The Best Hotels in Tarifa, Southern Spain

The Kook Hotel Tarifa will appeal to style-conscious travellers
The Kook Hotel Tarifa will appeal to style-conscious travellers | Courtesy of Kook Hotel Tarifa / Expedia
Photo of Jo Fernandez-Corugedo
21 January 2021

The southern Spanish town of Tarifa is a surfer’s paradise, apparently tailor-made for the neoprene-clad crowd, with its wind-blown waves and its fine setting where the Mediterranean meets the Atlantic. Rest assured you’ll find a place to stay in Tarifa that’s perfect for you among our list of the best options in town.

Over the years Tarifa has grown up beyond its young, boho beginnings, and today, the whitewashed Costa de la Luz town has boltholes to suit every budget and bag, from fuss-free hostels to elegant converted mansions lined with characterful furniture.

Posada La Sacristia

Boutique Hotel
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Posada La Sacristia
Courtesy of Posada La Sacristia / Expedia
Welcome to this characteristic Tarifa house from the 17th century, all whitewashed walls, original beams and stone archways, in a prime location tucked away in the old town. Mere steps from the port and beach, here you’ll find homely rooms clad in terracotta tiles, exuberantly striped, eclectic furniture and earthy wall shades. Pillow-topped sofas on the ground floor, a space that doubles as an art gallery, invite indolence with a cold beer or hot coffee; buffet breakfast means freshly pressed orange juice, cheese and charcuterie. You might laze in the sauna, or submit to a relaxing massage. For a change of scenery from the beach, motor out to Baelo Claudio, an intriguing Roman settlement 20km (12mi) away.
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Hostel Ohana Tarifa

Hostel
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Hostel Ohana Tarifa
Courtesy of Hostel Ohana Tarifa / Expedia
Guests are simultaneously together and apart in these pared-back, spacious dorms: the curtained-bunk units mean extra privacy, and there’s built-in storage for your rucksack and other belongings. It’s a modern hostel, with a cafe doing kick-start morning coffees and a bar-deli for snacks to take to the beach. If you’d rather, you can self-cater, boiling your own eggs in the shared kitchen space. Shoreline is in plentiful supply, including Los Lances, hard by the hostel, for easy surfing. Not a boarder? Watch the kitesurfers on the frothy sea, or take a boat out for some dolphin spotting, perhaps glimpsing whales, too, frolicking in the deep.
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Hotel and Spa La Residencia Puerto

Hotel
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Hotel & Spa La Residencia Puerto
Courtesy of Hotel and Spa La Residencia Puerto / Expedia
It’s not just the spa and the massages: there’s something wonderfully soporific about this place. The Moroccan-inspired suites, with decorative dashes of marine turquoise, have sea or courtyard views. Intricate glass lamps and shapely doorways suggest the Arab world beyond the Strait of Gibraltar, which you can see from the sparkling, solar-warmed infinity pool on the terrace before breakfast (dried and fresh fruits, buttery pastries and strong coffee). If you’re feeling adventurous, you can walk to the port, five minutes away, and take the ferry from there to Tangier.
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Hostal El Asturiano

Hostel
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Hostal El Asturiano
Courtesy of Hostal El Asturiano / Expedia
Built into Tarifa’s ancient city walls, dating from the era of Arab rule, this laid-back, low-rise pension has cosy rooms of rugged, raw stone offset by whitewashed walls; the result feels light and natural, and is enhanced by simple wooden beds. Given its location at the highest point in the city, you can savour views across the Strait of Gibraltar, and you’ll no doubt be inspired to join a boat trip out in search of marine life. Allow time, too, for city sightseeing, not least the landmark archway Puerta de Jerez, the breathtaking crenellated old gateway to Tarifa.
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  • Koala Tarifa

    Apartment
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    Koala Tarifa
    Courtesy of Koala Tarifa / Expedia
    Practically in the shadow of San Mateo church, with its intricate ceiling and baroque facade, this 300-year-old Tarifa town house harbours a surprise or two. Meticulously modernised studios with colourful furnishings are accessorised by exposed wooden beams and eye-catching outbreaks of ancient stone wall; there are kitchen areas for home-cooked breakfasts, while some accommodations allow access to a lawned and lounger-dotted interior garden space at the rear: the dream weekend idyll.
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    Silos19 Suites

    Suite Hotel
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    Silos19 Suites
    Courtesy of Silos19 Suites / Expedia
    The roomy, brightly coloured suites with cool stone floors at this 18th-century building in the old town were made for long lie-ins; and the bountiful breakfast was designed for guests anticipating active days riding the surf. Tan-fans are in their element staying here: up on the sun terrace are loungers made for lazy days, not to mention terrific views over the rooftops of Tarifa. When the sun goes down, simply relocate to the balmy hot tub and relax as evening draws in. The location in the heart of town means you’ll inevitably get wonderfully lost in the backstreets by night, drifting from bars to restaurants, buying local treats to take home.

    Kook Hotel Tarifa

    Boutique Hotel
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    Kook Hotel Tarifa
    Courtesy of Kook Hotel Tarifa / Expedia
    In a quiet and sunny corner of Tarifa’s old town is this 14-room boutique base appealing to style-conscious travellers: there are cool polished concrete floors, textured walls and a muted colour scheme nodding to the nearby sands, while Moroccan-style furnishings evoke North Africa. Book the ground floor standard double with patio for outside space with a cool, foliage-covered wall. Otherwise, use the communal hotspots for your fresh-air time, which include a rooftop terrace with awesome views of Africa, ideal at sunset. Surfers can fuel up with a garden breakfast of cold meats, fresh fruit and local bread; shade-favouring tech-heads can stay in to enjoy complimentary use of the hotel’s Mac computers.

    100% Fun Hotel

    Hotel
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    100% Fun Hotel
    Courtesy of 100% Fun Hotel / Expedia
    Simply styled rooms with bamboo headboards and tiled floors establish the unfussy agenda at this Tarifa favourite. Guests wake to breakfast healthily (plenty of nuts and fruit) under shaded pergolas draped with foliage before a day full of not very much at all. The prayers of water babies are answered by the idyllic pool, flanked by mature palms, terracotta paving leading to a lush lawn of sunloungers. There are shady nooks to hide in with your holiday reading; or pad down to Valdevaqueros beach, a long stretch to wander before a night spent bar-hopping around town.
    These recommendations were updated on January 21, 2021 to keep your travel plans fresh.

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