Sleepover: The San Roque Club
A golfing break in Spain
Sunday 26 June 2005
Andalucia, but the quickest and cheapest way to get there is to fly to Gibraltar airport, just 20 minutes away. As Gib is more Aldershot than Andalucia with its squaddies, British pubs and its chav-on-sea menace come chuck-out time, take a fast cab out.
If you're a golfer, it's the Seve Ballesteros-designed championship courses, old and new. Even if all you want to do is whack a few balls off the two-tier golf range, it's very much a shirts-tucked-in, regulation-ankle-sock place. Keep your Bermudas for the beach. Otherwise, the pretty much guaranteed sunshine, the excellent pool with essential swim-up bar and the hacienda-style accommodation are the main attractions. Who cares how long Barry's on the course if you can get quietly sloshed on cubra libres poolside?
The comfort factor
Built around an impressive mansion that was once the home of the Domecq sherry dynasty, the main building is country-house comfortable and cool in the stone-and-terracotta, Andalucian style. There are 50 rooms and 50 hacienda suites. Go for a double suite if you have children, then both you and they get a big bedroom, sitting room, bathroom and kitchen. The suites have well-appointed barbecue areas and delightful courtyards with gently oozing fountains.
What you want from any hotel bathroom is that it's better than anything you've got at home, from the power shower or the marbled fittings, to the film-star lighting. The San Roque sure beats a south London semi.
Food & drink
The bar and terrace may have a slight golf-club feel, but it is smart and lively with the inevitable Flamenco evening, and some perfectly pleasant crooning. People come from miles around to the hotel's Kamakura restaurant, billed as the best Japanese restaurant in Spain. You can eat by the pool (the weekly outdoor barbecue is opulent) or, in the Bolero restaurant. It's all good stuff, and reassuringly expensive.
In Sotte Grande marina there are Russians everywhere. Gary Glitter moored here for a while. And there's Barry.
Barry may be everywhere, but so are his accountant and estate agent in the swarms of expats: the food and weather are great, the wilds of beautiful, rustic Spain are behind and the fleshpots of Marbella and Puerto Banus are down the coast. From the spectacular white beaches of Tarifa you can see Tangier.
Some rooms are accessible for people with disabilities.
Scott Dunn Mediterranean (020-8682 5040; www.scott dunn.com) offers seven nights' b&b in a Hacienda suite for two adults and two children from £3,565, flights and transfers included.
The San Roque Club, CN340 KM 127, 11360 San Roque, Cadiz, Spain (00 34 956 613 030; www.sanroqueclub.com).
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