Style and Luxury in Andalusia
TEXT: HANNAH JANE THOMPSON | PHOTOS: Q HOTELS
It is said that people today ‘no longer collect things, but seek experiences’ – and Q Hotels has this idea at its heart.
With three high-end hotels and a collection of apartments and villas in the southernmost region of Spain, the company specialises in ensuring that guests have much more than just a place to sleep.
Creativity is key, and decor is mixed with art. Every space has its own personality and is characterised by its lightness and warmth in a bid to “honour every corner of Andalusia”.
“We want our guests to enjoy our privileged location,” explains Raquel Chabrera, Q Hotels CEO. “They do not come to simply stay ‘at a hotel’; we want them to have a unique experience; to live in the hotel in a way that is different from what they have experienced before.”
Flagship property the Cortijo de Zahara perfectly demonstrates this approach. Located at the Playa de Zahara de los Atunes in Tarifa, it is a one hour drive from the city of Cádiz.
Now a four-star hotel, it has rightly retained the name ‘cortijo’ – a Spanish word meaning a traditional Andalusian farmhouse – as a demonstration of the deep history that runs through its halls.
The hotel mixes traditional-style architecture with modern materials and the stunning natural landscape to create a truly luxurious setting. Whitewashed walls and terracotta tiles recall the history of the building, whilst swimming pools and lounging areas are designed to offer incredible views of the sea.
The region of Tarifa is at the southernmost tip of continental Europe: only Malta, Cyprus and some Greek islands lie further south. Like much of Southern Europe, the town has influences from many cultures, including the Romans, and later the Islamic conquest.
The decor hints at this varied and exciting past, including touches of different cultural design in the furniture, fabrics and deep colour palettes.
“This is a way of improving the customer experience. It is not simply ‘accommodation’, it is an experience for all the senses,” explains Chabrera. “The hotel has its own identity. We try to make it almost like an exhibition of artisan art, and the culture that is here. It is in such a privileged landscape. We try to ensure that everything complements that, and we can share that history with the guests.”
Hotel Tarifa Lances and Zahara Beach & Spa
The four-star Hotel Tarifa Lances, located at the Playa de Los Lances, also in Tarifa, similarly showcases this illustrious past, albeit in a slightly more modern style. Decor here is still artistic, varied and traditional, but the offbeat bedroom design and super-modern roof terrace and pool area offer a sleeker, high-end atmosphere.
From this autumn, all Q Hotels guests will be able to book ‘Q Experiences’, which will offer local excursions and “special moments”.”Again, there is that focus on guest experience. The idea is to give the client even more, so they can also go beyond the hotel,” explains Chabrera.
The five-star Zahara Beach & Spa – also at Playa de Zahara de los Atunes – places even more emphasis on wellbeing and relaxation. Open only to adults aged 18 and over, its design focuses on white, natural materials and neutral tones, for a super-chilled-out ambiance.
“In all of the hotels, we have a wellness area, with massage treatments and pools, and sometimes saunas and Turkish baths,” explains Chabrera. “Some have outdoor Jacuzzis, so guests can feel surrounded by nature while also being private. We also have a lot of rooms for spa treatments, so it feels peaceful and guests can escape.”
Zahara Sol Villas & Apartments
Finally, the Zahara Sol villas and apartments provide a real home-from-home feel in an unmistakably Spanish style alongside Balinese details. Built in Andalusian shapes in traditional pastel colours, they subtly complement the huge, private pool; the deep blue of the sky; the ocean view; and the beach which lies just a few yards away.
And for all their privacy and personal feel, the apartments and villas also have the signature Q Hotels flair. Rustic furniture, colourful fabrics, creative light fittings and bright artwork contrast with sleek modern kitchens and bathrooms for a comfortable, upmarket atmosphere.
Q Hotels also has a wide range of options for meetings and conference events, when it comes to both accommodation and room capacities, and can even close the hotels exclusively for large events.
Across all the hotels, gastronomy and food are key features – as guests would rightly expect from four- and five-star establishments. Food here reflects the local region, but in a sensitive way, and the variety means that the “guest will never need to ask for anything else”.
“Lots of companies say that they offer something ‘different’, but we really try to show that. We talk about difference, and we truly mean it,” explains Chabrera. “When our clients arrive here, they are not coming to just any old hotel. Here, they can really experience something new.”