The School of Nature is set on top of 20 acres of glorious folding hillside which stretches down on three sides to streams and river beds.
Hundreds of almond and olive trees dot the landscape, in valleys of wildflowers and shrubs, providing food for the hives of local bees which make the honey for which Colmenar is famous. The town also supports several thriving goat farms which make its famous cheese, and from the hotel can be heard the bells of the herds of goats grazing in the rolling landscape.
Adjacent is the unique Persian Garden from which the property takes its name. The very idea of a garden originated in Persia. This garden incorporates the essential ingredients of the first gardens ever created on this earth: water, shade and sustenance from citrus fruits, figs, pomegranates, olives and dates. The spectacular garden is edged by myrtle and laced through with gentle rills of running water. We are proud that all running water is sourced from our own well water and re-circulated for irrigation.
To the west we have created terraces of olives and almonds, to the south a stunning walk lined by statues of 20 Saints – local, national and personal – protect and guide the visitor down to a 100 year old Spanish Oak. Throughout the gardens an exhibition of sculptures, large and small, allow local artists to exhibit their works, so there is always something new to discover.
The hillsides that surround the hotel are covered in indigenous plants: three types of fragrant thymes, santolina, wild rosemary, yellow genista and scarlet poppies. Oak trees, Mediterranean pines, cypress trees and carob complete the picture. On arrival, the scent of Peruvian pepper trees greet the visitor and calming jasmine pervades the courtyard. One of the owners is a garden writer and her planting decisions strike the senses immediately. The cool magnolia and citrus trees delight the visitor. Guests who are keen on visiting Andalusian gardens can make the hotel their base for visiting the Alhambra and Generalife in Granada, the Jardins Botanico de la Concepcion in Malaga, La Casa del Rey Moro in Ronda, The Alcázar de los Reyes Cristianos and the Patio de los Naranjos in Cordoba.