The Arona Gran Hotel sits in its privileged position overlooking her domain like some grand old dowager and as much a part of Los Cristianos” life as ferry trips and full English.
Last weekend Tenerife Magazine checked in for a weekend of golf, nightlife and an unexpected wedding”¦
Stepping out of the humidity of yet another summer calima and into the lobby of the Spring Arona Gran Hotel is like stepping into a wardrobe and finding yourself in Narnia.
Like a delicious cross between a South American jungle and an opera theatre, tiers of marble floors rise heavenwards, their balconies dripping with thick tresses of vines and framed by giant jade leaves.
Through the marbled splendour, the sound of rushing water echoes in my ears and I follow it to its source; a waterfall cascading over a volcanic rock face into a shimmering pool. After grabbing at oxygen from the thick humidity outside, my lungs fill with air.
The view from my fourth floor balcony is mesmerizing. Beneath the slender palm trees and flanked by neat borders of hibiscus, a woman is idly floating on an inflatable lounger in the hotel’s elegant swimming pools, her fingers gently trailing the water. Beyond, the white buildings of Los Cristianos’ centre climb up the hillside from the coast, their walls blinding me with reflected sunlight. In the port the Fred Olsen ferry is reversing out of its berth for the trip to La Gomera.
Reluctantly, I drag myself away from the vista and head down to dinner; the bright lights of Playa de Las Américas’ nightlife beckon”¦it’s going to be a long night.
Saturday morning dawns hot and cloudy. It feels like I’ve only had five hours sleep ““ err wait a minute, I have only had five hours sleep. Luckily they were five wonderful hours due to the comfort of the bed, the efficiency of the air conditioning and the womb-like darkness of the blackout curtains.
Set up nicely on a freshly made omelette and the best hotel buffet coffee I’ve tasted, I set off to the hidden oasis of Golf Las Américas where Spring Hotels are hosting their third annual golf tournament.
It’s a long time before I finally make it back to my hotel bedroom. Exhausted and looking like something the cat thought was too rough to drag in, I head to the shower and as I emerge, I have a where am I ? moment as the sound of a wedding march reaches my ears. I head to the balcony just in time to see the bride and groom and their guests as they vacate their romantic nuptial venue overlooking the Atlantic Ocean.
Vacationers, golf and a wedding – a weekend in the life of Los Cristianos’ most loved hotel.
Arona Gran Hotel – The Essentials
Location: At the southern end of Los Cristianos a ten minute stroll from the resort centre and beach.
Rooms: All rooms are sea facing and are tiered on three floors with spacious, private balconies. Mid-sized twin beds are pushed together and have mattresses the perfect side of firm for a good night’s sleep. Bathrooms are marble finish and the shower is hot and powerful.
Service: Everywhere we went, from reception to dining room and golf course; and from chefs to Directors, the Spring Hotel staff were a pleasure to deal with and made us feel very welcome.
Food: Breakfast and dinner are buffet style in the large dining room which ought to issue you with a homing bleeper for your table. I got lost between food and table on more than one occasion and I wasn’t the only one; lost souls could be seen wandering, soup bowl in hand. I particularly enjoyed the cooked-to-order breakfast section and the evening carvery.
Entertainment: There’s an impressive discotheque in the hotel but I didn’t get to experience it as it was closed by the time I got back. Nightly cabaret singers were keeping the busy lounge foot tapping and smiling on both nights and as I walked past the outside entrance on my way out on Friday night, a large troop of traditional Canarian singers and dancers was waiting in the wings to make their entrance.
Overall: A grand, genteel hotel with room to breathe and relax amidst lush surroundings; the perfect place to unwind.
Spring Hotel Arona Gran; 4 Star; Avenida Juan Carlos, 1; Los Cristianos; www.aronahotel.com ; (0034) 922 75 06 78; reservations: early bookings through www.springhoteles.com for 2010/2011 winter season get a 10% discount.