Follow us on our trip to Cases Noves in Guadalest
We collect our hire care on arrival at Alicante Airport all set for our trip to Denia, but first we have booked an overnight stay in Guadalest at Cases Noves Boutique Hotel.
We have booked the smallest car to use on our trip – top tip for visiting Denia, as parking can be difficult with a larger car – but secretly hope we’ll be upgraded to a mid-size car. No luck this time – we get a Fiat Panda – and both look at each other in amusement as we contemplate the trip ahead.
Travelling to Guadalest
Guadalest is in the mountains of the Costa Blanca and we’re not sure if our ‘Panda Power’ will be able to get us there. Forever the optimists, we load our luggage in the back and set off on our adventure.
The best way to get to Guadalest from Alicante Airport, is by heading north towards Valencia on the AP-7 and taking Exit 65 for Benidorm, otherwise known as the 2nd Benidorm exit, not the 1st, or you’ll have a tour of Benidorm first!
As we continue our journey to Guadalest, our next adventure is the multitude of roundabouts we need to go through to start our ascent to the mountains.
The first roundabout was built in Spain in 1976 – and they have grown to love them – there are 17 roundabouts in this stretch of road alone.
Once we’ve passed through the small towns of La Colina and La Nuncia, we’re through the final one and starting the climb. We pray that ‘Panda Power’ will get us there – and at some times in first gear, it seems unlikely, but blind faith gets us there.
The familiar sight of the stone walls of Cases Noves brings relief.
A warm welcome from Toni
We park our car on the short driveway slope leading up to the hotel and unload the overnight case.
We ring the doorbell and, the owner, Toni greets us like welcoming friends.
He is quite literally the most warm and welcoming hotel owner we have ever met. He tells us to sit down and relax, we are ‘home’ now.
Checking us in, he gives us the key to our room and an iPad, which holds all the information regarding the hotel – think guest book, but digital.
Toni takes us up to the room, to make sure everything’s okay, which it always is. Once unpacked, we decide to venture out and about in Guadalest.
Toni gives us a free parking pass for the car park next to the hotel and we park the car there overnight.
Guadalest – the village with a castle
Guadalest is a small village, but still manages to offer visitors, a castle, various museums and spectacular views down to the Mediterranean or across to the Embalse de Guadalest.
The Embalse de Guadalest is the local dam and reservoir which gleams a beautiful turquoise green colour due to the tiny particles of silt that are suspended in the water.
Guadalest is a popular destination for day trippers from Benidorm and the surrounding towns.
Visiting Guadalest Castle
We take our ‘usual’ walk up towards the castle through the Portal de San Jose – a fifteen foot long tunnel carved out of the rock, which runs underneath the castle.
We stop to let a delivery man go ahead of us with some supplies for one of the cafés – all loaded onto a custom built cart on caterpillar tracks, the only vehicle that could handle the gradient and terrain to the top of the town.
We have a wander around the square at the top of the castle and then head back down – taking the ‘high road’ option, which brings us back in a loop back to the main road.
It’s wine o’clock by this time, so we take a table outside Café Bar Guadalest and order a couple of Riojas.
The delights of Cases Noves
After our pitstop, we go back across to the hotel. Cases Noves is the only hotel in the centre of Guadalest.
It stands alone at the end of the main road that cuts through Guadalest, so it’s hard to miss. We enter the main hall and there’s a couple in the music room playing board games.
We go into the reading room and help ourselves to the complimentary tea & coffee and catch up on the news back home on our phones.
Afterwards, we head upstairs to our room and place our pre-order for a 3-course dinner with wine on the iPad. We put on Netflix and watch one of their newly released films (in English) before getting showered and dressed and make our way downstairs for a pre-dinner drink.
There’s an honesty bar located under the stairs, so we help ourselves to an aperitif before Toni comes through to escort us to our table.
Meet Sofi the head chef
Sofi – Toni’s wife – is the chef and the cooking mixed with the service is second to none.
Our Sofi favourites are fried Sobrasada drizzled with honey and scattered with sesame seeds, followed by the slow cooked beef cheeks and finished by the panne cotte.
However, the theatre that accompanies the food – by Toni – is something to behold.
On seating us at our table, a plate is placed in front of each of us with a small white cylindrical shape in the middle, to which Toni then pours water – which creates a cool wet hand towel to wipe your hands prior to eating.
This is followed up by a glass of Cava from the local bodega.
Next is an amuse bouche – a pincho topped with iberico and fig. The starter, main and dessert all follow – with Toni explaining the provenance of where in the area the ingredients are sourced.
The meal is rounded off with a glass of the local liqueur – Nispero.
After dinner we move through to the lounge area for a nightcap, where there’s a roaring log fire burning – and get chatting to a couple from Sweden. Two drinks later and it’s time for bed.
The boutique rooms at Cases Noves
We have booked one of the bigger rooms – or Junior Suites – and it has everything you could ask for.
There is a super king-size bed with white Egyptian cotton bedding. There are plenty of pillows and they’re super comfy.
There are the usual facilities – tea & coffee, a hairdryer, iron etc.
In the bathroom there’s toiletries and large towels to wrap yourself in after you’ve had a rainfall shower under one of the biggest shower heads I’ve ever seen.
We get the iPad out again and book our table for breakfast – anytime between 07:00 – 11:00 – we opt for 10:30am.
A breakfast not to be missed
Another culinary extravaganza awaits at breakfast time.
Once again Toni is there to greet you as you enter the outdoor terrace. After being seated, the famous Cases Noves breakfast is served.
Up first is a selection of fresh fruit, followed by a fruit smoothie. Next on the list is the breads, jams. meats and cheeses. Sofi makes her own jam too which is delicious, and I always make sure I take a pot away with me.
This is followed up by the hot food – eggs, bacon and sausage – all locally sourced.
Finally there’s the pastries – again usually made by Sofi and featuring the walnuts from the tree outside the hotel accompanied by tea & coffee.
Sad to leave Toni & Sofi
This is the part of our trip we don’t like – saying goodbye to Toni & Sofi.
Although, they know we’ll be back the next time we’re in Spain, so it’s more like adios than goodbye.
After a round of hugs we pay our bill. load up the ‘Panda Power’ and head off for the next part of our Costa Blanca adventure.
Your in good company at Cases Noves
When we started going to Cases Noves – around 2015 – it was a little known hotel.
However, in the interim period, it has won a clutch of awards on Tripadvisor:
- No 1 most romantic small hotel in Spain
- No 1 most romantic small hotel in Europe
- No 2 most romantic small hotel in the World
- No 1 small hotel in Spain
- No 8 small hotel in Europe
- No 22 small hotel in the World
The awards speak for themselves – fabulous!