PEROWNE INTERNATIONAL’S TOP PICKS FOR THE BEST OF SPAIN THIS AUTUMN
One of the world’s most popular tourist destinations for good reason, Spain truly has it all. From historical architecture to the country’s quintessentially laidback, legendary Mediterranean atmosphere; mouth-watering food to sensational landscapes – there is something for travellers of all ages to enjoy. Finally upon us, Autumn is one of the most appealing seasons to visit the country, when crowds of tourists have dispersed, the weather is mild, and the evenings are bright. Whether a sun-seeker craving some last-minute rays, a culture vulture in search of a vibrant city break, or a foodie hoping to try some of the most innovative fusion cuisine in the world, it isn’t too late to book a Spanish holiday to remember this autumn.
BEST FOR… A HISTORY-STEEPED, CULTURAL CITY BREAK
GRAN HOTEL INGLÉS, MADRID
Oft overlooked in favour of the likes of Barcelona and Seville, the dynamic Spanish capital is evolving, with an exciting new restaurant scene, a recent flurry of new hotel openings across the city, and ever-changing world-class museum and gallery exhibitions year-round.For the most authentically Spanish hotel experience, there is no better accommodation than the family-owned Gran Hotel Inglés – the oldest hotel in Madrid that first opened its doors in 1886. Uniquely positioned in the heart of Spain’s characterful Barrio de las Letras – a stone’s throw from Puerta del Sol, Plaza Mayor, Gran Vía, the Prado Museum and Retiro Park – but tucked away on an unassuming street, the hotel offers the perfect base from which to explore all that one of Europe’s most exciting cities has to offer. Be it for a chilled stroll to marvel at the original home of Cervantes, a late evening visit to the old Botanic Gardens, or drinks and live music with friends at Café Central, one of the best jazz clubs in the world, history lives in these streets. A recent addition to the capital is the opening of Galería Canalejas, an ultra-exclusive shopping district located in the former Palacio de la Equitativa between Calle Alcalá and Calle Sevilla. Visitors will encounter over 40 boutiques selling luxe fashion, accessories, perfume, and high-end jewellery; not to mention a fantastic selection of restaurants and gastronomic concepts designed by renowned Michelin-star chefs. To celebrate the opening, Gran Hotel Inglés will exclusively partner with Galería Canalejas to offer hotel guests a luxury shopping package including a 20% discount on hotel room rates, access to the Gallery’s private VIP lounge, a 10% discount on the Personal Shopper service, and a special welcome gift.
HOW: Rates at Gran Hotel Inglés start from €450 (currently approx. £379) per room, per night on a B&B basis based on double occupancy. www.granhotelingles.com
BEST FOR… ROOFTOP SUNDOWNERS WITH A VIEW
SANT FRANCESC HOTEL SINGULAR, PALMA DE MALLORCA
With over 308 days of sunshine per year, Palma is far more than just a trendy summer destination. Open year-round and situated in the heart of the historic city, Sant Francesc Hotel Singular is a five-star boutique hotel set within a former Mallorcan mansion, built in 1860, and lovingly restored in 2015. The property is home to 42 elegant rooms and signature suites, three restaurants & bars, a fitness & wellbeing centre, and roof terrace with an enticing pool. The Hotel Sant Francesc building formerly belonged to the Alomar Femenia family and is an architectural treasure, built in the neoclassical style of the 19th century. An exquisite collection of contemporary art and photographs adorn the walls, with many of the works specifically commissioned for the hotel. Blessed with balmy climes, slow paced days can be spent by the property’s rooftop pool or unwinding at The Wellbeing Sanctuary, which offers an extensive treatment menu designed to counteract the effects of urban life, using the finest products from Anne Semonin. Visitors can spend their days exploring the charming cobbled streets of Palma and visiting nearby landmarks such as the Cathedral, the Royal Palace of La Almudaina, ‘La Lonja’ and the Arab Baths, before returning to marvel at the panoramic views of the city from the hotel’s rooftop. Foodies can please their palates at relaxed fine-dining Quadrat Restaurant & Garden, serving the finest Mediterranean specialities with a modern twist, or dine al fresco in Sant Francesc’s lush garden for an unforgettable autumnal dining experience.
HOW: Rates at Sant Francesc Hotel Singular start from €325 (currently approx. £274) per night on a B&B basis. www.hotelsantfrancesc.com
BEST FOR… A TASTE OF THE MEDITERRANEAN FOR ALL THE FAMILY
FINCA CORTESIN, CASARES, ANDALUSIA
With a spectacular setting in the rolling hills of Andalusia, the independently owned Finca Cortesin is the epitome of refined, yet relaxed Mediterranean living, set in one of the region’s most sought-after enclaves. On a 532-acre estate surrounded by nature, Finca Cortesin comprises an award-winning 67-suite hotel; stunning contemporary-designed villas for rental; one of the best championship golf courses in the world; exquisite traditional Spanish, Japanese-Mediterranean fusion, and Italian cuisine; an outstanding spa and sports facilities; exclusive shopping boutique, contemporary art gallery, and a Beach Club. Come autumn, the temperatures cool slightly to average highs of 23°C, making it far more comfortable for travellers looking to combine a relaxing Spanish break with exploring all that the destination has to offer. To keep little ones entertained, there is a world-class Jack Nicklaus Academy on the resort’s award-winning golf course, where kids can ‘tee-off’ with an introduction to the sport. There is also a Kid’s Club for children aged 4 to 12 years old, with complimentary access for half days. For culture vultures, Finca Cortesin is within easy reach of the Alhambra Palace – one of the great Wonders of the World – as well as the historic city of Ronda, and Malaga with its fantastic museums. Seville and the world-famous Feria de Sevilla are also easily accessible, as is the exotic city of Tangier – a mere 30 minutes away by speedboat.
HOW: Rates at Finca Cortesin start from €620 + 10% VAT (currently approx. £526) per room per night in an entry-level Junior Suite on a B&B basis. www.fincacortesin.com
BEST FOR… A GASTRONOMIC JOURNEY IN THE CULINARY CAPITAL OF THE BASQUE COUNTRY
VILLA SORO, SAN SEBASTIÁN
Those looking to embark on a foodie adventure this autumn should look no further than Villa Soro – a recently transformed landmark 19th century property in the heart of San Sebastián, the famed coastal town in the beating heart of the Basque Country. Bursting with creativity, history, and culture, Villa Soro is a stunning 25-room boutique villa located just a stone’s throw away from the city’s renowned dining scene, providing travellers with an idyllic base from which discover the north coast of Spain. Following a considered redesign by the Soldevila-Ferrer family and the team behind Mallorca icons Sant Francesc Hotel and Can Ferrereta Hotel, the aristocratic villa was built in 1898 and is one of the few heritage properties in San Sebastián. The main house comprises 15 beautiful guestrooms and a large guest salon complete with a roaring log-burning fire, honesty bar, and library – curated by the expert team at Maison Assouline. An adjacent building, the villa’s former stables, houses a further 10 rooms, some of which boast their own private garden. Visitors can venture through the fashionable and vibrant Barrio de Gros district for the ultimate gourmand experience, indulging in world-class Spanish Michelin institutions, cult pinxtos bars, local markets, and cultural institutions, such as Museo San Telmo, botanical gardens, and the Basque cider museum. After exploring all that San Sebastián has to offer, afternoons can be spent taking in Villa Soro’s awe-inspiring gardens while enjoying a cocktail or glass of Txakoli and small plates made with locally sourced produce.
HOW: Villa Soro is open year-round. Rates start from €250 (currently approx. £210) per night on a B&B basis. www.hotelvillasoro.com
BEST FOR… BAREFOOT BOHEMIAN LUXURY
Travellers seeking a final farewell to the Mediterranean sun should head to OKU Ibiza, located on the fringe of the sandy Cala Gracio Bay. A minimalist haven oozing style and soulful relaxation, the hotel offers a perfectly serene oasis from which to soak up the infamous atmosphere of the famed White Isle. With a focus on slower living and enriching opportunities for the curious traveller, OKU Ibiza comprises 185 boho-chic guestrooms and suites, a standalone four-bedroom villa with private pool, two hotel pools, two restaurants, and an intimate spa. This season, OKU Restaurant, helmed by OKU’s Executive Chef, Mark Vaessen unveiled an all-new look and menu. Foodies can enjoy a refined menu featuring a raw bar and delectable signature dishes of Asian and global fusion delicacies, using the freshest seasonal ingredients, including an impressive selection of robata and hibachi grill dishes. What’s more, sake lovers can delight in the finest Japanese sake with weekly private or group tasting experiences. The chic and calming spa recently launched a new programme of holistic healing rituals, guided by guest practitioners and Shamans, inviting guests to immerse themselves in sound ceremonies, gong baths, reiki sessions and crystal healings, before heading to the spa for a restorative OTO CBD treatment, also new this year. Featuring a blend of organic grade seed oil, coconut oil and pure CBD with citrus and herbal mixes, the OTO CBD treatments will leave visitors feeling hydrated, soothed, and stimulated with reduced anxiety levels.
HOW: Scott Dunn offers seven nights at OKU Ibiza from £3,575 based on two people sharing a Superior Room on a B&B basis, including return flights from the UK and private transfers. For more information, visit www.scottdunn.com or call 020 8682 5080
BEST FOR… EAGLE-EYED DESIGN AFICIONADOS
CAN FERRERETA, SANTANYÍ, MALLORCA
Opening up a lesser-known part of the island for the first time, Can Ferrereta is the perfect Balearic break to enjoy this autumn. Located on the south-east coast in the authentic town of Santanyí, the property promises fine locally sourced Mediterranean food, soulful art and design, and next-level wellness experiences. The Soldevila-Ferrer family, who also own Sant Francesc Hotel Singular in Palma, has meticulously transformed a 17th century building into a stunning 32-room hotel. Design enthusiasts can scope out the very best Spanish creative talent, including Mallorcan BASTIDAS Architecture and Spanish design house WIT, who both worked alongside the family in creating Can Ferrereta. The property’s interiors are reminiscent of a grand summerhouse, featuring simple, light, and airy design, with rustic wooden beams, original stone, and sleek furnishings. Each room is individually designed with bespoke furniture and hand-picked art. When it comes to wining and dining, the hotel’s restaurant, OCRE, overseen by Chef Alvar Albaladejo, serves simple and seasonal Mediterranean fare, made from fine local produce, straight from Santanyí’s much-loved food market. Sitting by the 25m swimming pool and picturesque gardens, LA FRESCA restaurant and bar is the perfect destination to disconnect from the stresses of daily life and feast on fresh meat, fish and salads coupled with a glass of fine wine or a perfectly shaken cocktail. Art is a defining characteristic throughout the hotel, with a focus on local and Spanish artists, and some of the pieces from the Soldevila-Ferrer family’s private collection. A true treasure of Can Ferrereta is a stunning two-metre, 280-kilo visage sculpture by the renowned Barcelona-born Jaume Plensa, perfectly placed by the garden and pool. The village of Santanyí is situated in one of the most authentic and historic locations in Mallorca, occupying a privileged position slightly inland from more than 48km of spectacular coastline.
HOW: Rates at Can Ferrereta start from €315 (currently approx. £279) per night on a B&B basis. Santanyí is a 40-minute drive from Palma Airport. www.hotelcanferrereta.com
BEST FOR… EXPLORING BY FOOT, BIKE, AND HORSE
BIKE & HIKE THROUGH RURAL SEVILLE & ANDALUSIA WITH SCOTT DUNN
Guests will begin their adventure at Corral del Rey, tucked away on one of the narrow streets of Seville’s old quarter. This whitewashed boutique hotel is a reinvention of a 17th century casa boasting panoramic views of the city. Here, explorers will gain insight into authentic Sevillian life by dining with a local, enjoying a privately guided walking tour away from the crowds and discovering the best ‘bites’ in the region on a foodie safari by bike. This is complemented by a stay at Finca La Donaira – an organic farm, equestrian centre and discreetly luxurious eco-retreat set high in Andalusia’s Serranía de Ronda. In the cooler autumnal temperatures, visitors can hike and bike to their heart’s content in the Sierra de Grazalema National Park, or try their hand at horse riding, as the estate is complete with 70 Lusitano horses, a dressage area, and trails for everyone from novice to experienced.
HOW: Scott Dunn offers the Perfect Pairings: ‘Seville and Rural Andalucía’ itinerary from £4,650 per person based on two people travelling on a B&B basis and includes accommodation, return flights from the UK, and private transfers. For more information, visit www.scottdunn.com/luxury-holiday/perfect-pairings or call 020 8682 5020
For more information or high-res imagery, please contact Perowne International:
[email protected] / +44 (0)20 7078 0295