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Spotlight on Tenerife
Tired and jaded after a long, cold winter, and despite credit crunch caution, a few days of sunshine at Easter felt like an absolute must-have. In previous years we’d tried and enjoyed Cyprus, Lanzarote and Morocco – but decided this time to give Tenerife a whirl, and to stay at 2 different hotels – a great value 4 star option in the busy (yet exclusive) Costa Adeje area, and a 5 star resort further up the same coast, in a much quieter area.
Jardin Tropical Costa Adeje
We had a very easy and stress free flight from Gatwick with Easyjet – we booked speedy boarding and had a queue-free dedicated check in at Gatwick and were first to board the plane. 4 hrs later we were stepping into the warm, balmy Tenerife air.
The hotel is interesting architecturally, with a moorish feel. The exterior is very impressive - white with lots of curved edges and towers – and surrounded by tropical foliage - as you’d expect from the name! The main pool is very large, heated and freeform – with a large waterfall area which was very popular with the children. The terraces surrounding it were spacious, and the whole feel was very relaxed. Below the main pool we discovered a series of terraces, where the ‘beach club’ is set – this offers interlinking pools (not heated) which run along the cliff edge. Set in pretty terraced gardens and with spectacular seaviews, this is a lovely area to relax in. There is a renowned seafood restaurant perched on the edge of the cliff with the same stunning views – a very romantic spot to eat. It’s then a short walk to the closest beach which has watersports, parasols/loungers for hire and plenty of shops cafes, restaurants etc.
The kids club is one large room, and there was a good daily schedule and plenty of equipment, and friendly staff . It works on an informal drop-in basis, so there was no problem with the children popping in for a couple of hours when they felt like spending some time out of the sun. Right next to the kids club is a games room for older children, with air hockey, computer games, internet access, pool etc. Both of these areas were very close to the main pool area and easy to access (just a case of round the corner basically) - which means that the hotel offers a degree of freedom and independence to slightly older children which they really enjoy.
Lots to explore nearby
Once we could tear ourselves away from the pool, there was plenty to see round and about without a car. You can walk right along the Costa Adeje beside the sea, stopping at cafes etc along the way. And the new Siam Park water park is just a 5 min cab ride from the Jardin Tropical. The Thai themed park has a wide variety of very exciting rides for the brave, a gentle lazy river for the less courageous, a really extensive fun area for the under 5’s, and a huge pool/beach area with waves and surf school.
Next stop: The Abama
The Abama is about a 30 min drive from the airport. Within 15 mins or so, you leave behind the bustle of the Costa Adeje and head towards the village of Isora. Turning left towards the coast, there is nothing but azure sea, spectacular cliff coastline, and the greenery of acres of banana plantations. It already felt very different.
Guests receive a very personal welcome at the Abama – tired toddlers are scooped up and carried to reception, excited children are engaged in conversation and given a Abama backpack (and cookies and milk with their names iced on the plates in the room), and fraught parents are soothed with a glass of chilled champagne. This very welcome attention to individual needs was to characterise the service throughout our stay – and made our time here very special.
Suites with a view
The lobby at the Abama is a vast, modern, calm space – lots of glass and tasteful sofas, and leads to a more traditionally styled tea room/lounge bar, where delicious teas and cakes are on offer throughout the day, along with sweets and treats for children. We made our way through these temptations to our 2 bedroom suite, which is actually a one bedroom suite inter-connecting with a deluxe room.
The terrace runs the length of the suite, and is furnished with loungers and dining chairs/table – the seaviews are amazing – especially at sunset. The interconnecting room was also very spacious with its own sofa and seating area. All in all this makes an extremely spacious 2 bedroom suite for families or friends – and can accommodate up to 6 easily.
Facilities for all ages
Exploring the rest of the Abama required more of a sense of direction than the Jardin Tropical – as it’s much larger and more spread out. From the lobby, you wander down past the main restaurant area and then past the lovely pond with koi carp (children are encouraged to watch when the fish are fed) and then out to the main pool.
The black sand beaches in Tenerife are often listed as a minus – not so at the Abama. This is a truly spectacular beach. You either stroll down past the ‘Villas’ rooms, or hop in a little buggy at reception and get whisked down to the cliff edge. The view of the beach from here is fantastic – golden sand, emerald/blue sea, black cliffs. You are then transported down to sea level in a little funicular – very quiet and very quick. The whole buggy/funicular combo makes quite an exciting excursion for children in itself. Once on the beach, there is the same excellent service as poolside, and a very good restaurant where we had some delicious barbecued fish lunches overlooking the sea.
But the beach area has something a bit extra at the Abama – just around the corner from the restaurant are a series of natural pools formed by the rocks – into which the hotel has added little ladders for easy entry. This is a fantastic place for adults and children to take a dip: crystal clear, calm water - but surrounded by pounding surf. A dip here was one of the highlights of the trip for our children. In between these natural swimming pools are lots of rock pools - and hours can be spent just pottering around these with a fishing net and a bucket.
A wide choice of eating options
Booking our return!
We loved our stay here. The hotel is in such a lovely unspoiled area, and has a very chilled, calm ambiance despite all the facilities – it’s a place to really unwind in modern, contemporary yet genuinely child-friendly luxury, and suits all ages. There was so much to do both for adults and children, yet more’quiet’ corners for relaxation and contemplation that most other hotels we’ve stayed in. The accommodation was exceptional and food and service was top notch. There is plenty more of unspoilt Tenerife to explore all around, such as the lovely towns of Orotava and Garachico. It was ideal for an Easter break, but also ideal for summer (when the natural pools would really come into their own), autumn and definitely Christmas - and for any duration: there’s enough to do to keep you busy for 2 weeks, but it also works really well as a long weekend. The Abama has definitely earned its place on our Top 10 luxury European family-friendly hotels list – and we’ll be certain to return.