In the heart of Benahavis, 15 minutes' drive to Estepona and 20 minutes to Puerto Banus.
All nine bedrooms are themed in different ways. I liked the Philosopher's Study with its illuminated floor panel and secret escape hatch, as well as the Christopher Columbus Berth with its maps, trunks and seafaring equipment. Other themes include the Catholic Kings Quarters, the Sultan’s Chamber and my favourite, the Astronomer's room, where a telescope is provided to glance at the night sky through a skylight positioned directly above the bed. The best have great mountain views, while some just face onto the inner courtyard or pool area. There is internet access and TVs and DVDs are cleverly tucked away.
From the minute you walk through the old wooden doors of Amanhavis you are walking into a timeless hotel with a very Moorish theme. There is a real sense of relaxation and the place exudes quality.
Eating and drinking
The restaurant comes highly recommended in a town which is famous for its range of top quality restaurants. Plenty of people come from outside to eat so make sure you book a table on arrival. The dining room is bright and cheerful, candle-lit at night and the service is efficient. The menu is adventurous and has a lot of salads and vegetarian dishes. That said, I had some excellent foie gras on toast, followed by a terrific duck breast with dauphinoise potato and courgettes. The breakfast was equally good, with a superb spread of fresh breads and fruit, plus there's a chef on hand to cook you an omelette or scrambled eggs.
There is a small pool at the centre of the hotel that sits off the dining room and reception area. You can also relax on a small roof terrace and enjoy the outstanding mountain views.
Efficient and friendly.
Who stays there
Mostly Europeans and the odd American couple.
There are some great deals in winter. Breakfast is an extra 10 euros per person.
- High-Speed Internet
- Swimming Pool
- Culture vultures
- Seasoned travellers
Pros & Cons
- Real character
- Good restaurant
- Some rooms lack good views