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A night away April 2009

Feel like a break?

Anne Fleming tried the Hotel La Fuente del Sol at La Joya near Antequera…

So you want to have a short break and get away from the hustle and bustle of the coast. Well, this is the answer. Just about 40 minutes from Malaga you will find yourself in a very special place.

“Relais du Silence” has included La Fuente del Sol in its selection of hotels “combining charm and authenticity for ultimate relaxation in a calm and serene setting”.

I would have to agree. As we drove through Casabermeja and on to the village of La Joya, the scenery was of rolling hills, outcrops of rock, open fields, and olive plantations. Hues of green, brown and gold contrasted with the dark gray mountains.

The hotel is only a stone's throw away from the area known locally as "Torcal de Antequera", which was the first officially denominated Nature Park in the whole of Andalusia. We found the hotel just five minutes drive from the village. The ample car park was a short walk from the entrance door, which led into a beautiful courtyard with tables and chairs. Already it was evident that the owners loved their garden and indoor plants.

Maria, the receptionist, was bright with a great sense of humour. We received our key and directions to our room. As the hotel has only 14 bedrooms, it was difficult to get lost.

As we walked through the hotel, we took in its unique character. Quiet, wooden beamed ceilings, traditional tiled floors sealed for easier maintenance and, considering it was February, lovely under floor heating. Artwork in the form of bronzes, rugs, landscapes, porcelain pots, etc., made it special.

On opening the bedroom door, this experience was repeated. Rustic wooden furniture, window shutters, and beamed ceiling. The bed was king size. The ensuite bathroom was in character, with toiletries from the “Relais Du Silence” chain.

After unpacking, we took the very quiet lift downstairs and found the fitness room, which had male and female changing rooms. Close by was the indoor heated swimming pool, which looked out on the tremendous views of the countryside and had tables, chairs and sun loungers around it. There was a jacuzzi and sauna to cater for all.

It was then that I found out I was going to have anaromatherapy massage. While my husband took a swim, a really professional therapist came to my room and gave me 45 minutes of pure relaxation through massage. Perhaps the only drawback in our room was the lack of instant hot water. It took some time to reach the room each time we used it.

Later, drinks were served in a sitting room with wood fire, close to the restaurant. The waiter was always quick to notice who required attention. The restaurant was cosy with a wood fire burning, reflecting in the glasses on the table. We chose duck and oxtail, and found the flavours excellent, although perhaps small in portion. The dessert menu was wonderful.

The following day, we had breakfast, which we felt a little inadequate for a four star hotel. No yogurt was offered, the orange juice was not freshly squeezed and no cooked breakfast was available but we did have lovely coffee.

We were allowed to hold our room until later and just relaxed, reading in the sunshine. It was sad packing and leaving this lovely haven of rest. We will certainly return, and next time we hope to take one of the lovely suites.

This hotel is for people who want to rest and just enjoy being away from it all. The town of Antequera is only 15 minutes away with all its historical buildings and nearby golf course. Staff at reception speak English and have a wonderful display of guides for the local area. Bed and breakfast was €106.

Hotel La Fuente del Sol is at Paraje Rosas Bajas s/n, La Joya, Antequera.