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La Casa de la Favorita - Tarifa (Cadiz)

La Casa de la Favorita, in the plaza de San Hiscio, rises white and majestic in the midst of the historic centre of Tarifa. Without setting foot inside, intrepid travellers can intuit that within its walls lie clues to the history of the European capital of windsurfing: remnants of lives that have passed through the three-story building, its eight rooms named after Arabic women and its terraces overlooking Tarifa, the Straits of Gibraltar and Morocco in the distance.


By:  Lakshmi I. Aguirre
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Travel NotesFind out more about this city with our insider guide.
Club TertuliaSpecial offers and discounts for users of Tertulia Andaluza.
Holiday apartments
Birth: 2008
Founded by: Tomás Coloma
Location: Tarifa (Cadiz)
Price: € 80 - € 125
Stands out for: hospitality
Did you know? pets allowed, baby-sitting and airport transfer available

Mercedes Martín, manager of La Casa de la Favorita, recounts that inspired by the story El Mozárabe by Jesús Sánchez Adalid, Tomás Coloma, an avid reader and owner of this white treasure, imagined a story taking place within its walls. “During the Caliphate of Cordoba, a prince meets a Christian, daughter of a merchant from Valladolid. He falls in love. His father however is not well pleased with his son marrying a Christian, and moreover, of low lineage, and orders her to leave Cordoba. The prince and the Christian escape together. They make it as far as Tarifa and end up living together in this house,” she explains.

There’s no doubt that the architect, Pilar Yáñez, and decorator Bruno Gitsels, tackled the rehabilitation of the building with the story of these runaway lovers in mind. The wall hangings, bedspreads, ceramic details, fragrant flowers and spices that emanate from each of the rooms take you back in time to another era. Ceramics, marble and wood give a special feel to La Casa de la Favorita. “We tried to respect the essence of the building and maintain the Andalusian feel,” explains Gitsels. “The materials and colours transmit the light and peace of the Costa de la Luz in each of the apartments”.

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Five eagle wings welcome visitors to La Casa de la Favorita, the symbol and crest of the Tarifa-based family Abreu, one of the oldest in the area. The building dates back to 1850, however “although there aren’t any documents in the Public Registry of Property in Tarifa dating further back, we found mosaics and other details that lead us to believe that the house is much older,” clarifies Mercedes. Make sure to take not of the marble they’ve incorporated into the main staircase.

Nostalgia and romanticism make way for a more pragmatic approach when it comes to the bathroom and fully-equipped kitchen incorporated into each of the individually designed suites. Rooms on the second floor have their own terrace while the first floor apartments are slightly larger with their own living room and mezzanine bedroom. Assilem and Yamile are both suites we’d recommend with mezzanine and private terrace, as well as Zoraida which enjoys spectacular views over the Straits of Gibraltar.

The false curtains painted onto wood were created by the graffiti artist Vico: “I sketched them and he adapted them to the materials and size of the windows, trying to maintain a classical style,” explains Gitsels. Vico also put his graffiti style to good use in a series of large-format paintings that depict different parts of the legend invented by Tomás Coloma. As you walk up to the first floor, these images give you an idea of scenes that may have taken place within these walls, like stills from an exotic movie.

One of the prized corners for both Coloma and Martín is the small library located on your way up the staircase. Brimming with books it invites visitors to adventure into the realms of literature during their visit to La Casa de la Favorita. “Some of them disappear, but we rest easy in the knowledge that one way or another they’ve entered into the lives of our guests,” confesses the manager. As an added bonus, the hotel ensures you can also stay home if you feel like taking it easy. As well as a fully equipped kitchen, guests can also order in sushi or Andalusian tapas to while away the evening on their private terrace looking out over Tarifa.

When you enter La Casa de la Favorita, you’re not entering into a normal hotel or holiday accommodation. Step into a private refuge; cosy, elegant, and above all, friendly, thanks to the dedicated and personal welcome you’ll receive from Mercedes. This emblematic building becomes a home away from home, a sensory experience in a location where the special coastal light will awaken your senses. We’ll never know how much truth the legend of these runaway lovers contains, but when you visit La Casa de la Favorita let your imagination run wild.


Getting there?


La Casa de la Favorita
Plaza de San Hiscio, 4
Tarifa, Cádiz
690180253, mmartin(a)lacasadelafavorita.com

Price: € 80 - € 125


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8 comments

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El 24 June 2010 a las 6:36 PM, Lucía dijo...

He estado allí un par de veces y la verdad es que Mercedes es un encanto! Gracias por hacernos sentir como unos invitados en una casa privada. La decoración es muy cálida y acogedora y se nota que cuidan los pequeños detalles con mimo. Por ejemplo me sorprendió el olor tan agradable y suave que se percibe por todos lados, desde la entrada hasta el último rincón del baño. Nada que ver con los típicos ambientadores cargadísimos que marean. Cuando volvimos la segunda vez y reconocimos el aroma al entrar nos sentimos como alguien que llega al hogar…


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El 1 July 2010 a las 9:56 AM, Esther dijo...

Yo también estuve una vez y pienso volver! Recomiendo este sitio a todo el mundo, es muy acogedor y está en pleno centro de Tarifa. Y es verdad, Mercedes es encantadora!


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El 7 July 2010 a las 5:51 PM, David dijo...

Para nosotros uno de los mejores sitios donde hemos estado de toda la zona. La relación calidad-precio inmejorable! Muy limpio, bien situado, acogedor y con un ambiente muy cálido. Y el trato estupendo. Muy recomendable!


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El 8 July 2010 a las 1:09 PM, Eva dijo...

La mejor elección para dormir en Tarifa! gracias por la recomendación, todo lo que puedo decir de esta casa es bueno!


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El 8 August 2010 a las 1:07 PM, Valentina dijo...

Volvería siempre!!! si pudiera no me iría de allí! me sentí como en casa!!!!


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El 15 August 2010 a las 1:05 PM, Esteban dijo...

Gracias por la recomendación, lo merece! estoy muy contento con el trato recibido allí, a parte de que la casa es muy bonita! y la ubicaión no puede ser mejor!


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El 25 August 2010 a las 1:02 PM, Pedro dijo...

He pasado unos días allí con mi novia y nos ha encantado! muy romántico!


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El 26 November 2014 a las 3:23 AM, Brian dijo...

fractures@skilfully.truthful” rel=”nofollow”>.…

áëàãîäàðþ!…



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