El Cortijo is a vacation villa rental surrounded by a Mediterranean garden with pool and within easy access to the beautiful beaches of the coast in Andalucia.
It’s a great place to stay if you like big waves and rough seas.
How would you describe 70s Modernist Villa in a nutshell?
It’s a family holiday home with lots of artwork on the northeast coast of Tenerife.
What is the story behind 70s Modernist Villa, what was your inspiration to create it?
It all happened by accident. Tenerife doesn’t always have a good name and is known in Belgium and England for its cheap tourism. But we went for a holiday and a friend took us to see the village of El Poris just before we left. It’s where locals based in Santa Cruz come for weekend getaways and is really beloved.
At the time, the house was like a ruin and there was an almost unreadable sign indicating it was for sale. We walked around and saw a natural pool and I thought “Wow! You can still buy a location like this?” We went back a month later, then again and again. As an architect, I could see the potential of the property.
There were some good things about the building, so I just made it more architectural and created smaller spaces. I really believe that if you’re doing a renovation, the building says what it needs.
Adjacent to the existing house was the stone roof of a structure that the previous owner had intended to be a restaurant (but never completed). So in addition to renovating the main house, I decided to create an additional house, which is next door. I left the existing stone roof, so you have this basement feeling, while the rest of the building is straight and modern. The windows are larger than in the main house and it has its own atmosphere.
How would you describe the atmosphere and interior design of 70s Modernist Villa?
The two buildings at the villa are not like the new villas being built all over Spain that have huge windows and are so white that your eyes hurt. Their walls are painted a soft grey in more of a South American style and with a vintage aesthetic. We decorated the interiors with old furnishings and lighting that we brought from Belgium. My husband is a decorator and collector, so I have to stop him from taking new things over there all the time!
At the villa, you are almost in the ocean and it’s a great place to stay if you like big waves and rough seas.
To you personally, what is so special about 70s Modernist Villa?
The house was built and decorated for us (not for renting), so it feels very personal. I often feel that luxury rental properties can feel impersonal and all look the same but 70s Modernist Villa has a very homely aesthetic.
What do you particularly like about this part of Tenerife
El Poris is very small but beloved by the people of Santa Cruz who come here for weekend escapes. There are no big hotels, just small beach bars and restaurants. It’s still very Canarian. If you want a discotheque, it’s not the place to come!
The villa is entered through a big gate, which takes you to the front of the house that is set across slightly different levels. The front door leads into the patio (which we named after its partially open roof) where you’ll find a large table that can seat up to 20 people and a piano.
From here you can reach all parts of the house, including the kitchen, a working space and the main guest area with four bedrooms. In addition, there is a bedroom with a view of the round pool and a large bedroom overlooking the sea, plus a tiny room on the roof that is ideal for one person. Outside is a terrace and the swimming pool and stairs lead from the patio to the basement bar and the natural pool.
The villa has a round swimming pool that can be heated at select times of the year, plus a natural pool that’s refreshed by the ocean waves. It’s not exclusive to guests, as local laws state it must be accessible to the public. But in reality, it would be very difficult for other people to access it or even know about it. It’s not wise to swim in the ocean in front of the house as it’s very difficult to get back in. But just a short walk away is the bay where you can swim safely throughout the year.
We have a manager who takes care of the house and receives guests, as well as being available to answer any questions they might have. If you are staying for longer than a week, he will come and change the linen and towels. We also offer a daily cleaning service on request. If guests want help connecting with catering services, activity providers or dive companies, we can also do that.
In addition to the small bay in the village, there is a larger beach (around 20 minutes’ walk from the property) that’s good if you want a day at the beach. All of the beaches on Tenerife are volcanic, black sand, except for one on the other side of Santa Cruz that has imported white sand.
I would definitely recommend going up Mount Teide — it’s really amazing even if you have seen it many times. Santa Cruz is a nice city to explore, with a park, museums and a daily market where you can buy fresh fish, meat and vegetables. Just inland is La Laguna, which is known for its UNESCO World Heritage-listed old town and is slightly cooler due to its elevation.
The other side of the island has a completely different atmosphere but still with nice villages and beaches to explore. Tenerife also has a couple of national parks that are great for hiking or you can take a boat tour to spot dolphins and whales around the rock formations of Los Gigantes.
El Poris is located on the northeastern tip of Tenerife and is around 15 to 20 minutes' drive from Tenerife North Airport. Santa Cruz is a small but nice city that’s 20 minutes away and there are several traditional villages within five to 10 minutes’ drive of the villa. You definitely need a rental car to get around!
That being said, the property is just a few minutes' walk from the supermarket in El Poris, as well as the bakery and pharmacy. You can also easily walk to the village’s small bay and its beach bars. While there are a few restaurants in El Poris, we prefer to go to the Italian restaurants in one of the nearby villages or to Tagao, which is famed for its seafood restaurants where you choose your fish and have it weighed before being cooked. It’s around 10 minutes away. There are also lots of beautiful restaurants in Santa Cruz.
Tenerife can be visited all year round but it’s a bit quieter in autumn and spring. Christmas and New Year are busy but have great weather compared to much of Europe and in the summertime, the island is not as hot as mainland Spain. Temperatures hover between 20 and 30 degrees throughout the year — there’s not a big difference.
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