A discrimating London couple, not to mention one of our regular reporters, recommended this stunning place less than an hour south of Seville. One small negative is the inauspicious approach from the mainroad, the NIV, and the setting in flat farmland. But once down the drive, the charm takes over: the two-storey building, formerly an olive farm and press, has impeccably white outside walls contrasting with windows and cornices picked out in tasteful cream-ochre: come the golden light of a fine evening, the whole place glows.
Most of the rooms are set around the large, oblong, pleasingly paved interior courtyard, with the old well neatly restored at its centre. Public rooms offer exemplary Hispanic rustic chic. There's a pleasant atmosphere in the grand drawing room, where you help yourself to drinks. Dinner is a pricey set menu, but the French chef ensures that it's all delicious. The split-level bedrooms have simply-patterned rugs on tiled floors, and homely-but-smart patchwork quilts in artfully muted colours; 'galleries' give sitting areas under exposed beams. Breakfast is brought to one's private terrace. A recent visit reconfirmed that this is an exclusive experience.
It's a major outing to get anywhere - but you can always just relax by one of the two pristine pools.