As soon as my husband proposed I began to look for a wedding venue, this was my first choice. Something about it grabbed me, (I think because there was a chapel right next door to the venue, pretty lazy, I know) . We booked it without seeing it and then visited in the pouring rain of January where we met the owner, Richard for a reccy of the place. We were not disappointed - despite the awful weather, we had definitley made the right choice. We booked the big house and the two cottages for a full week to celebrate our wedding on the 25/05. The house looked even more beautiful in the sun.
What can I say, the wedding was amazing, we had 50 guests in total and everyone had positive things to say about the venue. It really is spectacular. People walked around in wonder. The chapel fit us all comfortably with only a few standing, the lower garden with excellent views of the valley hosted the cocktail hour and the gravelled area beyond the pool (where we usually sunbathed) was where we enjoyed our wedding breakfast. We cut the cake in front of the lighted pool and had our disco under the large tree beside the outside bar right there by the pool. It couldn't have been more perfect, helped by our Spanish wedding planner Jenny (why doesn't everyone have a wedding planner, perfect organisation and not a moment of stress!) and private caterers. If you are looking for a wedding venue in Spain, I can seriously say, look no further.
In terms of the house and its facilities, it was brilliant. All of the rooms (all ensuite) are different and grand. The owner Richard has clearly put a lot of time and effort sourcing beautiful furnishings, paintings and ornaments in keeping with the grandeur. This is his own home and you can see the love and attention he has paid. The Briadal suite was hugely grand, almost bigger than our flat at home!
For the first night we had organised a paella meal for everyone via Richard at the house, it was not cheap but it was well worth it and was served by the staff in the house. This was a great meal and we would recommend it, who wants to cook after travelling all day to get to your destination? The house also provided us with a minibus to collect the guests for the wedding day who were not staying with us, this was very easy to organise and better than cabs. We just got everyone to meet at McDonalds in Almunecar and then dropped them back to thier hotels at the end of the night.
You get towels on arrival including beach towels which were helpful. Kitchen was well stocked with utensils and we made use of the barbeque. Cleaners come daily but do not clean the bedrooms. There is a pool table, table tennis, bowls, sky TV (with sports channels) and free wifi which even worked by the pool and in the gardens. It was nice to catch up with things back home.
The local village of Otivar is only 15 mins drive up and down hill, there is a small shop, chemist and bank with cash point, there are two restaurants, that we saw. Both served good food. There is a bigger shop further down the hill just outside the village of Jete, you could get away with doing your weekly shop there, if needed.
Almunecar had the big supermarkets, but the beach was not that great. We preferred to drive to Nerja the next resort along. Had a nicer beach and more lively resort.
I didn't have a problem with the mountainous drive up to the house, but some did find the journey traumatic even as a passanger so be warned. This only affected about 3 in our group of 33 though, so I wouldn't let it put you off. Most people managed well and actually preferred driving at night as you can see the lights of the other vehicles coming. Just drive sensibly and take it slow and it is not a problem!
We visited the Al Hambra Palace in Granada, we booked on line before hand, it is well worth a visit. The journey there is through the sierra nevada mountains, you have to see it to believe it, breath taking!
Other than Granada and Nerja we were mainly quite content to just stay around the house and lounge by the pool. We had 5 days of perfect weather, it gets very windy and much cooler at night (there were electric heaters in each room which we found we needed at night) but this just blew away the clouds for the next morning for bright sunshine. We did not need to pay to heat the pool, just kept it covered over night.
Hayfever seemed to be a problem in our group, so come prepared if you suffer from it.
We basically all hired a car (and a 9 seater van) for the week as this was the cheapest way to get from the airport (took about 1.5 hours), starting from 60 euros from Malagar car.com, they were pretty good. We used them in January too, much cheaper than Avis and the like.
Overall, this house is beautiful, the gardens are amazing, it is a fantastic wedding venue. The booking and communication was very easy and professional. I will never forget this week. I highly recommend this rental.
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