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Hotel Highlights

  • Typical Andalucian finca 20 minutes from Seville
  • Beautifully renovated but in keeping with its Spanish heritage
  • Magnificent infinity pools

Overview

Hacienda de San Rafael is a peaceful Seville hotel is located in the beautiful countryside between Seville and Jerez and within easy reach of the Costa de la Luz. This traditional hacienda-style boutique hotel has three outside pools, two relaxing bars and a Mediterranean restaurant set in tranquil gardens. Massage and yoga can be arranged on request and a paddle-tennis court is also available. Book well in advance in high season to avoid disappointment.

Smith Extra

Here's what you get for booking Hacienda de San Rafael with us:

A tapas plate served before dinner and a bottle of extra-virgin olive oil (produced on site)

Special offers

Exclusive rates, packages and special offers at Hacienda de San Rafael

Autumn special offer: 30% off

Facilities

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Hacienda de San Rafael - Provincia De Sevilla - Spain

Need To Know

Rooms

14, including three casitas.

Check–out

Midday, but ask for flexibility. There is a shower room for use by guests after check-out. Earliest check-in, 2pm.

Rates

Double rooms from $323.63 (€250), excluding tax at 10 per cent.

More details

Rates include breakfast.

Hotel closed

From mid-November until 15 March.

At the hotel

Wireless Internet access, CD player. Massage and yoga on request.

Our favourite rooms

Rooms 6 and 8 have high ceilings and are particularly roomy; Rooms 9 and 10 are romantically tucked away in the eaves. The separate casitas offer real privacy: they're hidden from the main house and share a private pool and garden, and each casita has its own outdoor area for dining or lounging.

Poolside

There are three outdoor pools. Lunch is usually served by the garden pool.

Also

A picnic can be arranged for €25. The hotel has a paddle-tennis court and boules set.

Children

The hotel welcomes children only if the property is booked in its entirety.

Food & Drink

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Hacienda de San Rafael - Provincia De Sevilla - Spain

Hotel Restaurant

The indoor dining room is used in cooler weather; otherwise, dinner is served outside. Mediterranean set menu for dinner is €55 a person, including wine. The fish kebabs and the creamy blue cheese and spinach soufflé are delicious.

Hotel Bar

Luna Bar is outdoors, with music and white comfy cushions to lounge on. The Sunset Bar is next to the pool.

Room service

8.30am–midnight. There are phones for room service in the casitas.

Smith Insider

Dress code

Relaxed and informal.

Top table

Outside in the gardens.

Local Guide

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Hacienda de San Rafael - Provincia De Sevilla - Spain
Eat, drink, see, do: local favourites and more…

Worth getting out of bed for

The hotel can arrange a staggering array of activities with local experts: 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.

Local restaurants

Up in the mountains, Mesón el Tabanco in the village of El Bosque (+34 956 716 081) does excellent game dishes in a rustic setting. Egaña Oriza on Calle San Fernando in Seville (+34 954 227 211) is one of the city’s finest restaurants, serving Andalucian and Basque cuisine. Also in Jerez, La Tasca on Calle Paraíso (+34 956 31 03 40) has delicious fish and shellfish. The stew is particularly good.

Local cafés

Bar Juanito on Pescadería Vieja in Jerez (+34 956 334 838) is one of the city’s best tapas bars, with more than 50 dishes.

+ Enlarge
Wild southern ranchland

Hacienda de San Rafael

Carretera N-IV (Km 594, Las Cabezas de San Juan, Seville Province, 41730

Planes

The nearest airports are Jerez and Seville (San Pablo), both 40 minutes away by road. Grab a taxi or hire a car at the airport.

Trains

Santa Justa station, in the centre of Seville, offers high-speed links to Madrid and Córdoba, as well as connections with Granada and Cadiz.

Automobiles

One of the hotel’s specialities is organising bespoke excursions within a 45-minute drive, but to explore the area yourself, you’ll need your own car. Hire one from the airport, and park for free at the hotel. If you're driving to the hotel for the first time, make sure to get full directions before you depart – the Hacienda isn't easily visible from the road. (It's 200 metres past the 'zona de servicio' sign before the Respol petrol station at Cruce de Las Cabezas, and the entrance is opposite the small Madisma building. Look out for the two white posts and a line of olive trees leading to the house.)

Reviews

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Hacienda de San Rafael - Provincia De Sevilla - Spain

Anonymous review

by Danielle Proud , Hip homemaker

Mrs Smith and I are cruising in eerie silence along the flatlands between Seville and Jerez. She’s brought her TomTom (the satnav system that cabbies swear by) and, thanks to Darth Vader telling us where to go, we haven’t argued once. It’s bliss, even if Vader does lend a rather surreal air to proceedings. We hang a left, down a long, dusty path that appears to be going nowhere. …
Read more

Hacienda de San Rafael

Anonymous review by Danielle Proud, Hip homemaker

Mrs Smith and I are cruising in eerie silence along the flatlands between Seville and Jerez. She’s brought her TomTom (the satnav system that cabbies swear by) and, thanks to Darth Vader telling us where to go, we haven’t argued once. It’s bliss, even if Vader does lend a rather surreal air to proceedings. We hang a left, down a long, dusty path that appears to be going nowhere. The setting is idyllic – you know the scene: rolling fields of sunflowers, cotton, olive trees, waving wheat… And in the warm evening light (the honey-drenched time that film-makers call the magic hour), it’s like cruising into a Van Gogh. We swoosh past hedges of pink and white oleander, and the Hacienda de San Rafael smacks into view.

A gleaming-white, cortijo-style country house, with foot-thick walls and huge shuttered windows, the Hacienda offers grandeur without a whiff of ostentation. Two sweet-mannered Englishwomen meet us at the doorway, whisk away our bags and offer lemon iced tea. We follow them through the doorway – and past a tangle of cerise and orange bougainvillea – to a terracotta-paved courtyard. Butterflies dance around the flowers and evening birdsong fills the air. The owners are milling around and pop over for a chat. It doesn’t feel much like a hotel: it’s more like visiting a well-to-do friend’s private residence.

The Hacienda has been in the Reid family for a century and a half and, up until the Sixties, it was a working olive farm. The youngest generation, twentysomething Anthony and Patrick, run the place. They are responsible for its recent stylish makeover: blending the languorous sensuality of Spanish bullfighting country with Europhile sophistication. Mum Kuky is from nearby Jerez, and it was her dream to turn the family farm into a small guesthouse in keeping with the surrounding white villages. Her husband, Tim, worked as a hotelier with Mandarin Oriental before setting up the superbly luxurious Datai hotel in Langkawi, Malaysia. Patrick used to be a project manager at the Groucho Club in London, and Anthony organised swish safaris in Botswana. Between them, this family have all the skills to challenge any top resort – no wonder they got it so right here.

We are escorted into the communal living room, which contains a wild mix of upper-crust European and Far Eastern antiques that hints at the family’s travels. Mrs Smith, a keen reader of interior-design magazines, loves it, and throws herself down on a huge red Thai elephant sofa, before hopping up again to inspect the antique iron bull statues on the mantelpiece, and Mrs Reid’s father’s 80-year-old stirrups, which hang in a line above the fireplace. Hacienda San Rafael is a trove of fascinating treasures, and most of them have a story behind them – just get Anthony talking about his grandfather, a ‘horseman and a gentleman’ who won Jerez’s annual Horseman of Gold award too many times to keep count of.

We are staying in a casita, a meticulously converted farm building with a thatched roof, away from the main house. It’s expensive, but we do get a private terrace and infinity pool in a lovingly tended cottage garden. The main pool is spectacular, with manicured lawn, huge day beds and palm-trees for shade – it’s just that Mrs Smith and I have developed a taste for privacy.

The family’s attention to detail is what distinguishes the Haçienda de San Rafael from so many other retreats. Not only is it stunning, but there are three pools, and a full complement of staff to cater to your every whim, too. The dining experience illustrates this well. Mrs Smith is a vegetarian who likes neither eggs nor mushrooms, so eating out in Spain has previously been a pain in the posterior. There is no problem here, though, thanks to head chef Mark Dillon who whips up pumpkin and sage risotto, barbecued tofu kebabs and a delicious baked-aubergine concoction.

The food in the communal dining area is a highlight, and with the nearest café a 20-minute cab ride away, lunchtime tapas and lazy alfresco dinners at the hotel work fabulously. In fact, we spent days experiencing no urge to leave the Haçienda and its grounds, until suddenly we decided we really ought to venture out. So we trekked to Seville’s mighty 15th-century cathedral, second only in size to St Paul’s in Rome, and to the nearby Alcázar Palace and gardens – and the tapas bars in between – all well worth leaving our luxury cocoon for. Mrs Smith was so taken by the Mudéjar architecture, stuccoed patios and intricate mosaic that she had to buy an extra memory card for her camera.

For the more energetic holidaymakers, the hotel can arrange pretty much any activity. As keen riders, we were delighted to meet Cuko, Mrs Reid’s cousin and a family member with yet more hospitality credentials, who owns a private estate with 12 horses a short drive away. His morning rides through the Andalucian mountains, and picnics in the dappled light of local chestnut forests, are hard to beat. For those times when you are feeling intrepid, there’s much to do in and around the hotel: bustling Seville is a hop away; nearby Jerez has beautiful beaches and is the sherry capital of the world; and Andalucía has a long equestrian and bullfighting history.

Having found this slice of paradise, though, you’d be forgiven for just flopping by the pool and ordering a martini and a massage. Just ask Mrs Smith – she became quite the expert at this by the end of our three-day sojourn. And I can’t say I was too bad at following her lead.

This boutique hotel was reviewed by Alex Proud

The Guestbook

Whenever you book a stay at a Smith hotel with us, we'll invite you to review it when you get back. Read what other Smith members had to say in Hacienda de San Rafael's Guestbook below.

 

SilverSmith

Stayed on

We loved

It was extremely quiet, we found real solace and great food. They had the best pool-to-person ratio of any hotel I've ever stayed in - no pinching of loungers here!

Don’t expect

I would suggest that there be more choice at dinner.

Rating: 9/10 stars

BlackSmith

Stayed on

We loved

The location was very peaceful, and there was a warm friendly atmosphere at the hotel. The food in the restaurant was beautiful, and having breakfast served outside your room when you wanted itwhen you wanted it was a nice touch.

Don’t expect

Making your way to the front of the property by car, to check-in, can be confusing. Families with children could stay near other families with children, rather than be placed close to couples' rooms.

Rating: 10/10 stars

BlackSmith

Stayed on

We loved

We enjoyed the tranquility and slow pace of life; the staff are very attentive and helpful, and nothing was too much trouble. Breakfast was delicious every morning on the patio with your own private table and a real highlight, setting you up perfectly for the day ahead! Dinner, although a set menu, was always very well thought through and excellent!

Don’t expect

Bathroom could do with updating as no shower area is available; however, that said, the accommodation was very good and we would return again.

Rating: 8/10 stars