This far-from-urban retreat marries artistic dress shop aptitude with lashings of Andalucian charm, during a relaxed, painted slope villa that sits high on top of Marbella.
Views sweep right down to the fulgid Mediterranean, regular yoga retreats happen, and home-cooked meals square measure served on the sun-soaked terrace.
The Urban Villa is hidden away up in the hills six miles inland from Marbella, a 15-minute drive northeast along the road to the whitewashed town of Ojén. Though you’ll need a car to get here, the location will appeal if you’re keen for some seclusion, and the views past rocky outcrops to Marbella, the Mediterranean and, on clear days, Morocco and Gibraltar are spectacular this modern-rustic boutique villa was converted from a set of farmhouses, and has a cheerful, homey, low-key atmosphere, with colorful gardens backed by gorgeous seascapes.
The arty-Andalucian décor features pieces collected from around the world by well-traveled Lancastrian owner Linda Greenway – a South American print here, a wood-carved sculpture there, and polished terracotta floors everywhere. The villa also hosts all kinds of events, from afternoon teas (home-baked cakes included), full-moon dinners, and springtime lunches with live flamenco to several yoga retreats a year, and guests are welcome to join. This is an easy-going place and guests are largely left to their own devices, but there’s usually a friendly face around should you need anything. A small bright-turquoise pool sits just below the villa and there’s a cozy communal lounge with sofas and a winter fire, as well as a terrace strewn with palm-patterned cushions and tiled Moroccan-style tables.
You can help yourself to free tea, coffee, and biscuits here throughout the day, or pick from the honesty bar of wines, beers, and soft drinks. Each room has a folder packed with tips on local activities, sights, beaches, and restaurants. Massages, yoga classes and visits to local cheesemakers, wineries and the like can all be arranged. There are just five rooms, all different in size, with the updated-Andalucian design. Snug La Linda (which can be a double or a twin) is the smallest, with a mountain-view balcony, wooden headboards and bedside tables carved in floral patterns, and an unfussy cream-tiled bathroom with a large shower. The two-room Deluxe Urban suite has its own sauna, lounge, and terrace, plus direct pool access. The Andaluz room is washed in whites and blues, has sea views from its terrace and can be linked with the adjacent Relax Suite if you’re a group or family.
Most popular is the elegant, wood-beamed King Romance suite, which occupies the entire attic-like top floor and has a four-poster bed, a hydromassage bath, an enormous shower, and a private terrace with views cascading down to the sea. With its horizon-reaching views, the terrace is a lovely spot for a meal. Breakfast is served from 9 am to 10.30am: expect a smartly presented spread of fresh fruit, jamón, cereals, locally sourced cheeses, just-squeezed orange juice, and teas and coffee, along with eggs whipped up according to personal taste.
Artful tapas and three-course Spanish-international dinners (€29/£26) are prepared on request – perhaps pesto-drizzled mozzarella; red wine pork cheeks; avocado, salmon and brie salad in a honey-mustard dressing; or mascarpone ice cream with berries. Some ingredients come straight from the villa’s own garden. Double rooms from €69 (£62) in low season; and €129 (£115) in high. Breakfast included. Free Wi-Fi. La Linda can accommodate guests in a wheelchair, and a ramp can be set up on the front steps.