Exactly what I sought, our stay at Wee Casa, in El Rubio (Costa del Sol) was fantastic! About 55-60 mi NNW of Málaga, we were in a small village with locals.
The owners of Wee Casa are transplanted Scots, so their speaking English was a great help to the others in our party of 4. (I speak Spanish quite well, but the others do not.) They couldn't do enough for us — from special breakfast for me (I am on low-carb), to recommendations of places to visit, and how to get there, Norma and Ian were the perfect hosts!
Centrally located for us, Wee Casa is about 60-90 minutes' drive from the places we wanted to visit: Sevilla, Córdoba, and Ronda. (Alhambra is also within a reasonable driving distance, but that will be on our next visit.) The locals were friendly, and I had the opportunity to use my Spanish, which I'd been unable to regularly use since my arrival in the UK 8 yrs ago. But there were a few who knew a little English, especially young folks in school (English is taught in the schools, and they seemed particularly keen to try it out with me, which I thoroughly enjoyed!)
People went out of their way to accommodate us wherever we went, even in the big cities!
What a fun time we had!
We highly recommend Wee Casa, especially to those who seek a central enough place that is off the beaten path, but is still close enough to larger cities and more touristy places.