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El Cancho

Tarifa, Andalucia, Spain

Two wonderfully secluded beach houses (sleeping 2-6) on a hillside in a natural park, with views across the straits to Morocco

Just 3km from Tarifa, and a short stroll from the windswept beaches of the Atlantic, lies El Cancho - a pair of contemporary pre-fab beach houses on a grassy hillside, surrounded by rocky outcrops and pine forest. They were originally designed for Milan’s Salon del Mobile (1998) by Swedish architect Thomas Sandell and Wallpaper* magazine. The appropriately named Wallpaper House is a feat in compact living, although it sleeps 4-6 people; its design credentials are evident in the sleek wooden floors, perspex walls and ceiling adorned with woodland prints. Its smaller neighbour, the Boston Beach House, sleeps 2-4 and is less sophisticated but just as alluring, with an all-glass frontage. Both have simple, open-plan layouts that suit couples looking for a romantic hideaway, or groups of kitesurfing friends seeking to make the most of the area’s strong winds.

While the houses may be new builds, this is a real back-to-nature experience with eco-friendly ideals: solar panels provide electricity, whilst gas heats water directly from the mountain spring. The local farmer still herds his goats around the hillside, so you may have the enchanting soundtrack of jingling goat bells while you take a siesta. And you won't see a car - the houses are a short walk (across a stream, then downhill) from the parking spot.

Guest Ratings

Room:
88%
Food:
70%
Service:
84%
Value:
84%
Overall:
84%

El Cancho: View all reviews


signature

Reviewed by Vanessa Barneby

Highs

  • Total solitude and privacy, away from the hubbub of the main road and Tarifa town, but not completely cut off from civilisation. And the houses themselves are a good distance apart - perfect for sunbathing on the terraces
  • You feel at one with nature, sharing the hillside with cows, goats, pigs, owls and swooping red kites
  • Panoramic views over rocky crags to the sparkling sea beyond; on a clear day you can see Morocco from your hammock
  • Nothing beats a BBQ on the terrace as the sun goes down, accompanied by the melody of goat bells in the distance. There are fully equipped kitchens, too
  • There are kite and windsurfing beaches aplenty, with some of the most beautifully secluded bays in Europe within a short drive

Lows

  • The houses are wholly dependent on natural energy, so without sunshine you may find yourself without power (although the owners promise 'a limitless supply of tea lights and twinkling stars'). There's no air con, either
  • The open-plan sleeping arrangements might be off-putting for some, but they add to the ‘glorified camping’ charm of the place
  • The strong winds can be exhausting, but this is what many people travel to Tarifa for
  • Access is via a slightly treacherous single-track road, with the last 30-100m on foot; a car is essential
  • Bear in mind the minimum stay of 7 nights from June to September; there's a 5-night minimum the rest of the year

Sometimes a place is so gorgeous you can overlook the lack of extras like room service...        

TatlerEl Cancho:  Read more press reviews
Save to favouritesPrintMailEl CanchoJust 3km from Tarifa, and a short stroll from the windswept beaches of the Atlantic, lies El Cancho - a pair of contemporary pre-fab beach houses on a grassy hillside, surrounded by rocky outcrops and pine forest. They were originally designed for Milanís Salon del Mobile (1998) by Swedish architect Thomas Sandell and Wallpaper* magazine. The appropriately named [r:SP030:Wallpaper House] is a feat in compact living, although it sleeps 4-6 people; its design credentials are evident in the sleek wooden floors, perspex walls and ceiling adorned with woodland prints. Its smaller neighbour, the [r:SP030:Boston Beach House], sleeps 2-4 and is less sophisticated but just as alluring, with an all-glass frontage. Both have simple, open-plan layouts that suit couples looking for a romantic hideaway, or groups of kitesurfing friends seeking to make the most of the areaís strong winds. While the houses may be new builds, this is a real back-to-nature experience with eco-friendly ideals: solar panels provide electricity, whilst gas heats water directly from the mountain spring. The local farmer still herds his goats around the hillside, so you may have the enchanting soundtrack of jingling goat bells while you take a siesta. And you won't see a car - the houses are a short walk (across a stream, then downhill) from the parking spot.

Book this hotelfrom 120EUR

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