Glampotel (Los Olivos) Glampotel
In the foothills of the Sierra Nevada Mountains, an hour and a half north of Almería, this brand-new glamping retreat sees the reputable Glampotel group popping up their latest hotel-standard bell tents abroad. Set within a gently sloping Spanish olive grove, with olive-tree-splintered views of the Andalucian countryside beyond, they’ve certainly picked a winner.
After winding down the final dusty orange pathway to the glamping site, guests find themselves settling into their ‘canvas cottages’ for the first time. Under the partial shade of the olive trees, but with plenty of space to soak up the reliably sunny Spanish weather, the light, airy abodes seem a natural fit in the surroundings.
Inside, two of the tents feature king-sized beds, while the remaining four cater to families, with a master bed in the middle and two singles either side. Linen is, naturally, made from the finest Egyptian cotton and en-suite bathrooms feature biodegradable toiletries, fluffy towels and tall mirrors. It’s comfortable and luxurious – faux fur throws and deer’s antlers as dressing gown hooks – yet also suitably rustic. Why shower indoors, for example, when out here you can forget the roof and soak beneath the bare blue skies?
Make tracks due southeast and it’s a 40-minute drive to the nearest sandy beaches around Villaricos. Not that glampers should peg straight for the coast. The local, terracotta-roofed village of Albox, a five-minute drive away, is awash with intriguing history. Flanked by the Sierra de las Estancias and the Sierra de los Filabres mountain ranges, it has historically played an important and embattled role in the area. Today it enjoys vibrant, post-siesta nightlife and peaceful daytime atmosphere, complete with suntanned old gents playing chess outside the cafés. In fact, Albox is considered the ‘cradle of Spanish chess’ and is home to some serious champs. So if you need any pointers, you know where to ask. Just brush up on your Spanish first.
FacilitiesCanvas cottages are in a gently sloping olive grove, each pitched on level wooden platforms with a decking area out front. 2 canvas cottages have king-sized beds, perfect for couples, the other 4 family canvas cottages have a queen-sized master bed, 2 singles plus an optional camp bed. All bedding – Egyptian cotton sheets, pillow cases and hypo-allergenic duvet – is provided. Interiors also include hardwood floors, custom wooden furniture, a wood-burning or propane stove, full length mirror, clothes rails, blanket chest and more. Though off-grid, solar lighting and candles provide ample lighting and there are USB chargers for your gadgets. Each bell tent has an en-suite bathroom with proper toilets, porcelain sinks, instant hot water shower, large mirrors and plenty of towels, toilet paper and all the usual hygiene products you would expect to find in a luxury boutique hotel.
Suitable ForGlamping only. So no campervans, caravans or pitch-your-own tents. Dogs welcome.
NearbyPop your head into the 16th-century Church of Santa María, the oldest religious building in Albox, for a real sense of the place's history (currently it is being restored, but is often open and has a baroque façade that is very similar to the famous Convent of the Pure in the city of Almeria), then enjoy kicking back in a local café and watching the locals play chess in shade. It takes around 40 minutes to drive to the coast, though, if you're going there for a swim, sticking to the mountains and swimming in more local lakes and waterfalls is a better option. Ask on site for the best locations and about organising outdoor activities, such as horse-riding or local hiking routes.
Food & DrinkWith all the freshly caught fish, locally grown fruit and vegetables, Sherry wine and extra virgin olive oil, how could Andalucia's cuisine not be top-league? Recipes are provided for all guests, so you can try your hand at the most local of dishes. Most Andalucians don't even have dinner before 10pm, so after eating it's straight onto copas – spirits with a mixer. The eateries in Albox are a mixed bag, though the best bet is often to ask any taxi driver for an insider's tip on where to go. All the essentials are there – supermarket, bank, pharmacy, post office and so on – with Cafeteria Fontana our pick of the local cafés, though mainly because it is close to the excellent Patisserie La Pequeñica (0034 950 439 708).
Accommodation6 canvas cottages, 2 for couples and 4 for families.
Contact Glampotel (Los Olivos), Glampotel Los Olivos, Albox, Almeria, Andalucia, Spain
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