The tunnel is no longer open but the rest of the house, which remained in the family until 1998, retains plenty of history. Two useful recent additions are a gorgeous skinny swimming pool and a cosy honesty bar complete with Latin soundtrack, antique sofa and wood-burning stove. Less successful is the hotel's restaurant. While the service is great, the food doesn't match up. The menu is overly complicated, over-priced and apparently inflexible; a request for a simple green salad was turned down.

LOCATION

Casa Tegoyo, 3 Calle Conil-Asomada, Lanzarote (00 34 928 834 385; www.casategoyo.com). It's in the south of the island, on the edge of the whitewashed village of Conil and at the start of the other-worldly landscape of La Geria, Lanzarote's wine-growing region. It's also close to Timanfaya national park, Papagayo's scenic beaches and the commercial whirlwind of Puerto del Carmen.

Transport: buses run infrequently to Conil, but it's well worth renting a car, both to get to the hotel and to get around the island.

Time to international airport: 15 minutes by car or taxi (€12, or £8.50).

COMFORTABLE?

There's a definite Mexican feel to Casa Tegoyo, with walls either painted russet or pared back to reveal dark volcanic stone, and gardens boasting bright bougainvillea and brilliant green cactus plants. The hotel has 11 bedrooms, all of which are individually designed and boast a happy mix of old Canarian furniture and modern plumbing. It's worth choosing carefully - some of the more expensive suites aren't as attractive as the cheaper ones and the doubles vary quite widely in terms of size and style. All are pretty good value, though. My one criticism would be that, six years after opening, it's time for a revamp. In places the decor is looking tired, and both the rooms and the restaurant's tablecloths aren't always as spotless as you'd expect of a hotel that styles itself one of the best in the Canaries.

Freebies: decent if unexciting French toiletries, fruit and a half bottle of red wine.

Keeping in touch: all rooms have a phone and satellite TV.

THE BOTTOM LINE

Double rooms start from €125 (£90) per night, including breakfast. Discounts are available outside high season.

I'm not paying that: try Villa Lola y Juan, a posh B&B in another lovely old building in Haria. Doubles start from €76 (£54) per night, including breakfast (00 34 928 835 070; www.villalolayjuan.com).

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