Located in Casares, more or less between Estepona and Sotogrande, in the south of Spain, Finca Cortesin is possibly one of the hotels that has impressed me the most in the last couple of years. And believe me, I have slept at a few.. hundred! Here’s how my recent stay went.. and something tells me I will come back for more!
– Was there any pre-arrival communication by the hotel with myself via email or social media?
There was indeed, and a lot of excitement too. I can’t tell you much I was looking forward to this trip.
– Did I try to engage the hotel via Twitter? Did the hotel interact with me and made me feel welcome/special?
I did, but the Finca Cortesin team (via a few twitter accounts) kind of beat me to it. We had a lot of banter pre, during and post stay.
– Has the hotel tried to gather any personal information (e.g. preferences) prior to my stay?
Yes! Funnily enough, when we landed, we were asked what was our favourite cocktail. I said I would be partial to anything with gin or lychee. And I must say: my lychee gin & tonic on arrival was really quite something!
– The wow factor! What was the hotel decor style?
It was absolutely stunning, the area outside reception where we dropped our car was beautiful (see the jump photo below) and the reception and the indoor patio area was simply stunning. And in this photo, you can see where we enjoyed our welcome lychee gin!
– How quick and efficient was the hotel check-in?
Very efficient and very personal – and a proper sit down check-in which is always a nice touch. It was also lovely to be welcomed in person by the hotel management team which I was very keen to see again. It was almost like going back home (although it was my first visit, if you see what I mean!)
– Was I addressed by name once reservation has been located? (it is all about the small details, some others are outstanding with this, and I love it, like I do when I board an airplane)
– Did I get an upgrade from my confirmed pre-booked room type?
We were booked on 2 separate junior suites (on this trip I was travelling with my girls Trudi and Terene for the ultimate girlie getaway) and we were upgraded to a 2 bedroom suite, which was a great idea. It was great to have our own living room and balcony, where we obviously enjoyed some sunset cocktails.
– Did I feel genuinely welcomed by the hotel staff?
We did, and it was possibly one of the nicest welcomes I have had. I can’t tell you how happy and impressed we were.
– Luggage – how many people did I have to tip before the luggage made it safely to my room? This is cultural, I know
We left our luggage in the car and only saw it when we got to our room later on, and that is how it should be.
– Wi-fi – was I told anything about it? Was there a charge?
Charge? Passwords? Of course not! Just connect and enjoy.
– First impressions – décor, size and wow factor
To say our suite was beautiful, it would be the understatement of the year. I must say, the whole property was beautifully decorated (you may find some of my finger marks across the grey fabric wallpapered corridors). I love grey and it was simply stunning. Everything was super simple and understated – each piece of furniture carefully selected (and interestingly, available for sale).
– Welcome amenity
We had a very creative amenity (see photo above) full of lovely sweet things, and every day we were surprised with something new. We were definitely spoiled!
– The bed
My canopy bed was stunning – comfortable and firm and the pillows and duvet were to die for. I loved the sheets as well (a different type of stripe on stripe, beautiful!).
– Closet/Wardrobe – proper hangers or those annoying ones where you need a PhD to get them out one by one? This is a personal pet peeve of mine. I can’t stand them.
They were great and all mine – plenty of space!
– Iphone Charger/Dock
Sadly no, and interestingly, I think it would have been great – not just for phone charging purposes, but also for a bit of music.
– Bathrobes and slippers
They were there and the slippers for once, were really quite nice. I even used them around the room!
– Coffee and Tea
We actually had a fully equipped kitchen with everything we could need. Interestingly we only had things in pairs, even though we were three, so we always had to ask for an extra glass every day.
– Free bottled water
– Magazine selection – had some nice surprises and doesn’t happen often enough!
We had magazines and some great books. I loved the Quintessentially Reserve 2013 – what a beautiful coffee table book!
– Power sockets in useful places – we have more and more devices and we know where we want them! By the bed, by the working area.
If I had to make a small criticism, it would be about this. Of course they were there – but at the end of the bed, for example (not great for alarm setting etc). Weirdly, when I turned the lights off, the sockets were also turned off which didn’t make any sense. I did try to play with all the switches and not use the “master” one, but wasn’t successful.
– First impressions – décor, size and wow factor
I love natural light in a bathroom and I got it this time. It was simple and stunning.
– Bath, shower and taps – I am looking for Duravits and Hansgrohes (or other fab brands) around the world. How fab was the shower? And a little pet peeve.. was I able to operate the shower without asking Mr. O for help?
Everything was beautifully appointed and the shower was absolutely fantastic.
– Towels – yes, please! How many and how soft and lovely?
Possibly some of the best towels I have seen lately – looooooooooooooonnnnnnnnnnngggggggggg and uber soft.
– Toiletries – own brand, super brand, baby ones or proper ones? I shall find out!
Penhaligon’s was again the brand of choice. I had adult sized ones, whereas the girls in their room had baby ones (why?).
– Amenity kit – I don’t want more sewing kits thank you very much, but I will need a shower cap.
Everything was there, and worth saying that the sink unit has plenty of hidden storage room so only the absolutely necessary was on display.
– Hairdryer – is it a human one, or just something stuck to a wall that only makes noise?
Yes and I did actually use it – and it was good!
– Décor of breakfast room
Breakfast was outdoors, in the patio and it was stunning.
– The spread (inc yumminess)
The hotel (which was around 60 rooms) has no buffet – which makes a lot of sense. Instead, it offers a “private breakfast” where the items on the left of the menu and are brought to your table and then you choose whatever you’d like from the a la carte menu. There was a lot of variety and everything was outstanding.
– Cost (I have seen a hotel charging €75 for breakfast – a tad much, maybe?)
Breakfast is included in all room rates (as it should be in resort hotels).
Pool and Beach Club
Ho ho ho, how many pools did we need? Well, we were three ladies, so we got a pool each! We absolutely adored the 50m pool, which was so quiet, you could hear the birds. The sun loungers and towels were great (and cleverly, you got an extra towel to use when you got out of the pool, so obviously you didn’t have to “unmake” the bed). There were a lot of details like these at Finca Cortesin. Very nice.
Pool service was efficient and discrete. At the 30 metre pool, you had a great pool restaurant too, which we obviously tried! Where we didn’t spend enough time (and possibly an excuse to go back for more)? At the great beach club, located a couple of kms from the Finca, which is inland. It was so nice, I can’t tell you – but I can show you!
We also treated ourselves to a great massage each, one afternoon – and everything was absolutely first class. The rooms (and the indoor pool.. the 4th one!) were beautiful and the therapists (mine was Thai), were wonderful. I was seriously prepared not to leave.
Restaurant & Bar
We enjoyed a fab dinner at El Jardin, which if Chef Lutz Bosing’s little playground. He prepared a great tasting menu for us and even set us some challenges. We surprised him when we guessed the apple cucumber as one of the ingredients. We absolutely adored the strawberry foam dessert and want to go back so that he can show us how it’s done – it would be a great addition to the O’Reilly dinner party menu. Chez Lutz also joined us on the twitter fun during dinner and throughout our stay and was a great sport.
– How good and reliable was the wi-fi?
The wifi was actually quite good around the hotel, with various connecting points.
– Did the hotel interact with me via Twitter during my stay?
Oh yes, oh yes. And René, the lovely hotel manager, even reacted positively when I announced, on my last night, that I would possibly refuse to check-out insisting I could stay forever. I could have said yes…
Finca Cortesin is located in Casares, between Estepona and Sotogrande in the south of Spain. Nearest airports are Gibraltar (GIB) and Malaga (AGP). You will need a car to get around the area.
– Cost – rooms starting from…
Junior suites start from €450 +tax. Suites start at €736 + tax and the 2-bedroom suite we stayed at cost €1236 + tax (160 sqm)
– Would I recommend it to my best friend?
Hum.. I am actually not sure… I am joking! She was there with me and loved it!
– Would I stay again?
Believe me, I will – and this time, we will bring the boys (they were so jealous, we cannot tell you).
I loved Finca Cortesin – it is a beautiful hotel and I really enjoyed my stay there. Service was also great – people were nice, smiled all the time, great English and allowed to bring their personalities to work, which is what makes a stay truly special. Daniel made the best gins that side of Spain, ha!
Have you visited this hotel? What were your thoughts?
Disclaimer: I was a guest of Finca Cortesin during this stay (and my friends were paying guests, but treated to spa vouchers and a wonderful dinner), but hopefully you will see that this has not influenced my thoughts about the property.