The Boho Refuge is a homestead region designed by Jaccaranda Jael which recently opened to visitors, offering a mix of public spaces and private rental properties. We were alerted to its presence by Sorcha Tyles, who recommended we hop over and pay a visit.
As I’ve noted before in these pages, writing a review about a region that offers rentals can be difficult; by its nature it is intended to offer people a private home, so providing a write-up that encourages people to drop in and wander around can interfere with the privacy those renting the properties might otherwise want. This can be particularly true if the balance between public spaces and private residences is biased towards the latter.
Fortunately, The Boho Refuge offers a good balance between public and private that makes a visit rewarding for casual visitors whilst keeping private residences reasonably well apart from the public areas. Most of the latter – 11 homes in all – sit around the coastline of the region or along the gorge that splits the region in two.
This gorge runs from west to east, leaving the bulk of the region as two rugged islands linked by a road bridge. The southern island offers the landing point, with the rental office sitting within a pink walled hacienda that looks like it might in another life offer a cosy bar / lounge, and that sits to one side of a dirt road that winds over the island from the bridge and down to a working quayside to the west. This, and the other little public buildings scattered over the island offer plenty of opportunity for photography, while two of the rental properties lie on the southern coast and one on this side of the gorge splitting the region into its two main islands.
Follow the track toward the bridge and you’ll find it forks, one arm turning north to link with the crossing to the north island, the other continuing east. Follow the latter, and it will lead you down to the access points to the rentals, and also to a fourth private home at the eastern end of the region that sits on its own little isle; so do please respect the privacy of anyone renting the houses.
The slightly larger northern island is more rugged, and features seven rentals around its edges, either snuggled against the coast and facing to the north and east, or perched higher up on the cliffs and facing either north or west, a singleton tucked into the gorge rounding them out. A T-junction at the north end of the bridge allows visitors a choice of routes: west to the access point for rentals and a climb up to the island’s peak, or east and a curving route down to where the road becomes unsurfaced once more and splits to provide access to the homes at the eastern end of the island or to a small public beach (with a rental home just off to one side, so again, be careful when visiting).
The upper reaches of this island are open to the public, and accessed by stone steps or a board walk and wooden steps that curl around the highest peak from the western end of the island – although be aware that these were blocked at the time of our visit by a non-phantom tree throwing its physics across the steps. The tops of these hills offer an number of little points of interest: an outdoor spa, a little greenhouse that would make an ideal lovers’ meeting place, the old tower of an abandoned observatory and numerous lookout points.
Packed with plenty of detail, The Boho Refuge offers a fair amount to see, while each of the rental properties sits within its own parcel, making privacy possible for those renting them. They also include a security orb to help warn away straying feet. Finished with a rich sound scape and offering plenty of water fowl and otter to be spotted by keen-eyed visitors, the region could be a cosy home for those seeking somewhere to live – prices available from the rental office.