It wasn't my first trip to Monda, a white town in the mountains behind Marbella, but this time I made it to the top of the castle.
On my previous visit we'd headed up the hill, I don't know whether it's a man's thing or just my hubby, but show him a mountain and he wants to go to the top. So we did. We slogged up the long, winding driveway to the castle only to find it wasn't open for the beer we wanted or the water we needed.
This time it was under new management, newly refurbished, we were driving and we had a reservation so I knew we'd get inside the door. And what doors they are. First through the plant-bedecked main entry gate which appeared to have a bedroom above it, through a pretty patio with inviting tables, chairs and parasols for coffee or a beer but without the lovely views from higher up.
The fabulous entrance door, hefty and wooden, opens onto a charming reception area with gorgeous blue/gree, brown/white antique Moroccan patterned floor tiles. Ancient old doors and antique tile floors are a big passion of mine, I was already won over.
The hotel/castle was built on and into rock and the hotel has some lovely details and corners within the hotel to remind you, then when you are up on the sixth floor the views fall away on both sides and you really are king of the castle looking down upon creation and Monda town.
Our fifth floor room with four-poster bed, views over the town and the distant mountains kept the cameras busy for a while, so too did the huge bathroom with more of those incredible old tiles, a huge-for-two jacuzzi bath and a great shower. What impressed me most was the great toiletries but not in small take-away or throw-away samples but large bottles, fixed in the shower, to cut down on waste and plastics.
Once we'd photographed our room, before making a mess which we seem to do very quickly, making them most unphotogenic, we headed upstairs to the sixth floor bar, restaurant, lovely patio, enormous views and rooftop pool.
The charming Moorish decor bar leads out to a pretty plant-filled patio with little corner tables and different level areas inviting you to partake of the air, views and a beer or two. We succumbed.
With limited time and the welcome beer finished we had to test the pool before dinner. I loved the swimming pool, when all I could see was mountains and sky what an enjoyable, relaxing view and a salt pool (more eco-friendly points) made a very welcome change from chlorine.
Dinner was one of the best meals I've had in Spain. We're used to tapas and sharing but we had our own plate and choice, all different from each others, but we still had to share - well taste and test. It was all very good indeed, we were too busy looking, eating and sampling a very good wine to take any photos - sorry.
The Hotel Castillo de Monda is an all round great hotel, often you get good views, or service but mediocre food or not very impressive surroundings - this one comes tops in all of those and eco-friendly too. Is there more than this? I was very content in my role of Queen of the castle for the night. Would I go back? Definitely, perhaps with a little more time for a spa treatment or two.
I was a guest for the night at Hotel Castillo de Monda but the dinner and wine bill was ours!
Hotel Castillo de Monda website or see the Castillo on Booking.com for prices and instant reservations.
This hotel will soon be added to my OnlySpain ~ Boutique Hotel collection