IT is unsurprising easy to find a great place to lay your head in the ‘City of Dreams’, as Ronda was once described by Dutch poet Rilke.
In the heart of the city there are many emblematic choices, including the highly original Hotel En Frente Arte and the historic San Gabriel.
But real peace and quiet at spectacular value can be best found at Hotel Boabdil, set up by a friendly expat couple in a charming, historic street near the Almocobar gate. Peace personified, the rooms are clean and airy and afford some good views of the surrounding countryside.
Another good cheap central choice is Hotel Morales, which sits in pole position right in the heart of the town, perfect for the shops, and the main transport links.
It is in the nearby Serrania though that the whole Ronda experience comes into its own.
Close to the city, beside a bubbling stream is the ancient converted water mill Molino del Puente, with an excellent restaurant and well appointed rooms.
Run by friendly English couple Ian and Elaine Love, this historic spot is very popular with visitors from the coast and, best of all, it has a highly-rated restaurant La Cascada, thanks to Ian’s cookery skills, which were honed on the coast in Cabopino.
A bit further away in Benaojan you must certainly consider incredible Molino del Santo, a classic rural retreat, which has been serving the area for nearly three decades.
Run by English couple Pauline and Andy, the hotel has the knack of keeping guests happy with just the right mix of comfort, good food and character.
Regularly coming top on Trip Advisor, not just for Ronda but Andalucia, it sits by a raging stream, that emerges as a spring out of a rock just above the hotel.
Once an ancient mill, it conserves many of its original features, and always features a fabulous range of local artists.
Best of all, it counts on one of the best rural restaurants in Andalucia, its chef Alberto, continuing to adapt classic local dishes with many twists he picked up from his time working in the north of Spain.
Closer to Ronda, in the charming village of Arriate, check Hotel Arriadh which counts on some of the best views anywhere in Spain.
Often described as ‘zen-like’ the clean lines and maximising of light and views is all thanks to the talents of Dutch couple John and Wilfred.
Excellent value, it has an amazingly peaceful garden and a recently added infinity pool.
Another good rural option is Los Castanos, over in the Genal Valley, sitting in the authentic village of Cartajima.
A well appointed village house, you can walk from the door and its cultured expat owners Diana and John Beach, always go of their way to ensure you have a superb break.
Last, but not least, why not try out Hostal Anon over in Jimena, which is a great place for a romantic break
It’s been a classic stopover for travelers for decades and the rooms have a Spanish rustic feel, while the outside intertwining terraces have a Moorish décor.
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