El Morro sits up the hill from the little village of Uga, with its white-washed homes. The village is just five minutes' walk away. The vineyards of the La Geria valley stretch from here to Masdache (10km to the east), adding colour to the volcanic landscape. In the other direction, a five-minute drive brings you to the slightly larger village of Yaiza.
There are seven self-contained, self-catering suites to choose from, three of which are set apart from the main house, offering a little more privacy. Each has its own style, though glimpses of Indonesia are visible throughout in the crafted teak furniture. I particularly loved the Balinese day bed on my terrace. All rooms have a terrace or porch, satellite TV, hi-fi and a kitchen. My husband fell in love with the roll-top bath. The biggest suite, ‘Raquel’, has space for five guests on two floors. I dream of returning with a large group and hiring out the whole place.
I spent a lot of time lounging by the pool, a beautifully understated space, with a few well-chosen plants, day beds and fabulous views of the mountainscape. The gardens are beautifully kept, offering plenty of shady spots to sit and relax among tall swaying palms, sweet smelling fig trees and colourful low-level blooms.
Eating and drinking
El Morro is entirely self catering so guests are left to their own devices, except in the case of large groups, for whom meals can be provided with advance notice. Raquel has plenty of recommendations when it comes to dining options in Uga and Yaiza, and on her advice I stocked my fridge with fresh fruit for a daily alfresco breakfast on my terrace.
El Morro’s pool area is surrounded by salmon-pink walls that reflect the sun’s heat and keep out the hillside wind. It’s not the largest pool, but with so few guest rooms, it doesn’t need to be. Yoga sessions take place in El Morro’s yurt (a Mongolian tent) and for larger groups in the spacious, peaceful yoga hall. Visitors can also book massage and spa treatments.
While some owners of self-catering apartments take a lazy back seat, Raquel is a mine of information, friendly and helpful to every one of her guests. She steered my Scottish husband towards the nearby smokery, Ahumaderia de Uga, where he tried fresh salmon from his home country, wood smoked here in the traditional fashion.
Who stays there
Value-seeking families with young children, friends chilling out with yoga and spa treatments, wine trekkers.
Cots don’t cost any extra. Groups might consider the largest suite which sleeps two couples and one single at a very reasonable rate.
- Families with younger children
- Sporty types
- Escaping the crowds
- Great views / scenery
- No fuss
Pros & Cons
- Tranquil getaway
- Lovely, generous owner
- Laid back and intimate
- Minimum 1-week stay.
- Hire car needed.
- No bar or restaurant.