We had the pleasure of spending last weekend at the award winning Hacienda de San Rafael Luxury Hotel, just 50 minutes from Seville and 40 minutes from Jerez. Dating back to the 18th century, the hacienda is still a working olive farm where they make their own oil. Restored and converted by the Reid family, this is an incredible luxury hideaway - the perfect balance between rustic charm and modern sophistication. No wonder Pippa Middleton celebrated her 30th Birthday here. The family also runs the charming Corral del Rey Hotel in Seville centre, where we stayed last November and absolutely loved it.
As you arrive to the rural hotel through fields of sunflowers, cotton and olive trees, it is actually near the main road and easy to find, but there is no noise at all. The staff was very friendly and not too formal, making us feel at home from the first moment onward. After sipping the cool homemade lemonade, we made our way our stunning room. Besides the vaulted ceilings, I really loved the traditional Andalusian rustic-chic style of the decoration. Altogether there are 11 large duplex rooms and three more private casitas with charming thatched roofs. The breakfast is served just outside the room in the courtyard that is framed by the vibrant bougainvillea. So you don’t really have to see any other guests at the breakfast table, other than your partner. The hotel also offers lunch as well as dinner, so you really don’t have to leave this magical place and can enjoy a lazy lunch by the pool with some rosé. That’s exactly what we did on the first day.. there was no way we were going anywhere.
Since the Hacienda itself is really in the middle of the countryside, you will automatically switch off and forget about the time. And if you have had enough of reading and tanning by the pool, you can play some paddle tennis or ask for the hotel’s advice on local tours and activities. The hotel can arrange tours of local bodegas; wine tasting; bike tours; bird watching in Doñana National Park; guided walks in the Grazalema Natural Park; half-day cookery classes with a published chef; excursions to the Sierra de Aracena; tapas tours; private city guides; photography courses; sailing trips; game fishing; kite surfing; surfing; tickets to equestrian ballet; visits to a stud farm; countryside treks. Day trips to Seville, Jerez or Cadiz or even to Ronda and the White Villages. The choice is yours! We visited the nearby village Utrera (15-minute drive) for lunch on the second day and indulged in some amazing tapas at Besana Tapas Bar! And did I mention that there are no TVs or phones in the rooms? I find it actually very appropriate for a rural hotel. There is wifi though, so don’t worry, you can still check your email if needed. Even though we were just 2 hours away from Marbella, we both felt like we were a million miles away.. in a distant country paradise. Romantic, tranquil & luxurious. That is Hacienda de San Rafael.
11 deluxe rooms & 3 casitas
32 in-house guest capacity
5 acres of well maintained gardens
3 swimming pools
Room service 8.30am–midnight.
Nearest airports: Jerez and Seville, 45 minutes drive
Hacienda de San Rafael
41730 Las Cabezas de San Juan,
Carretera Nacional IV, Seville province, Spain.
+34 954 227116