Some of you may have seen on my social media last weekend that we were kindly invited to visit Casa La Siesta near the stunning Andalucian town of Vejer de la Frontera, just south of Cadiz in Spain to showcase one or the eight weeks that this luxury, adults only hotel opens their door to families. The trip was a gifted review.
As it was term time, the boys were left in the care of the grandparents and we took the little one for some special time just the three of us and despite the fact that she was recovering from yet another bout of croup, the journey from Heathrow to Gibraltar (Jerez is also an option) was easy (2.5 hours) and we hired a car and drove for an hour north west before entering the stunning little village in which this purpose built finca (that looks as if it’s been in place for decades) has been built.
I was ready for the place to be special. It was designed by owners Amelia and Lee Thornley who have now also branched out into retailing the incredible range of interior accessories, tiles and flooring at the fabulous Bert and May.
But there’s special and then there’s special. The air of tranquility and the clever way in which the design of the interior and exterior of the buildings soothes and delights in equal measure is spectacular.
In April, when we visited, daytime temperatures can hit around 20 degrees but we arrived during an unseasonably cool spell. It didn’t matter – we were able to enjoy short spells of time soaking up the sun sat in one of thirty different beautiful little outdoor nooks, nestled between lemon trees and olive trees.
The outdoor pool is saltwater and heated and during family weeks scattered with all of the inflatable accessories children could ever wish for. The help yourself fridge offers free water, soft drinks and beer and there’s even a beer tap in the garden if you prefer a draft pour. Tea and coffee are also freely available.
The hotel offers rooms around the courtyard (which are most appropriate for those who might want to settle children to sleep and dine immediately outside the door to their room) with log burners and deep baths. We stayed upstairs in a huge suite with roll top bath, giant king size bed, full size bed for the Bébé and walk in waterfall shower. All windows are shuttered and many lead to balconies. It was cool and light when you wanted it to be and oh so dark and cosy in the mornings meaning we all rose late. If you’re feeling burned out and catching up on sleep is one of your holiday goals – this place really is the one for you – it’s all in the name!
For larger families or those looking for more independence there are also two separate self catering units, one with its own private pool – together with the main bedrooms the place can be hired exclusively – it would make the ultimate wedding venue.
We started each day with a lazy coffee in bed while the little one enjoyed some iPad time and a biscuit. At 9ish we headed downstairs for a traditional Andalusian breakfast served by the wonderful Mary (the children adore her) – freshly baked cake, yoghurt, fruit and local honey, eggs any way you like and avocados, locally grown tomatoes, Manchego cheese and fresh bread. For children pancakes and fresh fruit. It was magical and didn’t ever get boring.
Each day the lovely Eva arrived at 11am and would oversee activities for the children. Lila made pirate hats, hooks and little boats out of corks!
We visited the local town of Vejer de la Frontera and drove the twenty minute drive to the stunning beaches of the Costa de la Luz (El Playamar.) We watched the surfers and browsed the eccentric surf and hippy shops.
We’d head back and enjoy a siesta, a swim or a bath and then enjoy dinner back downstairs (usually it would be warm enough to eat outside but not our weekend.) The food is delicious – the daily menu written up on a board with a suggestion for the children (e.g spaghetti bolognaise, chicken fillet with vegetables, ice cream) and a three course adult meal – we enjoyed local pork fillets, a delicious wagu beef salad and fresh Dorado. But every request was accommodated so if children prefer what the adults have on offer or vice versa – that’s just fine.
For those who need a little more in the way of activity there is a table tennis table, trampoline, plenty of open space for walks and private yoga and massage can be arranged on request.
Family weeks for 2019 are 4th April- 29th April, 12th July- 28th, 15th August- 22nd August, 23rd October- 3rd November. I’d absolutely recommend this as a short break without children too if you’re looking for a short escape to recharge your batteries. Three nights was perfect for us – we certainly left feeling recharged – you could incorporate a stay here with a tour of the area as I understand Cadiz is also a city not to be missed – next time we’ll do it all!