It’s hard to put your finger on exactly why Trasierra is such a magical place. The setting – in the Andalucian hills tucked into the Sierra Norte park – is bucolic, tranquil, and alive with seductive sounds and scents. Sheep file past the property daily, bells clanging like Buddhist monks.  Horses appear fleetingly amongst the olive trees. It’s a land of shepherds and horsemen and older, even ancient, rhythms.

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The property was once a 15th century fortified bastide. There’s the main house, there are outbuildings, refitted granaries, a mini-village within 6-foot thick walls and nooks and crannies each more inviting than the other. You can swim, curl up with a book, tramp through the hills (the walks are astoundingly beautiful), saddle up one of those itinerant horses, or just lounge and chat to the other guests. This latter is very much facilitated as lunches and sundowner drinks are communal. At breakfast, try their award winning Marmalade, adorned with a Damien Hirst designed label and lunches are usually ladened with plates of their delectable Pata Negra jamon.

Trasierra eating

Before your cringe-alarms sound, this is the type of place where you actually want to meet the other guests. During our stay a distinguished actor, award-winning director, up-and-coming folk singer, double-barrelled restaurateur and a garden designer were all in residence. Alternatively, for our more introverted members, Trasierra is fantastic for private hire, whether it be for a family trip, a celebration or even a retreat, sleeping up to 20 guests.

trasierra bedroom

To call Trasierra a luxury hotel is not quite right, but it’s not far off either. The rooms are wonderfully comfortable with linen sheets and beds that are all a bed should be, but there’s an air of functionality about the bathrooms and parts of the property appear to be in battle with nature encroaching.

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The overarching note is boho-chic but with an authenticity that we’ve rarely encountered. It’s not for everyone, but it doesn’t purport to be. It might just be our new favourite non-hotel in the world. And that’s saying something.