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Hotel San Gabriel

Spain   Andalucia   Ronda   Why Andalucia?
Malaga 110km
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Reviewed by Laura Dibben

A CLASSIC ............

With a history deeper than the famous El Tajo gorge that divides this charming town in two, Ronda is a ¨must see¨ on your journey through Andalucia. Nestled down a side-street in the heart of Ronda´s historical quarter, all the main tourist attractions lie within a 10-minute walk from the Hotel. After sadly being lost to a fire 20 years ago, the Arnal-Perez family purchased and lovingly rebuilt this 16th Century townhouse, which they then used as their family home. It was later opened as a Hotel in 1998. As their slogan goes, San Gabriel is ¨Your home in Ronda¨.

The decor is a fine example of classical Spanish design. Dark, antique furnishings can be found in any given room. Terracotta tiles cover the floors and chandeliers hang ever so elegantly from beamed ceilings. The Moorish influence is also apparent; hand-carved mouldings, arched windows and handmade ironworks can be found throughout the residence. The impressive chestnut ballustrade that lines both staircases once belonged to the town hall – amazingly, it was a perfect fit!

Each of the 22 spacious bedrooms is different, but all are complete with stately, Spanish flare. Exquisite fabrics in rich golds, reds and greens; ornate, hand-carved furniture – you will feel like royalty (especially if your room is one of the several with four-poster bed!). All rooms are equipped with en-suite bathroom, television, heating and air-conditioning. Most rooms have safety deposit box and mini-bar; some have hydromassage bath or a large shower. For extra special occasions, the Suite features a wood-buring fireplace and a honeymoon-size hydromassage bath.

After a day of sightseeing, relax with a drink on the beautiful interior patio. The Hotel also houses a small cinema; sink into one of serveral plush, red velvet chairs that were rescued from Ronda´s original theatre before it was demolished in 1975. Photos of actors from classic films adorn the cinema´s walls; movies on offer: classics, of course.

Feel free to exhcange a book in reception (it doubles as a library). Poetry, however, is on a borrow-only basis – and understandably so. Original works and discontinued editions line the shelves of ¨Poetry Corner¨, an awe-inspiring poetry collection that began when a former guest generously donated his entire collection to the Hotel.

Although San Gabriel does not have a restaurant, guests will not be at a loss for delectable dining experiences. Ronda is home to many wonderful restaurants from tapas to gourmet cuisine. My personal favourite is Casa María, and the famous Michelin Starred Tragabuches is sure to please the most discerning of palates.

For afternoon snacks, or ¨Meriendas¨, enjoy serrano ham or a plate of local cheeses in the café (also where the continental-style breakfast is served), or a glass of sherry in the Hotel´s own bodega, where Roman ruins were uncovered upon restoring the home. While some of these ruins can still be seen in the cellar, others are on display at the local museum.

Many activities can also be arranged from the Hotel such as guided walks, hiking, horse-riding, bicycle hire, etc. Birdwatcher extraordinaire, Peter Jones, is a local resident and is available by appointment for organised bird tours of the Serranía de Ronda and Grazalema Natural Park.

Parking in the area is a bit of a problem but valet service is available.

A delightful, family-run Hotel for those in search of an authentic Spanish experience. Exceptional value in the magical town of Ronda.

In the heart of Ronda
Massages on request


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From 70€ to 154€

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Closure Dates: 21st December to 10th January

Prices are year-round, except during Easter Week "Semana Santa" and Ronda's Annual September Fair when special prices apply (please enquire).

Credit card details are required by the Hotel to guarantee a reservation.

Cancellations: One day or less before the arrival date, the equivalent of one night´s accommodation will be charged.

For all cancellations, will charge an administration fee of 15 Euros.