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Kukutana host Peri explains the inspiration behind this unique, exclusive, Andalusian cortijo, and his family's vision for the future

The Kukutana Team

The Llorente family’s dream to preserve their traditional Andalusian farmhouse – known as a cortijo in this part of Spain – and share their region’s culture, wonderful hospitality and beautiful scenery, inspired them to open Kukutana up to guests

A family-run private house in rural Andalusia, Kukutana is a place for those in search of something truly authentic, with countless privately-guided, bespoke experiences. We sit down with Peri, the fourth generation of Llorente to oversee Kukutana, to understand the vision behind the project and how it came to be.

Peri Llorente’s great-grandfather bought the farm in 1987, just two years before Peri was born. Peri reminisces over a childhood that was defined by freedom – one of the great fortunes of a rural upbringing.

“Summers were spent with a troop of cousins cooking up wild adventures: racing each other on horseback down sandy paths, being taught to hunt by our grandparents in the forests, carriage rides and picnics, exploring the vast Doñana National Park, and playing with our many dogs – coaxing them to chase cans that we dragged behind our bicycles. From first communions to golden wedding anniversaries, Kukutana was always the chosen setting for a celebration, and any such gathering was always attended by copious family and friends, with whom we all loved to share the joys of the homestead”.

The Llorente’s hospitality has become the stuff of Andalusian legend; every guest is made to feel instantly at home, welcomed into the family-fold.

“What we have been trying to do – and I think are achieving quite well – is recreating for our guests the same Kukutana existence that our family has lived and loved since I was a child”, Peri explains.

“It also comes down to a very good home-cooked meal, beautifully served in a comfortable house – that’s what Kukutana really means for us. Above all, it is a place to meet and connect with people, or even animals – so many people fall in love with the horse they’ve ridden here! – and to encounter nature.”

This sentiment provides the guiding light for Kukutana, named from the Swahili word meaning ‘meeting place’.

It was travelling, after all, that helped Peri form a vision for Kukutana (and explains the name). He recalls experiences of personalised hosting and guiding on journeys through Africa, exploring the Okavango Delta in Botswana and the Maasai Mara at Sosian in Kenya, which sparked his imagination and helped him realise Kukutana’s full potential. “The idea was to tie together amazing experiences from around the world and put them into this special place” he explains.

Working as an architect in Chile took Peri to the exclusive Awasi hotel collection. “At Awasi, guests are beautifully connected to the land and its people, gaining a real insight into local life and history, and I dreamed of replicating this level of soulful experience at Kukutana.”

From the wildlands of Patagonia and the desert of the Atacama, the Kukutana experience began to take shape. “We give our guests at  Kukutana the same level of experience and sense of place as Awasi, widely considered the best hotels in South America; they will get to understand exactly where they have been staying, and will be introduced to knowledgeable local guides who can take them deeper into anything they are interested in from the region. This is what makes a stay totally unique for each person”.

And there is certainly plenty to do at Kukutana: walking, 4×4 safaris, cycling, bird-watching, swimming, bodega and beach visits, but perhaps the family’s favourite Kukutana activity is horse riding.

“It’s not just at Kukutana where horse culture is important. This is one of the most important regions for horses in the whole of Europe; here there are more horses than people!” notes Peri.

“Since we were young we rode all the time, as much as we could. I really think one of the most special riding experiences here is the journey from Kukutana through the Doñana National Park, arriving at Sanlucar de Barrameda on the coast. It’s honestly one of the most beautiful experiences imaginable” exclaims Peri with a twinkle in his eye. “You can ride the horses along the beach watching the sunset, and it is a beach that is almost virgin because you rarely come across anyone for miles and miles –  it’s extraordinary”.

The Llorente family place great importance on celebrating local history and heritage.

“Through sharing your way of life, particularly something that is precious to you, or somewhere as beautiful as this, you can protect it for the future” explains Peri.

Spain’s famous pilgrimage to El Rocio passes directly past Kukutana every year and guests are able to ride there, following in the footsteps of the pilgrims and learning all about this fascinating tradition.

“Visiting El Rocio is probably the experience that makes the biggest impression on our guests here at Kukutana. This surprised me because for me it’s just such a normal experience, going to our nearby town! But they can’t believe it when they visit such a historic place, where the streets are all still made from sand – it’s like stepping back in time”.

El Rocio’s sandy roads are a call-back to a distant age, where horseback was still the main way to travel. Houses still have hitching posts at each door, and bars have raised tables, allowing visitors to enjoy a drink without dismounting.

“From this experience guests feel like they’re taking a piece of culture home with them, and through exploring the area and being immersed in the countryside, they get to see beautiful nature too. These are things that keep people coming back – that and great weather, of course!”

“We had a group of friends stay last year” Peri continues. “Now four of them have booked to return with their own families, which is exactly what we’re hoping for – our guests to feel like they’re returning to their own home”.

The running of Kukutana is a team effort of family and close friends. Various siblings and cousins, including Blanca and Alberto, are often working in the wings, perhaps taking guests out riding or sharing a story or two over a glass of sherry, along with Kukutana’s ‘General Manager’, Ana, their childhood friend.

Peri’s mother, Lourdes, is perhaps the most important member of the team. “She is always there in the background, with an expert eye for detail, from the food to the service and the decoration. Lourdes curates every magical moment – spectacular meals out in the gardens and adventures in the surrounding countryside”.

When asked what drives the team’s passion, Peri talks of how proud they are of Kukutana’s Guest Book. “Everyone describes how they feel entirely at home here. This means so much, because we’ve worked hard to convert our home into a ‘hotel’ in a sense, but without losing any of its charm. The team is hugely important for that – in the book, everyone compliments the staff too”.

Peri emphasises what a privilege it has been to meet and learn from so many guests.

“Some of the first guests to stay at Kukutana were Penelope Chilvers and India Hicks. India told me she thought we had a very special project here and to never stop fighting for it because all of the important things were in place, and starting out can be difficult, but it’s going to be so worth it. She helped to guide and focus us, to really understand what our place is all about, and to convey that to the right people, people who would love it for being amongst nature, and who would enjoy the family feel and the local culture. We really appreciated her support”.

So what does Peri look forward to in the future? The hope is that Kukutana will become well-known in Europe as a place where local traditions and heritage are preserved and where the countryside is protected.

“We want it to inspire other families who dream of doing something similar in their own special place, a project we can be proud of and that others can use as a source of inspiration. In the process, we want to do as much as we can to never lose the essence of this precious place, which is what our guests fall in love with, after all”.


I’m struggling to put into words everything that we have experienced these past days, from the very first moment it has all been exceptional. The team and the hosts are marvellous, the experiences unforgettable - we will cherish these days forever.

Guest, Madrid

A unique experience surrounded by friends and hosted by this wonderful family who have poured their dreams and love into this project. The most memorable G&T in history! We will be back soon.

V.U. Madrid

The magic of southern Spain and the warmth with which we have been received have made these days unforgettable. What an incredible project you have created!

A.L. Germany

Thank you for the most magical few days in this piece of Paradise! It was the most memorable time and holiday that we have ever had. The food was delicious, the horses were beautiful and cannot believe that we saw a Lynx! We cannot thank you enough for all you have done. Hope to see you again soon and best luck for the creation and adventures that you plan.

J&M.H United Kingdom


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