Journal: 16 April 2018
Our first family visit to Spain was when Stanley was just two years old and we stayed in the north. We loved the food, weather, beaches and how welcoming the locals were to us as a family. For an Easter break, we decided to explore a new region, this time Andalusia in the south. I’d seen a feature in Cereal Magazine on Vejer de la Frontera and the town looked beautiful…
Casa La Siesta, where we stayed, is owned by Amelia and Lee Thornley. Lee is the man behind Bert & May interiors. His company is a specialist supplier of handmade artisan tiles, engineered wood, natural pigment paints and, most recently, furniture, bathroom fittings and kitchens. They also offer interior design from their London showrooms. Bert & May tiles are sold in the Conran Shop and have been used by Soho House, so I was particularly excited at the prospect of immersing myself in this hotel.
Casa La Siesta is ordinarily an adults only boutique hotel, but for four select times of the year (details below) the house opens the door to families.
The hospitality at the house was exceptional. It has the finishing and details of a beautiful hotel and yet the warmth of staying with friends.
Stanley soon made friends with another little boy of a similar age, which gave us an opportunity to relax whilst they played. Every day between 11-1pm there was a children’s club. During Stanley’s sessions he made cookies, painted, planted melons in the gardens and modelled with clay. I think he really relished the chance to embrace more fine motor based activities.
We took the opportunity to explore Vejer de la Frontera. It’s one of those villages that looks beautiful from every angle.
As a family we try to avoid the obvious family holiday destinations, which enables us to properly relax. We found the airport, roads and area naturally quiet and peaceful – despite it being Easter (and the school holidays), which we were really grateful for.
The food in the house was incredible – there’s no other word for it.
Breakfast was taken in the courtyard outside the front of the house. Lunch and dinner were served out the back, or indoors at your request or if the weather wasn’t favourable.
With Stanley having more energy than your typical five year old, we tend to shy away from anything too formal. Don’t let the place setting fool you though, this felt anything but formal. Stanley is also a bit fussy with food and, on our last night, he’d decided he was hungry just before bed, so the kitchen soon rustled him up a tortilla. We never felt an inconvenience. Everyone at Casa La Siesta had the time to talk to us, and Stanley.
The swimming pool is heated, which is essential outside of the peak season but not actually a given (in our experience). Despite Stanley not yet being able to swim (unaided), we convinced him to wear a floatation jacket and he was away. The house had kindly left out a selection of pool toys which the children shared between themselves. I made use of the ‘help yourself’ fridge with drinks at this time.
Casa La Siesta, or ‘the house of sleep’, is very aptly named. The beds and pillows were incredibly soft and the attention to detail throughout the house is exemplary. I loved the freshly picked flowers which were in our room and on the tables at meal times.
I can also happily report Stanley slept through every night. The shutters definitely helped as he in fact laid in. We most definitely adopted the Spanish body clock.
We shared our room with Stanley, which also contained a roll-top bath and log burner. Toiletries were provided by Ren.
Within the extensive grounds there was an allotment, mature planted gardens, a lawn, swimming pool, trampoline, several under-cover seating areas, an outside bar and even table tennis. All of which provided excellent breakout areas.
For our cat-obsessed son, the addition of a black cat called Sombra was a welcome one. Sombra was really friendly, she even joined us in our room a couple of times. FYI, for those not in the know, Sombra means shadow in Spanish and she definitely became my shadow on this trip.
It’s rare for us to go somewhere and not feel the need to leave! The hotel really did cater for everything.
On the advice of some friends we ventured out to see some of the Andalusian coastline, in particular Bolonia in Tarifa. With the vast expansive sands, it reminded us of North Norfolk.
Although we only stayed for four nights, we definitely only scraped the surface of this beautiful part of Spain. With Stanley starting swimming lessons at school this week, we look forward to our next stay at the hotel when he’s learnt how to swim. I bet we won’t get him out of that pool!
Flew Ryan Air Stansted to Jerez.
Car hire via Holiday Autos.
We stayed at Casa La Siesta. Family only dates for 2018 are–
August is fully booked.
22 October–5 November.
A family break for two adults and one child is from €1,020 for 3 nights or from €2,380 for 7 nights in one their rooms on a B&B basis. Prices include some activities & breakfast. For more info, visit Casa La Siesta.