Casa Chocolate Alhama
Casa Chocolate is a beautiful vacation home in Alhama de Granada, Andalucia, Spain. The house is a large village home in the center of the stunning white village of Alhama de Granada in southern Spain. With 5 spacious bedrooms and 3 and a half baths, a large American style kitchen and dining room, Salon, Interior Patio with fountain, and roof terrace the house is great for a family stay or romantic escape. The home sleeps up to 10 individuals comfortably and is the perfect home base from which to explore all that Andalucia has to offer. Within a short drive are the beaches of the costa del sol, Malaga, Granada, and the Sierra Tejeda, Almijara, and Alhama. The village of Alhama de Granada boasts an amazing history as well as vibrant bar and restaurant scene. Casa Chocolate is located steps from the central plaza of the historical district.
Casa chocolate was lovingly restored in the style of a Andalucian Carmen(village house). The style of the house and the method/materials of construction are typical of larger homes from the post 1700 period. The thick walls, tall ceilings, and interior courtyard help to keep the house warm in the winter and cool during the long Andalucian summer. This method of construction also enabled the house to survive the 1884 earthquake that leveled many "newer style" homes.
Beginning around 1930, the family that lived in the house began making chocolate on the lower level. The cacao beans, and later the algarrobo beans were kept in the grain bins that you can see in the courtyard. The chocolate factory was a very important business for the town of Alhama and is well known by most locals. If you mention that you are staying at Casa Chocolate they are sure to have some interesting story to tell about it's history.
During the lean times of the World Wars and the Spanish civil war the production of chocolate was vital to the village's food supplies. Chocolate was used as a quick energy source while working in the fields and the leftover carob or algorrobo beans were fed to the livestock.
The house fell into disrepair in the later part of the 20th century. Subsequently, the previous owners came upon the property and purchased it as a ruin. They lovingly restored the home to it's current splendor using modern construction methods. In so doing, they retained as much of the original feel and design of the original house while adding the modern touches that make the house so warm, comfortable, and inviting.
The town of Alhama is itself a fascinating village. The location of Alhama halfway between Malaga and Granada made it a logical stopping over point for anyone traveling from the coast to the ancient Moorish capitol. Thus it has been used by the Romans, Moors, and Christians as both a restocking depot and military linchpin for the region. The town is surrounded by amazing natural beauty in the form of the Sierra Tejada mountains, Lake Bermejales, and Cacin and Alhama Gorges. Of course a short 30-45 minutes away you have the Mediterranean and Granada in opposite directions. In the winter the ski slopes are about an hour away as well.
Here in Alhama we are spoiled for choice of activities. On any given day you can hike or run in the local gorges and mountains, soak in the soothing waters of the local thermal springs, take a historical tour of the village, or just relax and enjoy the laid back lifestyle of southern Spain.