Casita La Laguna

Nr Tarifa, Costa de la Luz, Spain Book from Book from £132 per night

A fabulous hideaway for 2, looking out across the Straits to Morocco; at La Laguna you’ll have just the ocean and the stars for company
To the south, one of the best surfing beaches on the Atlantic coast, and the old town of Tarifa. The same distance to the north, Bolonia, with its gorgeous arc of unspoilt sandy beach, and Roman ruins right next to the ocean. In the middle of the 2, secreted away amongst sand dunes and umbrella pines, you'll find Cortijo La Laguna and its diminuitive guest casita (cottage). This place is, literally, at the very end of the track: if you’re looking for romantic seclusion, then look no further.

Paul and Mei Ling built the casita to celebrate an amazing panoramic view out across the Atlantic breakers to the North African Rif and, at night, to the twinkling lights of Tangiers. The open-plan interior is pure rustic-chic, embellished by decorative Moroccan objets, whimisical paintings and masses of candles. Outside, there's a covered and open terrace with loungers and chairs so you can sit and gaze out to sea all day. Thanks to an eco-building brief (electricity is from wind and solar energy, water from springs), the cottage is cool in summer and warm in winter, plus there's a romantic wood-burner to keep things snug. And - the cherry on the cake - a narrow footpath leads from down to a small pebble beach, which is virtually deserted for 10 months of the year.

Highs

  • The utter tranquility and privacy of the place - all you hear is the sea and birds
  • A massive 40 m2 terrace with sunloungers and a BBQ for seafood feasts
  • Mei Ling is delightful; there if you need her but utterly unobtrusive at other times (she pops in to clean when you're out for the day)
  • Guided horse riding along the beach and into the surf, and excellent wind and kite-surfing nearby
  • A great restaurant yards along the track (open every day in July and August and weekends at other times of year), plus excellent eateries in Tarifa

Lows

  • You’ll definitely need a car
  • There's no oven for self-catering, but when we revisited in 2013 we were happy cooking on the BBQ and hobs
  • The owners' house is on the same property but it is over 30m away and your terrace is completely private
  • Paul and Mei Ling have an enormous, very friendly dog called Beethoven who loves to hang out with guests. However, if you don't want him to, they can kennel him away

Best time to go

July and August can get a bit crazy when the town and beaches fill up with holidaying Spaniards. It's a great place to be for the other 10 months of the year, although you should be prepared for close encounters of the windy kind: when the Levante (a strong easterly wind) is blowing, you'll know about it.

Our top tips

Don't write off a winter stay. We visited in March, and although the weather was appalling, we loved sitting out under the covered terrace wrapped in blankets, drinking wine and looking out to sea as storms rolled in. January and February were apparently glorious!

Great for...

Beach
Eco
Great Outdoors
Honeymoon
  • Beach Villa
  • 1
  • Self-catering, restaurants nearby
  • Unsuitable for children
  • 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
  • Daily Maid Service
  • Towels & Bedlinen
Room:

Rooms

Expect to sleep deeply at La Lugana - just about all you’ll hear will be the disant thumping of Atlantic breakers and the cry of the gulls wheeling overhead. The whole house seems to exude a fresh, cared-for feeling: this is a place that stimulates both body and soul.

The small open-plan living area consists of a bed, sofa, dining table for 2 and a kitchenette, with big windows and French doors capturing the ever-changing light of the ocean. There are bright Moroccan cupboard doors and bedside tables, a wood-burner, various lamps, and a collection of guidebooks plus an iPod dock.

The queensize bed is clad in great linen and a fresh white Indian bedspread. For ablutions, you choose between a shower room inside or, perfect for your arrival back from the beach, a second outdoor terrace shower.

You'll spend most of your time lounging on the big open terrace and soaking up the view, or shaded from the sun under the covered terrace with its cushioned chairs. But if it gets cold in the evening, retreat to the sofa inside and light the wood-burner.

Features include:

  • Barbecue
  • Basic ingredients provided
  • Bathrobes
  • Central heating
  • Coffee tea making
  • Fan
  • Food blender
  • Fridge
  • Hairdryer
  • Hob stove
  • Ipod dock
  • Kitchenette
  • Mosquito net
  • Terrace
  • Toiletries
  • WiFi
  • Wood-burner

Eating

The small kitchenette has loads of equipment for self-catering (pans, lots of crockery, good knives, a blender), and is sparkling clean with a dining table indoor and out. There's a small fridge and a 2-ring hob but note there is no oven or grill. Mei Ling supplies a great selection of basic ingredients, including olive oil, balsamic vinegar, loads of herbs, various teas and coffees, plus a bottle of wine and some local tuna and olives.

Head into Tarifa for various supermarkets and a covered market. The choice of fish is staggering and there are stalls laden with vegetables, herbs and spices. We bought seafood or fresh meat daily, and cooked it up on the BBQ along with baked potatoes and roasted vegetables. For lunch we ate wonderful Spanish cheeses and meats with fresh breads from the panaderia in town. There are picnic spots along the coast if you want a day of walking.

If you’re not that big on self-catering, no need to worry. Just a 5-minute stroll away is a great fish restaurant. Much of what’s on the menu will have been pulled straight from the sea that same day by one of the brothers who run the place. The restaurant is open 7 days a week in July and August but only open weekends for the rest of the year. It is closed during the Tarifa Feria week which runs from the first Sunday in September.

In Tarifa, which is just a 15-minute hop away by car, there's a big choice of eateries. You can choose between sushi, Moroccan, Italian, vegetarian and Tex-Mex, and there are a couple of great Andalucian restaurants. Ask Mei Ling for advice.

Features include:

  • Coffee tea making
  • Food blender
  • Fridge
  • Hob stove
  • Kitchenette
  • Restaurants nearby
Eating:
Activity:

Activities

  • Mei Ling has Andalucian horses ready and waiting to be saddled up, a couple of which were strays before she rescued them. Her guided rides will take you out through the pine forests and along the beach, perhaps to Bolonia, where you could break for beer and tapas. Experienced riders can head off on their own

  • Punta Paloma, 5 minutes' drive away, is one of Europe’s most popular kite and windsurfing destinations. Beginners can book lessons with a number of different schools

  • Explore Tarifa, a small, authentic Spanish town with a labyrinth of narrow white streets, colourful fishing harbour, a castle, and miles of really unspoilt, golden beach

  • Hike through the pine forest to Bolonia, with its beautiful beach and Roman ruins - an hour each way

  • Morocco can be easily visited as a day trip out from Tarifa. Fast hydrofoil ferries leave the port every couple of hours and take just 45 minutes to make the crossing, so you can go shopping in the souks plus whale-watching en route

Activities on site or nearby include:

  • Birdwatching
  • Hiking
  • Horse-riding
  • Kitesurfing
  • Plantlife / flora
  • Shopping / markets
  • Surfing
  • Swimming
  • Well being
  • Whalewatching
  • Windsurfing

Kids

Casita La Laguna is strictly for 2 adults only - there are no extra beds or facilities for children.

Kid Friendly:

Our guests' ratings...

Based on 19 independent reviews from i-escape guests

10/10
Room
9/10
Food
10/10
Service
9/10
Value
9/10
Overall

Very clean, beautifully finished and full of character, this casita/room has everything you need. It feels lived in but looked-after, and feels incredibly comfortable—perfect for a great night's sleep thanks to the air-con, mosquito nets and super-quiet setting. We BBQ'd every night and had no desire to leave the casita, although there are restaurants within short driving distances. Mei Ling is absolutely delightful—there if you need her and she has a great, friendly demeanour and generous spirit, but otherwise she leaves you to your privacy, which is probably what you have chosen the location for! A truly magical, peaceful place that has everything you need for a simple, gorgeous break away from the craziness of day-to-day life. We didn't want to leave, and will certainly come back.

The location is stunning and you feel at one with nature within an instant—from the cows next door to the many beautiful birds swirling around the grounds. The scenes and sunset are mesmerising, while being so close to many quiet beaches and natural piscinas means that once you're stocked up on food and drink you really don't need to leave. And the outdoor shower—liberating! Mei Ling is a very considerate host, and her dogs (Muck and Beethoven) are gentle giants.
The closest restaurant, El Mirlo, which is in walking distance isn't open most of the time until July, so be sure that you want a real break away from normality unless you don't mind driving all the time.

Top tip- Watch out for your phone switching to Morrocan time and phone signal—switch off your data roaming unless you want big phone bills! The walk to the end of Bolonia beach and back is 9 miles all around, but definitely worth doing—pack sensible walking sandals/trainers.

10/10,

Beautiful spot, at the end of the world. The host Mei-Ling is wonderful, excellent service and the horse riding was great fun! .

9/10,

The casita had everything we needed, was private and comfortable. Mai-ling was lovely, attentive but never intrusive. We loved our horse ride in the mountains. It was a shame that the weather was against us and the wind so strong but we didn't let it ruin our stay.

Only improvement point we could suggest are the directions to the property... E.G. Join the N-340 and drive to kilometre marker 74. Turn on to the A-2325, sign posted Punta Paloma, continue 3 km on to a dirt track, the casita is at the end, with a grey/green vehicle gate.

10/10,

Beautifully located getaway for sunny days and sunset gazing. Patio and views superb. Quite isolated and 'comfortably basic', so not for everyone, but we loved it.

7/10,

Fantastic stay at Casita La Laguna. Mei Ling and Paul were great hosts (helpful yet unobtrusive) and the stylish accommodation was everything we had hoped for. We enjoyed afternoon drinks and evening barbecues with beautiful views to Morocco from the private terrace, the five minute walk down to the beach and almost total seclusion! The perfect place to get away from it all.

10/10,

A great place to go if you want to get away from it all. The casita is simple but comfortable and you have everything you need for a restful break. The location is absolutely wonderful - a short walk down to a quiet cove that is perfect for a refreshing swim and if you want to walk a bit further you get to the beautiful, windswept sands of Bolonia. Even the winds, that can be very strong, are part of the appeal. Mei Ling was a delightful host - always available without ever being intrusive.

10/10,

A perfect hide away for 2 persons with stunning ocean views. Privacy guaranteed! Everything is positive in this place.

10/10,

Really appreciated the warm welcome. Thanks for all to Mei Ling!

10/10,

We stayed the last two weeks of June 2016. Never having visited this part of Spain before we were a bit concerned about the Levant wind which blows here. Although the wind was blowing strongly for half our stay, we enjoyed the way it kept temperatures comfortable and mosquitoes at bay. We never felt restricted in what we wanted to do, and there was a lovely sheltered place to eat outside.. The view from the villa over the sea is particularly beautiful and a five minute walk takes you to two sandy beaches which were often deserted. The owner Mei Ling really kept the accommodation looking lovely and clean with fresh towels and a food hamper at the start of our stay. The only downside was the bumpy track down to the villa which was a bit tough for our hired Fiat Panda. All in all, a beautiful place to stay.

9/10,

Really enjoyable, relaxing time. Many thanks Mei Ling!

10/10,

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Rates for Casita La Laguna