I have been wanting to write this post for a long time. The Hunter is originally from Tenerife, and The Canary Islands are one of the most special places you will experience if you are lucky to visit them.
Only a medium range flight away from the major European cities, they enjoy spring temperatures all year round. Expect dramatic scenery, tasty food, friendly people and much more than beaches and sun (which comes by default).
So I have selected what I think are the top 10 hotels in the island. This is a really tough selection; anyone who has stayed in Tenerife will understand that the standards are really high, and even the massive resorts have incredible service.
I have selected hotels where most of my friends would enjoy themselves. Not particularly big or crowded, excellent service and outstanding scenery. Only the very best.
North of the island:
Hotel San Agustín – Icod de los Vinos
The hotel is an old colonial house typical of the islands, with a central patio which is the heart of the house. Visit the famous dragon tree close by, believed to be over 1,000 years old.
Hotel San Roque – Garachico
Another example of local architecture. These mansions where the homes of the land owners when the island was covered in banana plantations. This hotel is filled with art and modern furniture, and has been chosen as best hotel of the island several times.
Garachico is one of the most charming villages in the island, and was once devoured by the volcano in 1706. Jump into the Atlantic Ocean from the dock, it is just a magical experience. The evenings in Garachico are also magical, don’t miss the gardens at Plaza de Juan Gonzalez, where the land used to meet the ocean before the village was covered by lava.
Hotel San Marcos – Icold de los Vinos
Yet another charming old town house, full of antiques and just a short ride to El Teide National Park. Immerse yourself in the lifestyle of the rich islanders of the 18th century, but with modern comfort.
Hotel Rural El Patio – Garachico
Right in the middle of a huge banana plantation, this hotel is a true haven of peace overlooking the intense blue of the Atlantic Ocean. It is only a short walk from one of my favourite spots in the island for a swim. But you would have to go there to discover it, since I am not planning to give it away.
Hotel Tigaiga – Puerto de La Cruz
Multi-award winning hotel in the city where the tourism sector started in the island. This hotel has undertaken huge renovations throughout the decades to become the hotel with the most loyal clientele.
It is strategically situated overlooking the city and it has one of the most impressive collections of plants, offering guided tours to their guests. Puerto de La Cruz offers a huge variety of restaurants and excellent nightlife.
South of the island:
Hotel Spa Villalba – Vilaflor
This is an only adults hotel, located in the highest village of Spain. At the top of the forest, it is a short ride to the National Park.
You can’t miss a visit to Vilaflor and El Teide. But at this hotel, the true luxury is the clean air and the sky at night. It is simply breathtaking.
Hotel Ritz-Carlton Abama – Guía de Isora
This massive hotel has everything you might dream off. From a private beach to a golf course, Michelin starred restaurants, spa and all sorts of luxuries. You can choose between rooms, suites or private villas with a butler and anything you need.
Despite being so big, the architecture is clever and spreads out like a small luxury village. There are lots of swimming pools and beautiful gardens. This hotel is the getaway of celebs from around the world. And this is the beauty of it, they might be staying at the same hotel but you will never get to bump into them.
The hotel overlooks La Gomera, the closest island which you can reach by ferry in one hour.
Royal Garden Villas – Adeje
Another top-luxury hotel where your room comes with a private pool and total privacy. This is over the top self-indulgence.
From this part of the island you can visit Barranco del Infierno and Los Gigantes, which are beautiful landmarks of Tenerife. And when you come back to your private villa, maybe have a massage and a nice G&T.
Hotel Mencey – Santa Cruz de Tenerife
‘El Mencey’, which is how it is popularly referred to by the locals, opened in 1950. This was the grand hotel where celebrities visiting the island would stay. It was the place where well-off people celebrated their weddings and it is still the most emblematic hotel in the capital city.
A few years back they ripped off the interiors and upgraded the rooms and services when the big hotel chain Iberostar took over. I have to say that it is really smart and sleek, but it lost the history that was attached to the building. I had my graduation party here.
This hotel is the perfect place to stay when visiting Santa Cruz. You have to walk around the park (Parque García Sanabria) and walk down towards the sea visiting the shops and restaurants. Only a short ride away, Las Teresitas is a great beach to spend the day. I recommend the evenings at El Caracol, a small bar with music and Dorada, the local beer. And if you have time in February, you simply can’t miss the Carnival.
Hotel Laguna Nivaria – San Cristóbal de La Laguna
San Cristóbal de La Laguna is the only UNESCO Heritage city in the Canary Islands, but it is is also my hometown. You simply have to visit it. There are lots of churches and convents from a very religious past, and it is definitely a walkable city.
There is so much to see, places to eat and shops to peek into. La Laguna is a magical place, home of the university, museums, theatre etc. My suggestions: stay at Hotel Nivaria, carry a jumper because the weather changes a lot, and let yourself get lost. Plaza de la Concepción is usually buzzing with activity and Little Observationist recently named it ‘Piccadilly La Laguna’.
The management of this hotel changed a few years back, and definitely for the better. It is a perfect spot for lunch or a nice dinner, for a drink at the bar and as a meeting point when visiting the city.
I hope I have tempted you to visit this incredible island. I have only listed a few of the huge list of hotels and accommodations available. But I assure you that any of the above will be the perfect pied-à-terre when exploring the island.