“Stylish old-town boutique hotel with a social atmosphere and flexible accommodation options”
The old tavern building houses 10 bedrooms above the courtyard, bar and restaurant.
The first-floor hotel rooms are fresh, elegant and airy, with hints of France. Mosquito nets drape fine brass beds; glass-topped bedside tables hold old mirrors and ancient shutters sit beneath beamed ceilings. A couple have French windows that open onto tiny balconies. There are woven lampshades, voile curtains, fat purple armchairs and vintage suitcases atop old armoires. Colours are neutral - white, cream, taupe - and you’ll find clay storage pots scattered about the place.
On the second floor there’s a more contemporary, oriental feel - tiled floors, white muslin curtains and Japanese table lamps. Expect a compact but beautiful mosaic-tiled bathroom (with a great power shower) and a small balcony over-looking the street. There’s also access to a shared interior roof terrace, it’s fairly modest and there are no views to speak of, but it’s nice to have the outside space.
Tarifa is a popular destination and it has a night life to match; so guests should expect some noise from the street. Higher floors are generally quieter. We stayed in Room 9 on the second floor, directly above the bar/outdoor seating area. It was noisy with the balcony doors open, but we couldn’t hear a thing when they were shut - though we did have to use the air-conditioning to cool the room down.
This is a nicely informal hotel and you can eat pretty much wherever you want. Breakfast is served down in the interior courtyard, but if you want to eat outside or in the lounge you can. The emphasis is on fresh and healthy eating, so you get freshly-squeezed orange juice, great coffee, tea and hot chocolate, croissants and toast, ham and cheese, yoghurt, fruit and cereal.
Dinner is also pretty laissez faire and the price tag is pretty reasonable, so do book in advance (it's not open every day). You get a 3-course set menu with one choice at each stage. Thai, Indian, Moroccan and Greek all make the menu, but the day we visited it was broccoli and brie soup or flambeed chicken livers on toast, beef cooked with olives or fillets of fish in a lobster sauce, and fresh fruit or apple crumble.
Tarifa has loads of restaurants: some are good, some are bad - use your judgement and you shouldn’t go too far wrong. In particular there's an abundance of chilled-out tapas bars which really suit the town's chilled out style. Other than that, we like the hearty steaks at Vaca Loca, the fab vegetarian fare at Chilimosa, and the traditional Spanish selection at La Rocamora - you’ll find Chinese, Greek, Italian and Mexican too.
Finally, bars. The hotel bar spills out into the alleyway and you can sit out with a drink and watch the world go by. In summer lots of beach bars pop up. Hotel staff will know where. The old town of Tarifa is fairly small and if you wander for a few minutes, you’ll find somewhere good. The nightlife in town is great in summer.
All ages are welcome, but the hotel is not particularly geared towards families and we didn't see any when we revisited in 2012. The hotel has lots of stairs and in high season, noise from the bar and restaurant can travel up to the rooms.
Children (4-12 years), Teens (over 12)
Most rooms can accommodate an extra bed or a baby cot.