This year we are celebrating 20 years of living in Spain. When we moved Poppy was 6, Florence 3 and Sarah was pregnant with Charlie. Why did we sell our comfortable home in South West London and move somewhere we hardly knew? It might seem mad, but we had found a magical property surrounded by mountains with views down to the Mediterranean coast. And we wanted to spend more time together as a family. What started as a pretty hairbrained scheme evolved into what has become Caserío del Mirador.
An adventure full of challenges
Every year has been an adventure full of challenges and memorable experiences. The original challenges we faced were having no electricity, no water, no phone line or any other connection to the modern world. But technology has worked in our favour, solar panels and mobile phones have made big advances since 2003. Water is delivered by truck and recycled for the garden. And internet is delivered via satellite.
Other challenges were no pool terrace, or proper outside areas including our Outside Kitchen where we all eat together. Slowly, we built all the structures and planted the gardens that took us to what we have now.
We opened to guests without any experience of running a holiday business. Our children would play with the guest children. Lots of summer days by the pool and we would all eat together in the evening. Summers would drift by in a sunny haze of fun and frolics.
A dream that takes you to another world
When we first saw the location, it made a massive impression and we wanted to create an extraordinary venue. It was a dream that has grown. We still feel enormous joy today when a first-time visitor goes quiet while taking it in. Caserío del Mirador takes you to another world, it is somewhere that we hope you will find unforgettable too.
A home for everyone
When we thought about having a holiday business we wanted visitors to feel like house guests. As well as our home, we wanted the house to feel like home for everyone. Where you can relax and make it your own. Making everyone feel welcome became part of our DNA. After a long journey when you arrive, it’s not about lining up to check in. Have a drink, have something to eat, settle into your apartment or jump in the pool. Everything you need is taken care of, we can deal with the paperwork later. You’re on holiday with the most important people in your life.
Easy to make friends
The other idea was to have a sense of community. There are a range of activities around the property that encourages interaction with children. Once you settle in, your curiosity will lead you to explore and discover your surroundings. You will meet other families with similar aged children, the children will naturally find it easy to make friends and play together. It’s nice to have the privacy of your own apartment but equally good to meet other families at a similar stage to your own.
Charlie has now grown up and left home to go to university. All three children now work or study in Barcelona. As our family has moved on, the spirit of spending time together, days by the pool and enjoying communal meals lives on. Over 20 years we have met many families. Many come back each year and it’s a privilege to get to know them and see their families grow. We watch the children shine, their confidence grow and share their joy spending time here with Mummy and Daddy.
We couldn’t have done it without you
It’s been a fabulous journey. We feel we have achieved a great deal. Now we are rather grandly referred to as a boutique hotel but it is still a home that we like to share. Caserío del Mirador is recognised as a leading holiday venue and has won many awards over the years. But it is the visiting families that brings Caserío del Mirador alive and we are grateful to everyone who has helped create the magic. We couldn’t have done it without you. Thank you.
Click to continue ‘Meeting the Animals – Favourite Stories from Past Years‘.