The Old Music School

El Paso, La Palma, Spain
Book from GBP Book from £97 per night

The Old Music School

El Paso, La Palma, Spain

A stylish 4-bedroom guesthouse (or rental for 6-10) in the island’s centre, with a heated pool, fantastic hiking, and friendly prices

A stylish 4-bedroom guesthouse (or rental for 6-10) in the island’s centre, with a heated pool, fantastic hiking, and friendly prices

If your idea of a perfect holiday includes semi-tropical sunshine, fresh sea air and jaw-droppingly scenic hiking, then look no further. La Palma is one of the steepest and greenest of the Canary Islands: easily accessible, but almost totally unspoiled. Dramatic peaks shrouded in lush prehistoric forest dominate the north, while to the south a chain of volcanic craters rise up from a haunting black desert-scape. And right in the centre - in the hillside village of El Paso - this beautifully converted schoolhouse is ideally placed for exploring it all.

Once the village music school, this historic blue-and-white building has a pleasing mix of original features and contemporary elements. Stay in one of the 4 individually styled bedrooms or book the whole house for a smart group getaway. High-spec bathrooms and elegant 4-poster beds complement beamed ceilings, antique tiled floors and wooden shutters; street art, rock-n-roll memorabilia and a fab vinyl collection add cool character (a nod to both the owner's illustrious career in the industry and the building's musical past). We spent mornings exploring the island’s many hiking trails and stunning black beaches, blissful afternoons by the heated pool (the air is cooler up here at 700m altitude), and evenings mooching around the tapas bars and pastel-coloured boutiques of El Paso and nearby Los Llanos. Perfection.


  • Renting the whole house is perfect for an adventurous family, or for 2-3 couples travelling together (each bedroom has an ensuite)
  • The 4th bedroom is a spacious separate apartment at the back - offering a bit more privacy
  • The owners have plenty of local knowledge which they are happy to share
  • It's very affordable, especially given the high quality fittings and artful TLC that have been lavished on it
  • We particularly loved the heated pool and the peaceful tropical gardens


  • This is a sociable place, with a shared kitchen, lounge and pool - be prepared to get to know your fellow guests
  • There are no in-house staff so you're left to your own devices, but your hosts drop by regularly
  • Lava flows from the 2021 eruption of Cumbre Vieja reach quite close to the house (about 10 mins' drive) - but are spectacular to visit
  • You'll need a car to explore the island, and La Palma's steep, winding roads are not for the faint-hearted
  • The restaurants and shops of El Paso are a short drive or 15-minute walk away - and there's not a huge choice (Los Llanos has more)

Best time to go

La Palma is a great year-round destination. Winter has lovely daytime temperatures of 15-25C at sea level, but it can get a tad chilly at night, and quite cold up in the mountains. Summers are very hot (30-40C), though sea breezes keep the beaches cool and the mountain forests are beautifully shady.

Our top tips

Challenge yourself to a 18km, full-day hike! Ruta de los Volcanes crosses some of the island's most stunning scenery. You can park your car at the Refugio del Pilar, then take a taxi back.

Great for...

Cheap & Chic
Great Outdoors
  • Guesthouse/ house rental
  • 3 bedrooms + 1 apartment
  • Self-catering; restaurants nearby
  • Over 14s only (unless booking whole house)
  • Open all year
  • Heated Pool
  • Spa Treatments
  • Beach Nearby
  • Pet Friendly
  • Disabled Access
  • Car essential
  • Parking
  • Restaurants Nearby
  • WiFi
  • Air Conditioning
  • Guest Lounge
  • Terrace
  • Garden
  • Gym
  • Daily Maid Service
  • Towels & Bedlinen


The house is beautifully refurbished, with antique tile floors, wooden shutters and eaves, Balinese-style beds and underfloor heating. In keeping with the sophisticated styling, the musical theme is tastefully done: walls are adorned with black-and-white photos from gigs and framed gold records by Eminem, Sting and U2, while the Queen-themed bathrobes are a fun touch.

There are three bedrooms in the main house: two doubles and one twin. The beds are super comfy - we slept like babies. Each bedroom has its own ensuite bathroom, with walk-in rain showers and fluffy towels. Roxanne and Beautiful Day - which can interconnect - are large and bright, with direct access to the terrace and views out to the garden. The latter has two queensize beds, so can sleep up to 4 (at a push). The Sonne Suite has thick walls, a traditional beamed ceiling and a free-standing clawfoot bath. We loved this room because it's only a step away from the pool!

For those after a bit more privacy, there's the separate Slim Shady apartment at the back, with a kingsize bedroom, its own open-plan kitchen-lounge and a private terrace.

The sitting room is a comfortable place to escape from the heat in summer or cosy up by the wood burner in winter. Here, a record player, impressive vinyl collection and an honesty bar set the house party tone. If you prefer to hide away, rooms are kitted out with Marshall speakers so you can set your own soundtrack. There's also a dining room and a fully equipped kitchen. Step outside and the tropical garden is a delight, with loungers by the pool, dotted amongst exotic plants and fruit trees.

Features include:

  • Air conditioning
  • Coffee / tea making
  • Hairdryer
  • Radio
  • Safe box
  • Toiletries
  • TV
  • WiFi


The well-equipped communal kitchen comes with oven, electric hob, microwave, dishwasher, washing machine and two fridge freezers; it's a delight to cook here when you have the place to yourself, but sharing it with other guests may not be everyone's cup of tea. The apartment also has its own small kitchen.

If you're feeling lazy, a breakfast basket can be provided (for an extra fee) to ease you into the day: fresh bread, fruit jams and so on. Otherwise, there are several shops in the village (5-10 mins' walk away) including a fishmonger, two supermarkets and a lovely German-run organic food shop called El Campo: try their local dried bananas, almond butter and agave syrup. For anything more specialist, Los Llanos - the island's largest village - is a 10-minute drive away.

The village has several restaurants, including the well-reviewed Tasca Catalina for tasty Mediterranean fare (plus great views from the terrace), and the humbler Tasca Barbanera for Canarian staples (think open montaditos sandwiches, white cheese with green mojo, spinach and parmesan bites). Nearest to the house is Italian-inspired La Cantina del Geco, with fresh pasta and good pizzas. There's also an upscale Thai-Med fusion place called Franchipani, a couple of Mexican and Venezuelan eateries, and lots more options in Los Llanos.

Features include:

  • Coffee maker
  • Full kitchen
  • Restaurants nearby


  • Caldera de Taburiente National Park with its huge volcanic crater is on the doorstep, and offers exhilarating treks surrounded by jagged 2000m peaks or through the dramatic Las Angustias ravine
  • Drive up to the Roque de los Muchachos observatory, at 2396m above sea level, for stunning island views and night-time star-gazing; or trek there along the knife-edge Ruta de la Cresteria
  • Visit the towns of Santa Cruz (a 25-minute drive) or Los Llanos (15 minutes); both have colourful historic centres with cobbled lanes, 16th-century buildings and a vibrant café culture
  • The sheltered beaches of Tazacorte, Puerto Naos and Charcol Verde are all within 15 minutes' drive, or ask the owners how to find the island's more remote stretches of sand
  • Try paragliding, sea-kayaking or mountain biking with a local operator - Iona can advise
  • Taste some of the island's delicacies such as miel de palma (palm honey) or the excellent locally produced wines

    Activities on site or nearby include:

    • Cycling
    • Hiking
    • Mountain biking
    • Private guided tours
    • Shopping / markets
    • Stargazing
    • Swimming
    • Trekking
    • Walking
    • Watersports
    • Wine tasting


Under 14s are not allowed when booking individual rooms, but all ages are welcome when renting the whole house. It's a good option for families with older kids and teens who are interested in the great outdoors, and happy to brave the cool (and sometimes choppy) waters of the Atlantic. Cots can be provided for whole-house bookings.

Best for:

Teens (over 12)

Kids Activities on site:

Heated outdoor pool


  • Beach: 13km
  • Pharmacy: 1km (El Paso)
  • Hospital: 20km (Santa Cruz)
Kid Friendly:


The Old Music School is situated in the village of El Paso in the middle of the Canary Island of La Palma (not to be confused with the cities of La Palma on Mallorca or Las Palmas on Gran Canaria!). It's a 25-minute drive from the island's airport near Santa Cruz.

By air:
La Palma (21km) is the only airport on the island, and is served by domestic flights - mostly from other Canary islands - and a few international charters.

Getting around
There are shops and restaurants within walking distance of the guesthouse, but you'll want to hire a car to explore the island. We found Oasis to be reliable and friendly.

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


  • La Palma 21.5 km SPC


  • Beach 13.0 km
  • Shops 1.0 km
  • Restaurant 1.0 km

Our guests' ratings...

Based on 3 independent reviews from i-escape guests


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