Little Agave

Almeria, Spain Book from Book from £64 per night

A super-welcoming, affordable, off-grid 4-bedroom guesthouse, set amid the dramatic desert- and seascapes of the Cabo de Gata

At the southern tip of Almeria province, looking south towards Algeria, the Cabo de Gata Natural Park is often described as Spain's last truly wild coast. And rightly so. It's an other-worldly landscape of deserted beaches, sun-warmed seas, wind-hewn rocks, white-washed villages, pirate forts and exotic desert plants - such as the spiky agave, after which this 4-bedroom guesthouse is named.

You'll find several of these, as well as spreading fan palms, whispering pine trees, vivid bougainvillea and carpets of orange mesembryanthemum, in the shady gardens around the house. Plus several friendly pets (2 dogs and 1 cat at the last count), some shy chameleons, an outdoor hot tub, a star-gazing dome, and inviting hammocks and terraces. Best of all, there's now a 10-metre outdoor pool built into a curve of the hillside: perfect for cooling off in that near-guaranteed sunshine.

Step inside and find an airy living room packed with guidebooks and artworks, from which 4 simple but lovely guest bedrooms fan out. Expect comfy double beds, tiled floors, ceiling fans, gleaming showers and a chic grey-on-white palette. Owners Ben and Neil, who moved here in 2019 from the UK, have poured their heart and soul into the project - and it shows. Their unstinting helpfulness has already won them a loyal clientele of appreciative guests from around the world. So if you're after a warm welcome, affordable rooms, amazing beaches and outdoor living in year-round sun, there can be few better places in Europe.
Covid-19 update: some services and facilities may be changed as a result of Coronavirus measures.

Highs

  • This is a truly tranquil, off-grid escape, a perfect place to slow down to nature's rhythms
  • Views - especially at sunset - are wild and wonderful: grab a chilled wine from the honesty bar and watch the mountains turn ochre
  • With just 4 rooms, and no pretention or fanfare, this place has a lovely, laid-back, intimate vibe
  • Super-friendly service from Ben and Neil, plus plenty of affection from Arthur, Beetle and Peggy!
  • A short drive from some of the finest unspoilt beaches in Andalucia, with spectacular coastal hiking and biking too

Lows

  • No children under 16, except by arrangement when taking all 4 rooms
  • No meals are served, apart from a simple but yummy breakfast, and no catering facilities; you'll need to drive out for most meals
  • The house is solar-powered, so air-con is limited, and hairdryers are low-voltage (but rest assured, there is a back-up generator)
  • WiFi can be a little erratic - but we think this is great excuse to switch off completely
  • It can get very hot in summer: come prepared

Best time to go

We think this is a perfect spring or autumn destination, thanks to warm sunny temperatures: typically 20-25 C in May and October, or 18-22 C in April and November, with at least 10 hours of sunshine per day! Even in winter, it rarely dips below 15 C by day, with just 1-2 rainy days per month - so if you want a top-up of vitamin D, or some energetic hiking and biking, November, December and March are your months (the guesthouse is closed in January and February). In July-August, temperatures can reach 30-40 C, so come prepared. Of course the pool is a godsend in these months, and all rooms have a ceiling fan and limited-use air-con.

Our top tips

Cinema buffs can visit several iconic film locations in this area. The Mex-Tex-look desert of Tabernas was the backdrop for spaghetti westerns including The Good, the Bad and the Ugly, as well as episodes from Doctor Who and Game of Thrones. Monsul beach was the scene of the bird flushing in Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade, while the beaches of El Palmer and Los Escullos feature in James Bond's Never Say Never Again and Almodovar's Talk to Her. And older readers might recognise El Algarrobico beach from Lawrence of Arabia. Even if you don't recognise any of these, you'll still appreciate the timeless filmic beauty of these land- and seascapes.

Great for...

Beach
Eco
Great Outdoors
  • Boutique Guesthouse
  • 4 rooms
  • Breakfast only
  • Over 16s only
  • Closed: Jan-mid March
  • Outdoor Pool
  • Spa Treatments
  • WiFi
  • Pet Friendly
  • Disabled Access
  • Beach Nearby
  • Off-street Parking
  • Restaurants Nearby
  • Air Conditioning
  • Guest Lounge
  • Terrace
  • Garden
  • Gym
  • Star-gazing dome
  • Outdoor hot tub
Room:

Rooms

We love the look of the bright, uncluttered, grey-on-white bedrooms: simple yet chic, with all that you need in this climate. There's a whisper-quiet ceiling fan, air-con to top up in summer, cool geometrically-tiled floors, functional shower rooms, and lovely mountain views from the window. Extremely comfy beds are kingsize in 3 of the 4 rooms (two of which can be set up as twins); the 4th is a smaller double which works well for solo travellers.

Everything is solar powered, so the in-room hairdryers are low-voltage, and you're asked to only charge devices (and use air-con) as needed. But there is a back-up generator, and also a gas boiler for hot water in the unlikely event of a long cloudy spell in winter. And the overall spirit is undoubtedly generous. Extra touches include Nespresso machines, glass bottles of cold spring water (the tap water is not potable here), and straw hats which you can borrow.

Step outside - each has its own patio or terrace - to find a small private dining spot with table, chairs and long views, perfect for al fresco breakfasts and sunset tipples. For shady siestas, there are also hammocks and sail awnings.

Features include:

  • Air conditioning
  • Coffee / tea making
  • Fan
  • Hairdryer
  • Terrace
  • Toiletries
  • WiFi

Eating

A continental breakfast is delivered to your room in a hamper each morning - this started out as a covid measure and, thanks to great guest feedback, looks set to stay. Expect juice, yoghurt, jamon and cheeses, seasonal fruit, maybe a local torta de aceite or choc croissant. There's also a small honesty bar where guests sometimes mingle and swop stories of beaches, hikes and restaurants in the early evening.

For other meals, it’s a 15-minute drive to the restaurants of Rodalquilar (they have 4 or 5 excellent restaurants and bars) and San Jose is only a few minutes' drive away with a good selection. Ben and Neil can give great recommendations from their latest experiences.

Features include:

  • Bar
  • Breakfast
  • Coffee / tea making
Eating:
Activity:

Activities

  • Cabo de Gata is famous for its spectacular, wild beaches with sculpted volcanic rocks and emerald waters; three of the best - Monsul, Genoveses and Muertes - are within 20 mins' drive
  • For more developed beaches, including bars and some watersports (diving, sailing, kayaks), head to the laid-back little resorts of San Jose, Las Negras or Agua Amarga
  • Between these two - if you hike the coast path or rent a boat - you'll find the ancient fort and crumbling oasis settlement of Cala San Pedro: a real highlight
  • Near the cape are salt pans where migrating flamingoes gather in spring and summer; twitchers can also tick off various herons, egrets, avocet, plover, dunlin, larks and Bonelli's eagle
  • It's a 30-minute drive to Europe’s only true desert at Tabernas, the backdrop for several iconic movies
  • Ben and Neil can also advise on mountain biking routes (and rental points), and riding stables
  • If you're flying out of Almeria, make time to visit its impressive Alcazaba fortress, with its Moorish palace, baths and gardens

Activities on site or nearby include:

  • Hiking
  • Horse riding
  • Mountain biking
  • Plantlife / flora
  • Snorkelling
  • Stargazing
  • Swimming

Kids

Little Agave normally only welcomes guests aged 16 and over.

If booking all 4 rooms, younger children may be accepted by arrangement. Bear in mind that there are lots of sharp rocks and prickly plants in the garden, and the pool is not supervised or protected in any way.

Kid Friendly:

Location

Little Agave is near the village Pozo de los Frailes in the Cabo de Gata area of Andalucia, Spain. It's 7km from the coast at San Jose, and 30km (or 30 mins' drive) from the city of Almeria.

By Air
Almeria (25km) is the nearest airport; otherwise try Malaga (250km) which has a much wider range of flights. From the airport, you'll need a rental car - see our recommendations.

By Train
Dedicated non-flyers can reach Almeria by train from Granada (3 hrs), Seville (5hrs 30) or Madrid (6 hrs 30). From there you can catch a bus (1 hour, Autocares Bernardo; get off at Boca de los Frailes) or a taxi (35 mins) to Little Agave.

Detailed directions will be sent when you book through i-escape.

Airports:

  • Almeria 25.0 km LEI
  • Malaga 250.0 km AGP

Other:

  • Beach 7.0 km
  • Shops 4.0 km
  • Restaurant 4.0 km

Our guests' ratings...

Based on 2 independent reviews from i-escape guests

10/10
Room
10/10
Food
10/10
Service
10/10
Value
10/10
Overall

Little Agave is a very special place. Ben and Neil are wonderful hosts and their attention to detail , exquisite design and personalised service is not something you will find at other hotels. The room was super stylish and immaculately clean with our own private outdoor seating area . There are also communal seating areas in the landscaped gardens which are comfortable, quirky and, as with everything else here, beautifully designed.
Neil delivers a delicious breakfast of fresh fruit, yoghurt and croissants to your door each morning and you can make your own coffee with your in-room Nespresso machine..What’s not to like?! This is a lovely area of Spain with a great climate and many beautiful beaches to explore. Thank you Ben and Neil, we hope to return!

10/10,

Breakfast is served and it's extremely nice. Everything about this place is about the love, care and good taste that Ben and Neil put into The Little Agave. They are fantastic hosts that made us feel like home all the time, always available.
All the surroundings are amazing from the mountains to the several beaches a few minutes away. Very good recommendations for restaurants and bars from our hosts.

10/10,

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