Andalucia bed and breakfast near Ronda
Description of Andalucia bed and breakfast near Ronda
This charming Ronda hotel is a relaxed oasis of luxury in the heart of Cartajima, one of Andalucia's famed "pueblos blancos".
The hotel has won the prestigous award for Best Inland hotel from the Academia Gastronomica Malagueña; a welcome surprise for resident owner, Di Beach, and also an enormous source of satisfaction.
Cartajima is one of seven small villages in the undiscovered Alto Genal Valley close to Ronda. This quiet village lies between lush chestnut trees and spectacular mountain scenery - marvelous walks for the energetic, a convenient centre for cultural expeditions for the enthusiastic, peace and quiet for the world-weary.
This romantic part of secret Spain is only 45kms from the bright lights of the Costa del Sol, 1.5hrs from Malaga airport and 15mins drive from Ronda.
Some of the activities our guests have enjoyed include:
Exploring Andalucia and city sightseeing
Walking and hiking
Birdwatching: eagles, migrating birds and rare endangered species
Visiting paleolithic cave sites near Ronda
Sketching, painting and creative writing
Mindfulness colouring provided with sketching materials
Relaxing and getting pampered
Enjoying the hotel's infrared sauna.
Getting out and about:
Visit the romantic cities of Andalucia: Ronda (15 minutes drive), Sevilla (90 minutes drive), Jerez (90 minutes drive) and Cordoba and Granada both of which are an easy train ride away - which makes for an exciting day trip.
For walking holidays in Spain, the Alto Genal is unbeatable. This is a quiet, undiscovered valley with 7 tiny villages scattered around the higher reaches of the Genal River. One side of the valley has rough limestone crags which make for exciting mountain walking whilst the other side is covered with sweet chestnut trees. In spring there's a wide variety of wild flowers and migrating birds; in early summer chestnuts flower and a musky scent fills the air; and in autumn the chestnut trees go through a spectacular palette of red and gold. Walks vary from one hour to five hours, easy to moderate, and we supply detailed walking notes. And a 'rescue service' should you get tired.
Our accommodation is the perfect base for exploring the Andalucía's Alto Genal Valley by bike. There's nothing over 3500ft and the weather, either side of summer is great. July and August are a bit too hot for anything more energetic than supping a beer in the shade. There is myriad unfrequented, good quality tracks linking the seven villages, and there are also level gradient tarmac roads in between. Cartajima is centrally located in the Alto Genal thus affording access to the whole valley. There is ample storage space for bikes inside the B&B. We also have three extreme routes for more experienced cyclists.
We are lucky to have Peter Jones, ornithologist extraordinaire, available for a day's birdwatching. Peter will collect you at breakfast and give you a wonderful day out returning in the late afternoon. Birds, flowers, geology, culture - bliss!
PlanetCartajima is a small but thriving community. The town hall, the Ayuntamiento, are doing a great job keeping traditions alive and providing opportunities for youngsters to keep them in the village.
My intention is always to help where I can, employ only local people or companies, encourage villagers to participate in small sustainable tourist enterprises, and do what we can to create entrepreneurial opportunities.
At our Andalucia accommodation we employ only women from our village who traditionally do not have the opportunities available to their male counterparts. We encourage our employees to take as active a role in the running of the accommodation as they can, and hope to offer them training in all aspects of hotel management. Our purchases are all made within a 20 km radius of the village except for a few specialist items but less and less of the things we need are sourced outside our local area preferring Andalucian products and services. We strive to keep our environmental impact as low as it can be whilst retaining the level of luxury that our guests demand. Some of our projects have been culturally unacceptable such as composting. I tried to rent a little bit of land outside the village where we could make compost but the people are frightened of the idea, believing that it will attract unwanted vermin and others (wild boar perhaps!) apart from that failure I believe we have put in place over the years many energy and resource saving systems - no disposables, low energy lighting, solar panels, drought resistant plants where possible to mention just a few of our efforts.
Encouraging vegetarian and vegan guests. We do not serve beef or lamb, the main offenders, and when we serve meat it is not the focal point of the meal. The plants are.
We grow as many plants as space allows. Not a lot but every little bit helps. We only buy local food and, where possible, ecologically grown.
We have reduced our plastic consumption dramatically with innovative solutions. We use no disposable items. Bathroom products for example are large bottles of ecological olive oil shampoo, body oil and shower gel.
There are many other ways in which we are doing our best whilst still maintaining high levels of comfort for our guests. Sometimes this is conflicting but we always find a way.
PeopleIn regular meetings with the mayor of this small community, we try to help him explore ideas for generating wealth in the village. We protest about outside workers coming in and environmentally unsustainable plans. We promote tourism to him as the future for the village - a sustainable, useful sort of tourism that will enable the villagers.
We contribute generously to all traditional events in order to assist the village in retaining its cultural heritage. Easter and the summer feria are the two main festivals which we support and encourage our guests to participate.
In an effort to spread the wealth, we encourage our guests to explore the village and patronise the bars and little shops. Each room has a folder with information about what is available in Cartajima, the Alto Genal valley, and in nearby Ronda. Our guests are always culturally sensitive and find that the villagers are eager to talk with strangers - not so many come this way!