In a word, to relax. Situated in quiet, picturesque countryside between Seville and Jerez, it's an enchanting hideaway - a small, family-owned hotel in a converted 18th-century Andalucian olive farm with a chilled yet luxurious ambience, its grounds full of lush vegetation, comfy outdoor sofás crammed with pretty cushions, alfresco bars, and swimming pools. By night, the garden is lit by candles - a magical sight.
A total of six lakes make up this 949ha reserve: Pilón, Taraje, Cigarrera, Peña, Galiana and Charroao, in order of size with Pilón being the largest. The Laguna del Taraje is the only lake with water in all year round. These six lakes are the only ones left of a much bigger series of lakes that used to occupy this area around the Seville/Cadiz provincial border, which have dried up due to increasing irrigation for agricultural activities.
The Brazo del Este is located 20 km south of Seville in the Guadalquivir river estuary, which is an area with one of the highest levels of biodiversity in the Iberian peninsula. This former branch (brazo) of the Guadalquivir is east (este) of the river and is now a reed-fringed lagoon and wetland area surrounded by rice plains and farmland.
Las Cabezas de San Juan overlooks the Guadalquivir wetlands and the Doñana Natural Park to the east. The town was the scene for the 1820 rebellion, led by General Riego, against Fernando VII's monarchy. Just outside Las Cabezas de San Juan is the luxurious Hacienda de San Rafael, a former olive farm with a beautiful patio filled with bright bougainvillaea (please see our accommodation section).
The Hacienda de San Rafael is set among olive trees halfway between the historic towns of Seville and Jerez. It offers a combination of rustic charm, total quiet and modern luxury. The rooms are individually decorated with antique furniture and paintings from around the world. All rooms have contemporary bathrooms. Wi-Fi is available on request.