Tell your friends that you're going to Spain on holiday, and they probably won't bat an eyelid. However, tell them that you're going to stay in a unique cave house set in the Andalucian countryside, with both pool AND hot tub, and you'll no doubt have their rapt attention!
You could continue by explaining that your completely unique Andalucian holiday home was featured on Channel Five's popular show ‘Our Dream Hotel', on which Mark and Shirley Graham's Spanish labour of love was charted by renowned hotelier Alex Polizzi herself. Described as "out of this world" and the "perfect family destination", Cuevas Helena's very first guests were very happy to describe themselves as firm cave converts!
With all its high-ceilinged rooms beautifully carved into the cave itself, Cuevas Helena will open your mind to the idea of cavern-dwelling. Combining contemporary luxury with refreshing simplicity, your fascinating and spacious surroundings include visible fossils and shells in the walls, from the days when Andalucia was submerged under water millions of years ago. One bedroom even features trees, for a truly authentic experience!
Surrounded by rolling hills and mountains, a welcoming sun-and-sightseeing terrace will greet you as you arrive at Cuevas Helena, together with a refreshing swimming pool, relaxing hot tub, children's play area and an outdoor dining table (because with panoramic views this amazing, who wants to eat inside?)
Homely yet completely original, you'll marvel at the beauty of the cave's interior design, with its perfect blend of ancient and modern. Wander through the entrance hall, to a large and sociable white-walled lounge - complete with comfy seating, a lazy log burner, and plenty of windows that allow sunlight to flood inside. Here you'll find plenty to keep everybody entertained, from books and TV, to games for all ages!
The well-stocked Andalucian kitchen and traditional Spanish bodega corner will be immediately earmarked as a communal catch-up spot, with the warm feeling of being in your very own bar.
Three privately sumptuous, stunningly dressed ensuite bedrooms complete the picture, with one master double and two twins. The master double features a warming log burner to warm those chilly winter evenings, and all rooms feature fluffy robes to relax in!
You'll soon find that the Andalucian climate is perfect for cave-dwelling; with a natural feeling of coolness in summer, and welcome warmth in winter. Not to mention the stunning setting, perfect for lovers of large, open skies and striking mountain scenery.
With so much on offer in your cutting-edge cave, you may decide not to venture too far away. Simply curl up with a good book by the pool, with the occasional glance out to the spectacular Sierra de Cazorla mountain range.
However, with the welcoming open waters of Lake Negratin just fifteen minutes away, complete with natural thermal baths and plenty of places to take a long, traditional Spanish lunch, a trip might be too tempting to pass up!
How about a spot of mountaineering - or even hang gliding? Nearby Mount Jabalcon stands almost 1500 metres above sea level and is a popular local hotspot for all things active. You can even now hire mountain bikes and electric bikes directly through the property so you can explore the region.
If all this sounds...well, just a little too strenuous, how about a traditional shopping trip to the village of Benamaurel, with its weekly markets and tapas bars? And of course, there's the bucket-list destination of Granada, with its must-visit historic palace Alhambra just an hour away - don't forget to book your tickets well in advance.
So if you're in need of a holiday that exudes plenty of traditional Spanish style, but that also boasts a touch of age-old charm, why not retreat to Cuevas Helena, and bid a firm "adios" to bland hotel rooms forevermore!
Things to note
There is a minimum stay of 2 nights all-year, check-in is from 2pm, check out is at 11am, the cave house is strictly non smoking, ashtrays are provided on the terrace. Travel cot and highchair may be provided upon request.
Tried and tested
"The cave and views are unbelievable - we can't even imagine how much work and effort has going into the cave and surroundings - every little detail thought of. Having the pool by day and the BBQ by night was excellent, overall a great experience and can't wait to come back!"
Chris and Natalie, Scotland
"Thanks so much for being such lovely people. We spent two marvellous weeks in your wonderful cave, all inside and out is just beautiful ... "
Myriam, Christophe, Brandon, Jordan and Melvyn, France
"This amazing and beautiful cave surpassed any expectations we may have had. Thank you Shirley and Mark for being the best hosts - you both went above and beyond to make us feel welcome and at home during our stay. We were warm and very comfortable in every way, the beds were very comfortable and plenty of hot water. And we appreciated the honesty bar when our Cava wasn't cold enough! The decor in the cave is just beautiful ... Would we come again? Most definitely!"
Julie, Bernard, Tanya and Nigel, Bournemouth
Region: Benamaurel, Granada
Cost (from): £132 per night
Minimum stay: 2 nights
Property ref: 557
FacilitiesMaster Suite sleeps 2, bedding & towels provided, en-suite wet room, shower, log burner. 2 twin rooms each sleep 2, one with en-suite wet room & shower.
Additional facilities include hairdryers, lounge with log burner, 47" Samsung TV, Apple TV, BOSE surround sound, dining table for 6 guests, fully-equipped Andalucian kitchen, bodega area, honesty bar/ fridge, kitchen table seating 6 guests, large terrace area, children's play area, swimming pool, Nintendo Wii & games, board games, books, DVDs, outdoor pool table, outdoor table tennis, outdoor kitchen and hot tub.
Walking, hiking, lakes, wild swimming, thermal baths, jet skiing, mountain climbing, hang gliding, cycling (bike hire available through property), rock climbing, paragliding. skiing, local markets & handicrafts.
At a glance
- A detached holiday home in Cuevas de Luna, Andalucia, featuring rooms carved from within an authentic cave.
- Almeria Airport is 80 miles from the property. Cars can be hired from the airport, and there is plenty of parking available on site.
- The property features three bedrooms (two ensuite and a further family bathroom), with a communal lounge, kitchen and outdoor dining, swimming pool, hot tub and children's play areas.
- Close to mountain ranges, local villages and Lake Negratin, with open water swimming and thermal baths. Granada and the famed palace Alhambra is an hour away from the property.