Casa La Siesta, Vejer de la Frontera, Spain
14 May, 2019
Bathed in Andalusian sunshine, Casa La Siesta invites guests to enjoy late-morning dips and lazy afternoons in the bucolic Spanish countryside. Rustic yet refined, this boutique hotel is the ultimate retreat.
Nestled among the rolling hills of rural Cadiz province, Casa La Siesta is a boutique bolthole basking in the Andalusian sunshine. Owned by the founders of interior design champion, Bert & May, it has a refined, rustic aesthetic that charms you into a holiday lull. Thick wooden beams frame the farmstead's crackling open fire, clusters of antique furniture punctuate its butterscotch-stone walls and aromatic herbs perfume the courtyard gardens.
Set just 10km away from Vejer de la Frontera's labyrinthine hilltop lanes and whitewashed artisan-owned studios, this is the place to follow late-morning dips in the outdoor pool with lazy afternoons. Devour tapas in tiny tavernas and explore the Moorish town's tapestry of crumbling church spires.
Casa La Siesta
A bohemian blend of blonde woods, reclaimed tiles, parquet flooring and distressed sage shutters acts as a tonic for the heavy of heart at Casa La Siesta. This cortijo (country house) character pulses through the hotel's seven rooms, each drenched with modern luxuries and the Spanish coastline's golden glow.
In-room wood burners, crystal chandeliers, free-standing roll-top baths, monsoon showers with Ren-stocked shelves, plus sweeping views are par for the course. The self-contained Casita and Stables residences offer secluded grounds for couples coveting extra privacy amid the orange groves and lavender-lined lawns.
What's for breakfast?
Fresh produce from neighbouring markets and the hotel's kitchen garden is served table d'hôte each day. Deliciously thick Greek yoghurt, local honey and seasonal fruits are offered up alongside hot-from-the-oven breads, cheeses from small-scale suppliers in Alcala de los Gazules, and eggs cooked to your liking. Even sides of creamy avocado, amber-shot olive oil and sweet tomatoes plucked straight from the vines are served on incredibly chic earthenware dishes.
How about lunch and dinner?
Indulge in a sharing charcuterie platter and Siesta tapas board poolside, or take shelter in the shaded gravel courtyard with a refreshingly cold Andalusian staple: gazpacho. The menu changes daily, but with the wild Atlantic waves teeming with life just 15km away, look out for salty calamari, spicy prawn salads and meaty bluefin tuna steaks. Retinto beef and tender pork mains cooked with Moroccan influences are best enjoyed with a glass of something from the casa's extensive wine cellar. (Spoiler: the blush Azul y Garanza rosé is incredibly light, deceptively potent - and thoroughly recommended.)
Is there a bar?
A well-stocked "honesty" fridge hums with bottles of crisp local white wines and Cruzcampo beers just outside the kitchen's antique doors, while out in the main courtyard you can pour a pint straight from the tap at the outdoor island. Huge white sunken sofas, lashings of soft, festoon lighting and crimson-streaked sunsets add to the casa's chilled Ibiza vibes come dusk.
The turquoise outdoor pool, which is heated in spring and autumn, also provides the perfect backdrop for a spot of morning yoga out on the lawn - just be sure to pre-arrange classes with hotel staff, who can also line up massages, cycling tours, horse riding and surfing lessons.
Things you should know
If you want to really explore the region during your stay, hire a car. Roads aren't particularly pedestrian-friendly and the region is hilly, so walking to the nearest beach (15km away) or Vejer de la Frontera (10km uphill) might not be the leisurely stroll you had envisioned.
Most importantly, don't be afraid of your shadow: the casa's permanent resident, black cat Sombra (Spanish for shadow) is as friendly - and demanding - as they come. Translation: don't expect prime spot in front of the fire each evening.
Within a short walk you'll find
Well, not much besides green fields and neighbouring farmlands. However with wheels you can easily hit El Palmar - a wide, sandy beach with a smattering of restaurants for an afternoon gelato fix - and the sinuous streets of Vejer de la Frontera's old town. In a 45-minute drive you'll reach Spain's ancient port city of Cádiz which dazzles with baroque architecture bleached blonde by the Costa de la Luz's eponymous light.