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- Peaceful luxurious retreat on a hillside five minutes from Casares
- 20 minutes' drive from the beaches of the Mediterranean coast
- Top-end glamping tent with private deck and hot tub
Just take a look at that infinity pool – such is the stuff of dreams? Have a quick browse through the photos of DDG Retreat and you’ll soon realise this is some pretty high-end glamping.
As the word ‘retreat’ suggests, the guest experience here is all about relaxation, peace and privacy. Up on a hillside five minutes’ drive from the village of Casares, the secluded property has spectacular views over the surrounding mountains, with barely a sign of modern life in sight. On a clear day you can see all the way to Gibraltar and over to the coast of Africa.
Days spent here often revolve around the pool area – as it's mighty easy to while away several hours on a comfy lounger, cooling off with regular dips in the pool and drinks from the poolside bar. Need a little extra relaxation? Book in to the spa for a massage or beauty treatment or take to the hammam for a traditional thorough cleanse.
If you feel the need for a little gentle activity, there’s equipment to be borrowed for a game of tennis or badminton, and a small gym. But if you’d rather remain horizontal, there’s also a library with books and USBs filled with music and movies to borrow. You can also log on to the free wifi service.
Staff at DDG Retreat are friendly and keen to help, so if you need anything, just ask – they can help make restaurant reservations or arrange to have meals delivered to you if you’ve become so relaxed you can’t move. It's worth venturing out for meals occasionally though, as the area has some fab restaurants, from familly-run tapas places in the village through to fine dining with amazing views out in the hills.
As for accommodation, you’ll be staying in a tent unlike any tent you’ve seen before. Set in a private enclosure that measures a whopping 500sqm, it’s got a kingsize bed, home theatre system and a full bathroom with freestanding bath and steam shower cabin. Marble floors open out onto a private deck with gazebo and hot tub where you can spend your evenings watching the stars come out with a glass of fizz in hand.
Tourist board rating
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Leisure on park
Bar or club house
Indoor swimming pool
Outdoor swimming pool
Amenities on park
Ice pack freezing
Parent & baby washroom
Pick-up from public transport
Propane/gas cylinders available
Barbecue grills allowed
Commercial vehicles allowed
No dogs allowed
Lake and/or mountain
Cycle hire nearby
Horseback riding nearby
Outdoor pool nearby
Single-sex groups welcome
Student groups welcome
Tiny (1-10 sites)
If you can drag yourself away from that fab pool, some gorgeous places are around to visit nearby. This area is famed for its traditional ‘white villages’, the nearest of which is Casares, 10 minutes’ drive away. Wander through its winding streets, visit the Arab castle and indulge in some people-watching while you have a drink in one of the bars around the main square Plaza de España. Later on, walk up the hill from the visitor centre to watch the sunset over the village and the hills beyond.
For a spa day with a difference, head to the Roman baths at Hedionda, 15 kilometres away. Here you can smother yourself in mud (said to have antibacterial properties) before diving into the Roman plunge pool and then finishing off in the sulphur pools. Bring a torch and you can swim into the tunnels and caves to see where the natural springs come from.
Up here in the hills you may not realise how close you are to the coast, but in fact you can reach the sea with a 20-minute drive. The nearest beach, Playa Ancha, has facilities such as parking and showers, and you can stretch your legs with a walk along the headland to the 16th-century Torre de la Sal watchtower. There’s some good snorkelling to be had around here as well.
More beach action can be had in Estepona, a half-hour drive from the property, where there’s a great wide swath of sandy beach with watersports rentals and beachfront bars. Make time for a wander into the Old Town for lunch and to spot some of the street art that has popped up on walls around the town – pick up a map from the tourist office for a walk that takes in the best ones. There’s also a fab little orchid garden in the north of the town that’s worth seeking out when the flowers are in bloom.
There are plenty of walking trails around here if you’d like to get out into the mountains. A popular route direct from the property takes you into the Sierra Crestellina nature reserve and up to the Vultures viewpoint, where you can often spot the carrion birds in action. If you’d prefer to explore on horseback, there’s a riding centre 10 minutes away where you can join short or long rides through the countryside and to the river Genal, where you can ride through the river for several kilometres. Pony rides are on offer for smaller kids as well.
Golfers have a choice of four courses to play on within a half-hour drive. For something a bit different, visit the Casares Footgolf club, 20 minutes away. As you may guess, the aim of the game is to get your football into the hole with as few kicks as possible – heaps of fun for all ages.