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“A real gem of a place in rural unspoilt Andalucia”
Review of Casa Olea

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Casa Olea
Certificate of Excellence
GreenLeadersSilver level
Tiverton, United Kingdom
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
“A real gem of a place in rural unspoilt Andalucia”
Reviewed 2 August 2011

Casa Olea was a really lucky find in unspoilt rural Andalucia. It was and easy drive from Malaga airport with great directions. Beattifully restored, spotlessly clean with large simply furnished rooms,comfortable kingsize beds and generous bathrooms, we happily spent a week here balancing cultural visits to Cordoba and Granada with short sorties to untouristy local towns and villages such as Zagrilla. Priego de Cordoba, Zuheros etc. Nothing was too much trouble for Claire and Tim; a warm welcome, delicious sandwiches and chilled gaspacho for lunch when we were having a lazy day by the sparkling pool with its wonderful view overlooking miles of olive groves to their invaluable local knowledge on everything from the best local walks, restaurants and cafes, food and sights as well as extremely useful advice on visits to the bigger centres about an hour away. Never intrusive but always patiently willing to help you get the most out of their corner of Andalucia. Although there was no obligation at all to eat in we found it difficult to resist the tasty evening meals using fresh local ingredients prepared by Claire [ especially the paella] which were served on the starlit terrace by candlelight and very much enjoyed Tim's different wine recommendations. The highlight of breakfast was the coffee but there was plenty of choice of cereal, juices, muffins, fresh fruit , yoghurts, cheeses and meats and Claire's home made jam. If you wanted more you only had to ask and this was particularly welcome after one of our early morning walks. We really enjoyed the tranquillity of Casa Olea and will return.

  • Stayed July 2011, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Sleep Quality
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
2 Thank fiverumbles
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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389 reviews from our community

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Traveller tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (94)
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English first
Paris, France
2 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 7 helpful votes
Reviewed 1 August 2011

Our family just spent close to a week inCasa Olea at the same time as the "danseuses" that posted such a negative review. My reaction is disdain and profound amusement. These people or specifically the one who wrot the review, were ill mannered, and must have expected "Claridges" when they were paying for a good B&B in southern spain. "Mailgnant entitlement disorder".

We found that Casa Olea was VERY clean, The owners , professional and helpful. I would say that they are rather brave to do what they are doing. The meals of which each evening ,there were two choices, were inventive and of excellent quality. When we wanted to go out we were given good advice for places to eat as far away as Cordoba. As we were on holiday it was nice to be able to stay in and have a meal made of local products and of spanish inspiration. Less the swiming in oil factor.

AS for the "papier Q" comment. Casa Olea is enviormentally responsible. Very unusual in Spain. Therefore the septic tank cannot handle big wads of paper . In the winter, heating is produced by burning almond shells and other enviormentally sustainable matter. I cannot comment on their smell since we did not experience any discomfort. Therefore one must imagine that the problem came from it's source.

  • Stayed July 2011, travelled with family
    • Value
    • Sleep Quality
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    • Service
Helpful?
7 Thank KKIKKO
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Amsterdam
Level Contributor
6 reviews
4 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 4 helpful votes
Reviewed 30 July 2011

Casa Olea is a bed & breakfast perfectly situated in the hills of Andalusia. The basis of the building is an old farmhouse but is has been totally renovated. The rooms are large and clean, good bed, good bathroom. Casa Olea is isolated but there are some typical Andalusian towns close by like Priego de Cordoba (5 kms by car). For daytrips Granada and Cordoba are wonderful experiences The casa offers a lot of opportunities for walking and cycling. Because of the heat in the summer these activities are best done in the early morning or the evening.

My wife and I stayed for 3 nights. We like B&B's because of the personal contact with owners and other guests. Casa Olea is run by Claire and Tim, a couple from England. They give Casa Olea its personal touch. We had the freedom to do what we want but they were always around for help or advice. We enjoyed the home cooked food of Claire twice with the setting sun on the terrace. Tim and Claire also had very good suggestions for local restaurants for lunch and/or dinner.

We would recommend Casa Olea for everyone who is looking for a perfect bed & breakfast in beautiful Andalusia. Gracias Claire and Tim.

Room Tip: We stayed in the Almendo room
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  • Stayed July 2011, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Sleep Quality
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Helpful?
2 Thank dacowoudenberg
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
London, United Kingdom
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 4 helpful votes
Reviewed 26 July 2011

From reading all the other reviews before our trip to Casa Olea, my expectations were very high. If you think you will have a private luxurious break, experiencing the real Spain in a small hotel then please read on.
The location of the house is stunning and just like on the website, plus our room had a big bed and air conditioning BUT everything else was very basic.
When we arrived, our room looked clean but the bathroom smelled of urine.

The following things were missing/not to a good standard:

-no shampoos/shower gel provided in bathroom (make sure you bring your own!)
-no radio/alarm clock
-no kettle/tea making facilities in room
-no TV in room
-no Wifi/Internet access in the house
-no fridge in room
-no telephone
-no room service or snacks available throughout day (just an expensive packed lunch)
-no newspapers
-dirty pool
-bike hire 15 Euros per bike (they really milking every money making opportunity - even postcards cost 1 Euro, which are usually complimentary)
-no clean sheets or clean towels for ONE whole week (they get changed after one week-even in the summer when everything is greasy from suncream and sweat!!!)
-they ask you to put your soiled and used toilet paper into a bin next to the toilet instead of putting it into the toilet and flushing it (?????)...(can you imagine the stench in the heat)

The DINNER is served at one set time for all guests, usually very late (9pm) and the food is expensive and very bland and simple (dinner for 2 with drinks over 50 Euros). You can get a beautiful meal (fresh fish/salad/potatoes) cooked by spanish people and experiencing the real Spain in the village down the road for 20 Euros per couple (including drinks).
The drinks are also very expensive and similar to London prices in the middle of Spain (-:
A beer is over 3 Euros, a beer in the village costs 1.30 Euros.
Another problem is that a lot of their guests seems to have dinner at Casa Olea and you automatically feel like you are not joining in when choosing to eat out - we always felt like being naughty school kids and having to explain ourselves/having a good excuse the next morning where we have been when all we wanted to to is to go our own ways and to make our own choices while on OUR holiday without having to explain ourselves to anybody. For us a holiday is about trying new things and tasting the food of the country. It was a bit like living back at mum and dad's - very personal and only good if you are willing to mingle and like socialising with the owners or the other guests. It really felt like living in someones house, very small and very thin walls, we could hear our neighbour snore and we always felt like we had to whisper (maybe that's why there is no TV and no radio provided in the rooms).
Breakfast is also very basic (Muesli, WARM yogurts and drinks, fruit) and after one week of having white defrosted and toasted baguette bread, I couldn't face it anymore - no variety at all BUT the coffee is good.

So, my verdict is, I wish we only stayed for one night as a stop over and then moved on to other destinations in Spain - that would have been ok. If you like walking, don't go in the summer because it is too hot to go outside PLUS if you think you can explore the villages nearby, there is nothing to do or to see, we have tried them all and everything is shut from 2-8pm, very frustrating. We couldn't wait to come back home and feel free again.

  • Stayed July 2011, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Sleep Quality
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
4 Thank dancense
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
casaolea, Owner at Casa Olea, responded to this review, 2 August 2011
In response to the recent review by “Dancense” we were sad to read such negative comments and are very sorry to hear that they had not enjoyed their time here.

This has come as a real surprise, not only because of its scathing tone but especially as it is from guests who spent a week here and who never once thought it necessary to comment on any of the issues raised. While I accept we can’t always please everyone, we do try our best and will always attempt to rectify any problems or grievances when they occur. The shame here is that we never knew anything was array.

Casa Olea is (as it says on the tin) a 6-bed B&B run by us (Tim & Claire) in a remote and beautiful corner of Andalucia. It IS our home and we pride ourselves on doing everything we can to offer a personal service for all our guests, while trying not to be intrusive. Our basic aim is to create a peaceful, sustainable and relaxing environment where visitors can disconnect, unwind and get to know this beautiful, unspoiled corner of inland Spain. If we can help add value to our guests’ experiences through sharing our passion for Andalucia and intimate knowledge of the local region, then we’re delighted to do so.

If you are looking to be anonymous and surrounded by all the room facilities of a 4 or 5-star hotel (eg radio/alarm clocks, minibars, room service, English papers etc), then this is probably not the place for you. We aim to do the basics well – big comfortable beds with high quality bedding, good showers, a/c in summer and under-floor heating in winter, wonderful views from every window. We don’t pretend to be, nor do we have the price-tag of, a luxury design hotel with all the “frills and trimmings". We do everything possible not to be misleading on our website and in all our pre-stay email correspondence.

Some issues raised by Dancense - such as “changing the towels” and “lack of toiletries” are issues we are looking into and improving, so thank you for pointing these out. We are changing towels more regularly now and we expect to add some nice locally-made, olive oil soaps to the bathrooms in the Autumn. These were sourced a while ago through a local charity, but we are still waiting for the delivery. Nothing happens quickly in Andalucia!

Other comments however, such as the “dirty pool” and “no snacks” simply aren’t true. The pool is filled with natural well water from a “salt water” spring. Due to the high level of natural minerals in this water we thankfully don’t need to use any neat chlorine or other chemicals to keep it clean. I regularly clean it myself and ensure the pH and chlorine levels are correct daily.

Our dinner, served between 8.30-9pm (summer) and 8-8.30pm (winter), is by local standards still very early – as most places don’t even open until 9pm. In addition to packed lunches we offer sandwiches, salads and "local platters" on the terrace, or by the pool at lunchtime.

However, it is the “Milking every money-making opportunity…” comment which surprises us most, as it could not be further from the truth. If you ask any small hotel or B&B owner, they’ll tell you that the costs associated with running and maintaining a property like this in such a rural area are high, while the overall margins are low. We simply wouldn’t be doing what we’re doing here if we were greedy types; and can only apologize if the idea of us making a small profit at the end of a busy year is seen as offensive to some.

Again, we’re sorry that we don’t appear to have met Dancense’s high expectations on this occasion; but we hope that by constantly trying to improve what we offer here, we’ll be able to help others enjoy what we feel is such a stunning corner of Andalucia…
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Scotland
Level Contributor
11 reviews
10 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 20 helpful votes
Reviewed 25 July 2011

Sorry have taken so long to review this great place,- we loved staying here on our holiday between Cordoba and walking in Andalusia.
Tim and Claire are delightful people and made us most welcome. Loved the food, and regularly make Claire's lemon and ginger creamy pudding for dinner guests!
Also enjoyed taking Ruby for walks with us. Tim is very helpful with trip advice and we had a great cycling day out. Sorry we went off with a map, hope its found its way back to you. And hopefully we will too!!!

  • Stayed October 2010, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Sleep Quality
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Helpful?
1 Thank Mrsyoohoo
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
London, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
3 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
Reviewed 23 July 2011

We spent a week at Casa Olea in July and this fantasic B&B totally exceeded our expectations! The owners Tim and Claire have paid attention to every detail from the beautiful spacious bedrooms to the delicious locally inspired food, served on the terrace.
Tim is ready to suggest sereval fantastic scenic walks in the subetica hills and mountains and offer local knowlege and advice on routes to the major towns like Granada and Cordoba.
We spent a couple of totally relaxing days by the pool and the rest of the time sightseeing, whatever we spent our days doing however, we always felt compelled to return to eat at Casa Olea, for Claire's fantastic home cooking and splendid wine list.
We wil definately be returning to this beautiful retreat very soon!

Room Tip: We stayed, in Olivio, which was beautiful
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  • Stayed July 2011, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Sleep Quality
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank SallyB94
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Sydney
Level Contributor
105 reviews
68 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 85 helpful votes
Reviewed 19 July 2011

Casa Olea was a relaxing highlight on our hectic road trip around the Iberian Peninsula. We initially chose to stay for it's location, being conveniently between Cordoba and Grenada (both an hour away by car). However, it was this gorgeous guest house in the rolling, remote hills of Andalucia that we came to enjoy the most. The house is surrounded by olive trees with no visable neighbours. The pool is fabulous (especially in the long, hot Spanish summer) and the rooms beautifully laid out in a Spanish country house style. The English owners, Tim and Clare, treat their customers as house guests and had an obviously love for their business, Spain and their dream home. They both went out of their way for their guests and had a wealth of knowledge about the local area. They were great with our 7 year old and even let her help serve dinner in her fancy dress! And speaking of dinner, don't bother eating out when staying at Casa Olea. Clare's gourmet cooking is better than anything else you'll find. The only downside of Casa Olea is that it's difficult to find. We finally got directions from the local petrol station. However, once there, it's well worth the visit.

  • Stayed June 2011, travelled with family
    • Value
    • Sleep Quality
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank Sydneysider70
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about Casa Olea

Property: Casa Olea
Address: Carretera CO-7204 (Zamoranos to Fuente Alhama) | Parcelas 115 y 116, 14800 Priego de Cordoba, Spain
Region: Spain > Andalucia > Province of Cordoba > Priego de Cordoba
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Free Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Restaurant Swimming Pool
Hotel Style:
Ranked #1 of 12 B&Bs / Inns in Priego de Cordoba
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): ££
Number of rooms: 6
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Halfway between Granada and Cordoba, ideal base for day trips to the Alhambra and Mezquita. Great for olive groves, mountains, walking, home cooking, relaxing, wildlife and nature. Charming Andalucian cortijo (farmhouse) with indulgent touches: under-floor heating, a/c, super-king beds, Egyptian cotton bedding, pool, bikes for hire. Home-cooked evening meals using locally-sourced, fresh, seasonal ingredients. Good selection of Spanish wines. Strong green credentials: 100% of heating/hot water from biomass boiler & solar panels. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Casa Olea Hotel Priego De Cordoba
Casa Olea Spain/Priego De Cordoba, Province Of Cordoba

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