Casa La Siesta

Near Vejer de la Frontera, Costa de la Luz, Spain Book from Eur165

A shabby-chic bolthole close to Vejer and the beach, with adults-only guestrooms, the warmest of welcomes and a self-catering casita
It was our honour to be the first-ever visitors to Casa La Siesta, in late 2008. After homing in on the house from over a mile away - it stands proud on a hilltop looking out towards the ocean - we were greeted with infectious enthusiasm by Lee and Amelia. They were just putting the finishing touches to their delectable small hotel, and our initial surprise at how young they were soon gave way to admiration for what they've created: a relaxed home where rustic Andalucian cortijo style meets bare but immensely comfortable, urbane chic.

When faced with rebuilding the original farmhouse, their mission statement was sustainability and many of the building's base elements - tiles, beams, doors and windows - were recycled from older houses. But, that aside, Casa La Siesta is a celebration of contemporary creature comforts. Expect a room-to-remember, an easy one-tribe-vibe, delicious and traditional food, and masses of communal living space. And the twin cherries on your Siesta cake? You're a shake away from one of Andalucia's most beautiful towns and close to some of its best beaches.

Highs

  • Holidays are all about R&R and this place seems made for both
  • The food and wines are both in the 'extra special' league
  • Funky rooms, which stylishly fuse ethno and boho, plus a super-private self-catering Casita (sleeps 2-6) and a yurt!
  • The owners are incredibly generous and will go above and beyond the call of duty
  • A big pool, big views and a big heart

Lows

  • Don't expect much action in the tiny hamlet of Los Parallejos: for that, you'll need to slip into Vejer
  • Being so small, it books up quickly; plan your trip well in advance
  • This is a small hotel so if you enjoy the anonymity of a larger place, it might not suit you
  • We are yet to personally view the Casita and yurt

Best time to go

Any time of year would suit. In summer the nearby beach at El Palmar would be a big draw, whilst spring and autumn are perfect times to go walking - you're bound to see sun. In winter, you could head off to on your day trips knowing that when you got back to Siesta you'd have a roaring log fire as well as a lovely warm bedroom awaiting you.

Our top tips

Any one of the Suites would be a great choice for honeymooners or a celebratory splurge: you'd win masses of partner points were you to book this place as a surprise for your nearest-and-dearest.

Great for...

Eco
Foodie
Great Outdoors
  • = Recommended
  • = Best in region
  • = World favourite
  • Boutique Hotel
  • 8 + 1 casita
  • Breakfast only (+ other meals on request)
  • Over 15s welcome + family villa
  • Closed: 14 Nov 2016 - 31 Dec 2016
  • Outdoor 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
Room:

Rooms

The guiding decorative principle at Siesta is 'less is more', and we loved the spare, uncluttered feel of the rooms. Plain stucco walls, stripped pine doors and wafer-bricked tiles create a mood that's conducive to both relaxation and romance. Recycled, rough-cut wood was used for bed bases, night tables and bathroom surfaces. There are no pictures, but neither are they needed when exquisite vistas are framed by the doors and windows.

Set in the main house or across the courtyard, each room and suite has a private terrace and invigorating rain shower; the Superior Suite and 2 of the Suites have the additional luxury of freestanding, roll-top bathtubs. Chunky surface-top enamel sinks were crafted by a local artisan and spoiling details include the finest Egyptian cotton sheets, embroidered towels and bathrobes, and a full range of REN bath goodies.

You can also expect a postcard pack, plenty of shelf and hanging space for clothes, a turndown service, underfloor heating and an iPod dock (the hotel can provide an iPod on request).

We weren't able to see the Casita when we visited (available as a 2- or 3-bedroom space), but it offers an experience more akin with a private villa rental, complete with your own pool and kitchen. Since our visit, a Yurt has also been added which represents a more budget-friendly option.

Features include:

  • Air conditioning
  • Bathrobes
  • Cd player
  • Central heating
  • Coffee tea making
  • Cots Available
  • Extra beds
  • Fireplace
  • Ipod dock
  • Safe box
  • Terrace
  • WiFi
  • Wifi internet

Eating

Siesta's extensive grounds have provided an excellent opportunity to establish a herb and veggie gardens which grows anything that can't be found in the local markets for the 'Spanish with a twist' brand of cooking.

Dinners, served 5 nights a week, are the culinary focus of the day and stick to a 3-course set menu formula with canapés and coffee included. Food can be catered to individual needs and vegetarians won't be short changed. Your meal may begin with a chorizo and baby squid salad with local goats cheese served on leaves from the veggie garden, before going onto your main course of grilled fish or seared beef. Finish your feast with a chocolate marquise or a cucumber sorbet. The wine list has been carefully selected so you can't really go wrong, but do ask staff for recommendations. Casa La Siesta occasionally offer an invite to guests to enjoy a wonderful tapas and sherry tasting supper.

The breakfast will get your Siesta day off to just the right start. In addition to freshly squeezed orange juice made with fruit from the neighbouring farm, you get fresh fruit salad, Greek yoghurt, cheese and ham, homemade jams and bread: be sure to try a tostada Andalusian style, drizzled with olive oil and diced tomato. If you'd like any variant on the egg theme, just ask.

There is also a daily set lunch menu. These have a high salad content and make the most of all the goodies grown in Siesta's organic veggie garden. Mid afternoon, chilled gazpacho and cucumber water is put out for guests; an unusual and generous gesture.

The Casita is self-catering, with a well-equipped kitchen (all mod cons) and a beautiful white dining space for 4. There are grocery shops in Vejer de la Frontera (10 mins away) or you can order fruit and veg from the hotel market, or use the veg gardens. However, if you prefer, you can opt to eat some or all of your meals in the hotel - meaning you get the best of both worlds.

Features include:

  • Bar
  • Breakfast
  • Coffee tea making
  • Cooking classes
  • Dinner by arrangement
  • Lunch by arrangement
  • Vegetarian menu
Eating:
Activity:

Activities

  • Surf the Atlantic breakers: one of the best beaches for boarders is just down the road

  • Shoot a round of golf at the beautiful Montenmedio course. Green fees are reasonable and there are 2 sets of clubs to borrow at Siesta

  • Take a course in Natural Horsemanship at the Montenmedio equestrian school, or go birdwatching in Doñana National Park; keep your eyes peeled for the Spanish imperial eagle

  • Head into town, watch the sunset from one of Vejer's high terraces, then spend an evening bar hopping and sampling every kind of tapas

  • Chill out by the pool with a book and your iPod

  • Book a massage session in the garden yurt

  • Get going early and spend a day in Morocco: regular fast ferries for Tangiers leave from Tarifa, which you can reach in less than an hour

  • Visit Cádiz, Medina Sidonia and Jerez: all are within an hour or so of the house

  • Lee and Amelia can arrange a wealth of other activities - fishing, tennis, sailing, windsurfing and lessons in Spanish, cooking or art

Activities on site or nearby include:

  • Art classes
  • Birdwatching
  • Cooking classes
  • Cycling
  • Fishing
  • Golf
  • Hiking
  • Horse-riding
  • Mountain biking
  • Plantlife / flora
  • Sailing
  • Shopping / markets
  • Surfing
  • Swimming
  • Tennis
  • Tennis coaching
  • Well being
  • Windsurfing
  • Yoga

Kids

The Casita is suitable for families, but the hotel itself has an adult atmosphere and only accepts ages 15+

Family friendly accommodation:

The Casita can be booked on a two- or three-bedroom basis. It has a full kitchen, a garden and a private swimming pool

Distances:

  • Airport: 50 minutes (Jerez), 1hr (Gibraltar)
  • Shops: 10 minutes
Kid Friendly:

Our guests' ratings...

10/
Rooms
9/
Food
10/
Service
9/
Value
10/
Overall

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