For the first post of this blog I will start with my last trip.
This time I booked through the platform Weekendesk, an online travel agency that for now is only available in France, Italy, Spain and Benelux. It offers different weekends and thematic trips. The offer I took was this one (sorry, but the website is only in Spanish). It included three nights, a thermal bath circuit, some fruits in the room, breakfasts and a dinner.
The hotel-spa is located in the town of Canena, very close to Ubeda and Baeza, in the province of Jaen. For me it was really easy to go because the highway from Seville connects my city directly to the hotel. Just 2 hours and 3o minutes by car. Well, let’s be honest, it was easy for my husband as he was the one driving.
When we arrived we were really glad to see the Andalusian decoration of the place. There were tiles all around, and the traditional details in plaster and wood. After leaving our luggage in the room the first thing we did was to walk around the gardens to enjoy the silence and good atmosphere.
The picture belongs to the website of the hotel and it was taken at night, but we arrived approximately at 2.00 pm, so we were really hungry. We were thinking about going to the town of Canena or Baeza to have our lunch, but it was really cold so we decided to eat in the hotel. My husband doubts whether the food hotels serve is any good, but I was so hungry that I convinced him to stay. Luckily we did it, because the food was terrific! The only time we ate outside was the next day when we went to visit Baeza, because it really deserves to eat always in San Andrés.
They offer traditional dishes, all of them handmade. I would like to see more vegetarian options, but there are always three first dishes and three second dishes to choose. Delicious! We were the ones who always wanted to repeat again. Last day, the waiter ask us “You really do not want anything else?” when she noticed we finished. This is also something I have to say: the stuff is incredibly kind and friendly.
One of the dishes we tried were the “andrajos”. I did not know it, but they are typical in the province. The main ingredient is a dough made with flour and water and then cut into pieces, they are the andrajos. It is similar to pasta. Some vegetables and meat or codfish is cooked with the andrajos and the result is this:
Pic from elgabinetedelparnaso.wordpress.com
“Andrajo” in Spanish refers to old and broken clothes, for example. I found in the dictionary the word “rags” in translation to it, but I am not sure if it is used in the same context. Anyway, andrajos as a dish is very tasty.
Apart from the food, the protagonist of the Health Resort is, of course, water. The origins of the use and consumption of these waters seems to be from the Roman period. The natural spring gives ideal water for health treatments of the livers, stomach, articulations and infections of the digestive and urinary systems in general due to its high density in bicarbonate. There is a fountain where you can drink from these waters and also fill your bottles to go. I said to one of the receptionists that I had not brought any bottle, and the next morning she appeared with two bottles of 8 liters each! Thanks, thank you so much.
Moreover, in summer there is a swimming pool outside, and during the rest of the year there is an indoor heated swimming pool.
In the pic you can see the natural spring underneath the glass (from afiliados.topbookin.es)
I also booked two different treatments in the spa: a massage of an hour (yes, an hour, the complete one, I want it all and I wan it now) and a corporal cover in mud. I was not sure about the cover, but the lady who showed me all the rooms and facilities of the spa told me that the mud they use is from the natural spring. She was also very gentle and professional, she had all the patience in the world because I always ask many questions.
Next time I think I will repeat both treatments.
This pic is from the website of the hotel. They are covered with plastic in order to not feel cold with the mud
Taking into account everything I wrote above, it seems that I was all the time inside of the hotel. And that is almost true. I was there in winter and it was very cold and rainy. The only day I went out was the second morning to visit Baeza, a town that I really recommend to go. Baeza was declared cultural heritage by Unesco, and once you visit you understand why. It is like travelling to the Christian Middle Age and it is easy to visit just in a morning. In the hotel there were some leaflets about guided tours in Baeza and Ubeda. We did not do them because we did not want to wake up early. Do not call me lazy, please. I always walk as much as the occasion demands, but this time I wanted to rest and be slow. In case you want to book these tours this is the information the hotel had. Again it is only in Spanish, but you can write an email and ask about tours in English.
Other factor that made us stay in the hotel most of the time were the hearths. They were totally a trap. Surfing the net (wireless connections works really well in San Andres), reading or just having a nice conversation in front of the fire is always a pleasure that you want to make it last forever.
This picture of the hearth is the only one I took and I made it with my cellphone. In Baeza, when my husband took the camera to take some pictures of the Cathedral he realized the battery had run out. He could only film a video in the moment it started to rain. In that momento we were in front of the Cathedral. Once at home, I added music to it. This is the result 🙂
We will go to San Andrés again, because of the great experience and also because we have to visit Ubeda too!
How to contact Balneario San Andres: Email email@example.com Phone +34 953 770 209
Notes: On tripadvisor there are some comments about the noises. In my case I have to say that my room was #301, it was at the end of the corridor, so there was a lot of silence. Also all the infrastructure was restored and the hotel recently re-opened at the end of February. There were families in the hotel and the children are normally not very quiet. The hotel also accepts pets but only in the bungalows ( I didn’t see any).
Are you visiting Andalusia? Maybe I can help you to organize your trip or I can be your guide. Penelope