Stay at El Palacio de San Benito, Cazalla de la Sierra

Mid September found hubby & I en route to Cazalla de la Sierra a small town nestled in Hornachuelos Natural Park about an hours drive north from Sevilla city. A white mountain town, well-maintained, full of character (and Anis distilleries) castle, bull ring, church, a cork pressing factory, which was closed both times we tried to visit, a nice find of a Bib Gourmand restaurant and our abode for the night El Palacio de San Benito a charming, luxurious private home guest house.

A wonderful combination of an ancient church and modern reconstruction of an ancient coaching inn with internal Andalucian patio which is also like a museum. Think setting for a period drama and classic Home and Garden Magazine spread combined with a National Trust property full of charm and character, antiques and charisma and a friendly larger than life designer owner who is often present and more than welcoming.

On the main street into town, it's very peaceful. Go in the large entranceway with hefty double wooden doors and the flowing fountain of the interior pario melts away stress. A feeling of peace and calm settles the soul and relax you will, either in the patio itself or on one of the ancient settles or settees in the cosy corridors surrounding the arched, plant-filled, open-air or blind-topped patio.

If even more privacy is required then retire to your room. Ours was Del Infante, the name given to a baby or young child, especially of regal birth, complete with a high canopy, florally decorated four poster bed and matching cot, which we haven't needed for a long while, and a lovely small open fireplace, plus our own charming small plant-walled patio with fountain.

It would have been easy to imagine myself being laced into a bodice by my personal maid, gown laid out on the bed and helped being dressed only to retire to the library, wafting my fan and being a damn nuisance like Mrs Bennett of Pride & Predujice fame. But alas! I tended to my own toilet and made it to dinner without assisstance although hubby the key keeper locked our door with a huge gold ingot-like key fob. I'm a great fan of Jane Austen and a little knowledgeable about English history but rather ignorant of the Spanish aristocracy and their habits and hardships. And though I sometimes fantasize about living back in those times I would in fact hate all that dressing up.

The incredible dining room is for special occasions and larger parties than we were, but what a spot, a film set, again I feel very under-dressed and in a time warp,

I've seen a few Spanish renovations, the Alhambra being one of the greatest. San Benito Palace wowed me the same when I found out part was original and part new. An incredible feat and more than once I thought 'surely this is original.' By the end of our stay my first impressions hadn't waned. This is my style of hotel, my inner want, forget shabby chic, chic modern or modernist, give me old dark wooden furniture and beams, floral fabrics, huge oil paintings, antiques, four poster beds and I feel at home. History, historical, romantic, vintage that's El Palacio.

Enter the hefty, old, made for a carriage wooden entrance doors with me? You can rent El Palacio like a hotel or guest house by the room by the night or rent the whole amazing property for a week or so, a wedding, a banquet, film or photo shoot whatever the reason you go - you'll fall for its charm.

See my Monday Morning Photos of Palacio de San Benito the Via Verde de la Sierra Norte de Sevilla near San Benito.

See my post on El Palacio de San Benito on Luxury Spain Travel and Bib Gourmand Restaurante Agustina in Cazalla de la Sierra.

See San Benito on

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