7.01.2014 41740 Lebrija, Sevilla, Spain

Hacienda San Rafael : Traditional Land House Spain

Finding an Indian connect in the world isn't a ball game anymore.Why I say so,ask me,a connection to Indians are everywhere.Like I said,Spain is no different.

Previous Posts on Spain
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Spain Schengen Visa:How To
Seville Spain:What To Do
Seville Travel Video and Flamenco

Me,with Anthony,happy to be.

The world is a small place,and to me after having traveled to 12 countries in last 2.5 years,isn't surprising that the place I wish you all stayed has an Indian connect too.It so happened that the grandfather of the current owner of this beautiful place,belongs to Kolkata in India,while his parents are from Scotland and mother from Hacienda.The place which is a little not so in the middle of the main city of Seville but not so far either.A place you will love to be with your family and friends,really taking time understanding Andalucia and the culture,learning Flamenco with Bea or swimming in the pool with the view of the white washed home for time being.I wish I stayed longer but here's how it all started.

The Pool and The Budding Pomegranates in the Premises

Anthony the owner says

"Behind every start is a visionary or an inspiration,in this case,it was the mother of the owner who is the real visionary,their grandmother had the place as Olive Estate and they decided to take it back from tenants and restore at what you see now " A luxury boutique and chic resort". Back then there were no plants,no trees,no bedrooms.However,with time,with his dad being in travel industry collected artifacts,crafts and small little things during his travel to South East Asia i.e Burma,Thailand,Malaysia etc and he would fill it with clients while his mother would cook.His mom ran it for 12 years before it officially opened in 1992 where there was an expo in Seville.One of the friends of his dad said your wife is restoring the beautiful Hacienda,can we take the whole place for 5 months.so they had  J&B whiskey as one of the sponsors for the expo,and everyone in the 90's were drinking lot of whiskey and then they had J&B parties and they had all the distributors from all over the world, who came and stayed with us.From the Swiss to the Indians to the Germans came in groups of 24 and it was a 5 day program,all the rooms were Bedrooms then including Reception and the Kitchen.Over the last 22 years it has just evolved,growing organically with lot of love.Very much from ruin to what it is now.Now they have 3 swimming pools,garden and place full of wonderful guests and 14 rooms(11 in the main house here,and 3 suits).The place in the past has hosted celebrities and royals,but Anthony wants to keep it low - key giving all of his people who stay at his place a smile on their face when they are back.

 Since the whole area is done on white walls,even during Summers when the temperatures near around 40 degrees,Hacienda is cooler.But when they started 20 years ago they didn't have any AC,now they do have.But even then when they did not have,because of the high ceilings the heat use to rise and then they had the fan that keeps it all cool. It is impossible though to ignore the fact that each room has been done with much love.

Your Home Away From Home

The art,the craft and small little things are from various places in the world,one such as we saw was an Afghani Fine Embroidery on the wall.But as in other places,this place gives you all the freedom to explore the real Andalusia - From Horse riding to Safaris to Cooking courses to Photography Courses to Surfing to Bull fighting to visiting bull Ranching, they do it all.It’s a complete place to learn about Andalusia if you wish to. We had great Flamenco classes with Bea in their premises.Flamenco was very graceful,how we did it as first timers, may be not that bad(watch the video).Well,at one point,I was so engrossed that I nearly fell off the stage.Their sister branch is Corral del Rey in Seville.

Me,learning Flamenco at Hacienda San Rafael with Bea


/* Featured in Lebrija.tv under the title A group of journalists working in Indian media yesterday met Lebrija. They were received by the mayor and later visited the most emblematic places of the city*/

Along the way,Lebrija(Lebrija spelt Lebrikha)

Situated on a very strategic location,30 -35 minutes to the coast,30 minutes from Jerez Airport,and about 75 kms from Seville Airport is this small yet pretty village of Lebrija . Home to 28,000 inhabitants,this city is one of most important ones related to Flamenco.Not only just the dancers but the guitar related to Flamenco as very renowned artists were born here.The river Guadalquivir runs in the territory and they share border with natural park of Doñana National Park which is one of the most prominent national parks in Spain.The first person to write Spanish grammar was also born in Lebrija.

                                                  With Mayoress Maria jose Fernández

30 years ago the whole area was a land of marsh which would definitely sound unbelievable to you because walking down the street it looks very beautiful.But in those days,the marsh land was converted to cultivated land and the cotton was being grown here - which came out to be high quality with the first produce. On chat with Mayoress Maria jose Fernández,the first women Mayor of Spain,she says: "In Lebrija,the very very important tradition is pottery.Due to the natural soil being very moist,it is great for the pottery we use.The most important industry is agriculture and we have about 18,000 hectares of cultivated land and we are one of the most important cultivators of cotton.A lot of the cotton produced here is exported to India. Tomatoes and Horticulture is also very important here.Very well connected by rail from Seville,Lebrija has old aged Homes,Sports and all the installation required for good quality of life.Due to the well established infrastructure for everything, there is a community of British and Irish people have been living here since it is well connected to larger cities and due to reduced prices of home which is much lower than Seville.It's also a very hospitable city".

When in Lebrija,try awesome Food at La Venta Luis Rey

Holy Crosses of May,celebrated in the first two weeks of May is a popular festival in Lebrija .It is then when you see the beautiful crosses from each neighborhood made out of flowers and there's lot of dancing and singing,particularly a local form known as sevillanas .Earlier it was never a religious festival but later on once in a church they took out the celebration and ever since it is celebrated with much aplomb within communities in Lebrija. The ladies decorate their home altar with flowers,and also use them on their hair.That is why it is also called the women festival. Lebrija is very very ancient city and you can also see archaeological ruins by Romans in there.At the center of the city is the town hall from the 18th century which divides the old part of Lebrija from the new.It is said that the center is the center of the sun and everything revolves around it.This place was a place where people meet together.Back in those days,when there was no Plaza,people would meet here ,because it was where the entrance to the village was. Santa María de la Oliva(Church with an interesting Mudejar,Gothic,Renaissance style),Santa María del Castillo(near the ruins of the old Arab ruins ) and Capilla de la Vera Cruz are some of the interesting places to visit in Lebrija.

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