I’M wallowing in my private outdoor bath having played three sets of tennis at probably Spain’s most exclusive court.
With a glass of cava in the hand and a light breeze blowing through the pines above me, I feel like I’ve finally arrived.
Welcome to the DDG Retreat in the hills high above Andalucia’s prettiest white town of Casares.
Just 15 minutes drive from Estepona, this amazing place guarantees the most relaxing stay imaginable.
Trust me, I have reviewed and written about hundreds of hotels, B&Bs and guesthouses around the Iberian Peninsula in my job as a travel writer for the Daily Mail and the Olive Press… and this place takes some beating.
For starters, there are only three private suites spread around five hectares of land.
There are no other properties within a kilometre and the only movement you will spot will be the wonderful kettle of vultures that bob up and down above you in the breeze.
Oh, and let’s not forget the amazing infinity pool, gym and spa, as well as the private massage area, that sits in a natural wood casita hidden in the woods.
Life doesn’t get much better lounging in the perfectly clipped grounds that have had two decades to mature, since an adventurous expat bought it in the 1990s.
The views stretch as far as Africa, taking in Gibraltar and the famous white village of Casares along the way.
The backdrop the other way is the breathtaking Sierra Crestellina, a protected Natural Park full of soaring pines, oaks and chestnuts.
DDG Retreat has managed to perfectly incorporate its own bespoke planting amid this protected expanse, which laps its perimeter and shelters deer, wild boar and cabra montes for the eagle-eyed nature lovers among you.
It is little wonder the adults-only hotel has been recognised by the Sunday Times, Conde Nast Traveller and Red as among the most romantic places to stay in Europe.
The suites count on their own plunge pools and hot tubs, as well as outdoor showers and baths and are exquisitely decorated with some wonderful antiques and artefacts from around the world.
Each comes with a kitchen or a mini-bar stocked with drinks, as well as a coffee-maker, while the Royal Suite has its own mini-cinema with a giant drop down screen.
As well as marble floors, they count on air conditioning for very hot days or chilly nights.
If you can be bothered to venture out, you will find the bigger communal area, with its award-winning infinity pool, sauna, steam room and gym, as well as nearly a dozen places to luxuriate.
Here you will find a library of books, a stack of CDs and hundreds of DVDs to take back to the room to watch in the evening… or pop one on right here and pump up the volume!
It doesn’t matter, almost no-one else will hear.
Everything is organised from the moment you book your escape and for local couples based in Andalucia or nearby Gibraltar the owners have created a very special last minute offer for the final few weeks the retreat is open this year (it closes on Oct 31).
Why not arrange for a champagne bottle to be waiting on arrival for your partner to have a special spa experience and a craneo massage with extended shiatsu head massage, followed by a wine or chocolate wrap?
There are some excellent organic skin care treatments, as well as hot stone massages and reflexology to boot.
In addition, consider the special breakfast of cava, and with rose petals spread on the table.
And, if you don’t fancy going out, ask the team to rustle up something special, with a decent bottle of wine on the side.
Or head down into nearby Casares village, where our sister site Dining Secrets of Andalucia, lists no less than three excellent places to eat, including the Forge, Sarmiento and Arroyo Hondo.
Take a look at https://ddgretreat.com/gallery/ for more information and special offers, including a free bottle of cava or complimentary late checkout. Quote ‘the Olive Press’ for an extra special rate