Cool Stays On Tenerife Island -The Canary Islands

Tenerife Island, Apartments abound in Playa de las Americas, Adeje.

Linda Wainwright is an expert on the Canary Islands, especially Tenerife Island where she has lived since 1987.  She has seen the quality and numbers of hotels change.  Our post on where to stay includes fat/thin wallets, and insider tips.  Plus, finding where the stars stay.

It’s always a difficult question for an ex-pat, the one about accommodation, because we don’t, normally use it. What I can say with absolute certainty now is that there is something for everyone on Tenerife Island. That wasn’t always the case. When I arrived in 1987 it was very much a package holiday kind of place, but that has changed dramatically over the years in between.

I’m lucky, I think, in my life to have friends from a huge variety of backgrounds and nationalities, so what I do get is feedback on the different styles of hotels, hostels or apartments they’ve used.

Hostel, El Medano

To state the obvious first: the southwest coast of Tenerife is the habitat of what they call in Cornwall, England “grockles.” That’s a cute kind of name for tourists. From Los Gigantes to Los Cristianos the coast is lined with hotels and apartment complexes large and small, mostly large. Development went unchecked here for some years, before powers-that-be decided that they needed to smarten up the island’s image.

However, a few years back,  some bright spark at the town hall in the municipality of Adeje (where a large chunk of “grockleland” sits) had the idea of re-branding their image. They christened their section of coastline Costa Adeje, and more upmarket development was encouraged.

Don’t get me wrong, there had always been some good hotels along with the average, but the first, which really seemed to raise the bar, was the Jardin Tropical. It’s design, reminiscent of Andalucia, stood out from the faceless pack. There followed the rather less stylish, but nevertheless luxury Mare Nostrum resort in Arona, a complex of three inter-linked hotels, where (shh!) stars of British TV have been known to hang out. Most striking perhaps is the Bahia del Duque, which seen from the ocean looks like an entire, Canarian village. Its colourful turrets, and a pool which makes use of the natural rock face, are just two features. It appears to remain the flagship hotel of the southern coast, frequently used by the Tourist Board to accommodate visiting bloggers and journalists.

Rural hotel, Tenerife Island, village of Granadilla de Abona

Pre-recession saw construction of several upmarket hotels along this coastline, including the spacious Costa Adeje Gran Hotel with a truly gourmet a la carte restaurant, La Laja. The Gran Meliá Palacio Guia de Isora boasts the largest infinity pool in Europe (don’t know if it is, but it is stunning!). It’s in the small village of Alcalá, so away from the crowds. Non-other than President Clinton has lunched at the Abama Hotel and Resort, further up the coast, another grand hotel in a tranquil setting.

Whilst I’ve never holidayed in any of these hotels, I’ve had dinner, attended conferences or visited friends in most, and I can testify that Tenerife is beginning to get its act together now when it comes to the luxury market.

At the other end of the scale, private enterprise seems to have cottoned on to the fact that there is a “traveler’s” market, backpackers who simply want a bed for a night or two whilst visiting the different islands. Two hostels have opened in recent months in the area in which I live alone, Casa Grande Surf Hostel is smack-bang in the center of El Médano, windsurf capital of the island, so no prizes for guessing what market they’re targeting! The other  Amigos, is sited in a reconstructed large house, a little off the beaten track, but with the advantage of an enclosed garden with a small pool, and the décor is suitably funky and trendy. My nephew, who has done the obligatory RTW trip, has used both, and pronounces them both high standard.

The development of rural tourism has been notable here of late. On a drive around the northwest tip of the island the other day a friend and I were surprised to notice the amount of rural accommodation offered. Even in a tiny hamlet we’d never heard of before (on an island this size you can imagine how tiny that was!) there was a “rural hotel” notice.

I’ve “had a nosy” into some of these, and they vary from very basic conversions of old houses to the quite sophisticated boutique hotel, rural only in the sense that it’s in a small town, like Hotel San Roque in Garachico in the island’s northern tip. Others I’ve stumbled across on back roads whilst hiking, where I least expected to find lodging. They certainly fulfil a desire for a peaceful holiday, but also mean that you need a car unless you really are going to “hole up” for a few days.

The Sir Anthony part of Mare Nostrum Resort in Arona.

Apartment renting is the fashionable alternative in cities worldwide these days, but it’s always been an economical alternative in the Canary Islands.

Some years ago, in an attempt to maintain a standard, the Canarian government passed laws regarding the letting of apartments. It was, of course, also an attempt to track down illegal lettings, people who lived off island and weren’t declaring income, so there was an outcry. It goes on. For sure, standards did vary enormously. I worked in real estate for a while, and I’ve been shocked by the filth and lack of maintenance in some apartments. These days, happily, we have a zillion websites where you can check on whether an apartment or a block of apartments has had negative comments from previous users.

Apartments can be luxury penthouses with views across the blue Atlantic, or they can be converted outhouses in a small village, like La Casita (the little house) in inland village San Miguel de Abona. All should be clean and have adequate cooking facilities, that is, at least a hob, though many do have ovens too. The renter does cleaning, although some big blocks will offer a basic service, but not, normally, on a daily basis. Bedding and towels are almost always provided, and should be changed at minimum on a weekly basis, preferably twice weekly. If you’re planning to stay for 3 months, or more, then it should qualify as a long let, and you should pay less than you would for a weekly or two-weekly rental. Basically, the closer to the sea the apartment is, the more expensive it will be, and a true traveler would probably want to avoid the busier resorts.

With so many alternatives, and with so many websites to check out, today finding accommodation to fit both your budget, lifestyle and type of vacation isn’t the problem in Tenerife it once was.

Write The Scoop about your favorite places to stay on the Canary Islands.

Linda Wainwright likes to say that she is “re-inventing herself for her third age” these days. She transplanted to the Canary Islands more than 20 years ago. Now with kids grown up, leaving behind the 9 to 5, she studies writing and photography and is beginning to scratch a living from them, thus fulfilling a lifelong dream. She blogs at www.islandmomma.wordpress.com

 

 

 

 

 

 

It’s always a difficult question for an ex-pat, the one about accommodation, because we don’t, normally use it. What I can say with absolute certainty now, in 2013, is that there is something for everyone on Tenerife. That wasn’t always the case. When I arrived in 1987 it was very much a package holiday kind of place, but that has changed dramatically over the years in between.

 

I’m lucky, I think, in my life to have friends from a huge variety of backgrounds and nationalities, so what I do get is feedback on the different styles of hotel, hostel or apartment they’ve used of late.

 

To state the obvious first: the southwest coast of Tenerife is the habitat of what they call in Cornwall, England “grockles.” That’s a cute kind of name for tourists. From Los Gigantes to Los Cristianos the coast is lined with hotels and apartment complexes large and small, mostly large. Development went unchecked here for some years, before powers-that-be decided that they needed to smarten up the island’s image.

 

However, a few years back some bright spark at the town hall in the municipality of Adeje (where a large chunk of “grockleland” sits) had the idea of re-branding their image. They christened their section of coastline Costa Adeje, and more upmarket development was encouraged.

 

Don’t get me wrong, there had always been some good hotels along with the average, but the first, which really seemed to raise the bar, was the Jardin Tropical. It’s design, reminiscent of Andalucia, stood out from the faceless pack. There followed the rather less stylish, but nevertheless luxury Mare Nostrum resort in Arona, a complex of three inter-linked hotels, where (shh!) stars of British TV have been known to hang out. Most striking perhaps is the Bahia del Duque, which seen from the ocean looks like an entire, Canarian village. Its colourful turrets, and a pool which makes use of the natural rock face, are just two features. It appears to remain the flagship hotel of the southern coast, frequently used by the Tourist Board to accommodate visiting bloggers and journalists.

 

Pre-recession saw construction of several upmarket hotels along this coastline, including the spacious Costa Adeje Gran Hotel with a truly gourmet a la carte restaurant, La Laja. The Gran Meliá Palacio Guia de Isora boasts the largest infinity pool in Europe (don’t know if it is, but it is stunning!). It’s in the small village of Alcalá, so away from the crowds. Non-other than President Clinton has lunched at the Abama Hotel and Resort, further up the coast, another grand hotel in a tranquil setting.

 

Whilst I’ve never holidayed in any of these hotels, I’ve had dinner, attended conferences or visited friends in most, and I can testify that Tenerife is beginning to get its act together now when it comes to the luxury market.

 

At the other end of the scale private enterprise seems to have cottoned on to the fact that there is a “traveler’s” market, backpackers who simply want a bed for a night or two whilst visiting the different islands. Two hostels have opened in recent months in the area in which I live alone, Casa Grande Surf Hostel is smack-bang in the center of El Médano, windsurf capital of the island, so no prizes for guessing what market they’re targeting! The other, Amigos, is sited in a reconstructed large house, a little off the beaten track, but with the advantage of an enclosed garden with a small pool, and the décor is suitably funky and trendy. My nephew, who has done the obligatory RTW trip, has used both, and pronounces them both high standard.

 

The development of rural tourism has been notable here of late. On a drive around the northwest tip of the island the other day a friend and I were surprised to notice the amount of rural accommodation offered. Even in a tiny hamlet we’d never heard of before (on an island this size you can imagine how tiny that was!) there was a “rural hotel” notice.

 

I’ve “had a nosy” into some of these, and they vary from very basic conversions of old houses to the quite sophisticated boutique hotel, rural only in the sense that it’s in a small town, like Hotel San Roque in Garachico in the island’s northern tip. Others I’ve stumbled across on back roads whilst hiking, where I least expected to find lodging. They certainly fulfil a desire for a peaceful holiday, but also mean that you need a car unless you really are going to “hole up” for a few days.

 

Apartment renting is the fashionable alternative in cities worldwide these days, but it’s always been an economical alternative in the Canary Islands.

 

Some years ago, in an attempt to maintain a standard, the Canarian government passed laws regarding the letting of apartments. It was, of course, also an attempt to track down illegal lettings, people who lived off island and weren’t declaring income, so there was an outcry. It goes on. For sure standards did vary enormously. I worked in real estate for a while, and I’ve been shocked by the filth and lack of maintenance in some apartments. These days, happily, we have a zillion websites where you can check on whether an apartment or a block of apartments has had negative comments from previous users.

 

Apartments can be luxury penthouses with views across the blue Atlantic, or they can be converted outhouses in a small village, like La Casita (the little house) in inland village San Miguel de Abona. All should be clean and have adequate cooking facilities, that is, at least a hob, though many do have ovens too. The renter does cleaning, although some big blocks will offer a basic service, but not, normally, on a daily basis. Bedding and towels are almost always provided, and should be changed at minimum on a weekly basis, preferably twice weekly. If you’re planning to stay for 3 months, or more, then it should qualify as a long let, and you should pay less than you would for a weekly or two-weekly rental. Basically, the closer to the sea the apartment is, the more expensive it will be, and a true traveler would probably want to avoid the busier resorts.

 

With so many alternatives, and with so many websites to check out, today finding accommodation to fit both your budget, lifestyle and type of vacation isn’t the problem in Tenerife it once was.

 

 

Linda likes to say that she is “re-inventing herself for her third age” these days. She transplanted to the Canary Islands more than 20 years ago. Now with kids grown up, leaving behind the 9 to 5, she studies writing and photography and is beginning to scratch a living from them, thus fulfilling a lifelong dream. She blogs at www.islandmomma.wordpress.com

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...

This entry was posted in Canaries, ISLANDS and tagged , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Post a comment or leave a trackback: Trackback URL.

2 Comments

  1. Posted May 4, 2013 at 2:23 pm | Permalink

    Dear Linda,
    I am from Tenerife, and I could not write a better accommodation summary. It is true the south area have more offers in hotels. On the other hand, and although the weather is not as sunny through the year as in the south, the north side of the island has many great options as well for accommodation, such as in Puerto de la Cruz or Buenavista del Norte.
    Hope you keep enjoying your life in this beautiful island. All the best, Ruth ;)

  2. admin
    Posted May 5, 2013 at 6:38 am | Permalink

    Thanks Ruth!

Post a Comment

Your email is never published nor shared. Required fields are marked *

*
*

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>

CommentLuv badge