But that didn't stop us. After a lazy morning on Poris de Abona's empty beach with buckets and frisbees, we drove the 6km up to Arico Viejo and buzzed at La Malvasia's gate for a tantalising nosey round. A gravel track led through healthy vineyards of listan blanco (as they are known here) to the 150-year-old finca, where the busy-bee owner Martín Rodríguez de Azero y de Ponte awaited us. Expect inviting leather sofas and woodburners, clean pastel lines with a touch of old stone, the odd Oriental print or huge teak-framed mirror. Views roll down to the cobalt sea, and across cactus-specked farmland to the pretty hamlet of Arico Nuevo - home to a lovely little restaurant. Above you looms Mt. Teide, all pine forests and lunar rocks; below you a string of beaches.
- If you want a reasonably stylish yet affordable holiday in a perma-sunny part of the world, with an uncrowded beach nearby, bingo!
- The pool and sundeck are glorious: we could imagine spending most of the day here with the kids, retreating to the covered chill-out area for drinks and shade time
- Bedrooms are good-sized, with comfy double or twin beds, ensuite bathrooms and plenty of wardrobe space, so you can really spread out
- We loved the beach of Playa de Punta beyond Poris: flat sands, sheltered waters, and we had it to ourselves for 3 hours
- It's only half an hour from the airport, and there's no shortage of flights from all around Europe
- Service is minimal: Martin doesn't live on site, and the caretaker (weekday mornings only) speaks little English
- Maintenance is not the best in the world - some peeling paint or cracked plaster here and there - but this is the Canaries
- Kitchens are rather spartan and supplies are minimal; buy basics like salt and tea towels from local shops
- Arico Viejo is not a pretty village, but Arico Nuevo (1km away) is a jewel; and both feel a world away from the purpose-built resorts just round the coast
- Be aware that you share the pool and grounds with the other guests (mostly families), and rooms aren't air conditioned
- Boutique Cottages
- 3 cottages for 4-6
- Self-catering only; restaurants nearby
- All ages welcome
- Open all year
- Outdoor Pool
- Spa Treatments
- Beach Nearby
- Creche / Kids Club
- Car recommended
- Pet Friendly
- Disabled Access
- Restaurants Nearby
- Air Conditioning
- Guest Lounge
- Daily Maid Service
- Towels & Bedlinen
- Maid service (weekdays only)
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.
- Washing machine
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.
- Coffee / tea making
- Coffee maker
- Food blender
- Full kitchen
- Hob or stove
- Restaurants nearby
- Head down to Poris (6km), a whitewashed holiday village which has a pretty little beach and lots of bathing decks with ladders into the sea
- If that's crowded, continue along the small road to Playa de Punta, a yellow-sand beach backed by a few paint-peeling houses and knobbly black rocks; outside school holidays you could have it to yourselves, save for a few fishermen trying their luck from the jetty
- Explore the looming volcano (and National Park) of Mt. Teide in the centre of the island: immeasurable lunar landscapes pocked with gnarled outcrops of rock, and frequented by day trippers (the circular hike from Las Canadas is especially popular)
- On the way down, stop at the charming mountain town of Vilaflor, on the edge of Teide's pine forests; at the top of the village is the church and terraced square of San Isidro, where you can get a delicious (and cheap) lunch
- There are all manner of sandy beaches heading south along the coast: we liked the sheltered waters south of El Medano, kitesurfers will love the long beach to its north
- Whizz up the motoroway to Santa Cruz (30 mins), Tenerife's shiny capital and bustling port, for aquaparks, opera and the Sahara-blond sands of Playa Las Teresitas; or to (San Cristobal de) La Laguna (40 mins), the island's historic capital, for colonial architecture, pedestrianised plazas and craft-filled boutiques
Activities on site or nearby include:
- Historical sites
- Horse riding
- Shopping / markets
- Whale watching
- Wine tasting
Best Time to go
Our Top Tips
La Malvasia is situated on the edge of the village of Arico Viejo, a few miles above the coast, in the southern part of Tenerife.
Tenerife South (Reina Sofia), which handles most of the island's international flights, is less than 30 mins' drive away. Tenerife North (Los Rodeos), which handles most of the internal flights (within Spain), is about 45 mins' drive. Click on the links below for a list of airlines serving these airports.
From the Airport
We'd strongly suggest hiring a car so that you can explore the island at your leisure. There are some shops (and one restaurant) within a 10-20 min walk of the property, but the beach is too far away to walk. See our car rental recommendations. Watch out for sneaky tricks over fuel policy, whichever car hire company you are using. You can park for free at the property.
Detailed directions will be sent to you when you book through i-escape.com.
More on getting to Tenerife and getting around
- Tenerife South 30.0 km TFS
- Tenerife North 50.0 km TFN
- Beach 6.0 km
- Shops 0.5 km
- Restaurant 1.0 km