Cases Noves is a little treasure that we discovered on the Costa Blanca; a small boutique hotel with all the charm of Guadalest, very close to Benidorm where they treat you like family.
We turned off the main highway and started heading up the mountain on a winding road that took us through some tiny towns and beautiful countryside of Alicante before arriving in Guadalest. I had stumbled upon this little town not far from the better known coastal destination of Benidorm as I looked for a place to stay driving from Barcelona to Málaga. Little did I know that it was going to be one of the best stops on our road trip thanks, in many respects, to the beautiful little boutique hotel run by Sofia and her husband Toni, Cases Noves.
Sofia and Toni started the bed and breakfast style boutique hotel to give people visiting Guadalest from the coast a place to stay overnight. The town continues to be a great day trip destination if you are staying in Benidorm, but we highly recommend staying at Cases Noves instead. As soon as we arrived, Toni welcomed us into the old house as if we were family and invited us to sit next to the fireplace so that he could explain a bit about Cases Noves and the town.
I was in the middle of marveling over the beautiful hand painted, original tiled floors, wooden ceiling beams and stone walls in the cozy fireplace area when Toni came over with an iPad in hand. This wasn’t the first time we’d been in a hotel that was technologically equipped with an iPad for every room, but I certainly wasn’t expecting it in this small, family run, adults only hotel in the mountains. Toni explained that we could use the iPad to work the television, play movies or TV shows in English or Spanish on Netflix, order our dinner and even send him a text message. “See this button?” he asked, “SMS Toni. Well,” he tapped his chest, “I’m Toni. So you can send me a message about anything and I will try to fix it. After all, I live upstairs.”
It was this combination of technology and personal touches that won me over instantly at Cases Noves. When we went up to our rooms, the decor was classic and comfortable. It was the guest room you’d love to have at your best friend’s place but with breathtaking views out over the mountains down to the Mediterranean Sea. There was an adorable little sign on the desk with a cartoon drawing of Toni and Sofia (the hotel’s unofficial logo) next to a coffee maker in case you should want to have a cup of tea or coffee in your room. There was also a good sized bathroom and the super comfortable bed. Needless to say, I was beginning to regret booking only one night’s stay at Cases Noves.
After we had ordered our dinner via iPad, Toni advised us to take a walk before sunset through town. Most of the day trip visitors had left town and we had the streets almost to ourselves. I was expecting beautiful views; but the blue green water of the reservoir and mountains behind it were even better than I could have imagined. We wandered down the streets watching as a neighbor watered his plants in the slowly fading light of dusk. At a local bar we ordered a glass of wine before dinner and the waiter was happy to suggest a local red and white for us to try. I could feel myself relaxing into the rhythm of the town and with it, Cases Noves.
We scheduled our dinner for 9pm. You can choose within reason when your dinner will be, but you need to let Sofia and Toni know so that they can prepare accordingly. The intimate dining room has only a few tables, but since Cases Noves only has five rooms, this isn’t a problem. We ordered our wine and Toni brought out an appetizer called a “mintxo.”
It was a little pastry made with flour added directly to boiling water to make the dough. The filling was made with cabbage, spinach and chard all cooked separately to preserve the flavor. It was Sofia’s mother’s recipe, cooked by Sofia, of course! For our appetizes we tried the grilled vegetables and a shell fish salad. For our main dish, Pedro chose grilled iberian pork and I tried the salmon. Of course there was also dessert. We shared a chocolate cake with nuts and a delicious light and fluffy vanilla cake with berries and vanilla ice cream. The entire meal was delicious, and, as Toni told us, each day there is something different. This is great if you are planning a longer stay, so you won’t get “bored” with the options.
After dinner we took another stroll through the town. Everything was silent and looking out over the night sky we couldn’t help but think that this was really something special. Guadalest is one of Spain’s most visited small towns, but walking through the deserted streets, we felt like we’d discovered a true gem. When we got back to the hotel, we went to relax in one of the common areas and have a last glass of wine. Cases Noves has an honor bar where you can enjoy a glass of any of the wines or spirits and just mark down what you’ve had to be charged at the end of your stay. There are also several different areas to relax on the first floor including a music room, a movie room with a large collection of DVDs and two sitting areas. We kept thinking that it would be the perfect place to come with a group of friends and enjoy a long weekend getaway.
If we weren’t already convinced, the next morning’s breakfast was enough to win over even the most difficult hotel guest. Sofia prepared a banquet of fresh juice, seasonal fruit, pastries, eggs, sausage and local cold cuts for us to share. It was more than we could have ever expected; almost like having our very own personal breakfast buffet brought to our table. The best part, however, was the view. The fog rolling in over the mountains just hinted at the sea below. This was the photo from the website that convinced me to book a room at Cases Noves and it was every bit as dreamy in person.
After breakfast we set off to explore the Castle, which is set at the top of a craggy peak at the highest part of the town. The views were stunning and I could easily see why so many people make the 20 minute car trip from Benidorm to visit Guadalest. We also took time to visit a few of the small museums in town. My favorite was the miniature art museum where a local artist had painted miniscule versions of well known paintings. Another museum was the Antonio Marco Museum with it’s detailed nativity scene. We also stopped in a shop to buy some local jams and tried a loquat liqueur (níspero in Spanish). If we had more time, there are multiple trails to hike in the area. In fact, Toni has a whole book of different trails to hike for all different skill levels. They will even pack you a little snack to take along on your hike.
If you are looking for a place to stay on the coast of Alicante, we can’t say enough wonderful things about Cases Noves. It’s the perfect spot for a romantic weekend, a restful getaway or a Saturday night break. Speaking of which, every Saturday they have a special tapas dinner, so it’s an ideal spot to celebrate. Sofia will tell you she’s not a professional chef, but we can vouch for the fact that everything that came out of the kitchen was delicious! For all these reasons we ruskommend Cases Noves with a golden boqueron. This boutique hotel is worth the extra 20 minutes drive time and then some. In fact, we can’t wait to go back again!
Information about the Casa Noves Hotel
Ruskommendation for The Casas Noves Hotel: Golden Boqueron
[usrlist Services:10.0 “Comfort:9.5” “Value for money:9.5” “Atmosphere:9.5” “Cleanliness:10.0″ img=”03.png” size=20 avg=”true”]
- Address: Calle de la Alchova, 2, 03517 El Castell de Guadalest, Alicante, Alicante
- Telephone: +34 965 88 53 0
- Prices: From 95€