This world-class hotel is 50 minutes' drive from Marbella near the village of Casares. It's a country retreat experience on a grand scale. The cobbled courtyard, fountains, perfect proportions and stone-flagged floors give the feel of a charming private finca several hundred years old. 67 suites and public areas with soaring ceilings are decorated with restrained luxury; the beautiful building, gardens, spa, gym and inspired cuisine make this hotel a destination in itself. Serious golfers are also a fixture: the 7,000-metre course is home to the Volvo World Match Play Championship and has some of the world's best greens.