There was a point a few months ago were we were wondering if we’d ever go abroad again. Isabelle had such a tough beginning – we all did – and for many months it just wasn’t possible to go anywhere outside of the UK… in fact, driving around the country was proving difficult enough! So many different types of medication and special formula and the hundreds of muslins and countless changes of clothes that used to follow us around so obediently… we needed a bigger car.
Then, all of a sudden, she was more robust. She had kicked the reflux and was a transformed little girl. So last month, just before Izzy turned one, we flew to Spain to stay at the very special Casa la Siesta, a hotel with the word ‘nap’ actually In Its Name. On this alone we were sold (and it certainly came through for us on that as well – we all slept amazingly well)… but also for its phrase – ‘Rural Luxury’. Yes Please.
Casa la Siesta is the most stunning boutique hotel tucked away in the Cadiz countryside, in Vejer de la Frontera.
A few days before we left, Izzy started teething – she was miserable, had a constant fever and had pretty much stopped eating. I was absolutely dreading our holiday. Surely it was going to be a disaster!
But then, the day of departure came and it looked as though she’d turned a bit of a corner. Her fever was down, she’d drunk some milk in the morning and wasn’t TOTALLY distraught. She fell asleep in the taxi on the way to the airport, we went through security and then she fell asleep in departures… she had another snooze on the plane and then fell asleep in the taxi to Casa la Siesta. She was properly recovering and getting happier by the minute… things were looking up and I was beginning to relax…
And then we arrived. And it was breathtaking. I don’t know if it was the magic of the hotel (I think it was) or she’d just reached the end of her wobbly period, but Isabelle was fast returning to her normal smiley self… she was nibbling berries and beginning to regain her appetite. By the end of the holiday she was devouring everything in sight :)
Casa la Siesta is absolutely stunning and has been a labour of love for it owners, transforming this beautiful ancient country house into a the most gorgeous getaway, set in acres of grounds, it has the most spectacular views across the rural landscape…and you can see the rolling hills of the Cadiz countryside stretch away into the distance…
At the centre of Casa la Siesta is a beautiful courtyard, lined with shady spots for evening dining and with the heady scent of lemon and lavender making its way into every corner… The rooms surround this courtyard, meaning every room has its own private terrace, which is where we sat on the first few nights, eating a delicious supper while Izzy slept inside. We had our monitor with us, and brilliantly, the connection stretched to the dining room and all around the courtyard, so when she napped in the afternoon we could curl up on a sofa outside and read/listen to a podcast/do NOTHING while keeping an eye on her the whole time…
The house opens out onto gardens full of olive and orange trees, with banks of heavenly scented lavender… we had breakfast in these gardens each morning, before heading to the heated pool for a splash and a dip.
The pool was fabulous and Isabelle LOVED being in the water! The weather was very changeable while we were there, so the fact that the pool was heated was amazing. She could swim every day come rain or shine and we joined her.
There are seven rooms at Casa la Siesta and each has been individually designed with meticulous thought and detail…beautiful wooden beams lining the ceilings and stunning Bert & May tiles on the floor… both LM and I are big design lovers and both of us were bowled over by the beautiful interiors. Everything is in keeping with the atmospheric ‘cortijo’ (or Spanish house) feel that runs through the whole hotel and Casa la Siesta lives and breathes this feeling and with it, the luxury of privacy, which in itself brought a very special peacefulness…
I felt like I was in an extension of my own home – being able to eat meals whenever and wherever we wanted to, having access to the enormous fridge that’s stocked with free soft drinks and beer, for whenever we might have fancied a drink and a constantly re-filled plate of divine chocolate chip cookies made me feel welcome and at home in a way that is not easy for a hotel to do.
Casa la Siesta is normally an adults only hotel, however four times a year during October, July, August and Easter, they open their doors to families and kiddiwinks. We were there over Easter and we couldn’t have asked for a more perfect place to spend our first holiday as a family together. It was wonderful.
Nothing was too much for them and all the staff bent over backwards to ensure we all had the most special time possible, be that bringing us all hot chocolates by the pool on a cooler day and cutting up avocado for izzy into just the right size.
Had Isabelle been older, she could have joined in with all the amazing arts and crafts activities, flamenco dancing, treasure hunts, table tennis and the Breakfast Club! (What is the Breakfast Club? Well YOU get a lie-in while your children get whisked away for an hour to work with their chef to make for you a typical Andalucian breakfast for you to devour IN BED. Heaven).
“If these afternoon activities don’t appeal, we also host yoga, arts and crafts, cycling, surfing and children’s massages, as well as exciting Spanish lessons for your little ones underneath the olive trees*. Through songs, games, flamenco and even a piñata they will pick up more Spanish than in any classroom whilst you enjoy a long relaxing lunch in the sunshine.”
All the other children there were so sweet with her and we met some other London folk while we there, whom we know are going to be firm friends forevermore. It was so good having other families there with us – it somehow took the pressure off and if Izzy had a bad night or cried, we knew that all the parents understood. I can’t wait to bring Izzy here when she’s older – she’ll make so many friends!
The whole holiday was perfect – comfortable, easy, relaxed, peaceful and ever so luxurious… but in a relaxed way. There was no pretention about it.
It just felt… right. And we can’t wait to return…
To find out more about Family Weeks at Casa la Siesta head to their website casalasiesta.com There are currently still spaces left for Summer 2019 weeks and Half Term.
We were guests of Casa la Siesta for a portion of our trip.
All thoughts & opinions are my own.