"El Refugio" - Tour of the House

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Top of Stairs

A view down the stairwell from the top of the stairs; this also has a boveda ceiling.

Covered Balcony

2.0m x 1.6m (6ft7in x 5ft3in). Has railings with gold-colored handrail and recessed ceiling light. Gives superb views of La Beata to the left and over the garden and canal toward La Planta to the front and right.


Straight ahead at the top of the stairs is the door to bedroom 2, with the door to the covered balcony at the left.

View to East

From the left of the covered balcony can be seen the local “hill” La Beata.

View to Southwest

Looking toward the right from the covered balcony are views over the garden and canal to hills beyond.

Bedroom 2

3.9m x 3.5m (12ft10in x 11ft6in). Has three large arched windows and a large built-in mirrored closet. There is a double-switched central hanging ceiling light, and two recessed halogen lights with dimmers over the bed, plus two halogen lights over the closet. Also has three double power points and a 3-function communications point.


Bedroom two has superb views from three arched windows; this was taken at dusk when the mirror glass is starting to reflect light from inside.

Over Bed

Bedroom 2 is just off the rear terrace, which can be seen through the window.


There is a large built-in closet with mirror. All closets are built on tiled bases.

Landing / Sitting Area

4.7m x 3.4m (15ft5in x 11ft2in) minimum. Has hanging ceiling light, power points, 3-function communications point, and four recessed lights to illuminate the passageway.

Study, Laundry Room and Master Bedroom Doors

There is another telephone for the intercom to the right of the laundry room door. The open door at the left of the photo is to the study, and that at the right is to the master bedroom.

To Covered Balcony

Looking from the master bedroom door to the covered balcony.

Bedroom 3, Study and Laundry Room Doors

The drying patio door is immediately opposite that to the covered balcony, providing north-south cross ventilation. This complements the east-west cross ventilation provided between the master bedroom and bedroom 3.

Master Bedroom Suite

Comprising Bedroom with Bathroom, Dressing Room, and Balcony.


4.8m x 4.6m (15ft9in x 15ft1in), excluding its curved front. Features an alcove for a king-size bed plus bedside tables, with two overhead halogen lights with dimmers. In the center of the room is a large ceiling fan, with two further hanging lights to the other side; both these lights may be switched from positions by the bed and by the door. There are five double power points and two 3-function communications points.

To Balcony

The master bedroom has its own balcony and a high sloping ceiling. This is the only room with a ceiling fan, although in this house it’s rarely needed. By the balcony door is a switch for the balcony lights.

Bed Alcove

There is an alcove that accommodates a king-size bed and two bedside tables. The two dimmable spotlights over the bed are common to all three bedrooms, as is dual bedside control of the main lights.


The sloping ceiling has a maximum height of over 4.5 meters. There are two onyx hanging lamps; the Hunter fan is remote-controlled.

To Bedroom 3

The door to the master bedroom is immediately opposite that of bedroom 3 to provide effective cross ventilation. Nearly all doors and windows are sliding with mosquito nets, so they may be left open as appropriate.

Door to Bathroom

At the other side is a sitting area, and the bathroom/dressing room door.


2.3m x 2.2m (7ft7in x 7ft3in) with shower cubicle, toilet and sink with tiling around and mirror over. Two recessed vapor-proof halogen lights in the ceiling with separate wall light for the sink. Skylight over. Power point.

Toilet and Shower

The shower cubicle and toilet in the master bathroom. The pressure system enables use of a more ergonomic and functional shower unit than the usual basic type as in the casita, allowing one-touch control of temperature and pressure with three spray types.


The sink unit is to the left of the shower cubicle. There are skylights over here and the dressing area to the left that provide shielded ventilation as well as natural light.

Dressing Room

2.2m x 2.2m (7ft7in x 7ft7in) has closets with sets of drawers, hanging space and shoe racks on three walls and a recessed halogen ceiling light with skylight over.


The dressing area has closets on three sides, which as elsewhere contain a good assortment of shelves, hanging space, drawers and shoe racks.


5.1m x 1.0m (16ft9in x 3ft3in) with curve to 1.9m (6ft3in). Has railings with gold-colored handrail and two lights over, giving superb views.

To North

A view on the balcony; the two narrow windows are for the bathroom.

To Gate

Looking left from the balcony are Montezuma Cypress trees (which you can reach out and touch) and the entrance gate. The gas tank is near the right of the picture.

To Southeast

To the right over the shelters is another view over farmland and mountains.

Over Patio at Night

The view from the balcony over the patio at night.

Bedroom 3

4.2m x 2.9m (13ft9in x 9ft6in). Has two built-in mirrored closets, hanging ceiling light and again two recessed halogen lights over the bed with dimmers, and two further lights for the closets. Two power points and 3-function communications point. There is a sliding door with mosquito net that opens out onto the terrace, with a switch for the terrace lights by the side.


Bedroom 3 has two built-in closets. Through a sliding door is the terrace.


As in bedroom 2, there are two spotlights over the closets.


There are good views to be had over the terrace. As elsewhere, the mirror glass ensures privacy, except when it is dark outside and there are lights on inside.

Shared Bathroom

2.9m x 1.8m (9ft6in x 5ft11in). Fully tiled with two arched windows with blind and two recessed vapor-proof halogen ceiling lights. Jacuzzi bathtub with shower over, toilet and sink with mirror and lights over. Power point.


The shared bathroom is between bedroom 3 and the study. The flow of water is switched between bathtub and shower by a valve on the tap below.


The Jacuzzi bathtub; the louvered door at the left gives access to the motor.


All three bathroom sinks have the same kind of halogen lights over.


4.0m x 4.0m (13ft2in x 13ft2in). A recess acommodates a desk, filing cabinet and cupboard. There are two hanging ceiling lights plus hanging light over the desk, and two further recessed halogen lights over each end of the desk area and a halogen rail light over the bookcase. Six double power points and two 3-function communications points. A sliding door with mosquito net opens out on to the wide end of the terrace giving superb landscape views for resting eyes and mind.

From Door

The study from near the entrance door.


Lighting is important here; there is a fluorescent tube over the desk, halogen spots at either end, two hanging ceiling lights and a rail with three halogen spot lights over the bookcase.

To Terrace

The study also opens out onto the terrace and provides opportunities to rest one’s eyes after long periods spent working at the computer. By the door are switches for terrace lights and the nearby spot light.


11.2m x 1.5m (36ft9in x 4ft9in) by bedroom 3, with a curved section by the study widening to 2.6m (8ft6in). Gives superb panoramic views. Railings with gold-colored handrail, two wall lights (switched from bedroom 3 and the study) and two power points.

By Study Looking South

A view from the terrace; the mountain Tamándaro can be seen.

By Study Looking to Zamora

A view from the terrace by bedroom 3 looking north-west - the spires of the Santuario de Guadalupe can be seen.

By Study Looking West

The panorama from the terrace to the west, looking over Jacona and Curutarán.

Laundry Room

2.3m x 2.2m (7ft7in x 7ft3in). Has plumbing and power point for washing machine and gas dryer, sink and drainage. Two recessed ceiling lights and closet with power point over. An aluminum and tinted glass door with window to the side leads to the drying patio.


The laundry room; closets are to the right, and a lavadero, plumbing for a washing machine, and gas supply for a dryer are to the left.

Washing Area

The washing machine, together with the traditional lavadero. The right-hand bowl normally has no means of drainage, and is used simply as a reservoir. However this one has been modified so that it can be emptied by means of a valve underneath, and as such it is now rather more useful.

Drying Patio

3.1m x 2.3m (10ft2in x 7ft7in). Has drainage, gas water heater, wall light and metal steps leading to the flat roof area (azotea).

Water Heater

A door from the laundry room leads to the drying patio (although the roof is a better place for drying clothes). The on-demand gas water heater is to the left. This is not normally needed, but can augment the heat from the solar water heater if necessary.


A metal staircase leads from the drying patio to the azotea.