Casona de Yaiza
El Rincon, 11, Lanzarote, Spain, 35570
- Recommended for:
- Foodies, Sporty types, Art, Chilling out, Design and architecture, Great views / scenery
Best for Food - Expert review of Casona de Yaiza
I was based here for two days of cycling and horse riding. At such a small hotel, I would normally expect more interaction with the staff and owner, but he and his artist friends have done a fine job of restoring this villa, and dinner was divine.
At the southern edge of Yaiza, this is practically the last house in the village, and looks out into the Fenauso Valley. The building dates from the 19th century, but has recently been sympathetically restored. Yaiza, and its neighbour Uga, retain the feel of laid-back local villages, perhaps because of their inland location – a good 20-minute drive to the nearest beach resort of any size. This is good country for hiking and riding, and well placed for exploration of the La Geria vineyards.
There are only five bedrooms and three suites here. Mine was one of the suites, spacious and airy, but I would avoid the smallest two bedrooms, which can be a bit of a squeeze. The artists have been hard at work in the sleeping quarters, with little touches of pseudo-renaissance frescos here and there, playful painted and gilt headboards and sumptuous bathrooms. Some have cavernous claw baths, others walk-in showers.
The small hotel lounge is pleasant enough, but doesn’t get used much – only really when guests want to use laptops with the free wi-fi which doesn’t stretch to the rooms. The palm-fringed terrace, pool area and sun balcony are much nicer and better used spaces. The gardens are well kept, but not as imaginative as some I’ve seen on Lanzarote. The old stone-lined cellar houses the Casona’s permanent art gallery, which seems a somewhat indulgent use of space, but is in keeping with the owner’s artistic leanings.
The smoked meats, cheeses and fruit for the continental breakfast kept me happy, although I saw a couple of guests hunting around for coffee refills. I got the feeling that breakfast was considered a bit of a chore by the staff, who would rather be doing other things. You can choose a drinks-inclusive room rate, which if you’re planning to spend time lazing around here is probably a good bet. Dinner, in the hotel’s stone and timber-rafted roof restaurant, was a gourmet’s delight of modern Mediterranean cuisine. Dishes, like the grilled sea bass with capers and lemon, are understated and cooked to perfection, while the prompt and attentive service speaks of a chef that runs a tight ship.
At one corner, the swimming pool tapers to an exhilarating Jacuzzi. You can rent mountain bikes, explore the valley on foot, or on horseback, which is a lovely way to go if it’s too hot to hike. The owner, José, can also arrange for sailing and diving trips, but it's best to give plenty of notice.
Daily maid service, and fresh towels, are offered, but trying to find a member of staff during the day can sometimes be a struggle. This place wouldn’t suit those who like a lot of attention.
Independent-minded travellers looking for quirky décor and a laid-back base for inland exploration.
Opt for at least a junior suite if you can afford it. Dinner here is wonderful, but not cheap, so if you want to stretch your funds, take advantage of the cheaper tapas restaurants in Yaiza for part of your stay.
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- El Rincon, 11, Lanzarote, Spain, 35570