As the name suggests L’Estacio was originally the town’s railway station before it was converted into a delightful hotel. Cousins Mats and Sebastian Lodder took over the hotel in early 2004, after it had gone into decline after a period as one of the best hotel/restaurants in the area. Together with Sebastian’s cousin, Mats, they have built on its reputation, even surpassing its original high point. Despite their youthful appearance they have personal and a family history of hotel management that shows itself in every element of the hotel. Beautiful antiques sit comfortably with the ultra-modern décor, with personal decorative touches everywhere and, unusual for a country hotel in Spain, there is a bedroom completely adapted for disabled people. A shaded patio is splendid for summer dining and in an area renowned for its good restaurants L’Estacio’s takes some beating. The restaurant serves mainly local produce, and it’s worth trying their speciality, ternera de piedra, top quality beef cooked on a hot stone at your table.You can visit the beautiful Sierra Mariola with locally organised walking and cycle groups or drift across it in a hot-air balloon. (The excursions can be booked through the hotel.)
Hotel L’Estacio, Parc de Estacio s/n, 46880 Bocairent, Valencia
L’Agora transports you east without even leaving Spain, with the themed bedrooms beautifully decorated with furnishings from owner Joaquin’s world-wide travels. Rich lacquered furniture from China, beautifully carved and inlaid designs from Paquistan, platted rush bed from Kenya and woven decorations from Thailand.
The hotel is housed in a delightful early 20th-century casa señorial, a home designed for the local gentry. The house has been in the Piedra family since the first stone was laid but parts of it were never completely finished until it’s total restoration in 2004. During the Civil War it was used as a quartermaster’s store for the region.
Most of the furnishings are from the east but the elegantly shaped floral forms blend beautifully with the original Modernista (Art Nouveau) features that are still in place, from the sinuously panelled doorframes to the finely etched and coloured glass by way of the beautiful floral motif tiles that now decorate the bar.
Hotel L’Agora, Calle Sor Piedad de la Cruz, 46880 Bocairent.