Together with my sister and our sons (two 6-year old’s and one 11-year old) we spent a long weekend in Casa Calida and really had a great time. We loved the rural surrounding where there were even horses grazing freely outside the gates. And the scent of the lemon and orange threes that grows just outside the window – for a northerner that’s as Spanish as it gets.
The house is really family friendly with plenty of space to accommodate a large family – or a group of friends. The kitchen was well equipped and you can easily cook a big dinner, you will have both the space and the pots and pan you need. And dishwasher for cleaning up afterwards! Unlike when you rent something in apartment hotel on the Costa del Sol you can find basics like salt, pepper and sugars in the cupboards, things that you rarely think of buying when cooking in a holiday home. It´s a nice touch and added to the easiness of living in the house. Since we visited early spring the evenings was a bit nippy, but me and my sister found our favorite place in the green armchairs in the conservatory where the heat staid longer and we could enjoy a glass of wine and the lovely vies while the boys played downstairs with the table tennis and watched YouTube on the tv. But I can surely imagen a big family dinner by the pool, cooking at the grill and enjoying warm summer nights at the outside dining place.
Everything in the house is clean and well kept. Nice and comfy beds with fresh linen, plenty of towels which is good when having a pool. No need to bring your own, a plus when packing. And girls – no need to bring your hair blower or flat iron, there’s a pair in one of the bathrooms, nice! The house has several social areas which is great since you don´t need to be on top of each other all the time. If you got kids you know what I mean, and if you a group of friends it can be nice to be able to withdraw by yourself for a while. The house has Wii-fi and it worked well, we could be on Facebook, YouTube and searching the internet with several devices at the same time without any problem. An essential these days! And you can go on Netflix on the tv, the kids loved that. Again, it´s that extra you don’t get in the mass tourist hotels.
You do need a car when living in this house since it´s located outside the village of Álora and not within walking distance to restaurants or stores, but on the other hand you would need one any way to get around the region, go to the sea side and other tourist attractions. Do take out the extra insurance that covers all the costs in case you have an accident, the locals drive fast on small roads and sometimes we were dangerously close to a wall. Also, the last part of the road up to the house is quite bumpy and it was nice not to worry about any scratches I might make to the car. But that might say more about me and my driving skills than anything ells. ;-)
We made day trips to Malaga and Marbella and the region has plenty to offer if you don’t want to hang around the house and pool all day. The driving is easy with good signage and good coverage on the satnav in case you use that. Down at Costa del Sol you will be able to manage with speaking English, but as always it´s good manners to know easy phrases in the local language. In Álora we felt it´s more of a necessary to know a few basic phrases but you do go a long way with body language and a big smile since the locals in Álora are very friendly. We saw lots of cycling groups on the roads and if you don’t mind walking a few hundred meters with you bike up to the house, then I think the house would really suite a group like that. There’s also walking trails close by.
As you might figured out we loved it and surly recommend a stay her. The only thing thou is that it might not suite a family with small children since the garden – as lovely as it is – is covered in pebbles and is made up of different levels and can be hard for a small child to get around on its own. The pool is not enclosed, making it a bit of a safety issue if you have children that can’t swim. But for our boys it was great, we could let them lose since the garden has big walls and gates, they can run around inside as well as outside without disturbing anyone. And the loved the pool (even if it was a bit cold so early in the season, probably not a problem in May and onwards) and games room.
Also, I do recommend that the first time that you arrive to the house, do that in daylight. The rural location in combination with darkness makes it a bit hard to navigate, by arriving at daylight you don’t need to worry about taking a wrong turn or finding some to ask for the way.