Townhouse in La Carihuela
Please be aware if you are a larger party (6 or more) or you find that this house is unavailable when you would like to book it, please make an enquiry anyway as we have neighbours with similar houses to ours who might be able to accommodate you.
This is a charming 2-bedroom house situated in gated, pleasant, well-maintained gardens, in a small, secure community and it is only 200 metres from the beach and La Carihuela village (see below). It has a secure dedicated car parking space directly outside the house, if you have been to Carihuela before you will know that parking spaces are like gold dust. Not that you will need a car unless you intend to travel all over Andalucía!
The house has one double bedroom and one twin bedroom (with optional third bed). A toddler-cot and high-chair are also available if required at no extra charge (we do not believe in those naughty extras, the price you see is the price you pay!). Each bedroom has a balcony, the balcony in the twin bedroom is enclosed so it is child-safe. The house has ample space for a family or 4 adults (if you are a couple then the house is even more luxurious in terms of space).
Tasteful and modern décor runs throughout the property and everything you will require for your stay is provided (including iron & board, a new washing machine, toaster, proper kettle – the important and often forgotten things in a holiday villa!). Also included is a Remoska which allows you cook things as you would in an oven – it roasts a chicken to absolute perfection. Hot water for showers etc. is available on demand via a fully-automated boiler (new one installed February 2011).
Also provided is a DVD player and TV with UK Sky satellite for TV and radio (all channels except Sky Movies, Sky Sports and Adult) beach towels and a (varying) number of beach toys and sunbeds for use on the terrace or by the pool.
There is a computer with broadband internet access normally available for your use, please note this cannot be absolutely guaranteed as we do not have an onsite IT assistance contract (that would increase the rent by about £50 a week!).
Unlike many holiday-lets, this is a house, not an apartment, and the bedrooms are upstairs (important if you want to pack the children off to bed, whilst you enjoy yourselves downstairs). The lower floor is split-level with the dining area and separate kitchen raised from the living room, which has two comfortable sofas and large window-doors out onto the terrace.
The large south-facing terrace has a stylish wooden table and chairs, perfect for eating outside – you are also supplied with a portable griddle which allows you to do the cooking outside as well. Sun-loungers are provided and these are perfect for lazing on the patio or by the pool. The terrace has a retractable awning for use on those summer afternoons if the blazing sun gets too much!
The pool is communal but is never particularly busy – it is only shared by twenty houses - and you will often find that you have it to yourselves. It is only 30 metres from the house. In early 2010 the pool was completely rebuilt and is fully compliant with all new regulations concerning swimming pools, including toddler-proof railings, male and female showers and other added facilities. The pool is open all year round.
Smoking: The Villarenters system only allows us an allowed-throughout or not-allowed-at-all choice. We are not foolish enough to believe all guests or their visitors will not smoke. We do ask that smokers only do so outside on the terrace. Please note that Spain introduced a smoking ban in all inside restaurants and bars in January 2011.
La Carihuela village is 150m away, between the house and the beach. In the narrow, traditional, traffic-free streets running parallel to the seafront and beach it has an unbelievably wide range of restaurants to suit all tastes and pockets - many of them are famous throughout Spain as La Carihuela is known nationwide as a centre of Andalucian cuisine. There are lots of restaurants catering for every nationality though - so you can eat your way around the world if you so wish!
Because there are so many restaurants - all of them open all year round, there is no season here - the prices remain extremely competitive, you can easily find a beautifully-cooked meal of the day for 10 euro, and even pushing the boat out for a special celebration in one of the famous restaurants is remarkably inexpensive.
Carihuela village also has a wide range of shops, with everything from designer fashions, shoes, bags, jewellery, expensive collectable china through to the inevitable beach shops and souvenirs. There are proper supermarkets - Mercadona and SuperSol, not those expensive small shops - 5 minutes walk from the house.
Carihuela is also the origin of the famous chiringuitos - beach cafe-bars - where you can sit at the bar and make new friends from around the world or simply carry on sunbathing and the staff will bring your drinks and food to you on the beach! They started in the 50s when the fishermen realised they could cook the days catch and sell it to the newly-arriving visitors. Youll still see the mornings fish being cooked on charcoal fires every lunchtime at almost every chiringuito.
The chiringuitos vary in style, offering a variety to suit all tastes. Playa Miguel is the best cafe-bar for all ages and also has wonderful beach-divans for that extra touch of luxury, open 10am to 3am (1am November - February). El Horno Beach is great for afternoon drinks and snacks, and has a clubby atmosphere in the evenings, Chiringuito Isobel - the nearest one - is more of a restaurant and does great food. They are just three of the best - there are more to choose from!
La Carihuela beach was the first beach on the Costa del Sol to attract international tourists in the 1950s, including Frank Sinatra, Sophia Loren and the early jet set. It was the first because it was - and still is - the best on the Costa del Sol. Absolutely vast, it is a Blue Flag beach with safe bathing (unless the red flags are flying - rare). It is sandy (no shingly bits!) and is cleaned early every morning, all year round. There are a wide variety of beach activities available, from the childrens play area at the part closest to the house through to water-skiing etc. along towards Benalmádena marina.
Unlike much of the Costa del Sol, La Carihuela has a very Spanish flavour as it is very popular with people coming from Málaga for long lunches. International visitors tend to be from the UK, Holland, Ireland, Sweden and France, so there are good restaurants catering for these nationalities, as well as the ever-present Chinese and Italian restaurants. If you like German food were afraid there isnt much as there tend to be few German tourists here.
Fortunately La Carihuela missed out on the high-rise-horrors of the 70s tourist boom (thats on the other side of Torremolinos, or in Benalmadena) and is now a protected zone, even some of the original fishermens cottages have survived. This gives it a character all of its own, unusual on the Costa del Sol!
La Carihuela is a great base for a holiday that mixes both beachtime and exploring Andalucia.
Getting around is easy so do not pre-hire a car unless you are sure youre actually going to use it! The number of times people have said to us "we wish we hadnt hired a car"...., if you want one for a day or two there are agencies in Carihuela village that do excellent daily rates.
Frequent and cheap local trains to Málaga and Fuengirola run from the station near the house (10 mins walk away).
Buses to Málaga, Marbella, Torremolinos centre, Fuengirola, Mijas, Benalmádena etc. are also frequent, cheap, and stop nearby.
Málaga City has everything from a Moorish Castle to the Picasso Museum as well as international shopping and is often overlooked. Málaga is easily reached from the house by train in 30 minutes. Since the opening of the AVE fast trainline in December 2007 Málaga now has fast trains (2hrs 15 min!) to Madrid. The journey times to Córdoba and Seville have also been cut significantly.
From the white villages of inland Andalucia to the famous gorge at Ronda, from the incredible mosque at Córdoba to the Alhambra at Granada, nothing is too far away and there are plenty of great day trips to plan. If you dont want the bother of planning yourself there are travel agents in Carihuela village that do a wide range of trips to all these places and also to Gibraltar or Morocco!
Torremolinos Town Centre (forget the Monty Python sketch - 21st century Torrie will surprise you - if youre looking for Benidorm you wont find it here) is nearby, about 15 minutes walk or a short bus ride, and has a lot of good shops if you explore the nooks and crannies. It is now a very popular resort with people from all over Spain and this has encouraged a much wider range of shops to replace the old tourist-tat ones that used to prevail. Good for clothes (Zara etc.) at prices much lower than in the UK!
If theme parks are your thing then Aqualand, Tivoli World (funfair, water rides etc.) the Sea-Life Centre and Crocodile World are all nearby.
If you are sporty then Torremolinos has an excellent modern sports centre. There are also tennis-courts in La Carihuela.
If the sea is your thing the marina at Benalmadena is about 15 minutes walk along the seafront - for sailing or fishing you can hire boats and yachts here. Tours of the coastal caves are also available.
Golfers can find a wide range of courses nearby, the nearest one is Torremolinos and then they spread along the coast to Marbella (about 40 minutes away).
If you need the all-night nightlife experience then both Benalmádena Marina and Torrie Town Centre have a wide variety of discos and nightclubs, about a 15 minute walk away or a short bus or cab ride.
The cot is suitable for both young babies and toddlers.