La Casa Grande nudges right up to the very edge of wonderful old Arcos – spectacular. At night, from its roof terrace, you gaze onto two floodlit churches and mile after mile of surrounding plain. The house is almost 300 years old and many of its features have survived to tell the tale. In true Andaluz style, a central, colonnaded, plant-filled patio is the axis around which the house turns; vaulted rooms lead off to all sides, nooks and crannies appear at every turn. A cosy lounge doubles up as a library with thousands of books – some of them written by delightful, elegant Elena. The decoration of the house reflects her eclectic, bohemian taste: tiles from Morocco, blankets from Grazalema, a Deco writing table topped by a designer lamp, wickerwork and watercolours and a poem for each room. Music gently plays. Guest bedrooms (one with a door-free bathroom, two below street level but with balconies and views) are full of antiquey bits and pieces, with double glazing to protect you from night-time hum. Then wake to breakfast on that unforgettable terrace. One of our favourites.