Casa El Morro

Uga, Lanzarote, Spain Book from Eur75

Reviewed by Joe Cawley
Rustic self-catering suites and cottages plus a yurt near pretty villages, offering a laid-back base for island exploration (sleeping 2-5)
A cross between a Moroccan riad and an executive hippy hideaway, Casa El Morro is infused with a relaxed, meditative quality. Accommodation is in two places; the original 18th-century house turned rustic hideaway is perched above the pretty village of Uga. It has Balinese beds round every shady corner and a large pool plus terrace; yoga sessions are held twice a week, and the sweet smell of incense adds to the floaty atmosphere. Getting back in tune with nature is one of the major lures - the gardens are awash with citrus trees, Canary palms, figs and lavender. Seven self-contained suites for 2-5, each with its own kitchen and terrace, are scattered around the central balconied courtyard and the extensive grounds, while a family-sized yurt sleeping up to 6 holds a lofty position in the garden.

In the next village along (Las Casitas in the Fermes valley) are five brand new (in 2016) additions comprising four cottages (for 2-4) in a restored 250-year old Canarian finca and a separate apartment for 2 across the 10m swimming pool. Collectively known as La Casa de la Caldera, they can be booked exclusively for a group of up to 18, and enjoy views of open countryside to the volcanic hills. There's a wonderful garden of mature trees visited by hoopoes and shrikes, which has stunning views to the Valley of Fermes and Apaches Mountains, and a Jacuzzi for stargazing. Part Arabic, part Canarian and part East Asian, the décor in all is as eclectic as the clientele. From young families to serious trekkers, yoga devotees to stressed-out professionals, there's a broad range of visitors enjoying carefree days in this stunning, lunar landscape.

Highs

  • Both swimming pools are heated and surrounded by daybeds and other weapons of mass relaxation; at Casa El Morro there are also twice-weekly yoga classes in the magnificent on-site hall
  • Close enough to walk to local villages, but far enough away to feel pleasantly isolated
  • Breakfast is provided in Casa El Morro, and there are restaurants, markets and supermarkets close by for other meals
  • The personal touch: owner Raquel Hidalgo took 10 years to create this hideaway, and shares many of her belongings so that it’s like staying with a close relative
  • It’s within easy reach of the spectacular Timanfaya National Park, the La Geria vineyards and the beaches of Papagayo, Playa Quemada and Famara; riding and mountain-biking are popular, several walks begin and end close by

Lows

  • Small lizards stroll nonchalantly around the bedrooms like paying guests
  • Mosquitoes can be a problem, though nets are provided for your bed
  • There's a minimum stay of 1 week, but shorter stays during the low season are considered
  • We have yet to visit La Casa de la Caldera, although we are assured it has the same lovely atmosphere as the original Casa El Morro

Best time to go

With year-round sunshine, any time is a good time to visit Lanzarote, especially if you’re in need of a little ‘calm’ time. Bear in mind that flights tend to be more expensive from December to February, when the island is at its busiest. From July to October the winds generally keep temperatures in the high 20s.

Our top tips

Do try out the yoga sessions at the Casa El Morro site - Raquel provides a soothing, relaxed environment which is ideal

Be aware that this isn’t the place to be if you’re looking for an adrenaline rush or frenzied nightlife

Great for...

Cheap & Chic
Eco
Family
Honeymoon
Spa
  • = Recommended
  • = Best in region
  • = World favourite
  • Boutique Suites
  • 7 suites, 4 cottages, 1 apt + 1 yurt
  • Self-catering (breakfast provided in El Morro)
  • All ages welcome
  • Open all year
  • Heated 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
  • Bicycles Available
  • Kayak available
  • Twice-weekly yoga sessions
Room:

Rooms

At Casa El Morro, the seven self-contained suites are spread between the main house and separate cottages in the grounds. All are furnished with pieces from Arabia, the Orient and Indonesia, fused with original Canarian dark wood trimmings. Each is unique in layout and decoration, but all have the same amenities including a fully equipped kitchen, multi-lingual satellite channels, a DVD and CD player, and some form of outside space for dining and relaxing.

Our favourite couples hideaway is El Aljibe (sleeps 2-4). It has 1 double bed, though the sofa can provide sleeping for 2 more, within a narrow whitewashed cave - although not for the claustrophobic, it gave us a sound silent night's sleep. The earthenware tiling, washed salmon walls and ceiling beams is distinctly rustic, and the large bathroom features hand-painted tiles and an ornate bathtub. The covered terrace is shielded by bougainvilleas, banana palms and hibiscus, with a grand Balinese bed for alfresco siestas.

Similar in size are Uga and Isidora, which also sleep 2-4 in a bedroom (twin beds in the former, a double four-poster in the latter) and a lounge with a sofabed. La Troja and El Alpende sleep 2-3 in a double or twin bedroom and a sofabed, while Leo sleeps 2 and has a garden plus a large terrace with a carved Javanese daybed.

Large families should book the 2-storey Raquel (sleeps 4-5), with its wood-burning stove and jaw-dropping volcano views, and two each of bedroom, bathroom, lounge and terrace. Or sleep Mongolian-style in the princely yurt, which houses 2 double beds and a sofabed covered in sumptuous silks, as well as a bathroom with a shower. Its kitchen sits in a little stone building next door.

The largest accommodations at restored finca La Casa de la Caldera are the three cottages (El Patio, Casita Jardin, and La Puesta del Sol) which sleep up to 4 apiece in a double and a twin, and have great views across the Fermes valley. The former opens onto the secluded inner courtyard, the latter has a private sun terrace.

Couples can choose either rustic cottage La Valle de Fermes which has high beams, an open plan kitchen/dining/living area and its own garden, or across the courtyard in the more private rock-lined two-roomed El Aljibe Chico apartment whose bedroom is in a former water tank. All have well-equipped kitchens, the four cottages have Canarian fireplaces. Book separately or in various combinations including all together for larger parties up to 18.

Features include:

  • Barbeque
  • Cd player
  • Coffee tea making
  • Cots Available
  • Dvd player
  • Extra beds
  • Fridge
  • Full kitchen
  • Hairdryer
  • Honesty bar
  • Juicer
  • Microwave (on request)
  • Mosquito net
  • Oven
  • Radio
  • Satellite tv
  • Terrace
  • Terrace
  • Toiletries
  • WiFi
  • Wifi internet

Eating

At the Casa El Morro property, breakfast is the only meal provided, served under a communal wooden pagoda in the garden. It consists of the usual suspects - fresh bread, cold cuts, cereals, tasty organic jams - and you might also be treated to fresh melon grown on site or delicious cakes baked by Raquel.

For other meals, and if staying in La Casa de la Caldera, you’ll have to self-cater or head out. Every unit has their own kitchen, all with ovens, kettles, crockery, cutlery, utensils and juicers, and some complete with antique furniture and fine china. Raquel is the only suite with its own microwave, but they’re available on request if you really need one. There's a dining table indoors at El Morro, or you can eat alfresco if you prefer; you’ll also find a BBQ on your terrace in all except El Aljibe.

For stocking up on supplies, don't miss the farmers’ market in Tias on Saturday mornings; it’s great for local cheeses, fruit, vegetables and bread. Failing that, there’s a supermarket less than 1km away in Femes village. There are several simple eateries a stroll away in Uga village and a 5-minute drive in Las Casitas village, and some good restaurants within a short drive, too.

Features include:

  • Breakfast
  • Coffee tea making
  • Cooking classes
  • Fridge
  • Full kitchen
  • Organic produce
  • Oven
  • Restaurants nearby
Eating:
Activity:

Activities

  • Head to the hills for a hike up and down volcanic peaks: nearby Timanfaya National Park is a hotbed (literally) of seismic activity and lunar landscapes

  • Hop on a horse at a local riding school for a slow trek across the rocky scenery

  • Or borrow a bike from Raquel and pedal through whitewashed villages. You can also take her kayak for a paddle along the coast

  • Spend a day at sea on a private sailing charter with local salty sea dog José (a real character!); Raquel will arrange this for you on request

  • Slap on the SPF, grab a bucket and spade and spend the day on the beach - the sands at Papagayo, Playa Quemada and Famara are all within an easy drive

  • Hang out with the locals at one of the village bars, or watch Canarian wrestling (lucha)

  • Take a class in painting, creative writing, diving, cookery or Spanish; Raquel will gladly make arrangements for you

  • Back at Casa El Morro, book a massage or join the twice-weekly yoga sessions, open to all

  • Or do absolutely nothing, except lounge round the pool on a Balinese bed and soak in the silence (you'll often find you have it to yourself); at night hop into the Jacuzzi at Caldera and contemplate the amazing night skies

Activities on site or nearby include:

  • Art classes
  • Boat trips
  • Cooking classes
  • Creative writing
  • Cycling
  • Hiking
  • Horse-riding
  • Kayaking
  • Language courses
  • Mountain biking
  • Sailing
  • Scuba diving
  • Swimming
  • Trekking
  • Well being
  • Yoga

Kids

Children of all ages are welcome, though we feel the properties are best suited to younger children as the atmosphere might be too quiet for older kids and teens.

Baby cots are available free of charge and babysitting can be arranged on request. The 2 house cats in Casa El Morro, Pedro and Jack Sparrow, are particularly fond of children.

Best for:

Babies (0-1 years), Toddlers (1-4 years)

Family friendly accommodation:

At El Morro: the Raquel suite has 2 bedrooms and sleeps up to 5, while the yurt sleeps up to 6 in 2 double beds and a sofabed. Most of the other suites have a double or twin bedroom plus a single or double sofabed, making them suitable for families of 3-4 people.
At Caldera: El Patio and La Puesta del Sol both have 2 bedrooms (a double and a twin) so can host a family of 4, while La Valle des Fermes works for a family of 3 as it can take an additional baby cot or extra bed

Babysitting:

Babysitting can be arranged

Baby listening:

Baby monitors are available on request

Baby equipment:

  • Baby cots
  • High chairs

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

Kids Activities on site:

  • Toys and games to borrow
  • Beach kit such as boogie boards

Families Should Know:

The pools are unfenced

Distances:

  • Airport: 15 minutes
  • Hospital: 20 minutes
Kid Friendly:

Our guests' ratings...

9/
Rooms
8/
Food
9/
Service
9/
Value
9/
Overall

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