Siete Balcones

Vejer de la Frontera, Costa de la Luz, Spain Book from Book from £80 per night

Creative, arty and very affordable studio rooms in the heart of Vejer's labyrinthine old town centre
If you adhere to the 'Small is Beautiful' adage, this 5-room guesthouse should be just the ticket. There are, indeed, 7 splendid balconies opening out to the winding streets of old Vejer, along with 4 bedrooms wrapped round the flag-stoned courtyard, plus a spacious apartment if you are staying longer. Guests share a bright reading room and a leafy roof terrace for lazy siestas. Bryony and Wanda - ceramic artists from Britain and Madrid respectively - renovated the building to highlight its period features, then added a splash of urbane sophistication through 50s furnishings and eye-catching works of art, brightly coloured fabrics and kilims. The resulting mix feels intimate, light-hearted and uplifting.

Guests at Siete Balcones mark their own rhythm, though manager Anne is discreetly on hand should you want for anything. You come and go as you would in your own home. Use the kitchenettes to make your breakfast, grab a book from the shelf, then chill on the rooftop terrace with its sweeping views across the rooftops of old Vejer. And put time aside for wandering Vejer's plexus of narrow streets: this is one of Andalucia's most bewitching towns.
Covid-19 update: some services and facilities may be changed as a result of Coronavirus measures.

Highs

  • Vejer has seen a real renaissance recently and has a highly infectious buzz about it
  • Superb tapas bars and restaurants just a shake away from your doorstep, and beautiful beaches a short drive away
  • You're plum in the centre of town, yet 7 Balcones couldn't be more peaceful
  • Fresh, stylish bedrooms, some with sitting areas and kitchenettes, all with a great price tag
  • A peaceful haven as no children under 12 are allowed (of course, this is a Low for some)

Lows

  • Room 4 is pretty small, at 15 sq.m, and doesn't have a kitchenette (but it is cheaper)
  • A bit of a schlepp with your suitcases: streets in old Vejer weren't conceived with cars in mind and finding a parking space can be tricky
  • No meals are served, but rooms have access to a kitchenette
  • No twin rooms - this place is aimed at couples

Best time to go

Vejer is worth a visit at any time of year, and its proximity to the sea means that even in summer, it rarely gets unpleasantly hot. The beach season normally kicks off around mid May and extends until early October.

Our top tips

However many nights you've put aside for your visit to Vejer, add a few more. A week would be my minimum, 10 days perfect, even 2 weeks not excessive. This is one of the most beautiful southern Spanish towns, and the recent arrival of a sizeable ex-pat population has helped foster a surprisingly vibrant culinary scene. And with the beach and mountains within easy driving distance, you can really experience the best of both inland and coastal Andalucia.

Great for...

Beach
Cheap & Chic
City Style
Great Outdoors
Romantic
  • Boutique B&B
  • 4 bedrooms
  • Self-catering
  • Over 12s only
  • Open all year
  • Pool
  • Spa Treatments
  • WiFi
  • Pet Friendly
  • Disabled Access
  • Beach Nearby
  • Off-street Parking
  • Restaurants Nearby
  • Air Conditioning
  • Guest Lounge
  • Terrace
  • Garden
  • Gym
  • Daily Maid Service
  • Towels & Bedlinen
Room:

Rooms

We love the mix of Andaluz tradition - gleaming white walls, wrought iron balcony railings, geometric tiles - with bright postmodern touches: tongue-in-cheek paintings, classic film posters, 50s furniture and lovely patchwork kilims. Note there's no air-con (except in the apartment), but thick walls and overhead fans keep things cool enough.

The 4 bedrooms vary in configuration. Moroccan-coloured Room 1 is the largest; it faces the street and has 2 French windows. Room 2 is cool and tranquil, with lovely Moorish features. Going upstairs, light and airy Room 3 has a chaise longue and a beautiful 50s easy chair, while Room 4 is the smallest, but its high ceiling and French window brings in the Atlantic light, and its partially open-plan bathroom maximises space. If Room 3 and 4 are booked together they share a kitchenette.

Shower bathrooms are just as lovely, with walls of polished tadlakt and surface-top sinks created by Bryony and Wanda in situ. You'll find snowy white towels, a big vanity mirror and chunky bottles of olive oil-based shower gel and shampoo.

There's also a large and lovely apartment-for-two with a split-level double bedroom (including an in-room bathtub), and an airy open-plan sitting room/dining room as well as a fully equipped kitchen. It's perfect for a longer stay.

Features include:

  • Coffee / tea making
  • Coffee maker
  • DVD player
  • Fan
  • Fridge
  • Hairdryer
  • Iron (on request)
  • Kitchenette
  • Terrace
  • Toaster
  • Toiletries
  • WiFi

Eating

Each kitchenette has an extensive range of gleaming breakfast gadgetry: kettle, toaster, juicer, coffee maker and a gizmo to heat then froth the milk for your cappuccino. You can eat in your room, in the breakfast room, or on the roof terrace.

When it comes to lunch and dinner you couldn't be better placed: Vejer punches well above its weight in the food stakes. Bryony and Wanda's top recommendation is Casa Varo, which brings a creative and lighter touch to traditional gaditano cuisine (think carpaccio of tuna, sautéed artichokes, brochette of monkfish). Both the fish and meat are top notch, and for a good part of the year you can dine alfresco on the terrace.

I've long been a fan of Casa Califa, whose Middle Eastern and North African-inspired dishes make a nice change - and its walled garden has a real feel of Arabian Nights. And should you fancy local flavour, wander down to the enchanting Plaza de España to Cervecería Garimba for excellent fish and a big range of mouthwatering tapas.

Features include:

  • Coffee / tea making
  • Coffee maker
  • Fridge
  • Kitchenette
  • Restaurants nearby
  • Toaster
Eating:
Activity:

Activities

  • Wander through the medieval quarter of Vejer with its labyrinthine cobbled streets, stopping for tapas when you get peckish
  • Head to the beach: both Caños de Meca and El Palmar, just 15 minutes' drive from Vejer, have superb sandy stretches
  • Hike the beautiful cliff path from Caños de Meca to Barbate, indulge in a big fish feast for lunch, then jump in a taxi to return to your car
  • Spend a day exploring Cádiz, one of the oldest and most fascinating cities in Europe. Don't miss the cathedral, 18th-century watchtower and the ancient Roman theatre
  • Head for the nearby Montenmedio country club where you can ride, play golf or visit its exhibitions of contemporary paintings and sculpture
  • For bird-watching, cycling and walking head to Los Alcornocales National Park, or take a day trip to the beautiful Grazalema Natural Park, setting time aside to stop over in Medina Sidonia
  • Try your hand at sea kayaking, just along the coast in Sancti Petri

Activities on site or nearby include:

  • Birdwatching
  • Cycling
  • Golf
  • Hiking
  • Historical sites
  • Horse riding
  • Kayaking
  • Museums / galleries
  • Shopping / markets
  • Swimming
  • Wildlife

Kids

Not suitable for bambinos but children over 12 are welcome

Kid Friendly:

Location

Siete Balcones is set in the old quarter of Vejer, southwest Andalucia in southern Spain. It is within easy driving range of Sevilla, Jerez and Gibraltar airports, and the port of Cadiz. Málaga is a little further - count on almost 2.5 hours by car if coming from that direction.

By Air
Jerez de la Frontera (70km) is the closest airport, but the hotel is an easy drive from Seville and Gibraltar too. Click on the links below for a list of airlines serving these airports.

From the Airport
Take a taxi (approx €80 from Jerez, €180 from Sevilla in 2011) or hire a car.

By Car
You will probably want to get about by car and explore the Costa de la Luz. For car hire see our car rental recommendations. For parking try the Calle Corredera, Avenida de los Remedios or down at the main car park.

By Train
If you'd prefer to travel by train, head to San Fernando-Bahia Sur, which is 45km away. From here you can take a taxi.

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

More on getting to Andalucia and getting around

Airports:

  • Jerez de la Frontera 70.0 km XRY
  • Seville 155.0 km SVQ

Other:

  • Beach 9.0 km
  • Shops 0.1 km
  • Restaurant 0.1 km

Our guests' ratings...

Based on 1 independent review from i-escape guests

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

Great stay in Vejer.Thank you!

10/10,

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