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“Wonderful place, wonderful staff”
Review of Al Lago

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Al Lago
Certificate of Excellence
Columbus, Ohio
Level 1 Contributor
3 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 7 helpful votes
“Wonderful place, wonderful staff”
Reviewed 9 November 2012

Definitely the place to stay in Andalusia. The owners, Mona and Stefan, make you feel like family, and the food and staff are both fantastic. They will even help you plan your daily activities around the area. Zahara de la Sierra is also a great little town to stroll around and get away from the tourist scene, but still very close to Ronda. I would gush more, but reading through all the previous reviews, it doesn't sound like I need to! We'll certainly be going back some day!

  • Stayed October 2012, travelled as a couple
    • Value
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Helpful?
1 Thank StewSw
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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155 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
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English first
Dublin, Ireland
Level 5 Contributor
73 reviews
17 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 54 helpful votes
Reviewed 1 November 2012

Very nice place, helpful staff, super comfortable bedrooms and lovely breakfasts and dinner (should you choose to have dinner here, we would recommend the tasting menu as a little treat for yourself…it is very nice). Zahara itself is a wonderful little place, perched up high and with wonderful views of the surrounding countryside. Sunsets are also beautiful reflecting off all the white buildings. If you choose to come here, then you should definitely stay in Al Lago.

The only thing worth noting is that Al Lago itself is at the bottom of the village and to get to the village itself is a 5 minute walk up a very steep hill. This is not a negative thing by any means – just to note that if you come here, to really experience village life, you will need to leave Al Lago and walk up the hill as it is sort of cut off from the village.

  • Stayed October 2012, travelled as a couple
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Helpful?
1 Thank facepalm10
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Newcastle upon Tyne, United Kingdom
Level 4 Contributor
31 reviews
14 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 22 helpful votes
Reviewed 26 October 2012

We regularly stay near Marbella and on our last trip my husband found this hotel through a review in a local magazine.

On our return home we had a look at trip advisor and saw the fantastic reviews and booked a two night stay to coincide with our October trip to Spain.

The reviews on trip advisor were not wrong, we had a fantastic stay.

The owners, Mona and Stefan are a charming couple who welcomed us warmly and fed us well, what more could you ask for.

They have lovely staff, all were very attentive.

The room we stayed in was simple but elegant, with a lovely bathroom complete with beautiful olive oil soap. The room had a fantastic view of the reservoir and white villages in the distance.

An establishment should always compliment its food with well thought out wines. Mona has knowledge of wines and has selected a wine list to compliment her husband’s fantastic cuisine. On being asked she recommended the wine to go with our choice of food and on both nights it was perfect.

Please don't expect much for breakfast, it is a continental but does have home made jam and marmalade.

We highly recommend this hotel and restaurant and will return, perhaps next time to do some walking in the beautiful surrounding area.

  • Stayed October 2012, travelled as a couple
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Helpful?
2 Thank Julie T
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Brecksville
Level 1 Contributor
3 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
Reviewed 11 October 2012

We stayed at Al Lago for three nights to attend the wedding of Sue's daughter. Mona and Stefan were outstanding. They looked after every detail - especially after the groom got sick and the ceremony had to be postponed a day. Apart from their caring and hospitality, the food was outstanding. An absolutely delightful experience. We highly recommend Al Lago and on a scale of 1 to 5 would rate it a 6!

Go and enjoy.

Sue and Dale

Room Tip: Suggest room 1.
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  • Stayed October 2012, travelled as a couple
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Helpful?
2 Thank Hurles
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Manchester, United Kingdom
Level 4 Contributor
29 reviews
8 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 18 helpful votes
Reviewed 10 October 2012

We stayed in Zahara for 2 nights as part of a wedding party - some stayed at Al Lago, I stayed at the Olive Mill. Mona and Stefan (as well as all the Girls!) are fantastically amazing, there is no other word for it.

The trip from Seville to Zahara was a little longer than planned for our party, but arriving several hours late didnt seem to be a problem. The first night we had a tapas menu, in the most beautiful setting, watching the sun go down. The day of the wedding we ran into a few difficulties with illness, but NOTHING was too much trouble for the Al Lago team. They helped in any way they could, going TOTALLY above and beyond. The reception had been planned to be eaten in the retaurant, but at VERY short notice was moved outside so we could enjoy the evening. Despite the fact that I'm sure our party caused loads of issues (not intentionally!) including moving loads of furniture around, nothing seemed too much trouble.

The tasting menu was FANTASTIC - we couldnt believe the standard of food being served - massive credit to everyone involved. And the lovely girls serving were still smiling 5 hours later when we were eating dessert!

To top it off when leving the next day, we were picked up at the Olive Mill and brought to Al Lago for breakfast and await our taxi back to Seville airport. Despite all the issues, Mona, Stefan and the team helped us keep everything together, and went over and above all my expectations (especially with this issues we faced!).

Thank you SO SO SO much for all your help in planning, preparing, and carrying out our stay, we definatley could not have done it without you, and thanks to your beautiful hotel, food, and amazing team, its a wedding I will defiantly remember! (even though I missed the ceremony ;-) )

  • Stayed October 2012, travelled with family
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Helpful?
Thank HelenandRick
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Alhaurín el Grande, Andalucia, Spain
Level 5 Contributor
42 reviews
7 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 45 helpful votes
Reviewed 3 October 2012

We stayed here for 2 nights to celebrate our wedding anniversary and, despite the inclement weather after our first night, we couldn't have picked a better place. Mona Crites (owner) was extremely welcoming and made us feel very 'at home'. We ate in the restaurant on both nights and have no criticism of the quality of the fare whatsoever; in fact, we considered the food and the wine to be of a high standard and would not hesitate to return there in the future. We would very much like to praise all the staff for their attentiveness and friendliness and we would like to make a special mention of Yolanda who could not possibly have been more thoughtful and helpful. The only, very slightly, negative comment that we have is that, perhaps, at €99 per night the price is a little on the high side especially when we had stayed at a 5* hotel in Jerez (with monster breakfast) just days before for a mere €75. Having said that, the location makes it worth paying the extra and we would, happily, return and pay that same rate in the future.
As for Zahara itself - it's full of charm and character with many old streets to wander through. One day, we will return and, hopefully, the weather will be better and we shall manage to visit La Garganta Verde!

  • Stayed September 2012, travelled as a couple
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Helpful?
Thank Wayne M
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Saint Louis, Missouri
Level 3 Contributor
12 reviews
4 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 5 helpful votes
Reviewed 18 June 2012

Zahara de la Sierra is a gorgeous, little town, and Al Lago is THE place to stay and eat. Our dinner was one of the best meals in Spain, and the owner couldn't have been more helpful. Be sure to hike to the castle at the top of the town for incredible views of the Lago and surrounding areas.

The owner of Al Lago was an incredibly gracious hostess, who went out of her way to make us feel welcome. Also, she is one of the few registered places to obtain permits for hiking in the Sierra de Grazalema, and she can arrange this for you in advance. This service is worth the stay in itself, as we learned the hard way that obtaining these permits in El Bosque or Grazalema is a challenge, to say the least.

The beds were very welcome, and amongst the most comfortable in Spain (including a 5-star hotel in Sevilla). The design of the rooms is very modern and chic, but comfortable as well. The bathroom was very spacious for a European B&B, and there were many little details like artisan soaps from the area. The owner even arranged a great picnic lunch for us for our hike the next day.

Room Tip: All rooms appear to be similar, and are spacious, comfortable, and well designed.
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  • Stayed May 2012, travelled as a couple
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Helpful?
1 Thank jimrueb
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about Al Lago

Property: Al Lago
Address: Calle Felix Rodriguez de La Fuente 11, 11688 Zahara de la Sierra, Sierra de Grazalema Natural Park, Spain
Region: Spain > Andalucia > Province of Cadiz > Sierra de Grazalema Natural Park > Zahara de la Sierra
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Free Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Children Activities (Kid / Family Friendly) Restaurant Room Service Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
Ranked #1 of 3 B&Bs / Inns in Zahara de la Sierra
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): £
Hotel Class:3 star — Al Lago 3*
Number of rooms: 4
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
A small family run hotel with spectacular views of Zahara´s lake. We have a well known restaurant open for lunch and dinner, serving local produce (some from our farm). The cuisine is rustic with innovative touches featuring local specialities such as wild boar, pork cheeks, paellas and in summer a wide array of fish. We also have vegetarian and vegan options, daily specials, home made desserts and an extensive wine cellar featuring many local bodegas.In addition Al lago has as a bar serving drinks, tapas and baked goods all day long. Breakfast is a buffet of fresh fruit salads, cereals, yoghurts, fresh juice, cold cuts and patés, boiled eggs, Andalucian tomato puree, breads and hot beverages.All our spacious, thoughtfully decorated en-suite double bedrooms have their own balcony with wrought iron doors, large beds, flat-screen satellite TV, built in wardrobes and rain showers. There is wifi in public areas and guests can use the hotel computer if need be. Al Lago has free on road parking and access is by recently asphalted road. We are surrounded by fabulous walking country with the Garganta Verde and many other hikes on our doorstep. Located on the edge of a typical white village/pueblo blanco into which you can wander and enjoy local bars and shops. A paradise for walkers, birders, cyclists, foodies, botanists, painters and horse riding enthusiasts. The architectural wonder of Ronda is half an hour away and other lovely white villages close by. Roman ruins, oilve oil mills and wine bodegas can be visited in the area also. For swimming the playita (spring fed mini lake) and local pool are open from mid June until Mid September. ... more   less 
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