Around 50 km from Malaga, Antequera is a town that has grown on me greatly every trip through. This time (on the way home) we stopped and wandered, took photos and agreed we´d like to come back, stay in the town itself and explore. Having sped around the outskirts and headed into the back of beyond the views opened up and looming granite sierras and rolling fields enhanced our get away feeling as we went to find our digs for the night.
A winding, rolling, looming and cloudy 18km or so from Antequera we rolled up at our destination. The day reminded me of Dartmoor jaunts, wind whistling, clouds rushing and a great desire to be indoors. Even so we bravely paused in the three-sided white-painted courtyard and admired the never ending views.
I could well imagine sitting with a glass of white wine, a lot less clothes and sunglasses, drinking in more than the scenery and admiring the potted geraniums and tinkling patio fountain.
We didn´t hang about, the dim reception with welcoming terracotta tiles was empty, and when the phone beckoned, service arrived. Our room, no. 9, was ample in size with high roof-beam ceiling and largish bathroom, comfortable enough with a pleasant but far from the best view on offer.
The heated indoor pool was open at a price, the outside one not an option. We didn´t even fancy a hike, fair weather walkers that we are, so boots staying in the boot, we got in the car again for an exploration of the area and options for dinner.
The only real choice is driving into the village of La Joya where we sampled the local restaurant for a beer and a tapas (which was very cheap and very good) or dining at the hotel (not so cheap) - which we also did. The high beamed restaurant with wood burners lacked warmth in both ways, even though we sat in front of one, and although we were the only diners, we found ourselves whispering.
The menu offered a great choice and we´d almost chosen before leaving our room, the waiter/cum receptionist did a fine job, without a smile or much interest, and even though he´d booked us in had to ask our room number. Our choice of Prawn and Bacon stuffed Sea Bass with Orange Compote and Sautéed Seasonal Vegetables and Pork Tenderloin with Mignon Sauce with Stuffed Mushrooms with a bottle of local Malaga Red Wine was very good indeed.
Our king-sized bed offered a good nights sleep but battled with the howling wind to keep me asleep. We´d planned an early start wanting to re-visit the incredible El Torcal Natural Park, visit the Alcazar in Antequera and the Dolmens. Breakfast, in the same restaurant, was a buffet affair, an ample continental and bacon and egg layout, nicely presented and well-attended, it was also nice to have some company in there even though we were first again.
Being daylight meant we could appreciate the views through the ample restaurant windows although we could see it was a windy, chilly day outdoors again.
We checked out with the same guy (I hoped he´d had some sleep), having been asked our room number again, we´d only seen two other couples/groups, how hard could it be to remember? That was a big niggle for me, and not the only one. The wifi connection in our room was non-existant to very slow. A towel rail was loose in our bathroom but the major one was we had no water in the bathroom and when reception was told no apology at all was forthcoming.
For an escape in the country, peace and quiet this spot (in better weather) has to be idyllic, for me it´s a bit too far out if day trips are wanted. If all you want to do is find your hotel and not move again this could be the perfect location for you. If you want some variety, to dine in different places every night without a long journey then the road to La Fuente del Sol is just a bit too long.
We paid our own bill at La Fuente del Sol, they have good ´Crazy Tuesday´ prices in March and April.