“3 adjoining cottages (each sleeps 4-6) with shared pool, tucked between vines and villages 6km above sandy beaches”
We only popped into the cottages briefly, but saw enough to know that they are all smart and spacious, with playful contemporary decor and high-quality fittings. Expect spotless tiled floors and pale walls with the odd patch of exposed stone, giant mirrors and antique dressers, some oversized flower prints or pieces of 'exotic' art. You would barely guess that they were once a goatherd's cottage along with his adjoining grape barn and cheese-making room.
All have 3 bedrooms (1 kingsize, 2 twins) and 3 bathrooms (1 tub, 2 showers), as well as a generous living space (huge TV/DVD, iPod dock, woodburner) and a very well-equipped kitchen. We can't imagine that you would want for anything. Out back, each has its own walled garden with BBQ and (fake) lawn, which Martin was keen to show us - though we were much more seduced by the prospect of sitting around the shared pool, which has its own covered chill-out area (low tables and chairs).
Lagar (meaning wine press) was perhaps our favourite, situated at the far end, with a separate reading room whose picture windows look out towards the hamlet of Arico Nuevo. Chocolate leather sofas and prints of giraffes and African women give it a nouveau colonial feel.
In the middle, Barrica (barrel) has a huge sitting room with exposed eaves and a rash of clocks adorning one wall ("only my mother knows why", says Martin drily). Nearest the car park is Bodega (winery), a tad smaller - though still generous for 4-6 - with pale yellow walls and decorative loops of black rope hanging from the extra-high ceiling. It is important to note that one twin bedroom in each of these two cottages has an external entrance from the patio, and may not be suitable for young children.
Each cottage has a separate kitchen - small and functional - with everything you would expect in a contemporary suburban home: fridge, electric hob, oven, dishwasher, washing machine, microwave, toaster, kettle, iron, orange juicer, hand-held blender and so on. There's a table for 4-6, though most of the time we imagine you'd eat outside - either in your back garden or (if you can be bothered carrying it there) around the pool.
If you're feeling lazy, drive the 1km into Arico Nuevo where, tucked down a narrow whitewashed lane in its own cute little plaza, lies the gorgeous Sarras restaurant (formerly called El Pimenton). We have not tried it since Patricia and Isaac took over, but they promise local tapas (including bacalao, cheeses, hams and gofio), homemade cakes and puddings, and the best Cumbres de Abona wines.
There are decent shops - and some simpler eateries - in Arico Viejo (5-10 mins walk from La Malvasia); or if you're spending the day on the beaches around Poris de Abona, grab a thickly stuffed pitta bread or seafood platter at the tiny but wonderful Café al Mar. If you need anything unusual, it's best to stock up in the supermarkets around San Isidro, near the airport.
This is a great choice for families: each cottage sleeps 4-6, with a fully equipped kitchen (including washing machine) and a sitting room (with TV/DVD player and WiFi for movie time). There's a good-sized shared pool, with shaded sofas, tables and various board games to keep parents happy while the little ones splash about.
Toddlers (1-4 years), Children (4-12 years)
All three cottages are spaciously proportioned and have two twin bedrooms along with the master double room so are perfect for extended or larger families. One of the twin rooms in both Bodega and Barrica have a separate external door, so we recommend these rooms for older children or adults. All cottages also have a bathtub in one of the three bathrooms. The largest of the three is Lagar, which has a separate reading room with a view.
High chairs are available
Remember baby and child equipment may be limited or need pre-booking
The grounds are rocky and many plants are prickly. The sun can be very fierce in summer - keep your children (and yourselves) creamed up, and consider spending the early afternoon indoors to avoid the hottest period. There can be a swell at the beaches.