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Hacienda de San Rafael

Seville, Spain

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Stay at Hacienda San Rafael

Under an hour from the joyous Seville sits the disarmingly charming Hacienda San Rafael. Set in five acres of grounds with 14 rooms scattered amongst them, the hotel holds the best in show accolade for balancing a home away from home with superior service. Interiors are a blend of textiles and antiques from the region and exteriors are littered with ceramics overflowing with bright seasonal flowers. The end result is a romantic and relaxing atmosphere where no demand is too much. Having the entire space to yourself is a no brainer – not least because, should you tire of one another, the three pools should provide everyone with breathing space!

That is, when you aren’t making the most of the activities and experiences on your doorstep. The highlight is a terrific riding school only five minutes away, so trotting through the Spanish sunflower fields and picnic lunching in forest clearings is a must.

The choice of cities in easy reach is brag-worthy, each with their own star attraction. Sherry taste in the bodegas of Jerez, ticking another UNESCO Heritage Site off the list at the Alhambra in Granada or gawping at the patios of Cordoba. If you split up according to preferences, ensure everyone spends at least an afternoon together in Seville – tapas tasting or in the gardens of the Alcazar. The sea is not as far as you might think and naturally, there is an abundance of water activities on offer – surfing, game fishing or just sunning yourself on the deck of a smart boat. If you must, there are a handful of golf courses nearby. There is only really one way to end your day at an Andalucian Finca, and that is with tapas to start and a flamenco show. Feel no obligation to join in, but we would be shocked if by the end you hadn’t succumbed to even a hint of toe-tapping or maracas.


The Johnsons

I thought we were asking for the impossible, but Molly delivered an amazing Spanish adventure, covering three cities seamlessly. Everything was exactly at the right pace for us to take in the sites without feeling rushed, and plenty of time to sample the tapas!

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