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Old 09-24-2012, 11:13 PM
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Default Casa Tomaren Review - Mozaga - Lanzarote

Casa Tomaren

Mozaga, Lanzarote


Kintamani Villa




Seven rustic houses (each sleeping 2-8) with Bohemian overtones make up this cosy converted farm in the heart of Lanzarote.
Isolation can be a splendid thing - when you can find it. By the time I had squeezed my car down the third narrow county lane looking for Casa Tomaren I was ready for a bit of winding down. Thankfully that's what Casa Tomaren specialises in. Owner Damian Hidalgo's rural accommodation is all about contemplation, meditation and relaxation.

The 7 houses are individually furnished with a mix of Canarian, Moroccan and Indonesian artefacts. Earthy tones abound, from the washed ochre walls to the terracotta floor tiling. Breakfast is the only concession to serviced dining but all the houses have fully-equipped kitchens for DIY meals, easy for families. Alternative health and wellness play a big part of life at Casa Tomaren - for those who choose to participate: yoga classes are held regularly, massages and reiki are also offered. Other pursuits include trekking, biking, wine tours and anything ocean-related - surfing, sailing, diving. Or you could just loll around in the hammocks next to the gorgeous swimming pool and do absolutely nothing.




Rooms

Seven houses are scattered around the sunken swimming pool. Each one has its own quirks and bedding configuration but all have more or less the same facilities and Indonesian meets Morocco styling.

Ours, Mawar, is the best choice for romantic couples, occupying the most remote position of the seven. The ground floor of this two-storey house consists of a large, terracotta tiled living room with wheat-coloured walls, beamed ceiling and bare stone features. Surprisingly there is also a small fireplace for rare chilly nights. A flat-screen TV, DVD and CD player occupy one corner, though unfortunately for the English-speaking visitors all the TV channels are Spanish. A large wooden coffee table takes centre stage, in front of a wicker settee festooned with bright coloured cushions.

The small kitchen has a fridge-freezer, four rings plus microwave, a kettle, ironing board and cutlery and crockery for a maximum of three guests. The one bathroom has a separate wash area with two square, stone sinks. Two wooden steps lead up to a shower and toilet with a window pouring daylight in from the high ceiling.

An open stone staircase leads to the bedroom where a double bed is prettily framed by a billowing white mosquito net. A stand-alone carved Indonesian wardrobe provides the only storage space for clothes. The bed faces a large double window which allows a marvellous duvet-view of the ashen landscape and a couple of low-lying volcanic cones. The bedroom also overlooks a private walled garden coloured by hibiscus, begonia and orchids. A padded wicker sofa and two armchairs occupy a covered garden terrace.

For families with small children Kintamani would be a perfect choice with a huge dormitory-like bedroom consisting of double bed and two twins and a stair gate providing security on the staircase.

Large groups and families are better off with Akar Wangi, which can accommodate up to 7 people (3 on extra beds) and also has a washing machine.

Or in Sari Wangi, which can sleep up to 6 people (2 on extra beds). Both places also have the option of outdoor catering with a garden barbecues and terraces.

Dewa and Dewi (both studios), and Melati, a one-bedroomed house, are set up primarily for couples, although each can also accommodate an extra bed for a third person or child. Melati also has a terraced private garden and barbecue; Dewa a little terrace with plants.




Features include:

  • TV
  • CD player
  • DVD player
  • Radio
  • Internet Connection
  • WiFi Internet
  • Fireplace
  • Fan
  • Mosquito net
  • Baby Cots
  • Extra Beds
  • Kitchenette
  • Full Kitchen
  • Fridge
  • Oven
  • Microwave
  • Coffee/tea making
  • Barbeque
  • Hairdryer


Eating

Self-catering provisions are featured in all seven houses, though some kitchens are more equipped than others. For example, Sari Wangi and Akar Wangi have ovens, Mawar has only rings and a microwave. A continental breakfast is served in a six-table dining hall and includes a choice of cereals, ham, cheese and a selection of home-baked breads and confectionary. Diners can help themselves to juices, coffee and tea. You can request lunches and dinners with 24 hours notice.

Down by the pool is a self-serve bar. Casa Tomaren can also offer lunch and dinner on request - choose from Indonesian, vegetarian, Spanish and Indian menus.

For stocking up the kitchen cupboards, the nearest supermarket is a 5-minute drive. Although none are within a short stroll, there are several restaurants just a few minutes' drive away. The excellent Casa del Enyesque in San Bartolomé is recommended for a creative spin on local meats and fish; the same village offers Pizzeria El Callejon for all things Italian; try Caserio Mozaga. The Casa Museo y El Monumento al Campesino is a good option for lunch.


Features include:

  • Bar
  • Breakfast
  • Kitchenette
  • Full Kitchen
  • Fridge
  • Oven
  • Microwave
  • Coffee/tea making
  • Barbeque
Activities

  • Join in the yoga classes held regularly in the large hall
  • Hit the waves with a surfboard, windsurfer or kiteboard and sail on the North-West coast, or get down and deep with an ocean dive experience, best diving and snorkelling is off the South-East coast
  • Don your boots and get walking, with or without a guide - check out the Timanfaya national park
  • You can go birdwatching all over the neighbouring La Geria nature reserve
  • Put your feet to the pedals and take in the glories of Lanzarote by mountain bike - ask Damian and he can arrange bikes for you
  • Grab your tackle and head out to sea for the big game fishing season from May to December; deep sea fishing excursions are also possible
  • Saddle-up for a horseback view of Lanzarote's stark beauty; several nearby equestrian centres cater for all levels of riders
  • Go green and take in a round at Costa Teguise golf club
Activities on site or nearby include:

  • Bird watching
  • Cycling
  • Fishing
  • Golf
  • Hiking
  • Horse riding
  • Kitesurfing
  • Mountain biking
  • Sailing
  • Scuba diving
  • Snorkelling
  • Surfing
  • Windsurfing
  • Yoga
Facilities

  • Large, self-contained houses with rustic Moroccan/Indonesian styling, fireplaces and pretty, private gardens
  • Houses have a few mod-cons by way of WiFi, flat screen TV and DVD player, CD player, hairdryer
  • Immaculate pool area with Balinese beds, hammocks strewn between palm trees, a gazebo, exotic plants, and a self-serve bar
  • Huge yoga hall with several alternative activities available by request
  • Spectacular flora embellishing a surreal jet-black landscape
  • Maid service five times a week, towels changed twice weekly and linen every week; laundry service available on request
When to go?

All year round.
Features include:

  • Bar
  • Breakfast
  • Garden
  • Internet access
  • Outdoor pool
  • Meeting rooms
  • Pets welcome by arrangement
  • Off street parking
Kids

Lie back in a hammock or on a daybed near the pool and sip on a cold drink from the bar while your youngsters splash about in the sunshine. Casa Tomaren is a great family friendly spot, particularly as you feel like you're staying in your own private house, and those under 4 go free, with under 10s half price. There's also a babysitter available if you want a night out or some time alone as a couple.

Being in the centre of the island, you're close to everything there is to do, but given that this is such a tranquil haven, there's no shame in doing nothing but kicking back, watching the children play and reading a good book.
  • Best for: Babies (0-1 years), Toddlers (1-4 years), Children (4-12 years)
  • Family friendly accommodation: We recommend Sari Wangi and Akar Wangi - not only are they bigger than the others, but they also have a private terrace with a barbecue area. . They also have the biggest kitchenettes, with an oven, fridge-freezer, microwave and hob.

    All the other houses can accommodate an extra bed or cot. Large families should book Kintamani, which has a master bedroom and a second bedroom with 5 single beds. None of the villas have a bath tub.
  • Babysitting: Babysitting available by arrangement (24 hours notice at least).
  • Baby equipment:
    • Cots
    • High chairs
    • Baby bedding
    • Stair gates (where needed)


  • Children's meals: All houses have slightly different kitchenettes; basically the bigger you book, the better the kitchen. You can request lunch or dinner (24 hours notice), get a takeaway dinner from a nearby restaurant or stock up at the nearby supermarket.
  • Kids Activities on site:
    • Communal play area
    • Swimming pool with shallow end
    • Gardens with hammocks
    • Playroom
    • Playground
    • Children's DVDs
  • Kids Activities nearby:
    • Mountain biking
    • Horse riding
    • Walking
    • Watersports
    • Beaches - we'd recommend Papagayo near Playa Blanca as a sheltered, sandy spot
  • Families Should Know: The swimming pool isn't fenced, but is behind a wall a short distance from the houses. Some houses have stair gates where needed.

Distances:

  • Airport: 15 minutes
  • Hospital: 20 minutes
Location
Casa Tomaren is in Islote which is north-west of Arrecife Airport heading inland, near the village of San Bartolomé.

By Air:
Lanzarote's Arrecife (15km). Click on the links below for a list of airlines.

From the Airport
See Rates for an idea of how much a taxi may cost.

By Car:
A car is essential unless you plan to remain in your house for the duration of your stay. We recommend Holiday Autos, which offers competitive prices and you can collect your car at the airport. Be sure to book well in advance.

Detailed directions will be sent to you when you book through i-escape.

More on getting to Lanzarote and getting around


Airports:

  • Lanzarote Arrecife 15.0km ACE
Other:

  • beach: 8.0 km
  • shop: 2.0 km
  • restaurant: 2.0 km


Highs

  • A post-apocalyptic silence; even the birds seem to sing in hushed whispers
  • Free WiFi throughout, just in case you need to check the pulse of the outside world
  • A feeling of ownership; you're very much left to your own devices. This can also be one of the downfalls...
  • The magnificent swimming pool: turquoise waters with tropical shading in a secluded volcanic sinkhole
  • The lush gardens: a wealth of exotic colour bursts forth from the black, volcanic-ash earth
  • Magnificent sunrises and amazing landscapes
  • Central location, easy drive to the coast or volcanic areas
Lows

  • Lack of signage both on the main road and within the grounds; it took a bit of trial and error to find and then locate the 'reception'
  • A welcome pack of basic foodstuffs, such as coffee, tea and milk, wouldn't have gone amiss
  • No restaurants within easy distance - the nearest is a good 10 minutes' walk away - and lunch and dinner are only available on request with 24 hrs notice
  • The abandonment: once you've been shown to your house you're pretty much left on your own
  • No info on local services and facilities available in the houses - though, since our visit, an extra English speaker (besides Damian) has been appointed to help plan your day
Guest Ratings

Room: 87%
Food: 66%
Service: 80%
Value: 80%
Overall: 79%
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