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Picture a Holiday at Pearly Grey Ocean Club on Tenerife


Normally we post a review of the hotel that is featured in our fabulous holiday competition. This time, for a change, we thought we’d show rather than tell, so you could begin to imagine yourself ‘in the picture’.

Because this time our Tenerife holiday competition is a little bit different. Sure, come the end of January, there’s going to be one lucky winner picking up the prize of a week’s holiday for two at Pearly Grey Ocean Club on the sunny, south west coast of Tenerife.

But on this occasion the competition comes hand in hand with a great offer for Tenerife Magazine readers that means more than just the lucky winner gets the chance to lap up the warm welcome at Pearly Grey Ocean Club.

However, to find out what that offer is, you’re going to have to enter the competition.

Here’s a pictorial taster of what awaits.

Wake up in paradise where a couple of steps leads to an spot where it’s a joy to come round in the morning.

Your balcony is a great spot for a cobweb clearing coffee but Pearly Grey’s dining room is a quite snazzy alternative.

After breakfast those sunbeds on the balcony beckon…

…unless you’re more of a pool person.

Then in the afternoon, a drink or two on the terrace is an inviting prospect.

Before heading back to your balcony as the sun starts to descend. It’s perfect for allowing yourself to be hypnotised by the views whilst you pinch yourself as a reminder that, no, it isn’t a dream.

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Checking Into Tenerife’s Hotels, Jardín Tropical


It was Easter last year when Tenerife Magazine headed to the Hotel Jardín Tropical to find out what keeps 40% of guests returning year after year and what one lucky winner of our competition can expect.

Strolling past the elegant palm trees and soft, white turrets that guard the entrance to the Hotel Jardín Tropical, I pass beneath the straw thatched roof and leave the glare of sunlight to enter the portal to a dream world. Combining the principles of Feng Shui with shades of North African, Moorish and Colonial design, the architect Melvin Villaroel has created a space filled with hidden, tranquil corners where light, air and nature combine in perfect harmony.

Velvety white corridors weave below mirrored ceilings to shady courtyards at the foot of tiered minarets and bougainvillea draped terraces. Falling in gentle tiers from the hotel’s reception, brick paved terraces embedded with turquoise and ruby ceramic tiles lead past carved pine settees and over wooden foot bridges to water cascades and a sapphire pool that meanders around scented garden jungles.

The check-in welcome is accompanied by a chilled glass of cava while Joaquín explains the Alice in Wonderland principle of a ground floor which is in fact on the fifth floor and points me towards my room. Minus the aid of a White Rabbit, I follow the warren of corridors, my eyes wide at the eclectic beauty of my surroundings, until I arrive at room 457.

Don’t you just love it when you walk into your hotel room and the first thing that comes out of your mouth is “Wow”? A corridor of fitted wardrobes with wooden latticed doors leads to a cavernous room where crimson, colour washed walls lend a rich warmth to the beautifully cool interior. Centre stage, a bed the size of a small land mass is draped in the same rich, flower print drapes that cover the windows. French impressionist paintings join forces with the period furniture to give the room a classic, timeless elegance. I open the curtains and step onto the intimate balcony which peeks out through Kentia palm fronds at the giant strelitzias and towering palm trees that lend the gardens and pools the environment so richly deserving of the name Jardín Tropical.

I relax into one of the cane chairs, savouring the short time I have before my dinner reservation at the hotel’s award winning restaurant of Las Rocas. Birds are chatting noisily as they make last minute preparations for their sundown bed time, the last of the day’s sunbathers are heading back to their rooms while other couples are already dressed for the evening, strolling hand in hand towards a sunset cocktail at the Beach Club before dinner.
Three words are foremost in my mind ““ symmetry, serenity, serendipity.

The Essentials
Location: One of the first hotels to be built in Tenerife’s newest resort of Costa Adeje, the Hotel Jardín Tropical has seen many bigger and more flashy hotels springing up all around it while this tropical paradise has quietly taken root and flourished. Sited on a picturesque headland of Costa Adeje with Playa Bobo a few minutes stroll to the south and Puerto Colón to the west.

Rooms: Completely refurbished in 2010 and featuring LCD satellite TV, mini bar and safe, rooms are beautifully designed and appointed to maximise the quality of light, coupling the hotel’s trademark white with rich turquoise soft furnishings. Suites raise the floor space quota from generous to oodles and the decor to individually styled. The walk-in shower was powerful enough to double as an aqua massage and the bath was big enough to lie full length in. 26 interconnecting family rooms offer microwave, baby alarm and Playstation – essential ingredients of a family holiday.

Service: From the moment I arrived at reception, I was made to feel welcome by multi-lingual, professional staff. Service in the buffet restaurant and the bars was exceptionally good while at restaurant Las Rocas, the delightful Julio fussed over my every whim with a warm smile, professionalism and buckets of personality.

Food: Hotel Jardín Tropical has a deserved reputation for excellence in dining. The El Patio restaurant is reputed to serve the best steak tartare in Tenerife from its heavenly garden setting, while the romantic headland setting of Las Rocas is the venue for excellent gourmet cuisine. Breakfast in the Las Mimosas restaurant was a sumptuous choice of fresh fruit, continental and cooked dishes, all prepared and presented with aplomb in the stylish dining room and garden patio.

Entertainment: I followed the sound of laughter and applause to the bar lounge where families were being entertained by contemporary clowns, acrobats and breakdancers until it was time for the youngest of drooping eyelids to be carried to their beds. Night people will find themselves within sandal strolling distance of the iconic Faro Chill Art at Puerto Colón.

Overall: A fabulously stylish and chic four star hotel with five star design and aspirations where the good things in life ““ consummate service, fine dining, luxurious comfort and impeccable taste – are placed at the top of the agenda. Perfect for couples, honeymooners, families and anyone with an eye for quality and selectivity. As official host to players at golf tournaments like the Tenerife Ladies Match Play, it’s also the perfect year-round base for Tenerife golfers.

Hotel Jardín Tropical; 4 Star; Calle Gran Bretagña, Costa Adeje; (0034) 902 25 02 51; email: hotel@jardin-tropical.com

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Checking Into Tenerife’s Hotels, Hotel Spa Villalba


When it comes to getting away from it all, a spa break takes some beating, but when it’s attached to an elegant mountain hotel nestling in the pine forest where nature holds complete sway, there’s only one word for it ““ Paradise.

In the shimmering heat of a Tenerife October, Tenerife Magazine checked into the Hotel Spa Villalba in Vilaflor to find out what the winner of our holiday competition has in store.

A mountain retreat
Arriving in the charismatic spa town of Vilaflor late morning, I take the steep turn in the village that winds up past the Ermita de San Roque until it reaches the Hotel Spa Villalba. Leaving the stifling heat of the day, I step into the Canarian patio-styled lobby of the hotel where my eye is immediately drawn to the expanse of polished wood which forms the floor and sweeps upwards in a wide curved staircase to a walkway across the galleried space beneath a hand made, wrought iron decorative chandelier.

A roof to floor window occupies one side of the lobby, its margins sending rainbows of light from their stained glass patterns dancing around the aubergine walls. The lobby floor plays host to a garden of potted plants and an elegant sculptural water feature where the sound of running water completes the feng shui balance.

Opening the door onto room number 203 I”M immediately struck by the expanse of floor space, the elegant décor, the extensive presence of beautiful wood and the bed that occupies the far wall and is big enough to justify grid references. I flick the light switch to the en suite and enter the most cavernous bathroom I have ever seen in an hotel. Decorated in exquisite Victorian tiles in teal and white, twin ornate sinks take centre stage below the mirror. A bath with overhead shower lies to one side and the ‘usual facilities” to the other, across an expanse of vintage, maize-coloured tiled floor.

I”M already grinning like a fool when I step out onto the grand balcony and am caught completely off guard by the endless, fragrant pine forest in what feels like touching distance. Birdsong and the rustle of the breeze in distant tree tops is all I can hear as I inhale the mountain air and try to take in the full extent of the beauty that surrounds me. I’ve only been here five minutes, my case is still unpacked and my car keys are still in my hand yet already my shoulders have relaxed, my breathing is deeper and the Hotel Spa Villalba has thrown me a curve ball by revealing the truly unique beauty of its location.

I may never leave.

The Essentials

Location: Nestling above the alpine, spa town of Vilaflor looking like it’s waiting for the Von Trapp family to move in, the Hotel Spa Villalba lies on the cusp of a ravine in the pine forest with panoramic views over the town to the south east coast from the front of the hotel and over the fragrant forest from the rear. Designed to maximise its rustic setting, everything in the hotel is geared towards the enjoyment of your surroundings, from the seats dotted around the garden and the hotel viewpoint with its telescope, to the glass covered swimming pool edged by pine trees which is opened in summer and cosily closed over in winter.


Rooms: As generously bountiful as nature herself, bedrooms are big on space and minimal on fuss. Oatmeal décor teamed with soft plaid furnishings complement the highly polished hard wood flooring beautifully while prints of pencil drawings and oil canvases showcase flowers and rural scenes. A large, wooden terrace overlooks the gardens and forest while bedside, shuttered windows bring the pine romance inside. Free WiFi brings modern convenience to rustic charm and the practicalities also score highly with lots of wardrobe space, a shower so powerful it hurts your head; coat hangers galore, TV, mini bar and in-room safe.

Service: I have always found Vilaflor to be one of the friendliest towns on this Tenerife amable island and the staff of the Hotel Spa Villalba outshine even my former experience. From the Hotel Director Julio, to Marta on reception, the La Vendimia dining room staff and the chambermaids, everyone welcomes guests as if they were into their own home. The guests” comfort and relaxation appear to be paramount and once experienced, the service keeps the guests returning. I spoke with an elderly lady who was in her fourth week at the hotel and has been a regular guest for many years.

Food: The La Vendimia Restaurant is the venue for a fresh and beautifully presented continental breakfast buffet with fruit, cereals, home made breads, cheeses, cold meats, pastries, juices and wonderful coffee. Eggs are available for those who like a hot start to the day. In the evening the restaurant morphs into a candle lit romantic dining venue where fresh produce from the hotel’s garden is imaginatively and beautifully prepared. A la carte choices include a good selection of vegetarian, fish and meat options and the set half board menu was a nightly decision dilemma with three delicious options for every course vying to be picked. An extensive wine menu includes very quaffable organic wines from the owners” own label as well as a good selection of Tenerife produced wines.

Entertainment: The moon shining through the pine trees and Vilaflor’s trademark, star-studded firmament provide all the entertainment that’s needed in this country idyll. A TV room and a games room provide an indoor alternative to Nature. But as I don’t have a section for it, I’ll take this opportunity to mention the splendid spa and gym facilities that come as standard for guests. Set within spacious and elegant relaxation areas are a Jacuzzi, sauna, sunarium, Turkish Bath, plunge pool, showers and a dark relaxation lounge with water beds and coloured ceiling lights to lull you comatose. Downstairs, a gym equipped with ranks of state of the art equipment is flanked by a room with a full sized climbing wall.

Overall: An idyllic, romantic Alpine mountain getaway where sublime comfort, healing spas and treatments, relaxation, good food and tranquil surroundings relieve you of stress and leave you feeling renewed and energised. This is the perfect hotel for tired executives, romantic couples, athletes, nature lovers, hikers and anyone seeking a real ‘away from it all’ experience.

Hotel Spa Villalba; 4 Star; Carraterra San Roque s/n, Vilaflor; (0034) 922 70 99 30; email hotelvillalba@hotelesreveron.com

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Checking Into Hotel Barceló Santiago


It’s the week before Christmas, traditionally a very quiet period for visitors on Tenerife and in tourism terms, the lull before the storm.
As soon as the turkey leftovers are covered in foil and popped into the fridge for later snacking, keyboards will be hotting up with holiday searches and the beaches and resorts of Tenerife will throng with northern Europeans thawing the ice from their toes.

So before the madness begins, Tenerife Magazine headed to the sunny south west coast to check out what the stylish Hotel Barceló Santiago has to offer.

This is a hotel that knows how to make its guests feel welcome from the moment they arrive. At reception, while the smiling Nancy goes through the details of my booking and the hotel’s facilities at my disposal, a chilled glass of cava appears before me bringing a smile to my lips and putting me firmly into holiday mode.

Exiting the lift on the eighth floor with cava bubbles in my blood stream and a spring in my step, I open the door of Suite 819 to step into one of the coolest hotel rooms I have ever stayed in.
Ice blue opaque glass screens, slate grey tiled effect walls and a bed so large I’ll need GPS to find the pillows lie before me – my own private paradise. And just when I think the WOW factor can’t possibly get any better, I open the curtains to discover ceiling to floor length windows and endless terrace beyond which the cliffs of Los Gigantes tower above the ocean. The white sails of dolphin watching ships glide below like toys on a pond. Pulling back the curtains on the other side of the room, the island of La Gomera is shimmering on the horizon and below me, the infinity pools of the hotel are whispering my name.

Dragging myself away from the awesome views afforded by my room, I wander out into the warm sunshine to explore the gardens. Ignoring the impulse to sink into one of the cane chairs beneath the thatched roof of the pool bar and order another glass of cava, I step over the footbridge, past the Jacuzzi where suntanned bodies are being massaged by water jets, and down the steps by the kiddies” club to the sports courts.

A group of guests are enjoying a spot of rifle practice, supervised and tutored by two of the animation team. I linger awhile until one of the guests who is getting on in years and has a very distinctive arm shake steps up to the mark ““ no point in taking unnecessary risks.
In the show bar there’s a stretching class in progress and the occasional grunt rises above the chill out music as muscles are put through their paces. I continue downwards, drawn by the aroma of incense until I arrive alongside the gym which is packed to the gunwales with state of the art equipment and completely devoid of guests, all of whom I suspect are being tenderised in the scented paradise of the hotel spa alongside.

Back at pool level I place my towel on the comfy sunbed below a straw parasol and slip into the infinity pool where I float, watching the Los Gigantes ‘giants” in the heat haze and making a mental note to check the rules of this month’s free holiday at the Barceló Santiago. Perhaps members of TM staff aren’t excluded from winning?
Drat!

Hotel Hotel Barceló Santiago, The Essentials

Location: On a small headland in the resort of Puerto Santiago overlooking the cliffs of Los Gigantes on one side and the neighbouring island of La Gomera on the other. Throw into the mix the fact that the south west coast gets more sunshine hours than any other and you arrive at the conclusion that this hotel probably has the best location on Tenerife.

Rooms: Rooms are stylish and comfortable in contemporary design with lots of floor space, terrace and flat screen TV with satellite. Décor is ice blues with the palest lemon and maximum use is made of the natural light to provide a calm and relaxing environment. It’s well worth paying a bit extra to take advantage of those spectacular sea views. Superior rooms and suites have even more floor space and tea and coffee making facilities.

Service: In my experience staff can make or break the quality of a hotel. In the case of the Barceló Santiago the staff are exceptionally good. Wherever I went in the hotel I found multi-lingual, professional and friendly staff who had an excellent rapport with all the guests and who appeared to be enviably happy in their work.

Food: I arrived at the Barceló after a late breakfast and intended only having a salad but faced with the delicious selection on offer in the buffet, I ended up with a lip-smacking three course lunch. In the evening I chose to eat at the hotel’s a la carte Sabor Español restaurant where I was treated to excellent food and wine served with savoir faire by the delightful Elvi.

Entertainment: The evening kicked off with the mini-club during which the animation team kept the youngest guests entertained until bedtime. When the clowns exited stage left, the dancers entered stage right and kept the adults foot tapping and applauding for the rest of the evening. For a change of scene a mini stroll takes guests to Route 66 where they can get their kicks from resident bands Old Dogs New Tricks and Los Tres Hombres.

Overall: A stylish and comfortable modern hotel in a stunning location where families, couples and singles can enjoy the best of Tenerife’s sunshine, sunsets over La Gomera and excellent service from friendly and professional staff.
I shall certainly be making a return visit.

Hotel Barceló Santiago; 4 Star; La Hondura 8, Puerto Santiago, Santiago Del Teide; www.barcelosantiago.com ; (0034) 922 86 09 12; email santiago@barcelo.com

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Checking into Arona Gran Hotel


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.

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