fruit salad sevilleDid I mention the fruit salad? The fruit salad. A plate full of fresh, ripe fruit. Not a bowl of fruity mush.

Breakfast is not my favorite meal, but here at the Hacienda San Rafael, I bolt out of bed in the morning for freshly pressed Valencia orange juice, homemade Sevillian orange marmalade, warm bread, and a proper pot of tea. Coffee is already on the table in a thermos, and let’s not forget the delectable option of eggs and bacon.

I travel with loose tea and tea filters, and agua caliente arrives for my hand-rolled green tea bag before I have had time to ask. The local village ladies, sweet and smiling, anticipate your every wish throughout the day. Juanita notes that I asked for mint tea one afternoon. Now it arrives before I have even thought about it.

An hour from Seville in the direction of Jerez, lies this jewel of a property in the middle of wheat and cotton fields, once surrounded by olive trees. 400 years of history and extended family give root to this once working farm, now a unique luxury hotel.What defines luxury is relative. It’s not always what you think. Here at the Hacienda, luxury is illuminated in fine detail. As a traveler, I look for the magic combination of aesthetic, warmth, size, and service. A big place is not intimate.

infinity-pool-hacienda-resized

Owned by the Reid Moya-Figueroa family- consummate Hoteliers. The Hacienda breathes confidence and worldliness. Spanish antiques sit next to a collection of Indian prints and basket weave recliners. Family portraits and farm implements adorn the walls, and flowers and branches from the ‘campo’ invite nature into the house reminding us of where we are.