I cannot say enough good things about the Hacienda de San Rafael. We travelled for 2 weeks throughout Central Spain and Andalucia, renting apartments and houses in the center of town in each place, and having a fantastic time all the while. But when when it came to Sevilla, we knew that we wanted to slow down, relax and enjoy the beauty of the countryside. The Hacienda offered us just what we were after.
It should be noted that you should reject any urge to force the Hacienda into the "luxury resort" category. A luxury resort is a bigger, fancier, more expensive hotel. The Hacienda is not that. The Hacienda has SOUL. In fact, we were actively avoiding anything that even resembled a resort. We did not want electronic key cards. We did not want to sit in our room and watch HBO. We were looking for coziness, natural beauty and relaxation. And that's what we got. The grounds are definitely gorgeous with just a couple handfuls of rooms, all facing in to a charming cobblestone courtyard. Our room was fairly large and very clean, with modern shower, big tub, and a winding staircase leading to a 2nd floor loft space. The Hacienda itself was 35-40 mins from Sevilla, surrounded by miles of breathtaking farmland.
The bonus to it all was the phenomenally high level of service that never ceased in making us feel special and taken care of. The food was always fresh and good, and anytime we wanted a drink, we got one. Yes, dinner was pre-set, but we were happy to relinquish the decision-making for once. They certainly asked us if there was anything we did NOT want, or were allergic to, and although we almost always abide by the "When in Rome" rule, my wife does not eat duck, and they were more than happy to accommodate her and replace it with Hake. Other than that one exception, we had faith that no matter what meal was, it was going to be good. And it definitely was. [there was a very nice avocado salad with buttery shrimp (throughout a lifetime of not liking shrimp, these were the only ones I ever enjoyed), then came the hake and duck, both included a potato puree and caramelized vegetables. Dessert was a light parfait, fresh berries with syrup, and sorbet] Clean authentic flavors, spot-on portion sizes, and plenty of wine. After dinner, we moved to the living room and enjoyed a sherry by the fire. We struck up a nice conversation with a friendly English couple who had been going to the Hacienda for years, and said that it only continues to get better each time they visit.
Aside from the food and drink, the managers Yvonne and Jerri were very helpful in arranging several activities for us. We went horseback riding through the countryside with the fantastic Gonzaga, owner of the nearby Los Camachos stables/ranch, and when we returned we rested by the pool before getting some much needed massages. They also arranged a driver, a lovely gentleman named Juan, to drive us to Sevilla on two separate days for some shopping, flamenco, and to see the bullfight we had gotten tickets for. (procuring Juan was not free, but it was our honeymoon, and we wanted to drink, so it was money well spent)
Sadly, we did not have enough time to see Jerez or other surrounding towns, but it gives us the perfect excuse to return, make the Hacienda our home base, and further explore the awesomeness of Andalucia. The Hacienda is a very special place, and we feel so fortunate to have found it.
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- Lying half between Seville & Jerez in the heart of Andalucia, the 300 year old Hacienda de San Rafael is a lovingly restored hotel of great charm. Formally a thriving olive farm, the hacienda now comprises 11 deluxe luxurious en suite bedrooms & 3 new thatched cottages or "casitas" set in an exclusive garden area and sharing their own infinity pool, perfect for those seeking privacy and space. ... more less
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- Also Known As:
- Hacienda De San Rafael Hotel Seville
- Hacienda De San Rafael Seville
- Hacienda De San Rafael Las Cabezas De San-Juan, Spain - Province Of Seville