The Desert Springs Resort and Golf Club is an international, award-winning family leisure resort, with luxury houses set beside the emerald-green fairways of a unique and stunning championship desert golf course.
The reference to desert is not fanciful: the Almanzora valley is in the province of Almeria (in eastern Andalucia), which has Europe's only desert climate, a geographical curiosity that has shaped the landscape and culture of this region. The area boasts a year-round average of nine hours of sunshine a day and a total rainfall of less than seven and a half inches.
In winter, the average maximum daily temperature is 19°C (67°F) from October to March. Set high on a plateau with panoramic views towards the Mediterranean and surrounding mountains, there is something quite rare and special about the light and ambience of Desert Springs, a perfectly maintained desert parkland, with its extensive rock and cactus gardens. Sport and well-being are high on the agenda, with excellent facilities at its Sierra Sports and Fitness Club, including tennis, paddle tennis and beach volleyball courts, and a fully equipped a gym and fitness club. Other activities that can be arranged at the resort include horseriding, caving, sailing, biking and quad-biking.
Desert Springs also has its own spa, the Elemis Day Spa, next to the Golf Club House, with health and beauty treatments by an award winning therapist. The resort maintains a year-round schedule of activities, with includes themed food nights, film screenings, Spanish lessons, cooking courses, bike tours, and nature walks. There are long, well managed beaches within a short driving distance.
For those in search of cultural excursions, this is an area with a long history: the Almanzora Valley is one of the oldest inhabited regions in Europe; its high caves have been lived in since man first appeared on the continent. The local town of Villaricos was a Phoenician trading port in pre-Roman times, and the valley a borderland between Moorish Almeria and Christian Spain. Here, and in evocative villages such as Cuevas del Almanzora, Mojacar and Bedar, you can sample the excellent local cuisine and wines, and perhaps have the chance to join in their traditional fiestas, where young and old dance sevillanas and fandangos to the lively, traditional music. The smart and sophisticated city of Almeria, with the largest Moorish castle in Spain, is just 40 minutes’ drive away. Another notable attraction is Mini-Hollywood, the desert location for a string of westerns including ‘A Fistful of Dollars’ and ‘Once Upon a Time in the West’. There are also five national or state protected parks within a pleasant drive – well worth a day trip or perhaps an overnight stay.
At the Desert Springs Resort there are two main styles of individual houses: the Country Cottages (called El Paso and Buenaventura) are built in clusters that share a swimming pool in a landscaped garden; the Country Villas (Colorado and Arizona) each have their own private pool. Clients can lead entirely independent lives, but they can also participate in all the activities and sports programmes laid on by the resort.
In addition, at the Resort Centre, there is the Crocodile Club, housed in an enormous African style thatched long house built by South African craftsmen. The “Croc” serves a wide range of dishes to suit all ages and tastes, served at tables around the open fire, or on the terraces, or outside in the terraced garden. There is also the Rosewood Bar, a popular meeting place, and El Chiringuito pool bar, serving light lunches and a range drinks. A number of shops and boutiques sell clothes and sports equipment, while the Marquee Micro Stores can supply essential food items, wines and spirits, toiletries, barbecue materials, newspapers, books and guides.
This is a four-bedroom Country Cottage, set in its own grounds, with easy access to the shared swimming pool.
The architecture was inspired by the “casas del campo” of the Almanzora Valley. These old, traditional "field houses” started with a simple rectangular construction, with thick walls, buttressed corners and a flat roof; as the family grew, a bedroom was added above, where it was cooler, and, if the money continued to come in, then another room was added above. The modern equivalent at Desert Springs is, of course, built with all modern conveniences, including a large terrace and pergolas in the private garden. The rustic style is carried inside with natural “rollizo” beams and solid natural-wood features, a cottage fireplace, traditional style joinery, terracotta floors and traditional tiling.
There is a large terrace at first floor level. Throughout, the furnishings, decoration, contents and equipment are attractive, modern and built to a high quality specification. The ground floor has a living room with dining area, two double bedrooms, a bathroom and a separate cloakroom with WC. The kitchen has all the usual appliances, including a microwave, hob, oven, fridge-freezer, washing machine, ironing board and iron. The living area has a television, with English and Spanish channels, and a DVD/video player. Stairs lead up to the first floor where there are two large double bedrooms. The master bedroom has an en-suite bathroom with a bath, and double doors that lead out onto the roof terrace. The second bedrooms has an en-suite bathroom with a shower. There is air-conditioning in the lounge and the master bedroom, and ceiling fans in the other rooms, but given the dryness of the climate, many guests prefer to use fans (to ensure air movement) rather than air-conditioning. There is heating for the winter months, but this is only occasionally required because of the relative warmth of the winter climate.
Living room/dining room
Downstairs cloakroom with WC
Double bedroom with double/twin beds
Double bedroom with double/twin beds
Bathroom with bath and shower and WC
Master bedroom with double bed, en-suite bathroom with bath and WC; doors to the roof terrace
Double bedroom double/twin beds, en-suite bathroom with shower and WC.
Villaricos 8 km
Almeria (airport) 95 km
Murcia (airport) 150 km
Alicante (airport) 202 km
Malaga (airport) 310 km