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A Long Weekend at La Maroma
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A Long Weekend at La Maroma
Less than an hour’s drive from Malaga airport, La Maroma sits majestically on the Andalucian hills and is steeped in countryside yet is only a 30 minute drive from the nearest beach. As we made our approach on a particularly sunny day in October it looked every bit as magnificent as we’d hoped. On arrival at the nearby village of Alcaucin we were guided to the villa by the owners Alan and Marc. They guided us through the last 15 minutes of the drive which led us along a bumpy and winding track and between the twists and turns we got glimpses of the jaw dropping views to every side. Before we knew it we were catching sight of La Maroma and to say it was worth the wait was an understatement. The stunning whitewashed walled villa stands proudly atop the hill and has just one neighbour; the owners of the property have a separate house next door. They’re conveniently located just a short walk away should we have needed them and were reassuring yet unintrusive. The children in our group could not wait to get in the pool and whilst we heartily tucked into the welcome wine and tapas that was very kindly laid on for us, the children were already stripping off!
As soon as we arrived the tranquility of the surroundings enabled us to instantly relax, we took a tour of the house and drifted through what seemed like endless rooms which opened onto a central courtyard. Each room was beautifully decorated with carefully chosen Spanish antiques and comfy furnishings –my favourite space was the outdoor room with open fireplace and spectacular views of the sunset over the mountains –the perfect setting for pre –dinner drinks and cosy evenings sitting by the log fire. The villa has four generously sized bedrooms and three bathrooms. The Master has its own terrace, great for seeking shade in the afternoons and a bath you could easily get lost in! There are three further shared spaces, an entrance lounge, a drawing room for grown ups and a tv lounge, making it ideal for families or couples looking for seperate areas to chill out. Not forgetting the all important and well stocked wine cellar from which you can select the best local wines in the library. The kitchen has everything you could need for preparing local dishes and family feasts and, for an addiitional fee, the owners will stock the villa with organic produce and local Spanish delicacies. La Maroma has a spacious dining room but in the evenings my favourite place to dine was the outdoor terrace which was beautifully lit with hanging lanterns. We dined most nights under the stars and one evening we lit the barbecue in the covered dining area (the best hangout for long lunches and afternoon siestas). This area also has ample seating for eight and almost everything you need on hand for a meal. Finally, my favourite area was the pool, it easily enjoys the best view I have ever seen and makes you feel like you’re on top of the world whether you’re taking a dip or sitting on the sidelines on one of the many sunloungers. Our 2 and 5 year olds were content to spend all day around the pool whilst we watched on – there was plenty of space for up to 3 or 4 children and the added security of the gate at the entrance to pool so the little ones can’t wander down unaccompanied. The garden is a great suntrap with lots of different spaces so you can sunbathe in peace away from the pool antics if you wish. Wherever you choose to hang out the views are spectacular.
On the days that we managed to drag ourselves from the villa we took a trip to the beach at Nerja (about an hour drive from the villa), the children loved building sandcastles on the huge sandy stretches of coast and there was plenty of sun to get a tan even in just four days. In fact there are very few months of the year that are not great here weatherwise making this a great off season destination. We also spent a day in Malaga. It has a great fish market as well as numerous shops to satisfy any shopper. Two hours drive from the villa are Seville and the Alhambra Palace in Granada, both well worth a visit.
Half of our party came to Andalucia for the cycling keen to tackle as many hill climbs as their hired road bikes would allow and they were spoilt for choice when it came to cycle routes. With La Maroma sitting at an elevation of 1700ft, every ride climaxed in a dazzling hilltop finish which bestowed a sense that the ride was a stage in La Vuelta. The quiet and smoothly tarmaced roads combined with some punchy long climbs made for magnificent cycling. The reward for all the effort was simply breathtaking and majestic scenery, this combined with some challenging climbs makes cycling in Andalucia a definite must for any keen cyclists.
By far the highlight of our stay was the meal prepared by Chef David at the villa which we all agreed is a must for a stay at La Maroma. Arriving at the villa with only local ingredients he created first-rate Andalucian cuisine with a modern twist. The presentation was exquisite with lots of edible flowers and almonds which were in season from his groves and the taste didn’t disappoint but the best thing about the evening was David himself. His warmth and enthusiasm throughout the evening made it really enjoyable and educational. He clearly has a passion for Spanish food (although from the Netherlands) and in particular organic fayre so you know all that you’re indulging in is totally fresh and lovingly prepared.
In addition to a meal cooked by David (or every meal if you wish) there are many services that the villa owners are happy to arrange, for example aromatherapy massages, beauty treatment and cookery classes making this not just a great villa for families but anyone celebrating a special occasion and maybe even a honeymoon. In fact just the weekend before we arrived, the villa hosted a small, intimate wedding.
In short this is a very special place to share family time and it is impossible not to relax from the moment you arrive - I’m already planning my next visit to the region in Spring when all the flowers are in bloom, days are pleasantly warm and evenings are balmy. See you again soon La Maroma!
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