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HERO Spain Hacienda de San Rafael

The hotel expands outwards from a central courtyard, white washed walls create a breezy respite from the heat, while lavender and jasmine provide heady scents. An oasis to return to from a day exploring rural Andalusia, the suites at Hacienda are decorated with rustic charm with nods to the building’s history. The rooms are varied, opt for a deluxe double or for a group they have a pool suite with three bedrooms. The hotel keeps its guest numbers small so there are many secluded corners to relax and a gentle, convivial atmosphere that never appears overcrowded. The timeless elegance combined with modern luxuries such as private gardens, marble bathrooms and fine artwork and antiques adds character and personality to the property. A fine day at Hacienda ends with an exquisite meal in the bougainvillea filled alfresco restaurant, which embraces simple Mediterranean cuisine. Emphasising local, seasonal produce and using what he can from the Hacienda’s vegetable garden, the chef creates mouth-watering meals to be eaten under the stars or by the glimmering lights of the pool.