Why Tenerife is the beacon of the Canaries
THE WEEKEND: Many will have soaked up the sun in Gran Canaria, or had fun on the strip in Lanzarote. Tenerife, however, feels more abundant with five-star luxury. It is the only Canary Island to have Michelin Starred restaurants, for instance, with six stars spread across five eateries.
WHERE? Home was the Ritz-Carlton Abama, a gorgeously luxe resort on the island’s south-west coast and a onestop-shop for supreme relaxation. Offering traditional rooms alongside spacious villas, and never more than a few meters from a swimming pool, there are options for all from ambitious groups looking to hike, to loved-up couples wanting to do nothing but flop. Those who can tear themselves away from the sun loungers have the choice of Michelin Star restaurants and health spas within the hotel’s grounds. Any stress that wasn’t eased by my spa massage dissipated as I took in one of the resort’s yoga classes. Is there anything better than doing yoga in the sun, rather than a cramped-up London studio?
THE SIGHTS: The hotel offers a number of excursions to visitors. The island is a hiker’s dream, with trails of various difficulties reachable via hotel shuttle. Adventurers are rewarded by breathtaking views from sights such as Acantilados de Los Gigantes (“Cliffs of the Giants”). The experience that stayed with me, however, was whale and dolphin watching with the White Tenerife boat company in Puerto Colón. With an ethical approach to Sealife tourism, the tour allowed us to sail alongside pods of wild dolphins in an experience that is bucket list material for the price of a round of drinks (around 40 euros per person).
THE FOOD: Fresh seafood is obviously a big focus, but if you want cutting edge cuisine, the Japanese fusion restaurant Kabuki is a short distance from the RitzCarlton and served me theatrical sushi dishes with a nod to Spanish tradition. But this unusual combination is no novelty: the food has earned the venue a Michelin Star. More informal but no less spectacular is Restaurante la Vieja, a short distance away in La Caleta de Adeje. Serenaded by a live violinist, I enjoyed a variety of cuisines while overlooking a gorgeous coastline.
AND AFTER THAT? It’s the way of the Spanish to eat late and enjoy a long dinner. With plenty of courses and conversation encouraged, the evening meal itself becomes a nighttime event. After all that lazing, laze some more by finding a spot to enjoy the sunset. Almost every venue I ate at was set up for enjoying the magnificent views as day turned into night. If you still have energy after hours, there are pubs and cocktail bars across the island to while away the time while you wait for that next most majestic of Tenerife activities: watching the sunrise.
NEED TO KNOW: British Airways Holidays offers a variety of packages for the 5* The Ritz- Carlton Abama, including return flights from London Gatwick Airport, 23kg luggage allowance and accommodation with breakfast included. Dolphin and Whale watching excursions can be booked online. British Airways flies to Tenerife as part of their new Euro Traveller service, a premium offering with competitive fares servicing lots of European destinations