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“Lovely hotel with immense individuality and character”

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Hotel La Casa del Califa Hotel
Certificate of Excellence
Reviewed August 19, 2013

We stayed at the Califa for 5 nights attending a family wedding nearby. We stayed in room number 4 which had dual aspect windows. It was clean and well appointed with very efficient air-con and the bathroom spacious with good quality products. The room was well serviced daily. Breakfast was excellent, fabulous selection of meats, breads, fruits, jams, freshly squeezed orange juice, good espresso. Although we didn't get a chance to eat in the restaurant (which came highly recommended by a number of people) we did try the Califa cafe on the square which served good kebab but was under-staffed. A word of warning though, Fiesta was on when we stayed and whilst this brought the town alive it was incredibly busy. Stauranrs were very busy and parking was a bit of an issue, however, the atmosphere was electrifying and well worth a visit during August if you like this sort of thing. Very noisy and busy until about 5am but great fun!

Stayed: August 2013, traveled as a couple
3  Thank Dale W
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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131 - 137 of 493 reviews

Reviewed August 15, 2013

Other rooms in the hotel may be pleasant, however, room number 3 is certainly not. Unless you wish to be transported back to the days of Arab occupation and wish to experience what it may have been like to be a prisoner there.

There are three minuscule windows which offer the only natural light and as a bonus, the main busy walkway to the restaurant is right alongside the room. So you can hear and see the feet of the restaurant goers as they stomp past. Oh and I should mention only one of the three opens!

The positive - breakfast was excellent and the hotel itself is lovely.

In summary Vejer great, Hotel Casa Califa not.

Room Tip: Do not stay in room number 3!
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  • Stayed: August 2013, traveled as a couple
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4  Thank 7ericcantona
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed August 6, 2013

We've just spent a week there and really enjoyed it. The little hilltop town, Vejer, is picturesque and beautiful, with a network of narrow streets. The hotel is the antithesis of the bland corporatism of a Radisson or Hilton - a veritable rabbit-warren of staircases and landings, all beautifully decorated with a nod to Vejer's Moorish past. It was clean and the staff were without exception charming. After a week of hotel breakfasts you will never want to go back to Weetabix. Book in advance to eat at the attached restaurant - it gets busy; but the couple of meals we ate there were absolutely wonderful. A couple of things to watch out for. There are a lot of stairs, and the infirm or very elderly might find that trying. The hotel fronts onto a tiny square lined with restaurants, and when we were there it was noisy until about midnight; rather than moaning about it we adjusted our day to local time-keeping and ate later ourselves. The hotel has its own carpark a few minutes walk away, for which, it turned out at the end of our stay, we had been charged about 10 Euros a day. It would have been nice to have been told this wasn't free beforehand. But on the whole thoroughly enjoyable.

  • Stayed: July 2013, traveled with family
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2  Thank voiceofpeason
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed July 16, 2013

I have just spent the week at the Casa del Califa, and it has been a very enjoyable holiday. The hotel is well situated, allowing you access to the all of the beautiful beaches along the Costa del a Luz, right from Tarifa to Cadiz. Tarifa is only 47 km away, so a day trip to Tangier can be easily done, and it still allows you to be back in time for a nice long, cool sundowner, whilst watching the sun go down from the hotel terrace, or from the cocktail bar, both of which share the same view of the beautiful countryside, right up to the hills on the horizon.
This is a charming hotel with lots of character, and it has a nice feel to it. That may have something to do with the staff, who, without exception are friendly and helpful.
The rooms are clean, comfortable, tidy and well maintained.
The restaurant is also a delight, serving food with a North African flavour, and there is always a good choice of wine to go with the meal. The restaurant, is very busy at this time of the year and you are advised to book. One of the nicest things, is that you can eat all of the meals in the garden if you want to. The service at meals times is excellent, you can be served quickly if you want to be, or you can be laid back and take you time, without being pressured. The hotel and the restaurant are certainly a credit to lovely Regli & James, (who is not quite as lovely, :-) but he is a font of knowledge on all things Andalucian or African, and offers good advice if you are planning a trip). I have had a brilliant holiday, and will be returning soon. Thank you both.

Room Tip: If you want to book a room, check with the hotel before you book, you can generally get a better dea...
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  • Stayed: July 2013, traveled solo
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1  Thank PeterinTwickenham
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed July 9, 2013

As the other reviews point out, this is truly a unique/boutique hotel, but be prepared for the conditions that go with such a unique and quirky place. We, like most of the people posting reviews, had a fun stay, but wanted to point out a few things. This is about as far from a corporate/chain hotel as you can get, which comes with both charm and challenges.

The views from the various patios and particularly the rooftop bar, are spectacular. You can clearly see Morocco from the bar. The people that work there are very, very nice and speak English very well, which is important since you need them to give very specific directions to get to the parking garage or anywhere in town. They all went out of their way to make the stay enjoyable.

There are many unique little common areas-we were just off the “map room” and a few steps from one of the many patios. One of the charms is wandering through the various nooks and crannies of the property-after a few hours, we found the staircase that took us right to the restaurant. By the way, do book a reservation for dinner in the restaurant-the food is very good and the Mediterranean cuisine was a nice change after several days of tapas. The breakfast was very good too, and my wife loved the machine that freshly squeezed the orange juice. While there are no chaffing dishes for hot food, the waitstaff was bringing out cooked to order eggs for people.

It is clear that no two rooms are alike and the amenities and conditions change from room to room. Our room was fine-bed was comfortable and there was room for our luggage, but the bathroom was very tired looking and the toilet kept running-the lady at the reception desk had to come and fix it and said it was caused by the toilet in the bathroom that was adjacent to it that a few of the other rooms shared. Yes, some rooms share a bathroom, so be sure to ask when booking. The air conditioning was loud and cooled the room, but not sure how well it would do on a very hot day.

Please be aware that there are a lot of stairs at this hotel and you need to navigate the steep and narrow stairways to get everywhere-the rooms, the patios, the bar, the restaurant….. The stairs are also difficult to navigate if you have trouble lifting your luggage since they won’t roll up and down the stairwells-not a problem for us, but could be for others if not aware.

The hotel’s website links you to google maps to get directions, but for some reason, the directions do NOT lead you to the hotel. After a few minutes of driving around, we got back on the highway and followed the signs to Vejer and then drove straight up (and I mean UP) to the hotel, which is next to one of the town squares. The receptionist apologized and said that she had heard that from others. We quickly discovered that the beach is not exactly “walkable” given the steep climb (or descent). The parking lot is not difficult to find once they give you directions, but be sure to unload luggage before driving down to the garage.
Overall, we had a very enjoyable stay at this hotel, and for us, the charms outweighed the challenges.

  • Stayed: June 2013, traveled as a couple
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1  Thank Joeleeo1227
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
James S, Owner at Hotel La Casa del Califa Hotel, responded to this reviewResponded July 16, 2013

Many thanks for your comprehensive review and we are very glad you really enjoyed your stay. Allow me however to correct you on a few points:

1. There are NO shared bathrooms at the Califa, and there will be none in any hotel you visit in Spain. Shared bathrooms were phased out many years ago and even then only applied to Pensiones. If of course you stay in a private house or unregistered tourist accommodation you might find a shared bathroom. All our bathrooms are fully equipped with power showers, hairdryers etc. etc.

2. There is no beach in Vejer and there never has been. Vejer has a beach 10km. away and to my knowledge there is no mention of a beach in the town in any promotional material either ours or of the tourist authorities. Vejer is unique in Andalucia in being a very well preserved walled town with a nearby beach and therefore has the character of a hill town rather than a seaside resort. You can walk to the beach through the Las Breñas Nature Park. The walk will take about 2 and a half hours.

3. For TA readers information. The map is a Google Map configured exactly to our address. The map and address are correct. If you follow the map it will lead you directly to the hotel. However if you follow the Map written directions the very last direction - Turn right onto Plaza de España. Destination will be on the left - could be misinterpreted depending on the angle that you drive into the Plaza. The correct direction should be - Go straight into the Plaza de España. Destination will be on the left. I hope that helps!

Thanks again for your comments and we look forward to seeing you again - James Stuart

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Reviewed July 8, 2013

This is a charming and individual hotel,as far away from corporate bland chain hotels as you can possibly imagine.Rooms in the main building are indivudual and full of character.We found the staff to be welcoming and smiley,also the house cat who greeted all arrivals and added to the homely feel.We had a thoroughly enjoyable stay to celebrate our 30th wedding anniversary.We stayed in room 18 which has 2 small balconies overlooking the Plaza Espana,we loved watching the activities in the square at different times of the day and evening.We did not find it noisy,its not a late night place and the restaurants and bars were closed up by about midnight.
We loved the outside terraces with comfy lounging chairs and sofa's and stunning views and also the upper terrace of the cocktail bar where we enjoyed a few cocktails pre dinner and afterwards! We ate in the restaurant twice and had a great experience both times,very atmospheric and delicious and inventive food.
We did gaze rather longingly over the wall at the pool in the sister hotel,Triperia 1 next door.The pool is exclusively for use of the guests in that building and I think if visiting again in high summer we would choose to stay there just because of the pool as this would have made our trip perfect!
We certainly intend to return,Vejer is a beautiful town and the Casa De La Califa fits it totally.

Room Tip: Room 18 over the square is great for local colour
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  • Stayed: July 2013, traveled as a couple
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Thank loubel
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed June 30, 2013

Vejer de la Frontera is an attractive white town which requires a degree of agility and fitness to explore fully. Likewise, the Hotel La Casa del Califa which is in the Plaza de España. In the rambling old building, narrow stairs and passageways link the many, mostly small public areas, both inside and out, and rooms are also distributed in a haphazard but interesting arrangement. On arrival, we were offered the choice between a small or large room, we chose the latter, no 18. Accessed directly from reception, behind the outer door lay a narrow turning staircase with, at one point, limited headroom. At the top, to one side was the spacious bathroom and, to the other, the bedroom with a double bed, two armchairs, TV, CD player, and tea and coffee making facilities. Both the bedroom and bathroom had french doors opening on to juliet balconies overlooking the plaza. Breakfast was taken in the Jardin del Califa restaurant. As its name suggests it is a garden surrounded by high walls and with both indoor and outdoor tables. There was a large and varied cold buffet and eggs were cooked to order. We enjoyed both the town and the hotel and would recommend both to travellers.

  • Stayed: May 2013, traveled as a couple
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Thank Chris-Tavira
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Hotel La Casa del Califa Hotel

Address: Plaza Espana 16, 11150 Vejer de la Frontera, Spain
Phone Number:
Location: Spain > Andalucia > Province of Cadiz > Vejer de la Frontera
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Free Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Pets Allowed ( Dog / Pet Friendly ) Restaurant Suites
Hotel Style:
Ranked #1 of 5 Hotels in Vejer de la Frontera
Price Range: $110 - $163 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Hotel Class:2 star — Hotel La Casa del Califa Hotel 2*
Number of rooms: 20
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
La Casa del Califa is Vejer's No.1 hotel, which since its founding in 2001 has become a favourite place to stay in Andalucia for travellers and Spaniards alike. The Califa's origins date back to the 10th century, with the building sitting in the heart of Vejer in the palm filled Plaza de España. The historic hotel offers views across the marshes, forests, and hills of the Atlantic coast. The Califa offers a wide range of rooms, from simple doubles to luxurious suites, catering to guests of all tastes. The rooms are spread out among interwoven buildings linked by staircases and courtyards, with a characteristic Andalucian patio garden at its heart. The Califa is the ideal place from which to explore the Atlantic Costa de la Luz (the Coast of Light) & the 'Sierras' of Cádiz. The cultural and outdoor attractions are endless: walking, bike riding, trekking, birdwatching, painting, visiting Cape Trafalgar, seafaring Cádiz, long empty beaches, quiet palm-filled plazas, the sherry bodegas of Jerez, kitesurfing, horseback riding through pine forests, a day trip to Tangiers, sunset drinks on the hotel terrace, magical white towns...all this and more is a daily experience at La Casa del Califa. In our small and intimate hotel, you will find just the right balance of comfort and decor combined with wonderful views, tranquility, and of course excellent service. Convenient private covered parking is located just 80m. from the hotel. ... more   less 
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