El Gecko Hotel – Charming Riverside and Mountain Retreat
Located in Cortes de la Frontera, the hotel is a wonderful getaway for residents and visitors seeking peace, tranquillity, fine wines and gourmet dining in the heart of the Andalucian countryside.
By Annabel Milnes-Smith
Many living on the coast think that Marbella is the ultimate heavenly destination to visit or reside in. What more could one ask for than sun, sea, sand, seafood and sangria? Until now. El Gecko Hotel is a mere one-hour’s drive from the coast and located in the perfect position for visitors, expats and residents alike to explore Andalucía.
It is also only 50 metres from a picturesque train station where one can travel to historic locations such as Ronda, Granada and San Roque, or to the coastal town and surfers’ paradise of Tarifa.
Now under new management with chef Greg Wroblewski and Sarah O’Mahony, the hotel prides itself on personal, individual and attentive service. Having five en-suite bedrooms, all with vaulted ceilings and exposed timbers, free Wi-Fi, views of the river and mountains, guests are able to luxuriate in what feels like a “five-star” hotel.
Waking in the morning to a sumptuous Mediterranean breakfast, sitting and relaxing by the swimming pool, listening to the peace and quiet of the surrounding area prior to lunch and following a siesta, dining al fresco style on the riverside terrace before retiring to a slumber sanctuary with central heating and ceiling fans to ensure a temperature-controlled, undisturbed night, no matter what the season…
One visitor recalled their first visit to the hotel. “I drove up, stopped in Gaucín for a coffee at this hillside bar that boasts spectacular views to the Mediterranean, Gibraltar and Africa, and 15 minutes later I arrived at El Gecko Hotel, settled in and enjoyed a welcome drink.
“At around midday I headed to the station, two minutes’ walk away, to visit Ronda. It was a lovely journey through the river valley and the mountains. On arrival I walked down to a tapas bar near the oldest bullring in Spain. I had a tasty lunch with a few drinks, walked back to the station and caught the 4pm train. Came back here at 5, and had a siesta before enjoying a fantastic dinner. Their extensive three-course a la carte international menu was prepared by Greg, whose culinary background certainly reflected the high standard of delicious and fresh cuisine presented that evening at El Gecko Hotel.
“The following morning I sat outside on the terrace, which faces east with the sun streaming in, overlooking the river. My trip over 24 hours was an amazing experience. I felt like I had been away for a week, not just one day.”
El Gecko Hotel is undoubtedly a rare jewel in the heart of the Sierra de Grazalema Natural Park.
Canada de Real Tesoro, Cortes de la Frontera
Tel. (+34) 952 153 300