The “Sonata de verano” by the nineteenth century writer, Ramón María del Valle-Inclán, transports the reader to Mexico’s Carribean coast where he lives the passionate and stormy relationship between the Marqués de Bradomín and the Niña Chole, daughter and lover of local brigands. She is, in the writer’s words a “bronzed exotic beauty with that strange and undulating grace of nomadic races” and she gives her name to this unique house, the creation of which was a labour of love by its owner.
It was only built twenty years ago, but the house is authentic Andaluz, complete with its entrance hall (zaguán), moorish window screens, look-out tower, courtyards, and old tiles. To stay here is to journey back in time to a Spain that is increasingly difficult to find, especially when you are just 150 meters from a breathtaking beach! If what you are looking for is real Andalusia by the sea, this is for you!
The marble columned entrance gives an inkling of things to come. But this and the front door from an old palace are just the beginning: once over the massive threshold, a heavy Moroccan lamp hangs from the roof of the top floor, traditional old tiles decorate the staircase with its crafted wrought-iron bannister, and moorish window screens permit a peek from the mezzanine above. At the far end of the hall, a pair of beautifully carved doors open to the main living area. These are in fact old shutters from a palace in Ronda, and the rest of the doors in the house have been hand carved in oak to replicate them. Likewise, most of the furniture is either antique or perfect repro’. There are terracotta floor tiles throughout, some with the stamp of the Mozarabic kiln in Ronda where they were baked.
The living area is divided into three zones: the dining area; the more formal library area; and the main sitting area with its fireplace and round domed ceiling, the shape of which is mirrored with a traditional tile pattern on the floor. The walls are covered with bookshelves and an eclectic mix of prints and lithographs of operas, jazz artists, and bullfights as well as interesting pieces of modern art. The windows look out to the pool and garden in one direction and the covered terrace in the other.
In the newly refurbished kitchen you have all the electrical appliances you will want, and a collection of old ceramic jugs and plates adds the colour. Off one end is a utility room and small shower room for sandy beachcombers; and off the other is the outdoor eating “patio”, oozing character, with its potted plants and tiled mural. Beyond this is the outdoor sitting area and the rest of the large beamed terrace, which looks over the triangular pool and the garden.
The ground floor is also home to two twin bedrooms, which share a bathroom with shower. All the bathrooms have been updated this year, the end result being a wonderful mix of traditional (wall and floor tiles) and modern (showers). On the first floor, there are two more ensuite bedrooms and a mezzanine. The main suite includes its own sitting room/library (complete with open fire) and a dressing room as well as its bathroom (bath/shower). The second suite is a little smaller but also has a dressing room as well as its bathroom. In one corner there is a wood-burning stove and in the other access to a private terrace. The good-size mezzanine has a comfortable double sofa-bed and access to the main first floor terrace (restricted sea view) and the third-floor lookout tower (good sea view).
It will be difficult to find another beach house quite the same!
It is about 700m to the local shop, pharmacy, bar, and childrens’ playground. Roche also has its own tennis courts and five-a-side football pitches. In the summer months, there are several beach bars/restaurants to choose from, and within a 5-10 minute drive you have a larger selection of places to eat all year round. The area offers an endless list of activities, information on many of which you will find here on our website and on our Facebook page. And if you book with us, we provide you with detailed information on all our recommendations, details on local amenities, and our up-to-date guide to the best of everything! You could spend a wonderful holiday here without a car, and just hire bikes; but, assuming you will have a car, it’s 15 minutes to Conil, 20 minutes to the hill-top village of Vejer-de-la-Frontera, 30 minutes to Cadiz, 40 minutes to Tarifa and Jerez, and 90 minutes to Seville, all of which are well worth visiting. So, it’s good to have a car and probably worth coming for two weeks rather than one!!!!