2 villas make up one huge sculpture with 5-meter-high windows, swimming pools and 6 acres of private land.
Villa Riu Blanc is a haven of tranquility in the hills of Benissa enjoying majestic views across the valley and sea.
Villa Riu Blanc
With a microclimate of around 30 degrees in summer, rarely below 16 degrees in winter and 300 days of sunshine, it is no wonder the WHO considers Marina Alta as one of the healthiest areas in the world.
Villa Riu Blanc can also be rented out for exclusive private use, for those special moments in life: a family or friends get-together, a birthday, workshops…
How would you describe Villa Riu Blanc in a nutshell?
Villa Riu Blanc is a haven of tranquility in the hills of Benissa. The small boutique hotel is a place to relax while enjoying majestic views across the valley and sea.
What is the story behind Villa Riu Blanc, what was your inspiration to create it?
Our children are now grown up and we got to a point where we thought: “Are we going to continue what we are doing or try something new?” There had always been an idea to create a space where people would feel at home.
Initially, we went to Morocco to see if we could do something there but it was all too complicated. Friends of ours had a business in the Marina Alta and suggested we try there. It is a small triangle between Valencia and Alicante and is renowned for having a very healthy climate. It’s a special place and we immediately fell in love with it!
We found this old farmhouse that used to be a Lebanese restaurant and spent over a year renovating it before opening as a boutique hotel. We invested in renewable energies, such as solar power, as this is something that is important to us. Today, it’s just the two of us managing it, with the help of a local girl.
How would you describe the atmosphere and interior design of Villa Riu Blanc?
It’s a mix of Mediterranean and African design elements, with the use of a lot of colour. We were inspired by the philosophy of Kandinsky and the idea that “colour is a power that directly influences the soul”. We didn’t want to create another Ibiza-style hotel but rather something with earthy walls and natural fabrics, many of which come from Morocco. Our daughter is an interior architect who established her own studio in Antwerp, called Atelier Tangier: she helped us tremendously with the design and renovation.
Guests often comment on the tranquility and charm of the place — it’s somewhere you feel at ease, at peace. We are sympathetic to the wabi sabi philosophy, which centres around the idea that life is not perfect and the importance of finding harmony with that. So perhaps that has something to do with it.
To you personally, what is so special about Villa Riu Blanc?
Because we only have five rooms, there is a personal relationship and connection with the clients. Our guests often come back from a day exploring and say “this is our little piece of heaven”. It’s a place that makes you feel at home and invites you to escape the hustle and bustle of everyday life. Guests can grab a glass of wine from the honesty bar and relax in the lounge with a book or beside the pool. We also have a nice ocean breeze that creates a good feeling.
A palm-tree-lined driveway leads to the property where you’ll find free parking for guests. When you enter the villa, there is a reception area, a summer salon and a winter salon with an honesty bar. There is also a third salon where guests can have breakfast, accompanied by views overlooking the valley and sea. Alternatively, they can enjoy their breakfast or aperitif on the back terrace.
On the first and second floors are five large suites, each of which is decorated uniquely. They all have a king-size bed with cotton sheets we had custom-made in Morocco, as well as air conditioning and an ensuite bathroom.
At the side of the house is the 11 x 4-metre swimming pool (unheated), which is surrounded by palm trees and greenery.
Warm beige, accents of green, full of light. A very spacious room, beautifully shaped, with an ensuite bathroom (bath/shower). Splendid views of the green valley and the blue Mediterranean sea. Our only room with the option to sleep 3 or 4 (comfortable 160 x 200 sofa bed available).
Our special soft blue room, with ensuite bathroom with bath and shower. Spacious and light, with a beautiful view of the green Benissa valley, the blue Mediterranian see.
Old rose, green windows, and a beautifully handcrafted headboard straight out of 1000 and 1 nights. Spacious and bright, with an ensuite bathroom (bath/shower). Magnificent views of the green valley and the blue Mediterranean sea.
Warm beige, full of light, marrying vintage with contemporary. A very cosy room, spacious and bright, with an ensuite bathroom (bath/shower). Nice views of Sierra di Bernia.
Earthly colors, green windows, a truly unique room with an ensuite bathroom (bath/shower). Magnificent views of the green valley and the blue Mediterranean sea.
In addition to the swimming pool, there is an honesty bar with some great local wines, beers and soft drinks, and Nespresso coffee, that guests can help themselves to, a smart TV and complimentary Wi-Fi. Eco-friendly toiletries are also provided and we partner with a local company, Île Naturelle, that makes zero-waste shampoo, which we offer as a gift. Towels are provided for both the bathroom and the swimming pool and there are hair dryers in the bathroom. A healthy and delicious breakfast is also included in the rate.
I would definitely recommend visiting Valencia and spending time exploring some of Marina Alta’s small bays and beaches. There’s a very intimate atmosphere — it’s something you can’t see everywhere. The scenery in the mountains is also incredibly beautiful and each village has its own charm. The closest to us is Benissa, which centres around a medieval core but is still a place where people are living and working. We have always found the locals to be very friendly — they accept life as it happens with no stress and are always open to helping.
We are centrally located in the Marina Alta but you do need a car to get around. The closest beach is around 10 minutes away while the furthest city in the region, Denia, is 25 minutes by car. One of the most beautiful cities in Spain, Valencia, is just an hour away and many of our guests come from Valencia to enjoy the villages and beaches of the region.
Because of its salt lakes, mountains and crystal clear bays, Marina Alta is a very special region, particularly in terms of healthy living. Except for Calp, there are no high-rise buildings and no mass tourism. All of the beaches and coves have crystal clear waters and small chiringuitos (beach bars) that serve food and drinks and there are lots of historic villages to explore.
Marina Alta also has a rich culinary tradition and there are lots of very good chefs living and working here. There are several Michelin-star restaurants nearby but you don’t have book into a fine dining establishment to find very good food. Also nearby are several beautiful golf courses and cycling routes that attract professionals training for the international circuit.
July and August are the busiest months but the best seasons to visit would probably be spring and autumn. During these times, Marina Alta is very beautiful with nice temperatures and is much less crowded.
But really, it depends on what you prefer. If you want to go golfing or cycling, then the shoulder seasons are best. If you want to be around lots of people, then visit in the summer. It really is a year-round destination and why lots of people have second homes here. In February and March, we can get some bad weather but the rest of the time it is very pleasant.
Your contact details will allow you to message or book a property in the guest area. Sunshine awaits!
Already registered? Log in