Sunday, 3 November 2013
Luxury Hotel crawl in Tenerife...
I don't know much about the luxury hotel scene in Spain and the Canaries. My stomping ground is the South of France and St Barths where there is an egalitarian approach to luxury hotels, everyone is welcome everywhere for lunches, dinner, coffee, cocktails or any other reason. The hotels tend to be on the small side and the residents probably get bored of each other and are quite keen to see new blood.
From what I could see the 5* places in Tenerife are not quite as welcoming.
We got into everywhere that we went, but there seemed to be a degree of persuasion and Spanish speaking to get past the guard posts at the entrances.
The first destination from the El Duq Bahia in Adeje, I checked it out and I have to confess, online it doesn't look like my kind of thing. Who wants to stay at a hotel where, if you find you have left your book in your room it is a 15 minute walk away?!
We spent the day around the pool, the weather was lovely, the staff friendly and the children entertained, but I felt wary, I think it was the 10 minute haggling to get in, made me feel that we could be unceremoniously ejected at any point. But it was all just too big, it didn't offer any of the intimate, exquisite perfection that you get with smaller hotels.
This was our group of deckchairs, we spent a lot of time in the salt water pool, swimming through the fountains and under the stone tunnel.
Our lunch breaks were from 2 until 5 so we had plenty of time to get to various destinations around the island.
The next day we went to lunch at the Sir Anthony, which was the first 5 star hotel on the island, it used to be frequented by the politicians and the King of Spain and his family. It was flamingo pink with statues and white wrought iron and in its heyday had something of the Beverley Hill Hotel about it.
Now they have done this to it...
The last place that we went was the Jardin Tropical, this was my favourite for the 'experience'. It used to be a five star, but is now four, but it by far the most interesting architecturally with its Baba Papa, Moorish style. It has an outside yoga deck overlooking the sea and manages to be both large and intimate at the same time. I loved the restaurant that was under the waterfall.
There was also a second restaurant built into the cliffs that I didn't get down to visit, but I can see why it is one of the most romantic places to go on the island, not least because you don't see the urban sprawl which blights most of the developed coastline.
We also went to the Sandos San Blas, which is a very new resort, originally built as a luxury resort and quickly changed management to become an all-inclusive. It is truly awful and not worth a visit (or any pictures!). It is the worst of all worlds, tatty and full of people but with the prices of a more expensive destination. We spent all of ten minutes there and escaped as quickly as possible to the nearby Los Abrigos that has lovely little restaurants and a tiny stretch of sea front for swimming.
Do you have any favourite hotels where you feel instinctively at home? Are there others which should be luxurious and an incredible treat that are just not for you?