29 Jan

Luxury meets nature at Hotel Hermitage

Hotel Hermitage - Gneral view to Hotel

THE COSTA DEL SOL is known internationally for a variety of reasons: some memorable, others best overlooked. The memorable ones include an exceptional Mediterranean climate and lifestyle; the ones best overlooked, well… the dark side of Marbella’s glitzy and glamorous image.

For those really in the know, however, one of the most appealing aspects of the Coast is the outstanding range of “boutique” hotels dotted around its hinterland – rustic havens offering a touch of luxury away from the madding crowd.

We (the Costa press) had the pleasure this winter of savouring a taste of one of the newly opened establishments: a tour of Hermitage Casares, just 12 kilometres from the coast, followed by lunch at the hotel’s Celima restaurant.

Hotel Hermitage - Lobster Salad

Executive chef Gonzalo Gutierrez and his team treated us to an exceptional feast beginning with the chef’s own tasting menu, followed by a starter of cream of pumpkin with vieiras (scallops), foie mi-cuit and crispy leek; then sea bass on a faux risotto of celery and boletus.

Some of us were wavering by then, but a mandarin sorbet refreshed palates for the “cebón” entrecot with bordelaise sauce, with fondant potatoes, caramelised French spring onions and fresh vegetables (from the hotel’s own kitchen garden); before the truly diehard press-lunch veterans found room for a kiwi, banana and strawberry cake dessert. From Hermitage’s bijou bodega, we savoured a Monasterio de Palazuelos white and an Edulis Crianza.

By then we could barely squeeze in a digestive herbal tea before waddling to the car park, but fortunately the tour had been pre-lunch, when Domingo Hidalgo showed us around the hotel’s eight suites and seven double rooms: stylish variations on a unified design theme, all comfortably appointed and cosy (five of the suites have their own fireplaces) and featuring private terraces.

Hotel Hermitage - Fireplace

In short: “five-star service; three-star price tag”. In fact, the introductory welcome offers include a double room with complimentary bottle of cava and breakfast for two, for €85; while the Easter package comprises three nights’ accommodation for two in a double room, continental breakfast for two each morning, a welcome drink for two, three dinners for two, and a bottle of cava and bowl of fruit in the room – for €337 per room.

On this occasion we had to head back home, but left vowing to return promptly – to enjoy the full Hermitage Casares experience.

Hotel Hermitage Casares

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