Caserio del Mirador

near Jalon, Valencia & Costa Blanca, Spain Book from

Resort-retreat on a mountainside with a pool, pets and distant sea views: a dream come true for families with children under 5
Nothing beats stepping outside of a morning to find a basket of warm croissants on your terrace and the sun rising over the valley. Perched on the side of a mountain above the Costa Blanca, surrounded by olive and almond terraces planted by the Moors, is a farmhouse-villa with 5 stylish apartments of various sizes, a Casita, and an Airstream for glampers. This mini hotel offers everything you need to keep both adults and little ones entertained - we’ve never had such a relaxing holiday with a toddler in tow. And because of its intimate size, there’s a beautiful balance between privacy and sociability: it’s like staying at a friend’s house (with staff!).

In the lovely grounds are a pool, a sandpit, a trampoline, a play park, rocking horses, dressing-up boxes, books, games, toys and a small menagerie of animals (rabbits, goats, donkeys, hens, a pig, and a Shetland pony called Snow White). Parents themselves, Johnny and Sarah are remarkable hosts, seamlessly in tune with the needs of mums, dads and children. Not only do they provide pushchairs, rucksacks, beach towels and umbrellas, bouncers, massages on request and an honesty bar close to the pool, but lunches, kids’ teas and dinners too - 5 days a week if you want them, in your apartment or at the lively table within earshot of the baby monitor. Sarah cooks like an angel, Johnny makes the vino flow, and you'll go to bed as happy as Larry.

Highs

  • A secure, self-contained escape (max 7 families) in a sensational setting, surrounded by nature and within sight of the sea
  • The hosts are friendly and generous, the atmosphere laid-back and fun
  • Delicious and diverse food: paella lunches, kids’ teas, grown-ups’ dinners
  • The apartments are cheerful, stylish and spotless
  • Everything a parent could need is here, from change mats to night lights and sterilisers, so you can pack light

Lows

  • Gets booked up months in advance, and there's a minimum 7-night stay (Sat-Sat) unless you book the Airstream
  • You'll need a car: the nearest town is 10 minutes down the mountain, and it's half an hour to the beach
  • Dinner is unavailable 2 nights a week, and restaurants are a 10-minute drive / 15-minute walk
  • Apartment kitchens are basic (hob, sink, fridge) - but you can use the hotel oven and microwave

Best time to go

We suggest April to June, when it’s not too hot. The sun shines, a gentle breeze blows, and the valley is bright with olive and almond trees, poppies and cornflowers… In summer you can laze by the pool as the children play, or take them off to the beach. Caserio del Mirador normally closes from November to April.

Our top tips

Pay close attention to the little slips of paper delivered with your breakfast – we loved learning about the resident animals and which ones to feed our leftovers to. The tips for day trips were spot-on, too. All of our fellow guests loved sandy Moraira Beach, which has a little stream running alongside the sand for splashing in.

Great for...

Eco
Family
Great Outdoors
  • = Recommended
  • = Best in region
  • = World favourite
  • Boutique Hotel
  • 7 apartments for 2 adults + 1-4 kids
  • Breakfast (+ other meals & self-catering)
  • All ages welcome; best for under 5s
  • Closed: 6 Dec 2016 - 7 Apr 2017
  • Heated Pool
  • Spa Treatments
  • WiFi
  • Pet Friendly
  • Disabled Access
  • Beach Nearby
  • Off-street Parking
  • Restaurants Nearby
  • Air Conditioning
  • Guest Lounge
  • Terrace
  • Garden
  • Gym
  • Children's play areas
  • Games, toys, animals
Room: Santa Maria

Rooms

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.

Features include:

  • Air conditioning
  • Bathrobes
  • Coffee maker
  • Coffee tea making
  • Cots Available
  • Dvd player
  • Extra beds
  • Fan
  • Food blender
  • Hairdryer
  • Hob stove
  • Ipod dock
  • Kitchenette
  • Minibar/fridge
  • Mosquito net
  • Nespresso machines in some apartments
  • Pool towels
  • Safe box
  • Terrace
  • Toiletries
  • Tv
  • WiFi

Eating

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.

Features include:

  • Breakfast
  • Children meals
  • Coffee maker
  • Coffee tea making
  • Communal dining
  • Dinner by arrangement
  • Food blender
  • Hob stove
  • Honesty bar with loungers and canopied seating
  • Kitchenette
  • Lunch by arrangement
  • Minibar/fridge
  • Room service
  • Vegetarian menu
Eating: Isabel
Activity:

Activities

  • It's a half-hour drive to the coast, and the beaches are justifiably famous. Visit the pebbled cove at Barraca - glorious for snorkelling and, if the waves are up, surfing - or the long sands of Oliva. Calpe has 2 great beaches, and close by is Las Salinas, an inland lagoon where flamingos are seen
  • Nature is quite a draw, and opportunities for hiking, biking and fresh air open up a wild side to the Costa Blanca that tourists rarely see. Follow the goats’ trails if you dare
  • Discover natural waterfalls near Callosa, a safari park near Pego, water slides at Aqualandia, and dolphins at Mundomar
  • For parents interested in history there are castle ruins, hilltop forts and look-outs aplenty - legacy of the Moors
  • Don’t miss Altea, a labyrinth of white-washed streets, designer shops and galleries, with seafront restaurants and a distinctive blue-domed church
  • Drop in to Valencia for the day. It has a beautiful Old Town (mellow stones, orange trees, fountain’d squares), the dazzling City of Arts and Sciences (with a huge aquarium) and the Mercado Central (Europe’s largest covered food market)

Activities on site or nearby include:

  • Animal petting
  • Birdwatching
  • Boat trips
  • Hiking
  • Historical sites
  • Horse-riding
  • Mountain biking
  • Shopping / markets
  • Snorkelling
  • Surfing
  • Swimming
  • Tennis
  • Waterparks

Kids

Caserio del Mirador is an intimate and extremely family-friendly resort-hotel, geared towards under 5s and best for under 3s.

Best for:

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

Family friendly accommodation:

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:

Babysitting can be arranged should you wish to dine out without the kids

Baby listening:

Monitors to borrow, and the dining terrace is within their range

Baby equipment:

  • Pushchairs
  • Baby carriers
  • Baby cots and bedding
  • Changing mats and emergency nappies
  • Bouncer
  • Night lights
  • Baby bath
  • Highchairs
  • Sterilisers
  • Rubber ducks

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

Children's meals:

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).

Kids Activities on site:

  • Play areas
  • Animals to pet
  • Sandpit
  • Trampoline
  • Swimming pool, warmed by a heat pump
  • Table tennis
  • Jigsaws
  • Games
  • Kids' DVDs
  • Ride-on tractors and cars

Kids Activities nearby:

  • Castles
  • Aquapark
  • Aquariums
  • Beaches
  • Safari park
  • Waterfalls
  • Playgrounds

Families Should Know:

The stepped grounds are unsuitable for buggies; the pool is unfenced

Distances:

  • Airport: 1.25 hours' drive (Alicante)
  • Shop: 10 minutes' drive
  • Hospital: 25 minutes' drive (Denia)
Kid Friendly:

Our guests' ratings...

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

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