group holiday.

Lindsay B

 

Beautiful house in gorgeous rural paradise
We spent a blissful week at Almendillo with our extended family. There were 17 of us altogether, ranging in age from 1 to 68, and Almendrillo suited everyone, even the teenagers. The house itself is so beautiful, and surrounded by gorgeous countryside, wherever you are in the house or garden you can rest you eyes on hills and olive groves and wonderful skies.

The pool is fabulous, and our gang of boys spent most of the day in it. It’s long enough to swim laps and has a spacious shallow end for small children to frolic in. We also made great use of the table tennis table. The house is wonderfully equipped, both kitchens are a delight to cook in. Mike and mms arranged for a local expert to come and not only cook us a paella, but show us how to do it, so that we were able to try out what we had learnt a couple of days later, with gratifying success.

We were so happy in the house that we hardly ventured out, but one lovely trip to view a local waterfall and swim in its pool showed us that there was plenty to do outside the house too.
We had a perfect holiday. Mike and Emma were wonderfully helpful and made everything easy. And the weather was amazing!

Jacqueline L

 

Wonderful farmhouse, stunning views, huge pool
At Almendrillo you have a sense of staying in Andalucia proper – in an ancient cortijo perched high on a mountain, overlooking a vast, sweeping valley of olive groves, surrounded by blue grey mountains.

The views, from any angle are truly spectacular. But it is the house itself that really made our stay. We were there in early May but it would be a special place at any time of the year. Sitting on the courtyard balcony or the first floor lounge patio and watching the sun chase away the valley’s early morning mist. Lounging in the sun beside the huge, 17 metre long pool – again with a breath-taking valley view – or having a family-sized barbecue around the outdoor kitchen are our vivid memories of Almendrillo. Strolling through the olive groves or wandering down to the tiny, white-painted village below. All of us sitting down to dinner in the cool of the cobbled courtyard, lit by antique lamps and enclosed by huge ‘castle-style’ courtyard gates was something we’ll never forget. We had some magical evenings.

Accommodation-wise, Almendrillo is perfect for holidays with extended families and groups of friends. Many of the 10 bedrooms are arranged to be interconnected, or individual. Some have separate entrances and some lead off the main kitchen and most have their own bathrooms. There are glamorously large suites and tucked away bedrooms at the end of stone-flagged passages, with typically tiny Spanish windows, shutters and glorious views. There is even a casita with its own kitchen, huge lounge and upstairs with two bedrooms, bathroom, garden patio and courtyard entrance. So people can be as much a part of the group, or as private as they like, and parents can have the kids in the next room. The house is decorated throughout with colourful ceramics, traditional lantern lights, antique furniture; a rustic chic effect that is both contemporary and within keeping with the houses 150 year old tradition. We would definitely return to Almendrillo – which is the biggest recommendation we can think of.

Ian W

 

Doesn’t get much better – Unforgetable location, stunning views, and impeccable service!
Our stay at the Finca October, was simply amazing. We stayed at the Finca with a large group following our wedding in Granada. The views from the property of rolling hills and olive trees are breath-taking and the large open terrace and pool deck overlooking the valley are perfect locations to take in stunning views and sunsets.

The house itself was beautifully restored and had plenty of room for our party of 18 (mix of singles and couples in late 20’s) to stay and could accommodate even more. The rooms were all comfortable and full of character and the multiple bathrooms were plentiful for our large party and all well-equipped.

The facilities are impeccable for a vacation home and include a huge and well-kept swimming pool, bikes, ping-pong table, foosball table, and billiards table among others. The house also had wifi that worked very well and TV was available as well (though with everything else available we spent all of our time enjoying the outdoors and grounds). There are also two kitchen areas and an outdoor grilling area which were great for cooking large meals.

Mike and Emma (the owners) are incredibly responsive, efficient, and knowledgeable of the area. They live with their family at the Finca for much of the year so you know that they maintain the property and facilities extremely well. Mike answered our numerous questions promptly and provided great detail on any of our inquiries. He was very helpful in making the booking process, payments, and return of deposit pain-free, even when using international wire transfers.

Andres, a local house manager while Mike is away, was also extremely helpful and friendly. He met us upon arrival and ensured that any needs we had were met. During our stay they arranged a chef to come to the villa one night to cook a tapas and paella dinner, which was fantastic. On a different night we had about a dozen additional family members (staying in the region) join us for a barbeque at the Finca. There were plenty of pots/pans/dishes and the outdoor stove and grill were perfect for the occasion. Andres also arranged an order of beverages (alcoholic and non-alcoholic), including a keg and tap, to be delivered to the Finca prior to our arrival. The prices and convenience were excellent, and the un-opened extras we didn’t use were even taken off the bill.

The location itself is right in the center of Andalucia and day trips to Seville, Granada, Cordoba, or other cities are very easy. A small restaurant and shop down the hill are convenient stops if you don’t want to go too far from the villa. The town of Iznajar is a short drive away and is picturesquely located on a hill overlooking the lake.

Overall, our stay and experience were unparalleled. There are few locations that rival the size, facilities, location, and views that the Finca offer. We hope to visit again and highly recommend the Finca el Almendrillo to anyone else!

Eion D

 

Brilliant house and facilities for an extended family holiday
Best holiday house we have rented. There were 16 of us from one extended family. Grandparents to young children including a baby.

This accommodation had everything we needed for all ages in a wonderful remote location with stunning views. The buildings and facilities were in a very good state making it feel really comfortable. The extra large swimming pool was amazing and we were able to relax and enjoy the holiday. Lots of different games equipment.

Many different interesting places to visit in the area. The wifi proved invaluable for the one member who needed to keep in regular contact with his business. The family want to go back and have another holiday at Almendrillo.

Carl F