Five-star Hospitality at Three-star Prices: Hotel Alcadima in Spain

In the little Andalusian spa village of Lanjaron, the family-owned (three generations worth) Hotel Alcadima offers serenity, simple pleasures, fantastic food and warm hospitality. Rated a three-star accommodation, it could easily be a five-star with its charming setting and the attention staff gives to providing guests a special stay. 

Tucked away on a picturesque side street, Hotel Alcadima is an irresistible enclave of tree-shaded terraces, gardens, and courtyards– plus an outdoor swimming pool (more on that later) all backgrounded by the southern slopes of Spain’s Sierra Nevada. As is typical of Spain, there are loads of beautiful blooming flowers throughout. “My grandmother takes care of the gardens and flowers. She’s here every morning,” said family member Gonzalo Rodriquez Morillas. The various terraces and courtyards were added to the property as money and time permitted, he also explained.

But it was the swimming pool that actually started the family business. Built on land in 1951 that Antonia Gonzalez inherited from her father, it became one of the most popular swimming pools in Andalucia—no doubt due in large part to the fact it was the first swimming pool in the region where men and women could swim together. The husband/wife team then went from running a cake shop to cooking meals for the swimmers and visitors. Eventually, the business evolved through the years into the hotel hospitality business—and today it’s obvious to guests how the pride of such ownership shines through. (The swimming pool is still popular with hotel guests too.) 

Connected by the various terraces and courtyards (with lots of quiet corners to sit and relax), Hotel Alcadima’s 50 rooms are set within three different buildings. There is no “standard” room in terms of size or shape, but all feature cable t.v., tea and coffee making facilities, small refrigerator, and hairdryer. My tiled floor room (#207) was simple, spotless and good-sized– with a sitting area for two, plus nice bathroom (walk-in shower), good bed, desk area and a room wall air conditioner (not needed in May but probably necessary in July). I also had a lovely little balcony with a small table and chairs that overlooked a courtyard with a bubbling fountain. At night, it was so quiet I fell asleep to the sound of the (real) water in the fountain — not a sound machine emulating it.  Talk about relaxing and peaceful. 

Check-in was easy (English speaking staff) and room rates are an incredible bargain, starting at $82. Wi-fi is free but very spotty. There is wheelchair access as well as a lift. Besides the outdoor swimming pool, there is also a mini spa offering a solar-heated indoor small pool and steam room (I was only there one night so did not have time to experience either). The hotel also offers its own free well-detailed brochure and map (in both Spanish and English) that includes the area attractions/recommendations.

Breakfast is available with a good selection of pastries and fresh fruit. Do plan to dine at the hotel’s restaurant—which is popular with locals and guests alike. Situated on a covered terrace, the food is delicious, the candlelit atmosphere romantic and magical—infused with that lovely relaxed Spanish vibe. Often, they have a flamenco guitarist perform–like the evening I was there–which only added to the already enchanting setting.

Lanjaron is approximately an hour’s drive from Granada and in a region that is recognized as a UNESCO Biosphere Reserve—famous for its medicinal mineral waters, its clean air and natural beauty. Beautiful natural walking trails abound nearby; and many guests choose this hotel as their base for exploring the area known as Las Alpujarras–which seems to me to make perfect, peaceful and budget-wise sense.

Reservations can be made and more hotel information can be found on the website. Compare rates at Priceline or

Review and photos by Donna Tabbert Long whose stay at Hotel Alcadima was arranged by Turismo Andaluz.



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