Finca Malvasia

Masdache, Lanzarote, Spain Book from Eur150

Reviewed by Joe Cawley
Rural stone cottages hidden among Lanzarote's volcanic cones: stylish self-catering with personal touches (each sleeps 2-5)
When Tarnya and Richard warned me that their rural hideaway was off the beaten track, they weren’t exaggerating. This young, enthusiastic pair have created an amazing oasis of tall green cacti, jelly palms, bright pink bougainvillea and clean white walls, surrounded by nothing but fields of black volcanic ash dotted with vines. Clustered in an L-shape around a sparkling, solar-heated pool are 4 self-contained cottages,and there's a larger house with it's own pool across the driveway. Built in the style of the island's famous designer César Manrique, they're a distinctive blend of rustic Canarian with funky touches.

Finca Malvasia’s isolation doesn't mean you’ll get bored. Stressed-out professionals can find solace in the on-site yoga hut, spa treatments and massages; families can head to the beach just 10km away; and action-seekers can hike or bike straight from their door on routes that criss-cross the dramatic terrain. Various outings can also be arranged, including private yacht charters and wine-tasting walks, and razor-sharp skies make for excellent stargazing come nightfall.

Highs

  • Tumbleweed solitude; not a sound apart from the scratching of palm leaves on whitewashed walls
  • Stylish décor and small personal touches, like a bottle of local wine on arrival, Egyptian cotton bed linen, booklets of insider tips on the area, and a DVD library
  • Welcoming, knowledgeable and on-the-ball owners who successfully balance an eagerness to please with a degree of discretion
  • A beautiful pool area, surrounded by a medley of sub-tropical flora
  • Good self-catering facilities, plus tbreakfast hampers and lunch platters (by prior arrangement)

Lows

  • The arrival along 1km of pitted dirt road leaves you shaken and stirred, but the real sense of solitude soon calms the nerves
  • Some of the shower cubicles leave little room for movement without exfoliating your elbows on the volcanic stone walls
  • Those looking for neon nightlife should give it a miss
  • You'll need to hire a car

Best time to go

Lanzarote is warm and sunny all year round, though to join in the grape harvest book in early August. December to February is the busiest time, as the island is one of the closest places to the UK for winter sunshine.

Our top tips

Make use of the poolside barbecue at least once during your stay. It’s free to use and Tarnya and Richard will advise on where to shop for the best meat and local delicacies (and how to light it if you’re a barbecue virgin!).

Great for...

Family
Great Outdoors
Spa
  • = Makes the grade
  • = Best in region
  • = World favourite
  • Boutique Villas
  • 5 villas (each for 2-5 people)
  • Self-catering (+ some meals on request)
  • All ages 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
  • Bicycles Available
  • Laundry Service
  • Weekly housekeeping service
  • Information packs
Room:

Rooms

Each cottage has a different view over the vineyards, mountains or pool, and a different layout inside, but most are similar in terms of creature comforts and style.

We stayed in Papagayo, which has 2 double ensuite bedrooms, a huge living area with kitchenette, and a large, secluded patio. Its glazed terracotta floor tiles are dressed with shaggy rugs from Heal's, and the whitewashed rooms are broken up with volcanic stone walls illuminated by soft up-lighting. White-stone shelving houses a range of audio/visual equipment, and log-burning stoves make for cosy evenings if you’re here during winter. The bathrooms are a tad small, with walk-in showers (no bathtubs).

The bathroom in Timanfaya next door is much bigger, featuring a step-up bath and an indoor garden. La Geria has the most light and space due to its end position and extra windows. Both have a double bedroom and a twin room, making them perfect for families. La Bodega is the best cottage for romantic couples - it’s the only detached building, with a double bedroom and its own private garden away from the communal pool area.

Since our visit, the Main House has been made available as well. With homely decor and more comprehensive fittings (full kitchen, private pool and barbecue area), it would work particularly well for longer stays or those seeking a private family break.

All cottages have satellite TV (with English and children’s channels), plus DVD and CD players and a selection of films and music. Beds are made up with Egyptian cotton and snug waffle duvets, while bathrooms come with thick towels and robes.

Features include:

  • Wifi internet
  • Satellite tv
  • Cd player
  • Dvd player
  • Radio
  • Cots Available
  • Extra beds
  • Terrace
  • Bathrobes
  • Kitchenette
  • Fridge
  • Microwave
  • Hob stove
  • Coffee tea making
  • Toaster
  • Food blender
  • Grill

Eating

The 4 smaller cottages have kitchenettes for DIY catering, plus indoor and outdoor dining areas. There are no ovens, but you get a hob, a microwave, a grill, and a blender (amongst others), plus crockery, cutlery and utensils; there's even a communal barbecue by the pool which you can use for free.

If you're after something more comprehensive, the Main House has a full kitchen (including oven), a private barbecue area and a 2 dining areas (indoor and outside). Perfect for longer stays or cookery fans.

Tea, coffee, water and milk are provided, and a breakfast hamper filled with mostly organic produce (locally baked breads, eggs, preserves and home-grown seasonal fruit) can be ordered. However, nip down to the farmers’ market in Tias (Saturday morning) and you can easily prepare your own; pick up local cheeses, fruit, vegetables and bread. Tarnya can also direct you to a good choice of small supermarkets (within 5km).

Several decent restaurants lie within a few minutes' drive if don’t feel like cooking. These include El Tenique (for grilled meats and fish), Las Cadenas and the funky El Chupadero tapas bar. Tarnya and Richard can also provide Canarian platters (veggie options are available) for your arrival or lunch.

Features include:

  • Children meals
  • Meal delivery service
  • Kitchenette
  • Fridge
  • Microwave
  • Hob stove
  • Coffee tea making
  • Toaster
  • Food blender
  • Breakfast hampers by arrangement
Eating:
Activity:

Activities

  • Crank down the stress levels with spa treatments and yoga classes to order in the cute, circular yoga hall, then lounge in a hammock around the pool

  • Take to the waves with a surfing lesson, provided in partnership with the local surf school; 3- and 5-day surfing courses can also be arranged

  • Ask Tarnya and Richard to organise a trekking guide to lead you over the lunar terrain. There are walks to suit all abilities, including volcano treks in the Timanfaya National Park, coastal walks and the wine walk, which weaves through lava fields before stopping at a vineyard for tastings

  • The unusual desert landscape is ideal for adventurous mountain bikers. For the less ambitious, road biking provides an excellent opportunity to view the volcanic scenery. Bike tours can be arranged, as can bike hire

  • Grab your tackle (as it were) and head out to sea for the big game fishing season from May to December. Deep-sea fishing excursions operate from nearby Puerto Calero and Puerto del Carmen

  • Saddle-up for a horseback view of Lanzarote’s stark beauty; several equestrian centres cater for all abilities

  • Peer below the ocean's surface to see the underworld of Lanzarote - a silent, eerie land of volcanic grottoes, submerged lava flows and dazzling marine life. There are several diving centres on the island

  • Golfers can take their pick from 2 top-class golf courses in Costa Teguise and Tias

  • Get fit. Lanzarote is fast becoming a big destination for triathlons and Iron Man training, and Richard can organise professional coaching sessions for each discipline. Customised fitness programmes covering kickboxing, aqua aerobics and weight training can also be arranged

  • Finca Malvasia sometimes offers week-long photography courses, allowing guests to work with a professional photographer to develop their skills

Activities on site or nearby include:

  • Kids activities nearby
  • Cycling
  • Fishing
  • Golf
  • Hiking
  • Horse-riding
  • Surfing
  • Private guided tours
  • Scuba diving
  • Snorkeling
  • Swimming
  • Trekking
  • Well being
  • Kite/windsurfing
  • Wine tasting
  • Yoga
  • Mountain biking
  • Fitness programmes
  • Photography courses

Kids

Children are made very welcome at Finca Malvasia but there is a supplement for all ages if using additional beds or cots. Young children are heartily encouraged, with toys, games, kids' films and special events provided on request; there are even inflatable crocodiles, boogie boards and other bits of beach paraphernalia to borrow. Older children may find the pace a bit slow, however.

Best for:

Toddlers (1-4 years), Children (4-12 years)

Family friendly accommodation:

The Main House has a bunk-bedroom for kids and lots of private living and outdoor space, perfect for longer stays. The 2-bedroom cottages - Timanfaya, Papagayo and La Geria - can sleep up to 5 people, and the large terraces are gated from the pool so children can run freely. Note that only Timanfaya has a bathtub.

Baby equipment:


  • Cots

  • High chair

  • Baby backpack

  • Stairgates (where needed)

  • Baby bedding

  • Potty

  • Night light

  • Baby bath

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

Children's meals:

The cottages have kitchenettes with microwaves and blenders; the Main House has a full kitchen. You can pre-order breakfast hampers and Canarian platters.

Kids Activities on site:


  • Swimming pool with shallow end

  • Kids' splash pool

  • Children's DVDs

  • Toys and books (on request)

  • Beach toys to borrow

Kids Activities nearby:


  • Golden sandy beach nearby

  • Playparks

  • Mountain biking

  • Surfing lessons

  • Camel and pony rides

Families Should Know:

The mobile phone signal can be very patchy here. The Main House's pool is unfenced

Distances:

  • Airport: 12 minutes
  • Hospital: 15 minutes
Kid Friendly:

Our guests' ratings...

9/
Rooms
9/
Service
9/
Value
9/
Overall

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