Enfrente Arte in Frommer’s Travel Guide

On Rondas oldest paved street and surrounded by historic buildings, this little inn faces the natural park, Sierra de las Nieves. The mansion, parts of which date from the 13th century, has been beautifully decorated and hand­somely restored, with whitewashed walls and a roof of red tiles. Bedrooms ranging from small to spacious have different decorative themes, from Arabic to Spanish to French. The dramatic tower room has the best views. Above the intimate bar and informal restaurant there’s a recreation room with  TV, library, and com­puter with free Internet access. A subtropical garden has exotic plants, and the courtyards and terraces open onto views of the Old Town and the countryside.

Acinipo Hotel – Close to the bullring, this modern hotel was created from two buildings—one a restored antique, the other completely contemporary. The older structure was the home of two celebrated artists, Tellez Loriguillo and Miki Haruta of Japan. Small to spacious bedrooms open onto views of the ravine and the distant mountains. The plumbing, lighting, and furnishings are ultra contemporary, in taste­ful, comfortable surroundings. The best bedrooms have a hydromassage tub and a living room. The on-site restaurant specializes in regional cuisine and Mediterranean dishes. Particularly good are desserts like delectable chestnuts with brandy cream.

Husa Reina Victoria – On the eastern periphery of town, this country-style hotel was built in 1906 by an Englishman in honor of Queen Victoria. It’s near the bullring and has terraces that hang over a 147m (490 ft) precipice. I lemingway frequently visited, hut the Reina Victoria is known best as the place where poet Rainer Maria Rilke wrote The Spanish Trilogy. 1 lis third-floor room is now a museum with first editions, manuscripts, photographs, and even a framed copy of his hotel bill. The hotel, with its Victorian architecture, gardens, and terraces, has an endur­ing appeal. Rooms are big and airy, some with living rooms and many with private terraces.

Alavera de los Baños – In the San Miguel quarter of the Old Town, this hotel near the Baños Arabes (Arab baths) dates from the 17th century. It’s an atmo­spheric place with great character, low ceilings, and wooden beams. The inn was featured as a backdrop in the classic movie Carmen. Bedrooms have panoramic views of the Serranía de Ronda and the city walls. There’s a garden and a pool. Bedrooms are small but comfortably and tastefully furnished with little shower-only bathrooms.

Hotel Don Miguel – A few steps east of the Plaza de España, this hotel of several interconnected houses oilers a vine-strewn patio above the river, a modernized interior with exposed brick and varnished pine, and simple but comfortable small rooms. Overflow guests are housed in a building (no. 13) across the street. Rooms here have the same dramatic views and are similar to those in the main building.

Hotel Polo – The hotel in its present incarnation dates from 1973, but the building itself has been housing frugal travelers for over a century. Today the Puya brothers are in charge ol this family business, running a well-maintained and decent four-story corner building right in the center within walking distance ol the Puente Nuevo. Bedrooms are small with white walls and carpeting, along with tiled bath­rooms. The hotel is especially popular with young people.

Hotel San Gabriel – This charming 1736 mansion is in the historic core of the city, a 5-minute walk from the gorge. I he building was painstakingly reno­vated by the owner and his family, who give guests Rondas warmest welcome. Everything is stylish and homelike, with antiques, stained-glass windows, a Spanish- style billiard table, a cine salon (with seats taken from the city’s old theater), and even an old library. Each room is spacious and well appointed, all with exterior views and individual decoration. Try for no. 15, a cozy top-floor nest on two levels.

La Rodeña – A two-minute walk from the gorge and next to the bullring, this two-story family-style house attracts bargain hunters. Small bedrooms, with full bathrooms, are relatively simple, albeit comfortable, but without dramatic views of the gorge. Rooms do, however, open onto the landscaped grounds and the Sierras in the distance. The public areas are decorated in Andalusian style. The on-site restau­rant serves typical dishes from the mountains of Ronda. Eat at tables on a covered terrace and listen to live music.