traditional-farmhouse-holiday-rental-for-big-groups-in-andalucia-guest-reviews-2016

 

Magical week in Spain 
Having just enjoyed a magical stay at Finca el Almendrillo, we’d strongly recommend this to other visitors.

We went as a group of four families all staying together, with ages ranging from 5 to 65 years, and all had a great time. The place is beautiful – the gorgeous old farmhouse, with beautiful interior décor, overlooks a stunning rural landscape (the pics on the website give a good feel for the real thing), and the property is big enough that four families can enjoy meals and drinks together in the courtyard, yet also have the space and time for privacy (e.g. swinging on a hammock overlooking the valley, enjoying coffee on the balcony, or swimming in the pool).

There are also extensive lawns for sunbathing or playing, and for the more adventurous, rural tracks for running and walking. With such a big group, it was great to find a place where sporty people could be active while less sporty people could really relax and enjoy. The house and grounds are kept in lovely order.

We were self-catering for the stay; the local shops sell delicious fresh fruit and veg and all the food is well-priced. As a treat, one night we paid a very reasonable amount for a local chef to come in and prepare paella for everyone, which was delicious. There are also plenty of places to eat and drink in local towns and we enjoyed coffee and treats in Iznajar when we went to see the citadel and peer out over the lakes, and also when we visited Granada for a trip to the Alhambra.

The owners, Emma and Mike, and their local managers were all charming and helpful and we would like to thank them again for giving us such a wonderful family holiday.

Tracey U

 

Awesome place – would highly recommend!
We stayed at El Almandrillo with a group of friends – 18 of us, ranging from age 5 to semi-retired – and it was really amazing.

A dream come true. What a perfect place for a holiday with friends and/or family! First, the location. As we wound our way to the villa through beautiful olive groves it felt like driving right out of the stresses and strains of the real world into a peaceful haven. And the views! The photographs give you an idea but in real life they are stupendous. You can sit and stare at the surrounding countryside all day. If you wanted, you could very easily stay at the villa for your whole holiday (I was tempted!). But it’s easy to get out and about, to the Alhambra palaces (and very well worth the hour’s easy drive), Malaga and Iznajar, which is really pretty and also worth the 15-minute drive.

Back at the villa, there are so many lovely spots to relax in that we found it very easy to switch off and totally relax. The kids spent most of their time in the superb, huge pool (no near neighbours = no objections to screaming silliness!) while the adults could relax without worrying about them. We loved the hammock, the table tennis table (many tournaments were played and not just by the children) and the choice of outdoor furniture, including the poolside loungers where you could be in either sun or shade. Overall, the villa has such character and has obviously been restored with enormous care and cleverness.

It was beautifully presented with lovely, comfortable furniture, plenty of spacious rooms and lots of bathrooms. One thing we loved about our bedroom was the shutters, which made it cool and dark – and we slept late every day! SO relaxing.

The kitchen was well equipped and easy to use – we did a combination of eating out, cooking for ourselves and also were lucky enough to have a paella cooked for us one night by a local cook who created two enormous pans that catered for both grown-ups and children, and all with complete discretion and charm. How she managed it I do not know. the piece de resistance was the courtyard with its long outdoor table. A great site for a BBQ. Really pretty and so sociable – it was the centre of our week and we came and went, sat and chatted (drank a little!) and could not have enjoyed ourselves more. There was space for us to all spent time as a large group, or go off and read a book or have a nap somewhere if we wished.

We would highly recommend El Almandrillo to anyone thinking of booking. Thanks Mike!

Katherine S

 

Wonderful retreat
El Almendrillo was, if anything, better than advertised.

Tastefully brought up to date, it retains a traditional feel and accommodated our group of 14 adults perfectly. It is set on a hillside at the very end of a small country road in the middle of a sea of olive groves, and views of the valley below are stunning.

Other than the surrounding farms, there are few neighbors so it’s peaceful and private. There are several outdoor areas for gathering and eating, including the courtyard where we ate every evening and the large, well maintained pool where we cooled off every afternoon. Granada is not far; Cordoba, Ronda and Malaga are within range too. Even closer, Loja and Iznajar are interesting.

Peter L

 

Loved our time at El Almedrillo – Miss it already
El Almendrillo was exactly what we were looking for to accommodate our group of 16 adults; couples and singles.

The farm was located in a lovely and remote area with incredible country quiet and amazing stars at night. There is a bucolic view of patchwork fields below. The property is as described in the listing – or better. The charming and rustic architecture was beautiful but the house didn’t lack any of the modern amenities, dishwasher and clothes washer, included.

We visited during a spell of wicked hot weather, but the masonry construction and plentiful fans meant that we were all comfortable while sleeping. The two kitchens, ample bathrooms and so many nooks and crannies meant that we could all be together when we desired, but alone when we needed to have space.

The pool and grounds were well maintained and the ping-pong table proved to be a source of great fun. The owner, Mike was so helpful with everything from very detailed directions (which from afar seemed overkill, but once on the road are necessarily detailed), advice on where to buy provisions, where to eat out (love Dracula’s) and even hooking us up with caterers for a special celebration dinner. I’ve been telling folks that this was the best vacation of my life. True story.

Deidre S

 

Stunning location for our perfect wedding.
We came across Finca El Almendrillo totally by chance, when looking for a wedding venue in Andalusia, instantly falling in love with the place.

We just had to have our perfect wedding day in this stunning location. It was everything we had dreamed of and more. Remote, untouched and traditionally Spanish through and through. The Finca certainly gave us that and more.

We first contacted Mike, the owner of the property back in early 2015 asking if our dates were available, which they were. Having weddings at the Finca before, Mike filled us with confidence from the outset and was on hand for the next 14 months leading up to our stay and wedding day. He helped us organise everything from caterers to the wedding coordinator and everything in-between. Even drinks, food and staff if we required them. The pain we gave him in the run up to the wedding was intense, but yet never too much trouble for Mike and his team at Almendrillo, who were instrumental in the planning and overall smooth running of our perfect wedding day.

Now onto the property which can only be described as exquisite and unimaginably stunning. It is difficult to describe in words how breathtaking the house and location is. But I will try. We arrived late at night and were surprised at how out on it’s own the Finca was, this was even more perfect than we had imagined.

Walking into the courtyard and seeing the beautiful architecture of the huge farmhouse took our breath away, after, sitting with a glass of Rioja, gazing up at the enormity of the stars in the sky. Never had we felt more relaxed than we did right at that moment. We knew we had made the right choice of location for our two week holiday and wedding day. Our other 18 guests arrived later that night and were equally blown away by this gorgeous place. The facilities and bedrooms were equally amazing, we stayed in the main double and my god was it big, the bed was huge and comfy plus the bathroom and shower were great.

But the best surprise was to come when we woke early on Sunday morning and opened our bedroom window. The view across the valley to the distant mountains can only be described as breathtaking. Myself and Jemma (my wife to be) spent at least 30mins fixated on this oil painting. It didn’t look real, it was that perfect. We stayed with a large group of 20 people for two weeks, which in normal circumstances would start to grate on any normal person. But not at Almendrillo. It was just perfect.

Steven R

 

Totally amazing holiday from start to finish!!
We stayed with a large group of 20 people for two weeks, which in normal circumstances would start to grate on any normal person.

But in reality, at the Finca, there were so many different places to get away and be on your own if you needed to that this was just not the case. Upon first arriving we were totally blown away by how beautiful and peaceful the finca and its surroundings were. Everyone in the party was so chilled out for our whole stay, it was just perfect.

Even the children never got bored, they always had something to keep them occupied, from table tennis to swimming in the full size pool overlooking the valley, playing pool or just relaxing with the many books at the finca. I’ve never seen our kids more relaxed. The whole family were just at ease.

Another bonus was where the Finca was located. The area is just beautiful, we spent numerous days down at the beach on the huge blue lake at Iznajar. With pedal boats, canoes, drinks and the most comfortable sunbeds. The kids loved it here and we would definitely recommend a visit to the cafe on the lake, the food is great value for money and traditionally Spanish, plus tastes amazing. Also in Iznajar town there is an English bar called bar Verde, which we stumbled across when having a drive out. We had our last meal out as a group, the food was amazing and they really looked after us.

Another invaluable thing was the information pack left in the finca by the team, this told us where the supermarkets were, where to eat out, how to walk to the bar in the village. Which was one fun experience through the olive groves, even though we were very hot and bothered when we got there. The cold beer and great free tapas put on by Antonio was well worth the walk. We would definitely return to this breathtaking place.

Jemma R

 

Paradise!
This place is truly magical. We stayed for a week with four families.

Ten children aged 5 to 15 and 8 adults. The farmhouse was absolutely perfect for a large group. We drove through the night from MAdrid (Mikes directions were spot on) and arrived at dawn through the village and up into the hills. The property,the location and the views are simply breathtaking.

The rooms were beautifully furnished and the two kitchens were very well equipped and set round the most beautiful courtyard. The pool is stunning and what is absolutely fantastic is its many and varied outdoor seating areas. One day I sat admiring the olive trees for a good hour and didn’t see a single other person! A wonderful wonderful stay, thank you so much.

Lindsay B

 

Peaceful stay in picturesque rural haven
15 friends (and 3 babies) stayed at the finca. We have been holidaying together at villas in Europe for nearly 10 years and Finca Almendrillo was one of the finest we’ve ever stayed in.

The accommodation was spacious and full of character but the surrounding grounds and different areas to eat or just relax in really made it special. The beautiful courtyard and outside kitchen was regularly used each night for dinner and we often had lunch in the shaded area overlooking the olive groves, a view which was truly spectacular!

The balcony off the living area was also used for sundowners as the sunsets were gorgeous. The shade of the tree provided another peaceful spot to read a book and the hammock was a popular napping spot- heaven!! The communal space in the casita was very big and comfortable and we dined in there with no issues one evening when it was too cool to sit outside. The pool is huge and we stayed there all day as there was a shaded area for babies and plenty of sun-loungers for the sun worshippers! Having a toilet there is a great idea, saved running back and forth to the main building all day!

We made the most of the recommended extras listed on the website and had the most fabulous meal cooked by Ian and Diana from ‘wherever next’- not to be missed!! We also had lovely massages to get the holiday started from Sarah Jackson and her team. Mike’s communication was prompt and very thorough, his manager on site in Spain also provided an excellent service buying and delivery food and drinks for us so we had supplies on arrival. All in all a fantastic holiday in a fantastic setting- would recommend it without question!

Katy Crowe

 

Simply Stunning!!
We stayed at el Almendrillo for 7 days in late September as a party of 13 adults. We had a wonderful time and in glorious sunshine. Mostly we just chilled at the house although a few of us visited the Alhambra in Granada (an hours easy drive from the house).

Fabulous and do book your tickets in advance. The journey up to the house from the main road takes about 10 minutes, and was a bit scary first time (up and up you go and around the hair pin bends!) but we followed the perfect very detailed directions from Mike and on the second trip we had it sorted – easy and quite good fun! At the top sits the house surrounded by olive groves with amazing views and at night a stunning star lit sky.

Our pre trip arrangements with Mike and Sian were perfect, and drinks and food were awaiting us, the barrel of beer is strongly recommended!! This aspect of staying here needs some planning, with maybe a supermarket trip on your way from the airport as a good idea. Local shops are easily accessible with your car. The pre visit and arrival information provided by Mike was excellent and Sian was very quick in responding to any queries during our stay.

The house was every bit as comfortable as we thought, with several outdoor areas to relax in. Swimming pool was fantastic, a bit cold for some(!) even in the 30 degree temperatures we experienced, but it certainly cooled you down. Spanish architecture with it’s thick walls and stone floors and shutters closed during the day kept the rooms cool and for hotter times of year there are plenty of fans in the house. Bedrooms are many and varied, with comfortable beds and great bathrooms. We have good chefs in our party so self cater and cooking facilities include a main kitchen, and an outside kitchen with BBQ, and a gas burner.

Many delicious meals enjoyed at the yellow table in the courtyard. On our last night we went down to the local bar Los Pajaritos (Antonio’s) great gin and tonics and food was very good, with friendly service. We strongly recommend el Almendrillo, it is a fabulous house with amazing views, a fantastic swimming pool and a great feel. I am sure we will stay again.

Terry N