Casa La Siesta

Near Vejer de la Frontera, Costa de la Luz, Spain Book from Book from £272 per night

A secluded, shabby-chic bolthole close to Vejer and the beach, with long views, gorgeous gardens, bohemian guestrooms and two self-catering villas
Back in 2008, we had the honour of being the first-ever visitors to Casa La Siesta. We remember homing in on the house from over a mile away - it stands proud among rolling farmland - and being thrilled by what we found: a relaxed home-from-home where rustic cortijo style meets bare but immensely comfortable, urbane chic. We also admired the sustainability of the rebuild: tiles, beams, doors and windows were all recycled from older houses.

Over ten years later, Casa La Siesta is as glorious as ever, a sanctuary where those rare luxuries of peace, pampering and personalised service come together in beautiful surrounds. Expect generous rooms with big views, leafy gardens with a heated pool, and masses of communal living space. During the four annual periods when kids are welcomed, there's a lovely family vibe; the rest of the year, it's a laid-back grown-up retreat. 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 rest and relaxation, and this place is perfectly set up for both
  • We loved the beautifully landscaped gardens, the big heated pool and the even bigger views
  • The 7 bedrooms (even entry-level ones) are super-chic and spacious; plus there are two very private villas sleeping 2-6
  • The well trained team goes above and beyond the call of duty
  • There's complimentary beer on tap!

Lows

  • It's quite expensive for Andalucia – but it is a notch above
  • If you want to eat out, be prepared to drive (and the lane near the hotel is unsurfaced)
  • Some of the rooms look out towards a nearby windfarm
  • No kids except in the designated family weeks (request for details)

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 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

The local town of Vejer is hilly and the streets are very narrow - we recommend parking in the town car park at the bottom (free) and walking up from there.

Great for...

Eco
Family
Great Outdoors
Wedding
  • Boutique Hotel
  • 7 rooms + 2 villas
  • Breakfast only (+ other meals on request)
  • Over 15s welcome; 4 times a year families welcome
  • Open all year
  • 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

There are only 7 rooms here - other hoteliers would have packed in far more - with airy interiors, shabby-chic furnishings and a lovely sense of simple understated luxury. Expect plain stucco walls, stripped pine doors, wafer-bricked tiles and recycled rough-cut wood for bed bases and night tables. There are no pictures, but none are needed when exquisite vistas are framed by the doors and windows.

Set either in the main house or across the courtyard, most rooms and suites have a private terrace and invigorating rain shower; the Superior Suite and two 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. Note that Double Room 1's bathroom is only semi-separated from the bedroom.

You can also expect 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).

The Casita (available as a 2- or 3-bedroom space) and the Stables (2 bedrooms) are private villa rentals with kitchens for self-catering. The former comes with a private pool and gardens; the latter is located slightly away from the main building and has floor-to-ceiling windows, a log burner and seriously spoiling rooms.

Features include:

  • Air conditioning
  • Bathrobes
  • CD player
  • Central heating
  • Coffee / tea making
  • Cots Available
  • Extra beds
  • Fireplace
  • Ipod dock
  • Safe box
  • WiFi

Eating

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: 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.

Dinners, served five nights a week, are a fixed-price three-course menu which – in keeping with the hotel’s ethos – offers a small but carefully curated choice of dishes, with complete flexibility for any dietary requirements. We tucked into chorizo and baby squid salad with local goats cheese, before a main of lamb with tzatziki and apricots, and then apple tart with Pedro Ximenez ice cream to finish the feast. Prices are definitely on the high side for Andalucia, but you’re paying for the privileged setting and personalised service (and canapés and coffee are included).

Alternatively, there are heaps of good restaurants and tapas bars in the area. Try El Jardin del Califa in Vejer for North African fare served in a pretty courtyard garden, or nearby Patria for their amazing salads.

The Casita and Stables are self-catering, with well-equipped kitchens (all mod cons) and dining spaces. There are grocery shops in Vejer or you can use produce from 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
  • Children's meals
  • Coffee / tea making
  • Dinner by arrangement
  • Lunch by arrangement
  • Vegetarian menu
Eating:
Activity:

Activities

  • Surf the Atlantic breakers: one of the best beaches for boarders (El Palmar) is just down the road.
  • Shoot a round of golf at the beautiful Montenmedio course. Green fees are reasonable and there are two 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 heated pool or book a massage session in the garden hut.
  • 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.
  • The team 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

Most of the year the hotel has an adult atmosphere and only accepts ages 15+. The exception are four blocks set aside for families - two weeks apiece at Easter, July, August, and late October - when a kids' menu and daily scheduled activities including pottery classes, arts and crafts, and Spanish lessons are on offer.

Best for:

All ages

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 (unheated) swimming pool. The Stables has two bedrooms and a kitchen, plus a private garden. During the family weeks, families can stay in the suites and double rooms in the main building which can sleep parents + 1 child each, with the option of adjacent rooms for up to 3 more children.

Babysitting:

Available during Family Weeks

Children's meals:

Family Weeks only: Breakfast Club daily where children work with the chef to create a typical Andalucian breakfast served to parents in bed; kids menu available; early suppers for kids

Kids Activities on site:

  • Pottery classes, cooking, table tennis, dress up & dance, gardening & treasure hunts on offer during the scheduled Family Weeks
  • Cycling, yoga, kids massages, arts & crafts, Spanish lessons & flamenco can be arranged at extra cost
  • 17m heated salt water swimming pool
  • Gardens

Kids Activities nearby:

  • Surfing lessons
  • Sailing
  • Boat trips

Families Should Know:

The main swimming pool is not fenced

Distances:

  • Airport: 50 minutes (Jerez), 1hr (Gibraltar)
  • Hospital: 20 minutes
  • Shops: 10 minutes (Vejer)
Kid Friendly:

Location

Casa La Siesta is set in a tiny village close to the charming town of Vejer de la Frontera in Andalucia, southern Spain. By car, it's 50 minutes from Jerez, 1 hour from Gibraltar, 1.5 hours from Seville and 2 hours from Malaga.

By Air
Fly into Jerez De La Frontera (78km), Gibraltar (88km), Sevilla (161km) or Malaga (197km) which are your nearest airports.

From the Airport
The hotel can arrange transfers or you can take a taxi.

By Train
If you'd prefer to travel overland from the UK or elsewhere in Spain, check out Seat 61. The high-speed AVE train can whisk you down from Madrid to Seville (2 hours) and from there you can pick up a hire car.

By Car
There is off-road parking and a car is really useful to explore nearby towns, though be aware that the road to the hotel isn't lit at night and isn't tarmacked for the last part. See our car rental recommendations.

Detailed directions will be sent to you when you book through i-escape.

Airports:

  • Jerez De La Frontera 78.0 km XRY
  • Gibraltar North Front 88.0 km AGP

Other:

  • Beach 15.0 km
  • Shops 7.0 km
  • Restaurant 2.0 km

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