Caserio de Mozaga

Mozaga, Lanzarote, Spain Book from

Reviewed by Tom Bell
A very pretty 18th-century country house in a quiet village in Lanzarote’s rural heart, with a great restaurant and fantastic prices
This elegantly rustic 18th-century house has been in the same family for 200 years. Old cart wheels lean against whitewashed walls, a chandelier hangs from the sitting room ceiling, and a rattan sofa waits in the shade of the cloister.

You enter through smart gates into a peaceful courtyard which faces south to ensure one corner always gets the sun. Ornate guttering draws rain from the rooftops into the well, and the feel here is smartly rural, as if this was the house of well-to-do farmers (which it is). Woodwork is painted dark green, bougainvillea flames against white walls, and candles embedded in glass jars flicker at night. The 8 rooms and suites are traditionally decorated with original furniture and family antiques. Expect cast-iron beds, terracotta-tiled floors, old oil paintings and shuttered windows. Some rooms open onto the courtyard, others onto the lovely garden, both dotted with places where you can sit back and relax. Best of all is the restaurant. The food here is glorious and those who wish to feast like a king will be in heaven.

Highs

  • Good food in the on-site restaurant; it’s one of the best in the area
  • The age-old beauty of the place, especially the central courtyard
  • Maria Luisa, who runs her old family home with an easy charm and shares plenty of personal furnishings
  • The hushed, elegant ambiance; it feels like being welcomed into the summer residence of a Canarian aristocrat
  • The central setting - ideal for exploring Lanzarote's beguiling mix of wistful landscapes, volcanic peaks and jaw-loosening beaches

Lows

  • Breakfast is fairly simple and costs extra
  • The chef has changed since our initial visit, and we have yet to sample the new menu. Also the restaurant is only open for dinner
  • No swimming pool, but beaches are easily accessible by car
  • The rooms are refined and comfortable but rather basic - stay elsewhere if you want 5-star luxury
  • Not recommended for families with energetic children, who might shatter the profound tranquility of the place - or for anyone looking for nightlife

Best time to go

Any time of year - it's particularly good if you're clamouring for some winter sun, as Lanzarote gets loads of it. June, July, August and early September can get pretty hot and might be best avoided if you’re planning on hiking.

Our top tips

Bring a book or 2 with you. Sleepy Caserio de Mozaga is made for lazy days relaxing in the sunshine (or the shade), with loungers and hammocks dotted around its tranquil garden.

Great for...

Cheap & Chic
Foodie
Great Outdoors
Wedding
  • = Recommended
  • = Best in region
  • = World favourite
  • Boutique Hotel
  • 8
  • Restaurant (open daily except Tuesdays)
  • All ages 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
Room:

Rooms

No designer interiors here; rather, a glimpse into how well-off islanders lived a century ago. This was a family home before Maria Luisa turned it into a small hotel, and much of the furniture is original to the house. Beds are either cast-iron or wooden, set against whitewashed walls, beamed ceilings and wooden floors. Oil paintings adorn the walls, and small tables hold pot plants. Open the shutters and flood the rooms with light; close them up and keep the heat at bay.

Rooms that open onto the courtyard have rocking chairs and sofas beyond the bedroom door. Those at the back of the house open onto a small garden, where a hammock hangs from a shady tree, loungers wait on the black sand and desert plants flourish (cacti, palms, a dragon tree). Some of the brightest rooms are housed in what was the farm’s old stone warehouse, with outside steps leading up to those on the first floor. Inside, you get a similar rustic style: old beds, rugs on wooden floors, a marble dressing table, ancient beams, and a sofa if there’s room.

The 2 suites have their own sitting rooms. One has an old wall hanging and a huge window that frames views of distant mountains. Its bathroom is contemporary with big mirrors, fluffy towels, cymbal-sized shower heads and modern mosaic-tiled walls. Other rooms have more traditional bathrooms, one done out in 1960s style.

All rooms have flat-screen TVs but only Spanish channels. You also get hairdryers and (in all but one room) free WiFi; beach towels are available on request.

Features include:

  • Central heating
  • Cots Available
  • Extra beds
  • Hairdryer
  • Honesty bar
  • Terrace
  • Tv
  • WiFi

Eating

Don't miss the restaurant; it’s one of the best places to eat in the area and has reasonable prices. It’s open for dinner every evening except Tuesday, although lunch is rarely available. You eat in a converted barn, where the style is comfortably elegant: starched tablecloths, individual table lamps, exposed stone, whitewashed walls. A couple of private dining areas (former camel stables) are located through arched doorways, and there’s a small gallery for pre-dinner drinks. Best of all is the 3m-high wall of glass that looks out across lava fields to distant mountains; four-fifths of the view is sky.

As for the food, flavours are kept simple and succulent, without complication. Starters might include cold melon soup with a julienne of Guijelo ham, chicken liver parfait served with homemade apple and mint chutney, and fried green peppers. For the main course, there are meaty delights such as entrecote steak with red peppers and fried new potatoes, baby lamb chops, and confit of duck in a membrillo sauce. There’s also a choice of fish and seafood - perhaps Teriyaki tuna or grilled fish of the day. Puddings are similarly tasty - a walnut parfait from an 1890 family recipe, a light chocolate mousse with Bailey’s sauce, and warm apple tartlets served with vanilla ice cream. There’s an assortment of smaller portions if you want to try them all.

Breakfast is a simpler, low-key spread, taken in the main house's old dining room. Hanging ferns cascade from the ceiling, copper basins hang from hooks, and a huge tapestry covers one wall. Expect freshly-squeezed OJ, bowls of fruit, croissants, toast, cold meats and cheeses, plates of tomatoes, and coffee and tea.

Features include:

  • Restaurant
  • Restaurants nearby
Eating:
Activity: Playa de Famara

Activities

  • Head to the beach. If you want white sand, drop south to Playa Blanca, then head east a couple of miles to Papagayo. There are several beaches to choose from and they're the best on the island. There's a restaurant, too, but most people take a picnic

  • Want to surf? Head north to Playa de Famara, about 15km north of San Bartolomé. Apart from the beach, you’ll find a few bars and restaurants in the village and the odd surfer dude hanging around

  • Don’t miss a tour of the volcanoes in Timanfaya National Park - a wilderness of haunting beauty where you can peer into craters and see solidified lava flows. Extraordinary views stretch for miles, bordered on one side by the sea

  • Hop on a camel; tours are popular in Lanzarote, and you can take one through part of Timanfaya if you want

  • Follow the César Manrique trail. The architect and artist sculpted many of Lanzarote’s great monuments, including the Mirador del Río lookout point 450m up a cliff, with jaw-dropping views. Other Manrique jewels include the caves at Los Jameos del Agua, his private house at Tahiche (built over 5 volcanic bubbles), and his cactus garden at Guatiza

  • Sample the local grape. Maria Luisa's family owns El Grifo, one of Lanzarote’s most famous bodegas (wineries) and wine tastings can be arranged for groups of guests

  • Visit some of Lanzarote's pretty villages. Head to Orzola on the north coast and watch the fishermen land their haul, then pop down to Arrieta and try the great fish restaurants. Also worth a stop is 15th-century Teguise, erstwhile capital of Lanzarote, where there's a good restaurant called La Cantina

Activities on site or nearby include:

  • Camel rides
  • Hiking
  • Historical sites
  • Shopping / markets
  • Surfing
  • Swimming
  • Traditional cultures
  • Wine tasting

Kids

Children are welcome in the suites, although without a pool there's little for them to do. Cots are available free of charge, and extra beds can be provided for a supplement.

Family friendly accommodation:

Cots Available, Extra Beds Available

Baby equipment:

Baby cots are available on request.

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

Kid Friendly:

Our guests' ratings...

7/
Rooms
9/
Food
9/
Service
8/
Value
8/
Overall

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