A new life in the sun
… or how we ended up in our Dream Boutique Hotel in Andalusia …
One man, one word … one family in chaos and very far from a new life in the sun!
“Sooooo … listen when I am ready to retire …”, my father interrupted the conversation at the dinner table one of these nights, “what about that hotel idea in Southern France?”
It all started with my childhood dream – owning a small hotel in Southern France. I would host lots of nice guests and I’d have chickens, pigs, goats, dogs, cats, you name it. My dad always shared that dream (with fewer animals that is) and together, we painted our picture of a small, delightful country hotel in the most vivid colours.
Life went on, I grew up and for a long while our dream remained just that – a dream.
My dad run his own forwarding business and I ended up owning a wine shop.
Until the day, discussions about my dad’s upcoming retirement and what he’d do with his “free time” became a topic around the family table. Spending his golden years as a couch potato in front of the TV was not an option – he made that crystal clear.
So that night he raised THE question that should forever change the lives of two families.
My dad and I instantly picked up where we had left off a lifetime ago and dived head over heals into discussions on how to make it happen. Neither my mum nor my husband stood a chance to object …
However, in the end, it didn’t turn out to be France, and we went to search for our new life in the sun in Andalucia. More precisely: For our new life in the sun we chose Almeria.
For instance, Real Estate was way too expensive and legislation a nightmare. Above all, the overall weather did not impress us either. So we looked for an alternative and Andalusia as an “All-year-round-good-weather-region” was discovered.
What followed was what felt like an endless search for the right place. What we saw was either too small, too big, way off the beaten track, had miserable access, or a ridiculous pool. Added to that were four persons’ must-haves and nice-to-haves, so we were looking at a pretty impossible task …
And then we found it …
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What we really loved about this spot was the fact that there were all those beautiful unspoiled beaches. The nature between sea, beach, and mountains: being able to be active and to laze around at the same time.
The natural park of Cabo de Gata, the one and only desert of Europe in Tabernas and the grottoes of Sorbas. The wine-producing regions of the Rio de Andarax and the Rio de Almanzora, olive oil, Jámon, cheese, fish, fruits, and vegetables …
We were on fire, and we submitted a bid, foolishly thinking that the worst was over.
Little did we know what was still to come! Following a nerve-racking period of waiting, there were heated discussions, tears and rants. Agreements and misunderstandings, upcoming fears, and sudden doubts. In short, everybody’s emotions were on a roller coaster. Our families faced their most difficult challenge ever.
In the end, it all worked out. We had discovered this beautiful spot! And we knew it could become the perfect place for our guests to spend a truly relaxing holiday.
Believe me, it took a lot of hard work to turn what was a rundown Cortijo, into the gem it is today. But it has been worth every minute and every cent.
Still want to hear more? … about us moving, the trials and tribulations of reconstruction? And the endless obstacles before we were, where we are today?
Can’t wait to meet you and show you our Cortijo El Sarmiento –
Your Luxury B&B in Andalusia.
See you soon!
Yvonne & Carsten
Marlene & Reiner