Recently, I was pouring over paperwork, getting paper cuts all over my hands, when I ran into some notes about a recent trip to Andalucia. It was a touring trip through some of the best towns and "White Villages" in Spain. A trip that I loved!
I eventually wrote an article covering my trip last year called "Steering Around," which included some of my favorite stays in the region. However, as often happens behind the scenes, the article needed to be cut down substantially for non-story related reasons "“ something not too unusual in the world of writing. So late at night I had to carve away at my original piece down to the version that is now archived In The Know Traveler and in the process leave some choice fillet on the floor for the cat. Fortunately, I found my original piece that brought back some memories of more great cities and great stays in Andalucia, which inspired more "Steering Around."
VejerA half-mile away from the Plaza de Espana is the Tugasa managed property, Hospederia de San Francisco. The hotel offers 25 comfortable rooms in the former home to the Clarisas order of the 15th century and the Franciscans convent of the 17th century, â‚¬32.
Less old, built in 1561, Casa de Carmona is an upscale hotel with 33 rooms and was named one of the "Top 75 European Hotels" by Conde Nast Travelers' Readers Choice Awards in 2003. Visitors will have porters park their cars, chambermaids unpack their suitcases and reception will offer a guided tour of the hotel's grounds. Prices start at â‚¬120, which includes breakfast for two.
You undoubtedly want to see “La EncarnaciÃ³n” Church and “La Aurora” Church both built in the 17th century near the town plaza. Only a short walk from the city center is the 4-star, Hotel Puerta de la Villa. It hosts modern styling and includes an exercise gym and sauna facility on premises. â‚¬50 a night with breakfast included.
Neighboring White Village cities to Grazalema also have comfortable Tugasa Hotels worth noting; Arcos de la Villa in Zahara and while at Sierra y Cal in Olvera, tell Paco, Devin says, "Hi." At around â‚¬32 a night, Tugasa properties offer group rates as high as 20%.
Business travelers looking for luxury amenities might consider day tripping from larger cities within the region. In Cadiz, look for the beachside and neo-classic Hotel Playa Victoria, â‚¬124. In Jerez (just too big to be classified as a White Village), stop by the Gonzales Byass bodega for a sampling of the vine and stay at Hotel Guadalete to sleep it off. Doubles start at â‚¬110. In the posh resort area of Chiclana, putt over to Melia Sancti Petri Hotel & Golf with a golf course and low season â‚¬197. At reputed home of Christopher Colombus, Puerto de Santa Maria offers a harbor setting and Hotel Monasterio San Miguel with 17th century conference rooms and great dining downstairs, â‚¬90.
Hotel Puerto de la Villa 34-956 13 23 76
Hotel Guadelete 34 956 18 22 88
Written and photographed by Devin Galaudet