With the likes of Ronda, the Costa del Sol and Granada within an hour, the northern mountains of the Malaga region are often overlooked in favor of greater architectural heritage or a beach escape. But nestled in the geographical center of the Andalusia region is the village of Archidona and its new boutique hotel, Almohalla 51.
Partners (as well as proprietors and everything that goes along with it) David and Myles have long had connections with Spain, and returning to the holiday spot of their childhoods seemed like the way to escape their corporate lives in travel and marketing in London – just not without their lovable dog and olive tree from their garden.
After hunting for houses around Andalusia, they chose Archidona and the guest house when they simply fell into the right property while searching.
Situated in a town noted for its noble history, its natural offerings and its well-preserved Baroque architecture, David and Myles decided to buy two adjoining – albeit dilapidated – houses from a local family that sidles up to the towering Sierra de Gracia Mountains. From there, trinkets from their world travels began to fill the eclectic space with exposed wooden beams and uneven Andalusian tiles, breathing new life into an old space.
Taking care to work with local artisans and preserve the quirks of the house, the pair was able to make it eco-friendly, cosy and comfortable for their guests. The space itself lends character to its five large rooms, each with its own spotless bathroom and enough nooks and crannies to stash the whimsical handicrafts that have been acquired from around the world. The place is both stylish and homey, a veritable mix of old and new.
Almohalla 51 is a place that begs, “If these walls could talk, what would they say?”
There are a number of stairs in the guesthouse, so children are not allowed, and Almohalla 51 is not recommended for those with mobility issues. Rates vary by season, but expect to pay about 95€ – 110€ per night during the high summer season. This price includes a home cooked breakfast, linens, housekeeping charges and the local VAT tax. Reservations can be made over the phone or on the reservations page online.
Getting to Almohalla 51
Archidona is within a few hours’ drive from Seville, Cordoba, Malaga and Granada. Arriving to the village by car is simple, as the town is accessible from the A-92 highway that cris-crosses Andalucia, and is a mere 20 kilometers from the high-speed train station at Antequera that connects it to regional capitals as well as Madrid. The guesthouse is just steps off of the principal road of the village and within walking distance to its main sites and hiking on the Sierra de Gracia.
Noted summer festivals are the Dog Fest in June and August’s fair that honors the Virgin of Grace between the 14th and 18th. David and Myles are also on hand to provide recommendations for the village and beyond and help organise excursions.
Courtesy of Cat Gaa. Cat left behind the skyscrapers of Chicago for the olive groves of Southern Spain. She currently resides in Seville and maintains the blog Sunshine and Siestas about life in the Andalusian capital.