Granada Province, Spain

Cortijo del Marqués

Rates from (ex tax)$108.05

Price information

If you haven’t entered any dates, the rate shown is provided directly by the hotel and represents the cheapest double room (including tax) available in the next 21 days.

Prices have been converted from the hotel’s local currency (EUR110.00), via openexchangerates.org, using today’s exchange rate.

Style

Magical manor

Setting

Among the olives

Hidden among neverending sunflowers and olive trees, boutique hotel Cortijo del Marqués is Andalucia’s little secret. This revamped 19th-century manor's beautiful rooms are steeped in history. You’ll love the period features and quirky details such as enormous, antique clay jugs standing sentry-like by deep-soaking tubs. With a peaceful pool, rambling gardens to explore hand-in-hand and moonlit dining, it's the ultimate romantic retreat.

Smith Extra

Get this when you book through us:

A small bottle of cava in your room

Facilities

Photos Cortijo del Marqués  facilities

Need to know

Rooms

15, including four suites.

Check–Out

12 noon. Earliest check-in, 2pm.

Rates

Double rooms from $108.40 (€100), excluding tax at 10 per cent.

Price information

If you haven’t entered any dates, the rate shown is provided directly by the hotel and represents the cheapest double room (including tax) available in the next 21 days.

Prices have been converted from the hotel’s local currency (EUR110.00), via openexchangerates.org, using today’s exchange rate.

More details

Rates usually include a buffet breakfast of cold cuts, cheeses, cereals, breads and cakes.

Also

Staying in high summer? All of the Cortijo's rooms are blissfully air-conditioning cooled.

Hotel closed

From the beginning of November to mid-March, every year.

At the hotel

Gardens, free WiFi, mountain bikes (and children’s cycles) for hire (€10 each or €25 for a family of four). In rooms: free bottled water and La Chinata toiletries.

Our favourite rooms

El Torreón, in the old tower, which boasts wraparound windows for all-angles surveying of the olive trees plus scrumptious red mosaic tiles. Up a flight of stairs in the tower is El Mirador, which has attractive high-beam ceiling and a roll-top bath from where you can peep out over the Cortijo’s rooftops to the surrounding hills via a wall-length window. All rooms have beautiful old tiling on the floors and many have wonderful views from oversized, old-fashioned windows. Rooms in the main house are lighter and a touch more luxurious, but if it’s quirks you’re after (like the old pigeon niches in the middle of the El Palomar Suite, say) then book one of the outhouses.

Poolside

A little door leads to the unheated outdoor pool, open from early May until late October. There’s a shaded seating area with loungers for crashing out with a paperback or iPod and beyond the low stone walls rolling hills are visible all around. At the other end of the garden, the chapel’s outer walls provide a striking backdrop.

Packing tips

Laidback and lovely, the Cortijo is quite the perfect place for losing track of time in a paperback. Explore the Spanish theme with something old-school (Don Quixote perhaps) or something to make you laugh (Tim Moore’s Travels with my Donkey).

Also

Tablet-tappers should note that WiFi stretches throughout the hotel and grounds.

Pet‐friendly

Small dogs can stay too, for free. Ask on booking – some guestrooms are pet-free. See more pet-friendly hotels in Granada Province.

Children

Babies and children welcome. Extra beds and cots can be added to parents’ rooms free of charge for under-2s (cots are free, extra beds €20 a night). Babysitting is available for €20 an hour (minimum three hours).

Best for

Kids from nappies up – although, without endless entertainment onsite, older ones will probably get itchy feet after a day or two and need taking on trips beyond the estate.

Recommended rooms

Most rooms will accommodate a Baby Smith in a cot as well as the two of you. La Casita is a small duplex with a sitting room, master bedroom and second bedroom with two singles, there’s ample room for a cot. Los Aljibes and Los Olivos are spacious too.

Activities

Beyond the pool, little ones can run (contained) riot in the front courtyard with its pretty fountain as you keep watch and order a heart-starting cortado coffee. Roaming the Cortijo’s grounds is like exploring a vast secret garden and outside the gates, acres of land provide a natural playground to scale on horseback or hotel bike (older children can hike with you along endless dirt tracks with majestical mountains as a backdrop). If you visit in winter, it’s all about skiing the slopes of the Sierra Nevada.

Swimming pool

The outdoor pool is self-contained and has a 125cm shallow end (good for kids) but is unheated (less so). Watch them splash around from your lounger while also surveying the rolling hills beyond. The hotel has a clutch of armbands and floats.

Meals

There’s a rotating collection of children’s dishes on offer including spaghetti bolognaise, croquettes or Spanish omelette and staff will always heat up baby food or bottles, too. Note there are booster seats and highchairs in the dining room. If you’re travelling with a baby and making up formula, there's free bottled water in the minibar, replenished daily.

 

Babysitting

Babysitters can be arranged for €20 anhour (minimum booking: three hours, book in advance).

No need to pack

The hotel can provide travel cots and bedlinen, potties, booster seats, highchairs, soft toys, books, puzzles and board games as well as bicycles and helmets for kids of various ages.

Also

A word of warning: this is the countryside so you’ll be sharing it with all creatures great and small, including, potentially, wasps near the pool and mosquitoes after nightfall. Take the requisite lotions and potions, including jungle juice for the kids.

Food and Drink

Photos Cortijo del Marqués  food and drink

Top Table

Make for the wood-burning fire in colder months; in summer perched beside the arched glass doors, which are flung open to let in all that country air.

Dress Code

Floaty maxi dresses for lounging, crisp white cotton tees for showing off his sunkissed skin.

Hotel restaurant

What the dining room lacks in visual splendour it makes up for with personable service and lovingly prepared food. It’s one three-course menu suits all. Wherever possible ingredients for the modern Mediterranean dishes (think stewed veal with greens) come straight from the Cortijo’s market garden and orchard and there’s an Arabic oven in the grounds that can be lit for larger groups (if you’re in luck and there are enough of you, you’ll get to enjoy slow-cooked lamb or suckling pig).

Hotel bar

There’s no actual bar to sit at but you can always order a jug of sangria for lounging by the pool or sip a g&t in the courtyard at sundown. Drinks are available throughout the day and you can order plates of manchego, chorizo or Iberian jamón, too. The downstairs lobby is light and cool – perfect for morning coffee and a catch-up with the papers.

Last orders

Breakfast's served between 9am and 10.30pm, lunch between 1.30pm and a leisurely 4pm and dinner from 8pm till 10pm. Drinks can be ordered until 10.30pm.

Room service

None.

Location

Photos Cortijo del Marqués  location
Address
Cortijo del Marqués
Camino del Marqués
18220
Albolote
Spain

Planes

Smallish Granada-Jaén Airport is 25km away – about 35 minutes by car – and receives visits from various domestic and European flights, with many connecting via Madrid or Barcelona. Malaga airport, a 90-minute drive, gets more and more frequent visits from international carriers.

Trains

Granada rail station is 30 minutes by car with connections to Malaga, Sevilla, Cordoba, Madrid and all other major Spanish towns (via Antequera).

Automobiles

If you want to get about independently you’ll definitely need to hire a car: the access road alone is 4km long. The hotel is just off the A44 that runs between Granada and Jaén. From the main road, take the 108 exit (marked Deifontes), turn onto the service road at the roundabout and then follow the signs. On-site parking is free. The GPS coordinates for the roundabout, from where the service road starts, are N37°19.515 and W3°38.157.

Worth getting out of bed for

Horse riding, mountain biking and walking tours can all be arranged by the hotel – as can skiing on the Sierra Nevada. There are cultural excursions on offer too, including flamenco shows. Andalucia is the soul of real Spain – drive for 30 minutes to Granada and your journey takes in distant rugged mountains and fragrant orange and almond trees – dismiss preconceptions of nasty neon and ugly overdevelopment. Granada houses the Alhambra – Spain’s number one tourist honeypot, which dates from the 9th century(www.alhambra-patronato.es). Its intriguing history – in the 1300s, it was converted into a  palace and gardens by the last Muslim rulers of Spain before ultimately being commandeered by conquering Catholics after the 1492 Reconquista – makes for a fascinating archi-tour and it stands today as one of Europe’s most important historic records of Moorish architecture. Support wolf conservation and learn a bit more about el lobo itself at Antequera’s Lobo Park, about 40 minutes away by car (www.lobopark.com). All the animals that roam free here do so in an entirely natural environment – the difference being that they were probably reared within the park itself so they’re used to being around humans.

 

Local restaurants

Funnily enough, the remote Andalucian countryside isn't over-endowed with eateries, but if you head down the road from the Cortijo to Albolote, Restaurante Romero on Carretera Jaén offers typical Spanish cooking via its decent €15 menu del día. There’s an outdoor terrace and bar and on summer nights you’ll often find the barbecue lit (+34 95 845 3268). Further afield, refined La Finca at Barceló La Bobadilla, is the area’s sole restaurant to hold Five Forks (Tenedores) on account of Antonio Organero’s creative flair and precise plating up (+34 95 832 1861). Expect a gazpacho menu (lobster or eel and dill) alongside dishes such as tomato jelly with vegetable ragout and baby calamari. The wine cellar wins awards.

Local bars

If you’re in Granada visiting the Alhambra, stop by La Buena Vida on Calle Almireceros. It has a good selection of Spanish beer and some excellent, keenly priced tapas (try the tapenade, goat’s cheese with honey or chicken paté). It's lively, authentic and perennially popular (+34 095 899 4616; www.barlabuenavida.com).

Reviews

Photos Cortijo del Marqués  reviews

Anonymous review

In the Eighties, my father printed my mother a T-shirt reading, ‘I don’t want to go to Granada!’ It became a running joke I never understood, assuming it to be ugly, or worse, an inland Fuengirola. It turns out she was simply worried about debilitating heat. Now, about to embark on a roadtrip into the heart of mountainous Andalusia, Mr Smith and I panic we’re driving into the lion’s mouth.

Spoiler alert: Granada has a dry heat that doesn’t incapacitate. Over the next few days our heroes are to horse ride barefoot in the Alpujarra, meet a toeless expeditioner, soak in Europe’s first Arabic Baths, sample spit-roasted swallows and get lost in the Sierra Nevada – while still finding time to enjoy each other in the lush Spanish countryside.

We get to El Cortijo del Marqués later than planned. I blame the city’s thermometer. On arrival in Granada, it boasts a photogenic 43 degrees. We celebrate with gin. And more gin. We love bohemian cave bars! We love gin! We don’t love the resultant hangover. Finally on our way from our previous hotel, a brief stop-off at the architecturally stunning Alhambra turns into a lengthier attraction. For five hours we play out an Arabian Nights fantasy in the ancient Arabic and Moorish kingdom of passion and palaces – pausing only for the occasional ‘moreish’ gag. I blame Spain’s oversized goldfish bowl measures of juniper juice. Awesome tip: audio guides. My favourite Alhambra excerpt: ‘Could this be the room where the Albencerraj family were cruelly murdered? Probably not.’

‘Perform a U-turn when possible.’ Mr Smith’s overreliance on satnav means that we’re circling the roundabout at the hotel turnoff nine times. That’s because El Cortijo is 4km up a Gooolemap-dodging dirt track through green olive groves and seductive amber hills where bunnies float and butterflies bounce.

Originally a convent, El Cortijo was converted into a manor house by a wealthy marquess in the 18th century and after serving as a civil war barracks ended up being abandonded. The original rural features of the rooms remain – stable troughs, pigeonholes, and even a sunken mosaic bath worthy of an orgy for the naughtiest of marqueses. As the smiley Heather leads us through the cobblestoned courtyard of whitewashed and terracotta walls to the classily concealed pool and dining areas, we pass water features to rival the Alhambra. The only other sound is from a flight of swallows as they move in unison from one courtyard tree to the next. (I learn the collective noun later when I Google it – this was to be a techno-free holiday.)

With vintage bedside tables, a 1900s writing desk and retro rotary light switches, our room, El Mirador, is old-school romantic. We open every one of its 10 windows to provide a 360-degree lookout over the unreal landscape (and a peepshow for the birds). Padding to the rustic bathroom in matching gowns, we agree there’s enough space to swing a stallion, although you’d hit its head on the wooden beams. No laptop necessary here, the view from this freestanding bath has got something better – those hills.

As Mr Smith’s dumped espadrilles start to give the bathroom an Alhambra hum, we head to El Cortijo’s large dining room, which was converted from an old horse stable. The chef has prepared a traditional Andalusian menu of salmorejo, a local soup similar to gazpacho, and a hearty stew – exactly what Mr Smith and I fancy after being hungover for 10 hours. Now pass the wine list.

By breakfast it’s time to saddle up and see the scenery, and a fine example of Spanish masculinity appears (not Mr Smith). The horse-wrangling gaucho introduces my white hornless unicorn as Rocket, then instructs, ‘Don’t relax! This is not a chair.’ With a belly full of jamon, queso and nerves, mounting a mare for the very first time proves the perfect way to embrace the surrounding olive groves. Mr Smith and I are starring in our own romantic non-fiction – until his steed empties his bladder in a distinctly unchair-like way.

Watersports over, it’s not long before we’re snoozing by El Cortijo’s unpretentious pool in prep for a chilled tapas-crawl in the neighbouring whitewashed villages. Substitute ‘chilled’ for ‘I’m chucking this satnav out the window’ and ‘neighbouring’ for ‘How the hell did we accidentally drive up a mountain?’ We’re lost at an ear-popping 1,400m altitude in the beautiful Sierra Nevada, having passed dizzy precipices, winding cliffs and typical Andalusian villages built like eagles’ nests in the cliffs. Mr Smith and I are so high, we’ve reached a ski station. The limping owner, José Luis Conde, informs us he lost his big toe when it froze on one of his expeditions. If we don’t want to go back on ourselves, we can trek to our intended destination of Capilieira on foot. But it will take 12 days. And I like my toes. Plus, we’re on a tapas-tip.

In Andalusia there is such a thing as a free lunch. You buy a drink, they give you a tapa. In Granada’s whitewashed Jewish Quarter, El Realejo, drinking on an empty stomach is not an option. Now, I love traditional places, but the more the oldies stare, the more experimental I get with the local cuisine. These feeders keep the tapas coming. Even when that razor clam, squid and snail give me goosebumps, I swallow. And that is exactly how, in the buzzing Bar Los Altramuces, we end up being served pajarillos fritos – deep-fried swallows – beaks, feet ’n’ all.

I draw the line at swallowing swallow. Retinas scarred, we crank up the indulgence with a midnight soak and sensual massage in the old hammam Arabic baths. Ignoring the solitary old man with moobs in Speedos, we float together in Alhambra-like opulence under the star-shaped lights. Lit only by muted constellations, we’re not sure where the bathing ends and the silent journey back to tranquil El Cortijo begins. We’re blooming Omar Sharif in Lawrence of Arabia.

‘I don’t want to go to Granada!’ Pah. Unless you’re a swallow.
 

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 Cortijo del Marqués ’s Guestbook below.

We loved

Everything! Hotel owners were great - from advice on visiting the Alhambra to walking in the area, and making us feel very welcome. A marvellous place to stay. Really enjoyed dinner each night, simply delicious. Marvellous walks nearby. Definitely worth exploring.

Don’t expect

...To want to go home.

Rating

Stayed on 6 Oct 2016

We loved

The design. The atmosphere. Granada is beautiful to walk and shop. Our 3 years old son enjoyed it a lot. There is free space under the sky to run and play, there is the pool and even some Lego toys in the big living room

Don’t expect

To much to do in doors

Rating

Stayed on 14 Aug 2016

We loved

The view, the light, the remoteness. Enjoy the surroundings!

Don’t expect

To be disturbed

Rating

Stayed on 6 Aug 2016

We loved

We loved the fact that the hotel is in a really tranquil setting, surrounded by olive groves. We stayed for a week and it provided an ideal base from which we explored a part of Spain we had never previously travelled to. The hotel has a great aesthetic with lovely pieces of furniture, ceramics and it's own church, which is beautiful. Silvia and Eilko were the perfect hosts and it is great that they and their family eat in the restaurant with guests. The food and wine was excellent and offered great value. We enjoyed following Elko's advice sampling the Spanish wines - he is really knowledgeable! We also loved not getting bitten by mosquitos!! The Alhambra was amazing.

Don’t expect

Don't expect to be able to manage without a car, having said that ....the roads in this part of Spain are really great and stress free. It was no hardship driving to places that were over an hour away as the scenery was often breathtaking.

Rating

Stayed on 16 Jul 2016

We loved

The tranquility, beautiful views and walks

Don’t expect

The usual hotel trappings

Rating

Stayed on 13 Jun 2016

We loved

The peace and quiet, the beautiful surroundings - both inside and outside the hotel, and the food, and the staff, well everything really! We didn't leave the hotel once we arrived, had everything we needed there.

Don’t expect

Much happening, just enjoy the serenity.

Rating

Stayed on 14 Sep 2015

We loved

So much! When you arrive at the Cortijo, surrounded by olive trees and mountains, you know you're heading for somewhere special. The hotel is completely walled, so you feel like you're entering your own special sanctuary, helped in part by the fact that there is a beautiful old chapel on site. The suite we had (La Iglesia) was huge and full of history, as well as incredibly comfortable and with beautiful views of the Cortijo and surrounding countryside. The owners and staff were very welcoming and helpful and it was lovely to see the owners and their two impeccably behaved (and we think trilingual!) children dining with us in the restaurant in the evenings. All in all, a really fabulous stay. We were very sad to leave after four nights.

Don’t expect

A lively nightlife - this is definitely a peaceful location. To be satisfied with only staying one night - make it two at a minimum!

Rating

Stayed on 6 Sep 2015

We loved

The room - with original features including horse troughs from the old stable. The courtyard, and the setting.

Don’t expect

Buzzing nightlife.

Rating

Stayed on 19 Aug 2015

We loved

The peace and quiet when we arrived through the olive groves to the hotel, especially as we had just been caught in a massive thunderstorm with the car roof down, we turned up looking like drowned rats. The room was big and lofty we stayed in the Granary room, although I personally found it a little dark. The pool was beautiful with the back drop of the mountains the thunderstorms. We sat and watched the swallows playing in the gardens whilst drinking a delicious glass of Granada rose. The owners of the property were lovely their staff are very friendly.

Don’t expect

A variety in the daily set menu

Rating

Stayed on 31 May 2015