On an old cobbled street in the middle of the Moorish mountain village of Benahavis – sometimes called the dining room of the Costa del Sol – you’ll find some roof-high, wooden double doors leading into this colourful, peaceful oasis. The welcome is warm and friendly and you’ll notice the attention to detail and ornate decoration that characterises the Amanhavis Hotel.
The heart of the hotel is the plant-filled, Moorish patio where breakfast and dinner are served in good weather from spring to autumn and where there’s also a small swimming pool. The rooms are all individually decorated and inspired by the history of Andalucia, from the Astronomer’s Observatory (complete with sky-light and telescope) to the Horse Thief’s Hide Out, where the head-boards are engraved with the names of stolen horses. All are equipped with modern technology that has been cleverly hidden from view. Local ceramics are exhibited here and add to the colour. Pretty rugs soften the hand-made tiled floors, and the walls are painted in pale oranges, reds and yellows.
The restaurant is a major asset and is racking up awards. Its menu changes daily and the food is bought each day from the local markets. There’s plenty of choice, all delicious and imaginative, and if you want a change from the hotel food, the village is full of restaurants and bars. This place is convenient for walking in the hills and the beach is seven kilometres away.