16 independent reviews for Granada holiday accommodation, Spain

These full and frank independent reviews are from travellers who have booked directly through Responsible Travel. They are not edited by us or any of the companies we work with. Find the real story, from real travellers below.


review 15 Aug 2016

1. What was the most memorable or exciting part of your holiday?

Such a wonderful location, the hotel is lovely, peaceful and homely. Home cooked meals every night and hours spent relaxing in the evening sun on the veranda. The holiday can be as active or as relaxed as you like.

2. What tips would you give other travellers booking this holiday?

A car is essential, the track alone to the hotel is 3k, the nearest villages are 20 minutes away.

3. Did you feel that your holiday benefited local people, reduced environmental impacts or supported conservation?

Yes, all the activities are locally run and focuses around nature and the outdoors.

4. Finally, how would you rate your holiday overall?

Excellent, very relaxing but with plenty to do.

review 17 Mar 2013

1. What was the most memorable or exciting part of your holiday?

Walking the scenic paths around the hotel with Lola, the owner's dog - she was a wonderful companion keeping me in the right direction and making sure the other dogs didn't mess with me

2. What tips would you give other travellers booking this holiday?

Hire a car to get to the hotel - it is in a wonderful location with breathtaking views but also equally remote, approximately 3 kms from the main road. Also getting around the area most definitely requires a car.

3. Did you feel that your holiday benefited local people, reduced environmental impacts or supported conservation?

I hope so - the hotel is sourced with environmentally friendly energy and by staying there, I hope that I am supporting this concept.

4. Finally, how would you rate your holiday overall?

Very highly - I needed to get away and this was the perfect choice. The hotel is in a beautiful setting, the owners are wonderful hosts and the surrounding countryside and local villages provided a wonderful experience. It truly is the most perfect place to recharge the batteries and I would not hesitate in recommending to others or returning again myself.

review 5 Sep 2012

1. What was the most memorable or exciting part of your holiday?

Where to begin?! The scenery, the relaxation, the welcome at the hotel, the glorious setting, the range of locally run activities (canoeing horse riding swimming, mountain biking etc), the joy of the children as they explored and enjoyed the freedom, the hotel and it's amazing environment...good job this box is character limited - I would go on all day.

2. What tips would you give other travellers booking this holiday?

Book it. Immediately. If you like nature's raw beauty, excellent home cooking, beautiful, comfortable, rustic rural charm, and an utterly untouristy part of Spain.

3. Did you feel that your holiday benefited local people, reduced environmental impacts or supported conservation?

Absolutely - the hotel is off grid, recycles every thing possible, grew some of the fruit and vegetables we ate, and the owners clearly have strong relationships with both local fruit and vegetable growers (I am just popping to the neighbours for more potatoes....) and also with small local activities operators for canoeing, horse riding and mountain biking and much more. Local honey and local olive oil feature heavily.

4. Finally, how would you rate your holiday overall?

Simply sensational. A family of 5 (kids aged 9, 8 and 4) had a sensational holiday - something for everyone and opened our eyes to low impact tourism within an unspoilt area. On the way home we asked the kids how they rated it in terms of other holidays. 9 year old: 'I have wanted to go back to other places we have been, but never so much as I want to go back to this accommodation'. 4 Year old: 'I miss Spain - can we go back tomorrow?í.

review 2 Sep 2012

1. What was the most memorable or exciting part of your holiday?

Lots of wonderful aspects to this holiday. In no particular order..... The scenery is truly amazing. There are great views from every angle around the hotel terrace and the landscape in this part of Spain is stunning. We did a few hikes in the beautiful countryside nearby, paddling in ice cold streams, standing under a waterfall and trying to pluck up the courage to plunge into deep, bright blue pools of water. The nearest village - Castril - is very picturesque and has a lovely swimming pool with lots of shade (this closes on the last day of August). The other big plus of this holiday is the warmth of the welcome from Ilaria and Derek, who run the hotel. We felt that nothing was too much trouble and they were entirely focused on giving us the perfect break. We were keen to experience lots of different activities and Ilaria had put a great deal of thought into a schedule for us. All her suggestions were spot on and we would never had found the walks in particular without her inside knowledge. They seemed to be always available when we had questions or needed help with something. The children loved the holiday. They also found it completely relaxing and enjoyed feeding the various animals and fussing over the two very friendly and patient family dogs. They made friends with Derek & Ilaria's two boys and with other children staying at the same time and so were able to dip into joint games/swimming/rabbit feeding/exploring when they fancied it. We booked half board and Ilaria was a great cook. We tended to bring picnic lunches back to the hotel and this worked well. The hotel has great common areas including a little kitchen, plates, crockery etc and a fridge with an honesty bar. There is a great library of books (including guide books) and DVDs. In terms of activities we did several walks, mountain biking, an Andalucian cookery course, star gazing, visited a prehistoric village, canoeing and loads of swimming. We also had an overnight trip to Granada. All great, especially the canoeing, hiking and mountain biking.

2. What tips would you give other travellers booking this holiday?

Perfect for anyone who wants to be (well!) off the tourist trail. A hire car is essential as the hotel is not within walking distance of anywhere. There is a dirt track to the hotel which we were timid about at first but by the end of the holiday we were rattling to and fro without noticing it.

3. Did you feel that your holiday benefited local people, reduced environmental impacts or supported conservation?

Definitely as we travelled around the area, bought picnic lunches locally and did lots of activities run by local people. The hotel is not supplied with electricity from the grid and ran on solar power. We were encouraged to recycle cans, paper, plastic etc.

4. Finally, how would you rate your holiday overall?

Fantastic holiday: we all loved it and there were a few tears in our eyes as we left.

review 27 Jan 2012

1. What was the most memorable or exciting part of your holiday?

So many memorable & exciting parts: - Arriving at night to see the amazing incredibly clear sky (with no light pollution), and the density of stars we never see at home. - Mountain bike rides across beautiful countryside, including getting lost a few times... all part of the adventure ;-) - The stunning circular walk in Castril Natural Park which starts near Vulture Rock and climbs to the top of Vulture mountain before looping back on the other side of the valley. - Running at dawn to witness a fabulous sunrises from the other side of the valley. - The fantastic local food. - The varied landscapes & interesting towns you can visit in a single days driving tour. - Ilaria & Derek's hospitality - nothing was too much trouble, from advice about what to do & where, finding & booking the best local restaurants, and providing 2 fabulous evening meals to booking, collecting & returning mountain bikes for us. - Getting a close fly past by about 9 vultures whilst in the olive groves, and seeing them circle above Vulture rock.

2. What tips would you give other travellers booking this holiday?

- Do it!! This is fantastic accommodation in a great location - you won't regret it. - For easier navigation try to arrive during the day, but do make sure you look at the stars at night. - Go walking in Castril Natural Park. - Hire bikes to explore.

3. Did you feel that your holiday benefited local people, and minimized impacts on the environment?

It benefitted local people in that almost all of what we consumed during our visit was locally farmed & sourced, and it was a local bike company we hired mountain bikes from. Impacts on the environment were reduced by us walking & cycling as much as possible, but unfortunately a car is essential due to the remoteness and little public transport. Whilst there though, there was no need to drive very far, as there was so much to do in the vicinity. We also dropped our car off as close as possible, (Linares-Baeza), and caught the train onwards to Madrid for New Year. It is an environmentally friendly accommodation, being off-grid and powered by solar, waste pellets & propane gas. Water saving is encouraged, and everything that can be is recycled.

4. Finally, how would you rate your holiday overall?

Fantastic - and we certainly intend to go back - hopefully with a crowd of friends next time!!

review 4 Aug 2012

1. What was the most memorable or exciting part of your holiday?

The peace and tranquility of the place, the friendliness of the owners, the delicious meals we were served for dinner!

2. What tips would you give other travellers booking this holiday?

A must if you are looking for lots of fresh air, peace and tranquility, excursions in the area, no crowds. Suitable for children too.

3. Did you feel that your holiday benefited local people, reduced environmental impacts or supported conservation?

Yes.

4. Finally, how would you rate your holiday overall?

Enjoyed it a lot.

review 7 May 2012

1. What was the most memorable or exciting part of your holiday?

There were lots of memorable moments:- from lovely walks, beautiful surroundings of the hotel, really lovely owners, Ilaria and Derek, who couldn't have been more helpful, beautiful starry night sky and lots of different types of wild birds to be seen nearby.

2. What tips would you give other travellers booking this holiday?

To be aware of 3km dirt track road to hotel.

3. Did you feel that your holiday benefited local people, reduced environmental impacts or supported conservation?

Yes - this holiday benefited local people in that we occasionally ate out locally and went to local shops. A local person took us kayaking. The food in the hotel was produced locally. The hotel's heating and lighting was from solar energy or pellet burning stove.

4. Finally, how would you rate your holiday overall?

Our holiday was excellent. I just wish it had been longer as there was so much to do and see. You can have a very relaxing holiday or a very active holiday depending on your mood or your likes and dislikes. We had a mix of both. Ilaria and Derek made us feel very relaxed and comfortable. They were extremely informative and helpful.

review 9 Jun 2011

1. What was the most memorable or exciting part of your holiday?

Arriving back at the end of each day to the fantastic accommodation perched on its own little hill surrounded by olive and almond trees; 360ļ of tranquillity and the fact that this was our home for a whole week, bliss. Illaria and Derek were fabulous hosts and went out of their way to help us make the most of our stay in this varied and fascinating region recommending all sorts of places to see and things to do. We canoed the length of the mirror like lake into the gorge of Castril, watching eagles as we glided along and not another soul in sight. We spent an adrenalin filled morning in the Castril Natural park cannyoning and abseiled down a succession of waterfalls within the narrow part of the gorge under the careful eye of Lazro our guide; our fifteen-year-old son especially enjoyed this! As he did catching his first trout, which Derek carefully cooked for us on our return and we ate on the terrace under the stars.

2. What tips would you give other travellers booking this holiday?

What tips would you give other travellers? We flew to Almeria, and had an easy drive north taking in the spectacular snow capped Sierra Nevada and passed by an amazing solar energy farm near Gaudix, the rows of parabolic solar troughs are a sight to see. If you hope to go cannyoning or canoeing donít forget to bring some old trainers and book in advance. The local baker makes fabulous Magdalenas and rustic bread, the butchers delicious chorizo sausage, local cheeses and tasty oranges all you need for a great picnic, then just head into the Natural park for the most spectacular views. We sat and watched about 12 griffin vultures souring high up above us.

3. Did you feel that your holiday benefited local people, and minimized impacts on the environment?

Definitely; we tried lots of local cafes, restaurants, bars and shops, there is also an interesting glass work shop in Castril set up recreate a once former local craft. The activities we took part in were run by a local company in the village. The accommodation was almost self sufficient in its energy production, we had a fascinating and inspiring tour of the set up. Illaria cooked with local produce; we sampled some delicious goats cheese and local honey made by a neighbour.

4. Finally, how would you rate your holiday overall?

We had an extremely memorable week in so many ways; fabulous location, comfy room, exceptional hospitality, great adventures and wildlife spotting opportunities, donít hesitate, just book it youíll have an amazing holiday in this very scenic yet un touristy region of Spain. The real thing!

review 12 Jan 2011

1. What was the most memorable or exciting part of your holiday?

We absolutley loved our hosts, Ilaria and Derek. They welcomed us like family and prepared very fresh delicious meals. Our accomodations were extremely comfortable and peaceful.

2. What tips would you give other travellers booking this holiday?

We visited during the October Fiestas y Toros de Castril and really enjoyed that, but it would also be a great place to "de-stress" and just relax on the beautiful property any time of year. There is also wonderful hiking very close by.

3. Did you feel that your holiday benefited local people, and minimized impacts on the environment?

Yes.

4. Finally, how would you rate your holiday overall?

Amazing!!! We would go back in a heartbeat.

review 14 Nov 2011

For our 12 year old daughter it was definitely a thrilling afternoon's horse ride, but we all enjoyed the whole experience: a good variety of walks in the very scenic nearby natural parks with excellent views of vultures and many smaller birds plus deer, mouflon, squirrels and boar; a day trip to Granada to visit the Alhambra; relaxing in local cafes and restaurants and watching the stars from the accommodation itself. Derek and Ilaria are great hosts who make a staying here very relaxed and homely - they provided us with lots of great ideas for places to visit locally and set up various activities but were never pushy; they really take pleasure in seeing guests enjoying their holiday and exploring this lovely area. Ilaria's (and her mother's) cooking is great too, and as vegetarians we were particularly glad of her skills and her advice on dishes to sample when out.

2. What tips would you give other travellers booking this holiday?

If you enjoy walking, bird watching, relaxing with a good book and generally just enjoying being in a new place with home comforts and friendly hosts but a sense of being off the main tourist trail then this is definitely for you. There are also opportunities to take part in more adventurous activities like canyoning and horse riding and all the kids visiting when we were there also all really enjoyed a pizza making lesson with Ilaria. The house is in a lovely location amongst olive and almond groves and it's very relaxing just to sit on the balcony or terrace and enjoy the peace.

3. Did you feel that your holiday benefited local people, and minimized impacts on the environment?

Yes. Derek and Ilaria have made real efforts to make the house eco-friendly including use of solar panels and wood pellet space heater/boiler. Ilaria shops locally for food, including at the weekly market in Castril, and there is a small vegetable garden. They also work with other local businesses to provide a good range of activities for guests and seem well-respected in the area.

4. Finally, how would you rate your holiday overall?

Brilliant - absolutely hit the mark and exceeded our expectations.

review 26 Sep 2011

1. What was the most memorable or exciting part of your holiday?

The warm welcome from Derek and Ilaria as we arrived made us feel at home immediately. Looking out from the accommodation there is an amazing view all around and it is so peaceful. We loved the varied landscapes and terrains in the natural parks and in particular the walks up to the waterfalls and to the source of the Rio Castril. Vulture watching was a thrill too. The food was wonderful especially Ilaria's home cooking. We speak very little Spanish but the locals were all helpful. Derek and Ilaria really know a lot about the region and, despite not much being printed in English, they were a fount of information and brilliant suggestions for days out or places to eat.

2. What tips would you give other travellers booking this holiday?

Firstly we would say definitely go there if you want a real Spanish holiday which is as active or lazy as you want it to be but not full of other people. A car is essential and the smaller roads are quite windy and bumpy especially if you go exploring the Parque Natural to find the lovely walks. Timing your day out needs to include the Spanish custom of shutting shops from 2 till 6 ish. Also be aware that Museums may be shut then too and lots of things are closed on Monday or Tuesday. Derek and Ilaria will happily call and check for you before you go to places. We had one kind man who opened his museum for us specially and one Bar/restaurant who did likewise with the restaurant area!

3. Did you feel that your holiday benefited local people, and minimized impacts on the environment?

Yes indeed. The accommodation, as well as being beautifully placed for views, utilises solar energy as much as possible. They produce some of their own food and are obviously very determined to maintain the lowest environmental impact they can. The local area is mainly farmed or wild and tourism is just beginning to be a source of income. If this increases, hopefully more jobs will be available to encourage the young people to stay and not disappear off to the cities.

4. Finally, how would you rate your holiday overall?

We would definitely recommend this holiday as one of the most memorable we have been on. The place is beautiful, the stars at night fantastic and Ilaria and Derek are wonderful hosts.

review 5 Jun 2011

1. What was the most memorable or exciting part of your holiday?

The hotel and the couple who run it are delightful. The hotel is very comfortable with spacious, tasteful rooms and in a lovely situation with beautiful views of the surrounding hills. Ilaria cooks delicious food, and both she and Derek will do all they can to help with your holiday.

2. What tips would you give other travellers booking this holiday?

It is necessary to drive everywhere, but having said that the roads are good and extremely quiet. we did a day trip to Granada which was very straightforward, but make sure you book the Alhambra palace in advance. It is perfect countryside for walking, and there are many other activities available to enjoy.

3. Did you feel that your holiday benefited local people, and minimized impacts on the environment?

Yes, the local people benefit from you visiting their restaurants and participating in the many outdoor activities available. The hotel owners are keen to be environmentally friendly, for example generating their own electricity.

4. Finally, how would you rate your holiday overall?

Very enjoyable, and a world away from the more touristy part of Spain.

review 20 Jan 2011

1. What was the most memorable or exciting part of your holiday?

Sitting out on the Terrace in the cool of the day, totally relaxed, with a glass of cold crisp wine and admiring the view, nothing to do but enjoy the company and decide what I fancied for supper.

2. What tips would you give other travellers booking this holiday?

Fly to Murcia, even if it is more expensive as it was a very long journey from Malaga.

3. Did you feel that your holiday benefited local people, and minimized impacts on the environment?

I felt that the owners of the hotel had made a concerted effort to minimise the impact of tourism on what is a lovely unspoilt region.

4. Finally, how would you rate your holiday overall?

Simply lovely. I was very impressed by the accommodation and the friendliness of the owners, the food was delicious and the ambience so relaxing. The area is stunning and is a lot less touristy than Andalucia where I normally spend my holidays.

review 26 Aug 2010

1. What was the most memorable or exciting part of your holiday?

The beauty and tranquility of the casa rural and setting. I could have remained on the terrace, turning my sun lounger every hour or so for a different view! Spectacular! Waking up to those views and sitting on the terrace watching shooting stars and gazing at the milky way in the clear sky. The children were happy so we had some peace and enjoyed watching them enjoyng themselves! The children remember accompanying our host to feed the chickens and eating delicious homemade pizza!

2. What tips would you give other travellers booking this holiday?

Stay as long as you can to avoid frustration at leaving. Could spend days just relaxing and the possibilities for activities and culture seemd amazing. We squeezed in kayaking in the clear, turquoise, local lake (fantastic scenery in the natural park and wildlife - eagles and vultures) and swimming in the beautiful pool in Castril (a great scenic little village with bars, bakeries and weekly market) before moving on but wished we had a couple of weeks to spend. Our little ones, with us splashed in the pool at the casa rural; loved the animals which were so friendly but not intrusive and we struggled to prise them away from the large sit on toy tractors.

3. Did you feel that your holiday benefited local people, and minimized impacts on the environment?

Plenty of activities available run by local people developing their own businesses and cultural opportunities run by local organisations. The Casa Rural recycled; used solar energy; sourced local foods including honey from a neighbouring bee keeper and fresh figs and other produce such as almonds and vegetables from their own property.

4. Finally, how would you rate your holiday overall?

Wonderful. Couldn't ask for more. The hosts, Derek and Ilaria, were lovely people who could not have done more to assist us and make our stay special. Their speaking three languages was very helpful and our eldest even learnt a couple of words of Spanish and Italian. They were great with our children, ensuring they were content. The food was excellent. The ensuite room was spacious, spotless and beautifully decorated. We will be going back as a family for as long a period as possible and will also endeavour to go for a short period as a couple to make the most of opportunities to hike etc and relax.

review 17 Oct 2010

1. What was the most memorable or exciting part of your holiday?

Eating lunch in Emilios bar, organised by Ilaria. Mama in the kitchen cooking and some truly local specialities with the chance to watch the world go by. We would never have found that on our own. Sitting on the terrace watching the sun set over the hills followed by a show of lightening. You could never tire of the spectacular view from that terrace. It was the first time we had picked almonds too.

2. What tips would you give other travellers booking this holiday?

Bring a car. Or plan to spend all your time on the terrace reading, watching and taking very local walks.

3. Did you feel that your holiday benefited local people, and minimized impacts on the environment?

Yes, in that Ilaria and family ARE local people and working hard to ensure a sustainable way ahead for the rural community. It is important when you see how few houses remain inhabited full time as people seek employment elsewhere, and therefore how the community is changing.

4. Finally, how would you rate your holiday overall?

We have a lovely time. The rooms are new and lovely. The boys entertained our 16month daughter full time. Ilaria was always on had to suggest an itinerary. The whole enterprise is still new to them, and that was part of the fun.

review 14 Sep 2010

1. What was the most memorable or exciting part of your holiday?

All of it.

2. What tips would you give other travellers booking this holiday?

Probably best to fly to the closest Airport rather than the one we flew from.

3. Did you feel that your holiday benefited local people, and minimized impacts on the environment?

I am sure tourism will benefit the locals.

4. Finally, how would you rate your holiday overall?

It was first class and we felt like we were staying with friends.

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Unedited reviews from other travellers

I am reborn! Simply the best holiday I have ever been on
Some great stories to tell the grandchildren. Would recommend to a friend
Very enjoyable
It was OK
A bit disappointing really
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