6 Bedroom Boutique Hotel in Spain, Andalucia, Zahara de la Sierra
- Village / Rural
- Riverside / Waterfront
- Sports & activity
- Air Con
- Cot / Highchair
- Internet Access
- Linen provided
- Log Fire
- Horse Riding
- Photography Courses
- Child Friendly
- Ideal for honeymoons
- Pet Friendly
- Suitable for events
- Wheelchair Friendly
With views of the lake, our rooms are full of understated luxury and charm. Our restaurant is run by former New York chef Stefan Crites who prepares creative dishes using locally sourced and organic produce from our own, and other, farms in the area. Zahara is a classic pueblo blanco, with its imposing Phoenician fortress and stunning azure lake.
A family run rural boutique hotel and restaurant, close to Ronda. Overlooking an azure lake below the picturesque pueblo of Zahara de la Sierra. One of Spain's heritage "white villages" and part of the "rutas de pueblos blancos". Zahara sits in the dramatic landscape of the "Sierra de Grazalema" a protected nature reserve popular for hiking, birdwatching and paragliding. Within close range are the sherry bodegas of Jerez and the flamenco bars of Sevilla. Chef, Stefan Crites, left his native Columbus, Ohio, in 1992 to pursue his culinary career in New York. He spent 12 years honing his craft in the city that never sleeps before moving to Southern Spain with wife Mona to begin the adventure that would lead them to Al Lago. Mona, originally a textile designer with her own boutique in New York has decorated Al Lago, both the public areas and bedrooms, with an imaginative flair, using local materials to create comfortable, simple spaces.
Zahara is a tiny white-washed village with cobbled streets and abundant with wild flowers. It is nestled in the Sierra de Grazalema, home of the Garganta Verde, a walker´s paradise. In cooler months you can hike and walk in the Mountain range and in summer enjoy kayaking and swimming in the freshwater lake or nearby playita. For architecture lovers Ronda´s Roman bridge, Moorish patios and hidden alleyways will keep you mesmerised. Zahara enjoys a moderate year round climate.
Jerez airport is 1 hour, Sevilla 1 and a half hours and Malaga 1 hour 40 mins. There are limited daily buses from Ronda and trains from Madrid daily to Ronda. A taxi can be arranged to pick you up from Ronda.
Jerez de la Frontera, 1 hour
Nearest Train Station:
Ronda 25 minutes
Nearest Bus Stop:
Zahara 5 minutes
Al Lago´s own gourmet restaurant plus local bars
Costa de la Luz 1.5 hrs, Marbella just over 1 hr
Local cheeses, olive oil and gifts
Saturday morning local market
Interiors are strikingly simple with a focus on understated luxury; large comfortable beds, crisp linens, polished natural plaster walls and soothing earth tones. Each room has wrought iron French doors opening onto balconies with views over the lake. The modern bathrooms are finished in local Ronda stone with contemporary white fixtures and walk in wet-room style showers. There is a private roof terrace for the use of hotel guests to take the sun and relax as well as a sitting area downstairs with a selection of magazines and newspapers. Our duvets and pillows are hypo-allergenic. Pool towels are provided for your convenience. We are handicap accessible. Breakfast is served from 8.00am onwards and can be taken in our dining room, bar or out on the terrace. A choice of cereals, fresh fruit salad, yoghurts, a variety of breads, rice cakes, homemade preserves, cold meats, cheeses and hard boiled eggs as well as hot beverages and freshly squeezed orange juice is available.
Our bar, which is open all day, has WiFi and television and serves coffees, specialty teas, drinks, cocktails, hot and cold tapas and desserts at all times. Our restaurant is open for lunch and dinner all days of the week (except for Wednesdays during winter season). The menu focuses on locally sourced high quality, often organic produce to create a cuisine based on the recipes of classic rural Spain with hints of eastern and Moorish influences. There is an excellent Spanish wine list which includes local wines as well as gems from bodegas in Ronda.
Hiking routes and leisurely walks start at our doorstep; guided walks and permissions to enter the park can be booked ahead of time so that you can trek into the Guarganta Verde, through the Pinsapar woods or along the edges of the gentle El Majacete river. From Mid June until Mid September Zahara opens its large municipal pool set in landscaped grounds with breathtaking views, plenty of changing rooms and shower areas and a bar/restaurant. At the same time the Playita at Arroyomolinos also opens for the season. Playita means mini beach (in this case without sand) and is a spacious grass park bordering a spring-fed mini lake. Fantastic for families and with its shallow waters, ideal for smaller kids. Kayaking is also available all summer on the lake. For culture lovers Zahara forms part of the chain of "frontier" villages which were built by the Moors. These villages have retained their charm, impervious to the advances of the Modern age, and remain picture perfect hamlets snuggled in recesses between grand mountain ranges. You can easily spend a day visiting the woollen mills in Grazalema, the leather fabricas in Ubrique or the majestic castle in Olvera, just a short drive away from Zahara. Here in Zahara we have 2 famous olive oil mills as well as our cheese factory. Bird watching tours and horseriding trails can also be arranged. For cyclists the Via Verde, an old railway route, is a wonderful cycling trip, especially with children as it is largely flat.
Conditions of Rental
Al Lago takes 2 night minimum bookings. We charge a 25% deposit to hold all bookings. For larger groups of 7 people or more we charge 50% deposit. Al Lago cannot accept individual occupancy during our peak times, see below. Deposits are refundable up till 60 days prior to arrival except during peak times: Easter week, Corpus Cristi, Christmas and New Year weekends. Deposits are not refundable in this instance. Cancellations made any time after 30 days before arrival date, during high season, will be subject to a further 25% charge in the event we cannot rent the room to someone else. Cancellations made after 7 days prior to your arrival date will be charged in full.