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A Night Away - July 2015

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Hotel Estrella de las Nieves - Pampaneira

Rarely does 6 months pass without our return to the beautiful villages of the Alpujarras, nestled under the peaks of the Sierra Nevada. Early summer is a lovely time to go, as the higher slopes are forested with pines, and oaks, whilst the villages are hidden among the luxuriant foliage of the chestnut, plane and ash trees.

This area was a sanctuary for the Moors, until they were expelled by the Christians in the 15th century. The landscape remains green throughout the year thanks to the gushing irrigation waters which run along ancient channels all summer long – in the villages and the countryside.

Our hotel, “Estrella de las Nieves” although modern, is built in Berber architectural style - little white box shaped houses with flat grey roofs supported by sturdy chestnut timbers. We arrive and park outside in the lazy afternoon sunshine. As we walk towards reception, our breath is taken away by rows of wonderful, flowering plants, acting as guards of honour.

Roge greets us, and with a quiet, gentle manner, checks us in, and leads the way to our room. It is large, and bright, with a small terrace overlooking the village and mountains. A bowl of cherries are gobbled up as we unpack!

A stroll takes us down to the village, where we visit the rug maker, the tapestry shop and the chocolate factory. Time stands still as we sit in the centre of the village, sipping San Miguel in the sunshine, watching tourists buzzing around the shops.

Later, we dine in a restaurant within walking distance of the hotel, and return to have a good night’s sleep. Next morning we arrive in a busy breakfast room. We do not often see such an array of food, for breakfast and it was easy to see that everything is homemade.

Mari Cruz and her staff pop in and out with cheeses, cakes, fruit etc, and the coffee is excellent!

Before we leave, we linger outside the hotel taking photographs, and Mari Luz gives me a flowering cactus to add to my plant collection.

Mari Luz, Roge, and their family manage this hotel with fun and care. Always there if needed! The rooms are maintained to a high standard, and congratulations to the mother of Mari Luz, Pora, who should win a prize for the standard of her plants.

We will be back!!