A tribute to the 30s
Where do we start? This sure is one bold project and also a rather unique place to describe. More an experience than simply a place to stay it is, as the Utopía itself readily admits, also more of a town within a town, a tribute to the 30's and a maze of cultural and leisure activities all rolled in to one heady package.
But to get things going we'll start with the easy bit. The Utopía Hotel itself is located in the old part of Benalup – Casas Viejas, and made up of 16 completely different, and fully restored rooms designed in keeping with the town’s old constructions. Each room evokes a theme from the 30’s and is named after a specific topic from that decade. Hence rooms such as Tánger, Estrecho, Poetas, República, Art Decó, Utopía, París 1937, Jazz, Tango, Cabaret, Casas Viejas, Estrellas, Ilustración, Vanguardias, Paquebot and Zeppelin. Decoration is in keeping with the name of the room, so the Art Decó is decorated in the style of... well, you've guessed it.
But here's the rub. Next to the Utopía Hotel you also have the Utopía Hostelry, La Fonda de Utopía, a spectacular and covered area (some 6 metres high) which houses a street and a square inspired by 1930s Paris, a theme and museum house, a stage and a restaurant. As if this were not enough you also get Artistic frescos, Art-Deco ceilings and a wide variety of elements from the 30’s throughout.
Guests at the Utopía are offered year wide leisure, gastronomical and cultural activities which range from tasting a wide variety of dishes, made from the best products and based on the best traditional recipes of the world, to enjoying artists performances and cabarets shows while drinking something in the bar.
And there's more. Next to the Utopía Hostelry, there is a 30s exhibition Museum containing temporary and permanent shows. The permanent show, contains some 2.500 documents and original pieces from this period, many of which concern Spanish history and the 2nd Republic. The Utopía has done a wonderful job in collecting so many interesting items over the years, which include toys, musical instruments, magazines and so on.
UTOPÍA, THE MOST SINGULAR HOTEL IN ANDALUSIA
There you have it. A hotel that also doubles up as a repository of 1930s history, a cultural centre and living project. Much more than a bed and breakfast we say and one that history buffs or anyone looking for that different stay will surely enjoy. The spirit of the 30s in a beautiful part of southern Spain, near the best spanish beaches.