Here comes the sun!
It’s my first visit to Tenerife and for some reason the clock on my mobile phone thinks the time here is one hour ahead of the UK. However my phone is wrong. Tenerife, despite being a Spanish Canary Island 2000 miles from London does in fact exist on the exact same timeline as grey, rainy old Blighty. At this time of year that’s probably about the only thing they have in common.
I’m here on an extended weekend break in November to stay at the Hard Rock Hotel Tenerife, a 624 room, 259 suite, 5 star establishment located in the South West of the Island. It’s four and a bit hours flying time with Ryanair to get here and during the early evening transfer from the airport to the Hard Rock we pass banana plantations and mountains one one side of the road and on the other side I can see the sun dancing across the crashing waves (btw Tenerife is also a great surfing destination). It’s a beautiful contrast and I feel my body and mind starting to relax.
It’s almost wrong to be enjoying the sun in November, but did you know the weather in Tenerife is actually pretty good all year round? Ok, so the temperature doesn’t hit the frazzling heights of August (which is too hot for me – 29˚ plus), but it’s still over 20˚ which is perfect. It’s less busy and prices are lower too, so it’s a good time of year to come and enjoy it.
The Hard Rock Hotel is currently celebrating its second birthday and it still radiates that fresh energy all new hotels have. As you arrive at the grand entrance and walk inside the large ground floor / reception area you can see all kinds of musical memorabilia from some of pop and rocks biggest names. There’s stage costumes from the likes of Elton John, Lady Gaga and Rhianna, there’s John Entwistle’s bass guitar, Frank Banali’s drum kit (google him) and handwritten notes from Slash and Madonna and tons more cool stuff too.
Just the basic facts…
The hotel’s facilities are extensive, top notch and include among other things (deep breath); a luxury Gym and Spa, 6 restaurants, 5 bars, a coffee shop, a gift shop, there’s even a very conference centre if for some reason you wanted to try and do some work. The staff are great too, they know guests want to be treated like rock royalty and seem genuinely enthusiastic to make sure your holiday is a good one, that included our maid who left little treats to eat every night and who wrote rock n’ roll slogans on the bathroom mirror. Incidentally if you want to bring your pet the hotels ‘Animal Instant’ programme means you can do just that.
For all the rock n’roll sensibilities the Hotel is a pretty relaxed place and it’s more Mumford and Son than Motley Crue. Interestingly I noticed the bottles of complimentary alcoholic fizz available at the amazing buffet breakfast every morning seemed to remain unopened. Maybe all the real party animals are still in bed? Anyway, you can enjoy breakfast on the patio listening to fab, chilled real life musicians and the only problem is to decide what you want to eat. A fruit salad, a fry up, or a piece of cake. Or all of them.
Smells like teen spirit
There’s a mixed bunch of young families, couples and groups of friends staying here and you’re just as likely to hear Miley Cyrus or Bob Marley in the air as you are AC/DC or Aerosmith. There is a really good kids club where alongside the usual stuff they run music related things like DJ classes etc. Talking of ‘in the air’, they seem to pump some kind of air freshener through the air con as everywhere you go inside the hotel there’s a fruity, fresh aroma.
The Hotels itself covers a large area and the guest accommodation is split between two main blocks, named after two of the rocks greats, Oasis and Nirvana. The biggest swimming pool and stage area where they have the live concerts and parties (see below) is actually along a walkway that crosses over a small road and down in a lift.
It’s right next to the sea and a beautiful secluded lagoon which is also accessible directly from the Hotel. By the way the water in all three of the outdoor pools is heated (can you be any more decadent?) and there are pool bars and waiter service available all day. The gardens are so perfect they look like they’re manicured with nail scissors.
Fight for your right to party
I have to say my bedroom is very rock n’ roll. It has a decadent jacuzzi bath in the main room, a lovely patio and a lounge area, to well, lounge around in. The bed is huge, the shower is awesome and the room is spotless. There’s a cool wi-fi bluetooth Boss speaker system to connect your phone to or you can also download an App from the hotel and listen to a selection of music that way too. The huge smart TV can be used to watch tons of movies on, but unfortunately it is so well fixed to the wall that if you’re planing on any decadent rock n’ roll parties you’ll need a decent screwdriver before you can throw it out of the window! You can also use it to watch Netflix on so if you’ve partied too hard the night before and fancy a duvet day, you can order room service and just…. relax.
Talking of parties, by all accounts this Summers ‘Children of the 80’s’ parties have been a huge success and have seen 80’s pop legends such as Sabrina, Sam Fox and the Sugar Hill Gang all performing live at the Hotel. More contemporary artists and legends such as Fat Boy Slim have also appeared and all hotel guests get free access to all events. There seems to be some kind of festival on every few days, so it’s worth checking out the programme beforehand.
Can’t buy me love
If just want to be pampered and relax there are enough things to do in 3 days to actually just stay within the Hotel grounds. If you do begin to get restless the local area around the hotel is a bit ‘touristy’ with half a dozen unremarkable shops a few restaurants and British bars etc, but there is a semi-decent supermarket across the road that is pretty good value for money and several beautiful beaches within walking distance. There is a bus stop right outside that will take you to nearby Costa Adeje, Playa de las Americas and Los Cristianos where there is lots more shopping to be done if you think the prices in the Hotel’s gift show are a bit high (they are).
As I mentioned there are 6 restaurants at the Hard Rock, including an award winning Steakhouse, Montauk, however I love Japanese food and my favourite meal at the Hotel was definitely at Narumi. Delicate, fresh fish dishes sit alongside a range of sushi rolls and Japanese favourites. The vegetable and prawn tempura is light and fresh, so too is the tuna sashimi.
The restaurants head chef has put together a special selection of sushi that includes classic favourites such as Californian Rolls in addition to some of his own creations. If you like a sense of drama you can also order Teppanyaki and have the chef cook and prepare your food at your table. Just watch your eyebrows on the flames! Should you have space at the end of your meal the Green Tea tiramisu is an interesting twist on the Italian classic and is Bellissimo!
It’s a long way to the top if you wanna rock n’ roll and at the Hard Rock Hotel Tenerife the very top is the über cool sky bar – the 16th Floor. Here you can blow €1000 on a bottle of the best champagne, or if your budget is more 50p than 50cent you can still buy one of their much less expensive, but ultimately more delicious cocktails for €10 and still feel like the proverbial rock star. It opens from 6pm and the atmosphere, particularly at Sunset is magical. The beautiful natural views, the chilled music, shisha pipes and atmospheric mood lighting make this bar the height of Tenerife coolness.
As an Island British tourists have been coming to Tenerife for years (there’s actually a nice photo shoot in the Hotel of the Beatles here just before they got famous) and tourism is a huge thing to the Island. As a result there are some parts of the island that are a bit too touristy for me, saying that I saw more than enough natural beauty for me to want to come back again and explore further.
If you just want to have fun, indulge yourself and most of all relax in the sun, the Hard Rock Hotel is THE perfect Winter holiday destination.
The Hotel has a wide range of ever changing special discount offers and deals, rooms from around £170 per night. Half board and Band & breakfast options available. For more info visit www.hardrockhoteltenerife.com
Direct UK flights to Tenerife with Ryanair, BA, jet2, Norwegian Air and EasyJet.
Hard Rock Tenerife
Av. Adeje 300, 5, 38670 Adeje,
Santa Cruz de Tenerife, Spain