“Resort-retreat on a mountainside with a pool, pets and distant sea views: a dream come true for families with children under 5”
The 5 apartments are downstairs in the main villa but they're all independent, each with its own latern-lit outdoor space; the Casita and Airstream are a stroll away for those seeking 100% privacy. All are well-designed, roomy, airy and spotlessly maintained, and there’s cleaning 6 days per week. Some have 2 bedrooms (a double and a toy-filled twin), others have space for a child's bed (our son was given a proper little wooden toddler bed) or 1-2 baby cots. We stayed in Isabel and loved the large open-plan living room and huge bed. If we wanted separate bedrooms we’d choose pool-side Pinta with its cute twin kids’ bedroom. And don’t be put off by the lack of bathtub – big plastic tubs are provided for quick and easy kids’ bath times.
White walls and tiled floors, black leather and bold colours: the look is bright and contemporary. Beds are large and extremely comfortable, sofas are generous, and terraces have views. Being off-grid, kitchens are simple: hob, fridge, kettle and a hand-held blender. Bathrooms come with fluffy towels, toiletries, cotton buds and more.
Breakfast is a basket of fresh croissants and rolls, brought to your door around 8.30am each day – our son loved the peeping out of the window to see if it had arrived. Butter, jam, tea, coffee, milk, biscuits, Weetabix and children's yoghurt are provided and will be in your (simple) kitchen when you arrive.
Other meals are well worth staying in for. Arrive in time for lunch on your first day and you’ll be treated to a delicious spread of bread, cheeses, ham and tomatoes, or steak off the grill. Sunday lunch is a magnificent paella, and kids eat half price.
For dinner, children tend to eat together. Designing kids’ meals around different tastes is no easy task, but Sarah succeeds. We were impressed to see even the fussiest eaters wolf down roast chicken and octopus, plus there’s always something ‘safe’ on offer too (homemade burgers, pasta). Sarah is a magician at getting small children to eat their greens! Once the kids are tucked up in bed (every apartment has a baby monitor), the adults’ meal begins. Served around a big wooden table, the menu is Mediterranean and seasonal: slow-roast meats, grilled fish, tortilla with padron peppers, croquetas, and plenty of home-grown delights from the vegetable garden. There’s tapas on Friday (our favourite meal of the trip), and Johnny keeps guests’ glasses full. Dinner can be delivered to your terrace if you prefer some privacy.
So food and drink flow 5 nights out of 7, and on Monday and Wednesday you fend for yourself. There are several restaurants in Jalón (Xaló), a winding 10-minute drive down the road, plus a couple of lunchtime options within a 15-minute walk - we like the sound of Verd I Vent, a converted barn with tasty, good-value food. If you’re having a beach day, break for lunch at Pizzeria Pepa in Javea.
Caserio del Mirador is an intimate and extremely family-friendly resort-hotel, geared towards under 5s and best for under 3s.
Babies (0-1 years), Toddlers (1-4 years)
Santa Maria, Pinta and the Casita have 2 bedrooms (a double and a child-sized twin), and Santa Maria has a bath. The other apartments and the Airstream have 1 bedroom only, but all have space for 1-2 baby cots or an extra child's bed.
Babysitting can be arranged should you wish to dine out without the kids
Monitors to borrow, and the dining terrace is within their range
Remember baby and child equipment may be limited or need pre-booking
A daily kids’ supper during which they all sit around a big table while Sarah brings out lots of crowd-pleasing favourites (like pasta, vegetables and sausages) plus a couple of more unusual dishes to try (perhaps octopus or squid rings).
The stepped grounds are unsuitable for buggies; the pool is unfenced