“Comfort, colour and no koalas in 6 funky apartment at the heart of Tarifa's Old Town”
There are 6 apartments in total, all with access to (or private) outdoor space.
Ground-floor Kalao and Lakoa share access to the small walled garden, where cushioned seats are lit by candles in the evening. Kalao is a monochrome affair with a high-ceilinged kitchenette, a queensize bed and small shower room. Lakoa is a large semi-open-plan space with a floor-to-ceiling wardrobe dividing the queensize bed and sitting room/kitchenette area. A lime-green sofabed and shower tiles add decorative zing.
On the first floor, 3 apartments share access to a roof terrace. Of these, Okala is the smallest - not claustrophobically so, but it’s certainly cosy. Akalo is also a studio with a double bed and exposed stonework in the small kitchenette. Split-level Alako is larger and can comfortably sleep 4 - kids will love the mezzanine double bed, accessed via a steep wooden ladder.
About 80 metres away, the top-floor duplex Loft Apartment offers a sprawling living space and a private terrace. It has 2 double bedrooms, although the second is very compact and only just big enough to hold the queensize bed. A more recent addition, we haven’t seen this apartment just yet, but we think the Old Town setting and ample facilities make it a great offering.
All apartments have wall-mounted electric radiators, WiFi, flatscreen TVs and DVD players, and fans. Shower rooms come with plenty of towels but a rather paltry offering of soap, shower gel and shampoo.
You may find the kitchens at Koala surplus to requirements. But if you do want to cook for yourself there are pots, pans, cutlery, crockery, cafetiere and a decent-sized fridge.
The Loft Apartment is self-catering but guests staying in the 5 apartments at Koala Tarifa's main buidling are provided with a small packaged breakfast each day. Laid out in the kitchen, there will be coffee/tea, cereal, fresh bread, and fruit.
We also enjoyed spending a lazy morning at the main square's Cafe Central. It's a great spot to people-watch over fresh orange juice, cafe con leche and tostadas. Just outside the old town walls Cafe Azul also does great breakfasts and brunches: a smoothie and a bowl of the homemade muesli with fruit and yoghurt will set you up for the day.
When it comes to lunches and dinners, Tarifa has a more cosmopolitan selection of restaurants than anywhere on the Atlantic coast: Spanish, Indian, Tex-Mex, Thai or Japanese, it's all on your doorstep. For a memorable al fresco meal in the old town, Casa Lola allows you can choose from an innovative tapas menu and wine list.
If you plan to spend your day on the beach, the buzzy covered market is the best place to buy the makings of your picnic. Or check out the buffet lunch at the Hurricane Hotel which is at the far end of the Tarifa beach.
We'd recommend these apartments for parents with teens; they aren't suitable for those with toddlers due to the steps and the mezzanine level bed in Alako. Older children with relish the abundance of watersports and lively atmosphere. Those with younger children will appreciate Tarifa's traffic-free town centre.
Children (4-12 years), Teens (over 12)
Alako has 2 double beds, 1 of which is on a mezzanine level. It sleeps a maximum of 4 but it's not suitable for toddlers. Lakoa has a single sofabed for a child and can also take a baby cot. The Loft Apartment is good for older children. It has lots of space, 2 double bedrooms (one is very compact) and a large living space (separate from main Koala Tarifa building).
Babysitting is available by arrangement
Remember baby and child equipment may be limited or need pre-booking
Kitchenettes are basic but you can cater for babies and they have a microwave. Nearby eateries are family friendly and relaxed. There's also a market within walking distance
There are a lot of steps at Koala Tarifa and the Loft Apartment (not ideal for toddlers). The beach is frequently very windy so it's not ideal for sunbathing/sand castle building