Hotel Rural Fonda de la Tea

Calle Ezequiel Sanchez, 22, Tejeda, Gran Canaria, Spain, 35360

By Lisa Gerard-Sharp, your Gran Canaria expert

I write for Vogue, The Times, The .... Read more
#2 of 5
expert-rated hotels in Gran Canaria
Expert overall rating:4.6 out of 5
Location:
4.8
4.8
Bedrooms:
4.5
4.5
Eating/drinking:
4.7
4.7
Public areas:
4.5
4.5
Leisure facilities:
4.5
4.5
Service:
4.7
4.7
Value for money:
4.9
4.9
Recommended for:
Couples, Foodies, Mature travellers, Seasoned travellers, Sporty types, Escaping the crowds, Great views / scenery, No fuss, Relaxation, Sightseeing

Expert review of Hotel Rural Fonda de la Tea

A delicious village escape in the volcanic peaks of `real’ Gran Canaria.

Tucked above almond groves, Fonda de la Tea feels like a charming guesthouse rather than a hotel. I would happily come back here for friendliness alone. The setting is domesticated yet wild, anchored in a village of red-tiled rooftops and an ancient church, with grandiose gullies and peaks beyond. This is a beguiling base for walks or drives in the unspoilt interior. The ancient Caminos Reales trails link intriguing hamlets and sites that were sacred to the Guanche, the aboriginal Canarians, since prehistoric times.

The lovingly restored rural inn (fonda) has been sensitively converted from an old staging post by Fina, the hands-on owner. This intimate inn is a sympathetic blend of Canarian character and quiet good taste, though equipped with all mod cons. From the terrace admire the Roque Nublo monolith and views across the ocean to Tenerife. Tejeda itself, with its white-washed houses and stargazing skies, might make you rethink Gran Canaria - or even your life.

Location: 

The inn lies in Tejeda, one of the island’s prettiest villages, in the heart of Gran Canaria. Despite its air of seclusion, the inn sits snugly in the centre of the village, within easy walking distance of cafes and restaurants. This is a wonderful base for hiking. On your trails, expect towers of volcanic rock, vertiginous valleys, and sightings of cave-dwellings converted into homes. But unless you are simply here to hide out or hike, a car is essential for exploring the island. If beaches are a deal-breaker, the southern resorts are 90-minutes away, or there’s a bus to the Maspalomas dunes.

Directions follow as Fina’s English is charmingly idiosyncratic. From the airport, take the GC-1 towards Las Palmas for 13kms; then take the GC-3 and GC-4 through Tafira to Santa Brigida before switching to the GC-15 through Vega de San Mateo to Tejeda. Once in Tejeda, pass the church and main square; the Fonda is on the right.

Bedrooms: 

The rooms lead off a traditional Canarian patio, which is overhung by pine-clad balconies. All the bedrooms are different so choose from painted, stone-clad or beamed versions, virtually all with delightful mountain views and balconies. The views are of red-tiled rooftops, almond tress and jaw-dropping ravines. There are also two charming rooms in the annexe across the lane. Despite the hand-carved bedsteads, the inn comes with all mod cons, such as flat-screen tvs, along with surprisingly stylish bathrooms. Alternatively, if you can dispense with most services, consider renting the old-fashioned self-catering `casita’ tucked away down a cobbled street. While it also has breathtaking views, the main inn has more obvious appeal.

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Public areas: 

The west-facing terrace enjoys lingering sunsets as the sun sinks behind Tenerife. During the day, it’s an inviting sun trap, with loungers provided. The sitting room (open until around 8pm) is a cosy spot for curling up with a book before dinner. Or enjoy a fresh guava juice on the patio in the inner courtyard. But given the views from the sun-trap terrace, you’ll probably find it hard to leave the rooftop. Peace and seclusion are the watchwords, with views a given.

Eating and drinking: 

Expect breakfast buffets, with an array of cheeses, hams, tortilla, pastries and fresh fruit. The hearty Canarian home-cooking includes eggs from Fina’s own hens.

Dinner in the inn is locally-sourced, mostly organic, and costs 30€ each (including a bottle of wine) or choose a la carte at the Cueva de la Tea sister-restaurant nearby. Also amble over to Tejeda’s friendly tapas bars. Do visit the Dulceria Nublo, the local pastry shop, for almond cakes.

As a treat, also drive up the hill to Cruz de Tejeda for a gastronomic feast in the Parador de Cruz de Tejeda (see entry), where prices are not much higher than here.

Leisure facilities: 

There’s a public pool and park within sight of the inn but the best `leisure facility’ is the surrounding mountainscape. You’d also be foolish to miss a day’s hiking or biking with English-speaking Guillermo, the Fonda de la Tea’s recommended guide, and a trail or cycle ride as gentle or tough as you wish (www.nortetrekgrancanaria.com). I spent a day with Guillermo recently and can testify to his enthusiasm for the local mountains and cave-dwellings.  He'll probably drag you off to a local finca for wine and cheese as a reward for all your exertions - another way of tasting the `real' Gran Canaria.

Experiencing the surrounding UNESCO World Biosphere area could mean exploring the Caldera (volcanic crater) as well as the Roque Nublo nature reserve that you can see from the terrace of the inn. 

Service: 

Friendly and personal service. Despite limited English, Fina and her helpers go out of their way to be helpful, including suggesting activities and walks.

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Who stays there: 

Escapists who place boutique charm over beach frolics and romantics who enjoy the rural drives. Not forgetting serious hikers here to explore the rugged interior.

Price advice: 

This gorgeous guesthouse is cheaper than a slightly down-market dive on the Playa del Ingles. There's also free WiFi, which is unusual in an inexpensive hotel such as this one. As for meals, for variety's sake, consider dining around, rather than eating in every evening.
 

Pros: 
An invigorating escape from the soulless beach resorts
Mix of rural seclusion but convenience for local restaurants
Some of the best hiking trails on the island begin nearby
Cons: 
The beaches are a bit of a trek but still possible on a day trip
If you hit a rare spell of chilly weather, then the rooms aren’t heated

More information on Hotel Rural Fonda de la Tea:

Type:
Hotel
Address:
Calle Ezequiel Sanchez, 22, Tejeda, Gran Canaria, Spain, 35360
Free tags / Keywords:
Rural Hotel, Hiking, Foodies, Cycling
Amenities:
High-Speed Internet, Parking, Restaurant, Swimming Pool