I booked the Hotel Convento La Magdalena in Antequera because it offered such great value for money. I also loved the idea of a hotel in a renovated old monastery, in the countryside. I went to Antequera to hike in El Torcal National Park and decided to treat myself with an overnight stay and a spa, which was so much needed after the trek.
I paid 75 euros for a room which included free parking, unlimited access to the spa and breakfast.
Hotel Convento La Magdalena is located 10 minutes’ drive from Antequera, in a stunning area surrounded by hills covered with olive trees and with views towards the El Torcal National Park. There is nothing around the hotel, which makes it so quiet in the morning.
I arrived at the hotel around 3PM and the check-in went in very smoothly. I loved the lobby, with its big fireplace and chairs in front of it. The check-in at Hotel Convento La Magdalena stars at 2PM and check-out is by 12PM, which was perfect as I got a chance to enjoy the spa in the morning as well. The payment of the room was handled by the hotel at the check-out and not taken from Booking directly. I don’t like when I book in advance and a hotel takes the payment straight away.
The room at Hotel Convento La Magdalena
Imagine my surprise when I unlocked the door of room 203, opened it and stepped into this majestic dining hall, with a fireplace, comfy couches and about 4 different tables. I looked around very surprised…. Was this my room?
After walking around for a little bit, I discovered a little hallway that was leading to two other rooms, 203 and 202. Inserting the key card into the lock of room 203, I finally arrived at the right room. Because the hotel used to be a convent, I imagine they couldn’t play that much with the space, so they decided to make the empty space a sharing lounge for only two rooms. Absolutely gorgeous!
I opted for a twin room, knowing how in Spanish hotels they push the beds together anyway. The double beds are usually quite small, whilst the twins put together make a huge double bed. And I wasn’t wrong.
I liked that the furniture inside the room was vintage, with an antique wardrobe and a beautiful chair and table, with a small TV on top. Now, you should know that the chances of finding an English channel on a TV in Spain are very rare, as everything is dubbed, so if you want to end your evening with a movie in bed, better load some from Netflix on your tablet beforehand.
The bed was so comfortable, and I had such a good night sleep, without any noises. I am used to waking several times during the night because my apartment has the bedroom on the street side… the main street of the area. Here, I woke up with the sounds of birds singing and donkeys… well, doing whatever noises donkeys do. So much better than being woken up by a truck passing by at fast speeds.
The wooden beams on the ceiling and the lamps shaped like candle holders gave the room character.
With only a shower at home, I was so excited that the room at Hotel Convento La Magdalena had a bathtub. And not just an ordinary bathtub, but a spa one, with jets. I did enjoy a long bubble bath before heading downstairs for dinner.
The bathroom was large and modern equipped, with a shower as well. On the wall there is a control panel from where you can turn on the music in the bathroom. There are four channels, but only one of them seemed to broadcast. The music played reminded me of the New Year’s concert from Vienna.
The Spa at Hotel Convento La Magdalena
I used the spa both in the afternoon, after the hike, and in the morning, before checkout. The hotel provides robes and slippers in the room.
The spa is quite large, with a massive 12 people jacuzzi, a swimming pool with water jets with different intensities to relax the shoulders, a sauna and a steam room. Besides the pool there are sun loungers to relax on. Adjacent to the spa there is an area with tea and water for the guests.
I loved that the spa has glass walls, so I could admire the view whilst soaking in the jacuzzi.
The spa also offers different massages and treatments, but I didn’t try any. They range between 25 and 50 euros and can be booked at reception.
Breakfast at Hotel Convento La Magdalena
The breakfast offered a large selection of products, from cereals and yoghurts to cold cuts, salmon, eggs and pastries. Of course, the traditional Sanish tostada is not missing either. The hotel has an eggs station where a chef prepares the eggs to your liking. There is coffee, tea, and different juices: fresh and bottled. I was actually impressed with the cheese selection, especially that they included the delicious Manchego marinated in olive oil, which is so delicious, but so expensive.
The breakfast starts at 8AM and finished around 10:30AM. I went down at around 9ish and there was only one other table occupied. I chose a seat next to the window, to have my breakfast with a view.
At some point, one of the staff members noticed I was taking photos of the food, in a moment when there was nobody else around. I thought she was going to tell me off but on the contrary, she was so nice, asking me if I stay another day so she can make a nice arrangement for me the following morning. It was the end of breakfast and the platters were not full anymore. Unfortunately, I was there only for one night. If I didn’t have other plans, I would have extended my stay for sure.
Dinner at Hotel Convento La Magdalena
As I was treating myself, for dinner I opted for the tasting menu, which has 6 courses, includes wine and costs 42 euros.
Before dinner I stopped in the lobby bar for a glass of wine next to the fireplace, which I thought it was very romantic. The smell of burning wood and the exposed brick walls made me imagine how the monastery used to look like when it was still active.
The restaurant is set in what I thought to be an extension of the exterior walls, with the entrance bearing the same white stony walls whilst the opposite side being “dressed” in floor to ceiling windows. Unfortunately, at 8PM in November it was already dark, so I couldn’t enjoy the beautiful view whilst having dinner. I can imagine that in summer it must be quite special to have dinner here, especially around sunset time.
Coming back to the food, the dinner was mostly delicious. Out of all the six courses, I enjoyed most the foie gras mille-feuille with goat’s cheese and caramelised apples. I tasted so luxurious. I was a bit disappointed by the tenderloin steak, which was kind of tough and didn’t seem to have been rested enough. It was a shame because the rest of the courses were so good.
The service was very attentive and helpful, filling in the glass of wine every time it went below the half line, and asking how every course was going.
I liked a lot that this hotel doesn’t take advantage of its guests. Even if it’s in the middle of nowhere and you have nowhere else to go if you want to buy water for example, the prices in the bar are normal. For a big bottle of water, a large glass of wine, a beer, a plate of olives and one of nuts, I paid 7 euros in the bar downstairs.
I would love to return here in summer and spend a few days. I feel that it is a perfect place for a digital detox. There are plenty of hiking places around, where I can find peace in nature. Also, in summer, they seem to have a beautiful garden where they do the massages and the treatments.
I absolutely LOVE that they have kept the church which belonged to the convent. In order to cross from one side of the hotel to another you have to pass through the chapel, and it’s quite spectacular because whilst it has the shape of a church, the walls are white, except for where the altar used to be.
For golf lovers, the Antequera Golf Course is just up the road. The hotel can arrange special rates for tees reservations.
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