Why would you book an expensive hotel room in busy Granada if you can have something so much more charming? We are staying a stone’s throw away from Granada in the remote Cortijo del Marques. An old Spanish farmhouse was bought by the Austrian-Dutch couple Roth-Bruggers in 2010 to turn it into one of the most pleasant hotels in the region. Detours for jobs in the financial world in Hong Kong, London and Madrid lead this elegant duo to this quiet corner of AndalucÃa. The whole family lives here now in this cortijo turned hotel with 11 different bedrooms, all spread over this huge manor house with adjacent chapel. The long but calming drive from the main road through fields of olive trees is worth the effort. When you see the cortijo popping up in the distance you immediately know you are in for a treat. Staring from 90 euros per night with breakfast for two can you stay here, a bargain when you see the wonderful, secluded location between seas of olive groves. Silvia, the lady of the house, constantly darts around to make her guests feel at home. For some guests she arranges a scooter to drive to Granada, for the other couple she dresses up a suite because they are on honeymoon … nothing is too much. She shows me the most beautiful rooms, El Mirador with wraparound views of the endless olive tree fields and La Terraza with large terrace overlooking one of the courtyards of the cortijo.
Back in the 19th century, more than 30 peasant families lived here together and the cortijo served as a small village with its own shops and facilities. Now it is mainly international travellers who come here to rest, sometimes next to the small but charming pool, to lounge in the corners and on benches in the shade of the citrus trees. “We meet the most interesting people with different backgrounds and from different countries.” says Silivia. “Our cosmopolitan life might be over, but the world come here to de-stress and to holiday.” The Marquis who build the Cortijo del MarquÃ©s would probably be proud of what his residence has become and how is it charming so many travellers from all over the world.