Apartment 43

Jerez de la Frontera, Costa de la Luz, Spain Book from Eur141

A spacious, seductive, loft-like apartment at the heart of old Jerez (sleeps 2-4, self-catering)
There’s beauty in the detail. Every furnishing and fitting of this light-filled apartment - wrapped within what was once the grand salon of a 19th-century mansion house - reflects its artist owners’ love of crafted, Zen-like interiors, and of art for art’s sake.

Faced with a blank canvas and one enormous room, owners Jim and Alice slotted a mezzanine floor with a master bedroom beneath the barrel-vaulted ceiling, accessed via an open-rise staircase of chrome, steel and walnut wood. Down below, they divided the living spaces with ingenious use of glass panels, and added high, south-facing windows to create a gloriously light interior. Jazzy paintings, gadgetry galore, swish white leather sofas and a sound system that synchs to your smart phone finished things off nicely. But the best thing about this apartment is its location. Right outside your door one of Andalucia’s most seductive city centres awaits, blissfully untainted by the tourist hordes.

Highs

  • Amazingly quiet considering you're only yards from the historic centre
  • Jerez is a foodie paradise: there are masses of tapas bars and some excellent new restaurants
  • Good value for the amount of space, especially if there are 4 of you. Ideal for 2 couples, a family, or as a spacious romantic bolthole (with a cheaper rate!)
  • A fabulously equipped kitchen: self-catering won't be a chore
  • To be here at sunset is really something: watch a skyline of church towers turning pink through the high windows

Lows

  • Strict payment and cancellation policies, and there's a minimum 3-night stay
  • Access by car through a labyrinth of narrow streets is tricky - make sure you bring Alice's map with you. Rates include a parking space in a nearby underground car park
  • Not ideal for pre-school children due to the open staircase
  • The owners aren't around and the caretaker only speaks Spanish, but there's comprehensive guest info and the owners make themselves available on the phone to welcome guests and answer any questions arising
  • No outside space

Best time to go

Any time of year is a good time to visit Jerez. July and August can be uncomfortably hot but at other times you are almost bound to see some sunshine. It would be great to visit during the annual Jerez feria, which follows that of Seville (i.e. early-mid May) - though you'll need to book very early. Bear in mind that the Jerez Moto GP - another extremely popular weekend - takes place in March every year.

Our top tips

Don’t miss Jim and Alice’s favourite eatery, Albores . It’s close to the Alcázar, has oodles of charm and serves up excellent trad-Andaluz nosh.

Great for...

City Style
Family
Foodie
Honeymoon
  • = Recommended
  • = Best in region
  • = World favourite
  • Boutique Apartment for 2-4
  • 1 king/twin + 1 double bedroom
  • Self-catering (restaurants nearby)
  • Babies and 5+ year-olds welcome
  • Open all year
  • Pool
  • Spa Treatments
  • WiFi
  • Pet Friendly
  • Disabled Access
  • Beach Nearby
  • Off-street Parking
  • Restaurants Nearby
  • Air Conditioning
  • Guest Lounge
  • Terrace
  • Garden
  • Gym
  • Daily Maid Service
  • Towels & Bedlinen
  • English-speaking caretaker
Room:

Rooms

The apartment sleeps up to 4 with an ensuite king/twin up above and a second double and bathroom down below.

The master bedroom is on the mezzanine, with a massive kingsize bed topped with Egyptian cotton sheets and feather pillows: hardly surprising that we managed to oversleep! A glass panel set into the floor and a second one above the bed bring in the light: luminosity is a big part of the feel-good factor here, and there are views of the cathedral. A sliding door leads to a smallish shower room where you’ll find a surface-top sink, heated towel rail and Zara bath products. A padded lime-green headboard, bright paintings and lacquered bedside tables complete the snazzy upstairs picture.

The downstairs double bedroom has a really airy feel thanks to its soaring ceiling and half-moon window, which opens onto the mansion’s cloistered courtyard. Light-blocking curtains can be pulled across should you prefer a dark sleeping space. There's a pull-out desk and a wireless printer, really handy should you have forgotten to print out those boarding cards. This room’s bathroom is a few metres away, to one side of the entrance hall, where laundry gear, beach towels and so on are hidden away in a high cupboard. It has a bath and overhead shower backed by ochre-coloured walls of polished stucco. Taps, as well as the surface-top sink, are courtesy of Philippe Starck.

Both bedrooms have hot and cold air-con as well as free-standing fans to keep the sizzling summers at bay.

The open-plan living area includes white leather sofas, a satellite TV and DVD player, and a dining table for 4. Books, DVDs and plants create a welcoming home-away-from-home feel.

Features include:

  • Air conditioning
  • Cd player
  • Central heating
  • Coffee maker
  • Coffee tea making
  • Cots Available
  • Dishwasher
  • Dvd player
  • Extra beds
  • Fan
  • Food blender
  • Fridge
  • Full kitchen
  • Hairdryer
  • Hob stove
  • Ipod dock
  • Microwave
  • Mosquito net
  • Oven
  • Phone
  • Pool/beach towels
  • Radio
  • Safe box
  • Satellite tv
  • Toaster
  • Toiletries
  • Washing machine
  • WiFi
  • Wifi internet

Eating

You'll quickly guess the open-plan kitchen was German-built: there’s a real look of Vorsprung Durch Technik. A big fridge with separate freezer, an electric hob and oven, a microwave, dishwasher and washing machine tucked away behind shiny grey doors. A Silestone work surface backed by a long run of stainless steel splashback synchs really nicely with the NY loft-like vibe of the rest of the apartment.

Even though you’ll be a small group, Jim and Alice have provided enough gear for a party of 10 along with every conceivable kitchen gizmo - plus all the basics like oil, vinegar, tea, coffee and spices, and the offer of a shopping service. Self-catering has never been so appealing. Alice has drawn up a nifty map of the city centre that shows all the best grocery stores, whilst an outing to the mercado municipal is a must for anyone with Epicurean leanings.

And for eating out, you couldn’t be better placed - there are dozens of great cafés and restaurants within strolling range. There's even a café in the building, from which you can order breakfast, lunch and dinner. If you fancy rubbing shoulders with the local intelligentsia head for El Gallo Azul. It’s housed within an opulent belle époque edifice that was given to the town by the Domecq family, and is a great place for a pre-dinner drink and a plate of the finest Iberian ham. A little less snazzy but steeped in local flavour, Cruzblanca is another excellent choice for a tapas-style meal, with daily specials chalked up on blackboards and tables spilling out into the leafy Plaza de la Yerba. For finer dining check out Reino de León Gastrobar - the name says all - whilst new-kid-on-the-block Las Cuadras is at the top of the town’s creative tapas league.

Features include:

  • Children meals
  • Coffee maker
  • Coffee tea making
  • Food blender
  • Fridge
  • Full kitchen
  • Hob stove
  • Microwave
  • Oven
  • Restaurants nearby
  • Shopping service
  • Toaster
  • Basic supplies
Eating:
Activity:

Activities

  • Top of your what-to-do list must be a visit to the town’s sherry bodegas. Our favourites include González Byass, Domecq and Williams Humbert, which all offer tastings and guided tours
  • Even if you’re not a passionate horse person, the Royal Equestrian School makes a fascinating excursion: these thoroughbreds are the Ferraris of Spain and Europe’s equine world
  • Jerez's architectural highlights include Alcázar (a former Moorish fortress, now a park with beautiful gardens and great views of Jerez from the 2 towers), and Cartuja (the monastery, designed in Late Gothic style). The Museo Arqe (archeological museum) is also worth a visit
  • Check out a flamenco peña (club); come for the extraordinary festival in February or try to coincide with one of the Friday-night concerts that take place at the Alcázar during the month of August
  • Head for the sea: you’re a 20-minute drive from the sand and less than an hour from the very best beaches on the Atlantic coast, including Tarifa and Bolonia
  • Treat yourself to an indulgent session in the town’s Moorish-style hammam
  • Spend a day in Seville or Cádiz, or head further inland to discover Ronda's amazing gorge and the surrounding pueblos blancos (White Villages)
  • Head to Montecastillo or Arcos Gardens to shoot a round of golf: both have superb 18-hole courses
  • Take a 4x4 excursion or a boat trip out from Sanlúcar de Barrameda to discover the hauntingly beautiful wetland reserve of El Parque Nacional de Doñana

Activities on site or nearby include:

  • Birdwatching
  • Boat trips
  • Golf
  • Historical sites
  • Horse-riding
  • Museums / galleries
  • Nightlife
  • Private guided tours
  • Sherry tasting
  • Shopping / markets
  • Swimming
  • Well being
  • Wildlife

Kids

This is a comfy, relaxing and centrally located base from which to explore the delights of Jerez. The old city is child-friendly and car-free. Although Apartment 43 wasn’t set up with younger kids in mind – there's a steep, open-sided staircase so the owners recommend children of below toddling age or school-age – but there’s plenty of space and the apartment can comfortably sleep up to 4 + a baby.

Best for:

Babies (0-1 years), Children (4-12 years), Teens (over 12)

Family friendly accommodation:

The rooms can be flexibly configured according to the shape and size of your family. The mezzanine king can be split into 2 single beds for older children, or you could sleep here yourselves and pop kids plus a baby cot in the downstairs double bedroom, which has black-out curtains. The downstairs bathroom has a tub

Baby equipment:

  • Baby cot with bedlinen
  • High chair

Remember  baby and child equipment may be limited or need pre-booking

Children's meals:

The kitchen is well equipped so catering for your family will be easy (there's an oven, microwave, food blender and dishwasher). Jerez is a foodie paradise and the nearby eateries are family friendly and relaxed. There's a food market within walking distance

Kids Activities on site:

  • Children's DVDs, puzzles and books
  • Superfast internet connection
  • iPod dock
  • Music system

Kids Activities nearby:

  • Jerez has many plazas and there are playgrounds for smaller children beside al fresco cafes so kids can roam around whilst parents relax with a drink
  • Teens will be very happy here, too - there are plenty of places for their entertainment, including shops and plazas. Football matches are shown on wide screens in bars
  • Zoo and Botanical Gardens
  • Waterpark (Agualand) is a 10-minute drive away
  • Beaches are a 20-minute drive away

Families Should Know:

  • The steep staircase is open
  • An English-speaking doctor can be called out

Distances:

  • Airport: 20 minutes (Jerez)
  • Shops, including a pharmacy: 3 minutes
Kid Friendly:

Our guests' ratings...

10/
Rooms
10/
Food
10/
Service
10/
Value
10/
Overall

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