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Thursday, August 23, 2018

Finca Cortesin - August 2018

We left London via Gatwick on August 14 for Spain’s Costa del Sol and some sun. The British Airways flight was good until the end; on approach to Malaga the plane, about 100 meters above the runway, suddenly accelerated and climbed back to a holding pattern. The pilot eventually came on and informed passengers that the wind had shifted and he had to abort the landing. After a second attempt, we were safely at our gate. Upon exiting, I noticed that the plane’s windscreen was cracked, an almost shattered baseball sized creator in its center. The airline made no mention of this, but later I checked the outbound flight – it had been cancelled for the day. Perhaps it was a bird strike on the second landing.

In spite of this little excitement, we picked up our rental and drove 90 kilometers west along the coast, through Marbella, and on to Caseras and The Hotel Finca Cortesin.  We were meeting our Luxembourg friends Annie and Jöel – our sixth summer spending some time together.
Finca Cortesin is an enchanting property, located on the hillside about a mile from the sea and comprising 215 acres. The ten-year-old hotel has 67 suites ranging from 50 to 200 square meters (525 – 2,100 square feet). It is a whitewashed Andalusian architecture lovingly placed on the property, beautifully landscaped with a golf course, two very large pools and an assortment of restaurants. There is also a beach club at the sea, with a great 33-meter pool, generous lounging areas for sun and shade, and a casual restaurant as well.
Hotel Finca Cortesin

Beach Club Pool - 33 meters

We weren’t too adventuresome while here, staying at the pools most of the day. The weather was perfect throughout.  Breakfast was on the restaurant’s terrace, quite nice. At 11:00, we all took the shuttle to the beach club; reading, swimming and lounging around. The pool was right at the sea’s edge, the sound of the waves providing a calm rhythm. Occasionally children got out of hand; but there was always the possibility to escape to the 50-meter adult only pool back up on the main property. We availed ourselves of this option a few afternoons.
Adults Only Pool - 50 meteres

Lunches were at the beach club and excellent. Friends Philip and John were coincidentally visiting near Cádiz, so they drove over for one afternoon for lunch and a catch up – it was nice to see them. Of particular note on the menu, the restaurant had Ibérico secreto, a succulent cut from the shoulder of Spain’s acorn fed pig – marinated in a mustard vinaigrette – fantastic! All of the fish were also excellent and the staff; young, professional and friendly.
We had our first night’s dinner at the hotel’s Italian themed restaurant, Don Giovanni; in a word, awful. Another was at their Michelin-starred Kabuki Raw, which was a letdown from its rave reviews. Still, our other alfresco suppers at the hotel’s El Jardin de Lutz were very good, as were the local wines. If coming here, I suggest you stick with El Jardin and the beach club.
Our foursome had one night outside the hotel, driving to Marbella and Messina Restaurante. This one-starred Michelin deserves it’s ranking – excellent. Mauricio Giovanni’s kitchen is inspired by Spain, South America and Asia. My starter, boned spider crab served in American sauce, and it’s accompanying Thai coconut soup was a standout.
Messina Restaurante

Our eight days here were very pleasant and relaxing (except for the gecko slithering up our wall right before bed one night – harmless of course). Our flight back to London was uneventful and on time; we were in the flat by seven that evening. I highly recommend Finca Cortesin; we will be back.
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