casas karen
HIPPY CHIC: Luxurious Casas Karen

THE Costa de la Luz is literally creaking with hip places to stay from beachside gems to inland cortijos and from grand townhouses to campsites.

In Vejer you would be hard pressed to beat the seminal Casa de Califa, in the town’s loveliest square, surrounded by its best restaurants.

The Moorish building sits around a charming central patio, where guests take breakfast and dine under candlelight each evening.

Historic in the extreme, the building, and its sister Triperia, oozes history and has been extremely well renovated.

However if you are after something more rustic, then another great option is Hotel Sindhuru, which is peace personified with some of the most amazing views.

Run by friendly Ana and her husband, it has a lovely pool and, best of all, its own exceptionally good restaurant.

Nearby, right on the beach, in Canos de Meca, is Madreselva, set around a central courtyard and with a decent pool for the kids to splash in.

Also in Canos, just a short walk to the Trafalgar lighthouse, is evocative Casas Karen, a super-chilled retreat, sitting in a wild spot with the natural park behind as a backdrop.

Between pinewoods and beach, the collection of chozas (straw huts) and traditional Andalucían farmhouses blends perfectly into the landscape.

It is also one of the greenest hotels around, with all waste being recycled and water is drawn from a well. Massages and yoga can be arranged, or guests can simply relax in a Mexican hammock.

In Tarifa you have an equally good group of stylish hotels.

On the beach, the best established is the Hurricane, which is now 25 years old and run by the coast’s long-serving expats, brothers James and Peter Whaley, who also own the more luxurious Punta Sur across the road.

Both hotels have their own restaurants and both serve up a great range of activities on the beach and in the hotel, including pilates and yoga classes every day, plus a brand new spa.

Another great new option in the centre of the town itself is La Rosa de los Vientos, which is an attractive place in a great location.

Set up by Seval and her partner Mourat, it has a nice range of rooms and a fantastic roof terrace and central atrium to chill out.

Last, but definitely not least, if you are looking for one of the best beachside escapes then Hotel Antonio in Zahara de los Atunes is wonderful.

Sitting right on one of Andalucia’s top beaches, this is a professionally-run and great value hotel with an amazing restaurant to match.

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