As featured in The Times Top 50 Holidays in Spain (February 2014)


Spending time relaxing and writing

Writing Retreats at Casa Ana

If you’re working on a writing project, or want to start one, or if you have a deadline to meet, or you just need some inspiration, come to Casa Ana in the Sierra Nevada mountains of southern Spain.

Next Retreats

We hold Writing Retreats four times a year for up to eight writers. Our next dates are:

15 – 29 November 2017*

28 February – 14 March 2018

13 – 27 June 2018

25 July – 8 August 2018

14 – 28 November 2018

*Please note our November 2017 retreat is fully booked and we are now accepting bookings for all 2018 retreats.

The Writing Retreats at Casa Ana provide you with:

  • an opportunity to focus exclusively on your writing in quiet and inspiring surroundings
  • a professional mentoring service tailored to your requirements
  • opportunities to join facilitated group critiquing and reading sessions
  • the company of fellow writers (there are 8 places available on each retreat)
  • a comfortable room of your own with writing table
  • en suite bathrooms with all rooms
  • access to gardens and terraces with glorious mountain views
  • Casa Ana’s famous breakfasts every day
  • lunches included in the price
  • exceptional gourmet dinners at reasonable prices
  • good company: at the heart of the house is a large sitting room leading out to terraces and gardens. Here you can relax with a coffee or a glass of wine and chat to other writers, our resident mentor, and to your host, Anne, owner of Casa Ana
  • option to bring a partner or friend: double and twin rooms available
  • an opportunity to experience the Alpujarras: an unspoilt, mountainous, uniquely beautiful and captivating region of Andalucia

Mentoring on the Writing Retreats

In 2018 our resident mentors will be Mary-Jane Holmes (June, August, November) and Nicholas McLachlan (February/March).


Mary-Jane Holmes is the consulting editor at The Well Review and chief editor of Fish Publishing, Ireland. Her work has been published in publications and anthologies including The Lonely Crowd, Prole, the Journal of Compressed Creative Arts, the Tishman Review and Best Small Fictions 2016 edited by Stuart Dybek. In 2017 she was awarded the Martin Starkie Prize for poetry, nominated for a Forward Prize for poetry and won the International Bedford Poetry competition.

She was winner of the Dromineer Prize for fiction in 2014, has been shortlisted for the Bridport twice for both fiction and poetry and longlisted for the Kathy Fish Fellowship. She is currently finishing a Masters in creative writing at Kellogg College, Oxford.


Nicholas McLachlan’s first collection of poetry The Rain Barrel was published by Salmon Poetry in 2015. He was the featured poet in the 2016 winter edition of the US-based New Hibernia Review and received the Patrick and Katherine Kavanagh Fellowship the same year. He also writes short stories; these have been published in The Irish Times, Force 10, the Cork Literary Review and Cyphers. He is a mentor and teacher of creative writing to university, school and community groups. From 1996 - 2010 he was director of Dingle Writing Courses which ran an annual programme of residential writing courses.

Prices 2018

Single room: €600 for one week only; €1100 for two weeks.

Standard room: €700 for one week only; €1300 for two weeks

Extra large room: €800 for one week only; €1500 for two weeks.

Minimum stay: 1 week, from Wednesday to Wednesday.

NB. Places are strictly limited so early booking is strongly advised.

Download this FAQ's pdf for more information and bookings

Alternatively, please email Anne at Casa Ana or call:

Tel: 0034 678 298 497

Writing Retreats – reviews from participants


"It was a wonderful, wonderful fortnight. For me, a perfect balance of quiet time to write, group and one-to-one sessions for feedback and to help me shape my writing, and delightful, sociable evenings with a great bunch of fellow writers. Casa Ana is comfortable, spacious and full of peace, flowers and birdsong. Natalie and Christoph’s food was a treat for the eyes, taste buds and tummy (least said about the waistline the better!). Mary-Jane was incisive and very supportive as a mentor. I loved hearing other people’s work at the critique sessions and the one-to-ones. I have moved my writing, and my confidence, to a new level. I felt I was in very safe hands with all the staff at Casa Ana. The whole experience was creative, inspiring and relaxing. Fabulous. I’ve already booked to come back in October."

Debbie B, June 2017


"Thanks to everyone for 2 fabulous, marvellous, wonderful, funny weeks!! Never imagined that a writing retreat would be so much fun. Thanks to Anne for being the hostess with the mostest, Natalie for getting me back to being between sizes (even though it’s up rather than down) and Christoph, Candela and Socorro for freshly baked bread, fresh linen, fabulous breakfasts and shopping trips when I should have been writing. And MJ...a cliché - I couldn't have done it without you!!"

Karen W, June 2017


"I went for a fortnight on one of Anne's writing retreats. Casa Ana's a wonderful place to be alone, yet in company. I marvel at what she's achieved in this tiny mountain village. There's total attention to detail: the beds are comfortable, the showers luxurious and always hot, the rooms simply furnished, the cooking imaginative, the staff more than helpful. Unsurprisingly some of us have already booked a return visit."

Diana, June 2016


"The art of writing is mentored by Mary-Jane Holmes who is both incisive in her critique as well as sensitive to writers at all levels - quite simply excellent. I am really looking forward to my next visit."

John, June 2016


"If you want to 'get away' then get away to Casa Ana. I attended a writing retreat here, and the isolation and beauty of the location couldn't have been more inspiring. Anne is the perfect hostess - there when you need her, but respectful of your own experience. The food was simply and beautifully cooked - it was such a treat. The rooms are in keeping with the location… and it felt like a haven from the rest of the world. I am already booked to come back... couldn't recommend it highly enough..."

Alana, June 2016


"Casa Ana is the ideal retreat for writing. There are few distractions. Only the amazing view, the daily trip to the water fountain and the call for wonderfully prepared meals . My room was cool and perfect for writing  with a stunning view of the mountain… The vast skills and expertise of the resident mentor Mary Jane Holmes completes the picture of a perfect writing retreat."

Candy, June 2016


"The retreat was even better than I had imagined. Wonderful people, wonderful place. I thought it was a great balance between having time alone to write and having like-minded people around to discuss ideas and socialise with. On top of that wonderful food and surroundings."

Lorna, February 2016


"My stay in Casa Ana was a fabulous mix of hard work writing, long treks into the surrounding hills and valleys to clear my mind, happy evenings and nights socialising with all the other writers and more than a few moments to spend much needed time rebalancing myself after my hectic life in London. The room was cool and comfortable, despite the intense June/July heat. The terrace was a great place to write as well, with views down the hill to the tree-lined local river. One of the added and unexpected highlights was the cooking of chef Wes, who thrilled us with his cuisine three nights a week. Using only the freshest of ingredients, wild growing herbs and a lifetime of culinary knowledge, he produced innovative and delicious three course meals that would grace any top restaurant. Throw in the lovely breakfasts and lunches and Casa Ana is home from home. In fact, it’s better than home from home and I missed it all when I returned to London. I had a fun, most productive time here and am writing up the screenplay whose bare-bones I devised from scratch in Spain. I hope to return there soon and think up another original screenplay when I can."

James, June 2015


"Casa Ana is the perfect place for a creative retreat. I loved everything about the place and the region. It's made for taking time out and focusing on your writing or any creative project. It's remote and cozy at the same time. I still can't get the wonderful breakfasts out of my mind and food in the nearby village. Also the owner Ana makes you feel at home from the first few minutes, and with memorable walks and untouched quality of the area, it's very hard to forget the great time I had there. Highly recommend you try it out too!!"

Lorraine, June 2015


"Wes's dinners are on another level of top quality. I was totally blown away by the standard of food that we were served, predominantly seasonal, locally sourced ingredients. Each meal was carefully crafted and every mouthful was a taste sensation. Not only was everything super tasty, but fresh and healthy. This all contributed in making my whole experience at Casa Ana, a stupendous ten out of ten!"

Berri, June 2015


"I loved the coziness of my room, and the sunshine on the terraces and the highly enlivening banter with the other writers. For me there was just the right balance between the availability of conversation and the availability of solitude."

Jonathan, February 2012


"I came for the Writers’ Month this November (2011) and my only regret was that it wasn't longer…. The gentle rhythm of the days suited me perfectly - mornings sitting in the sun with notepad on one of the many terraces, thinking and developing; afternoons in my room writing up before heading out for an autumn walk under clear blue skies; and evenings enjoying dinner in the company of the other writers, or wandering out to the local bar. If you like noise and partying, don't come. If you like lively conversation over a beautiful dinner (oh that lamb!) with plenty of time for writing, walking and relaxing, then do. You won’t regret it."

Elizabeth, November 2011

Table with view