In the last decade the south of Tenerife has moved away from its stack ‘em high, sell ‘em cheap accommodation mantra of the last century and has reinvented itself as a destination for discerning travelers. The result is a proliferation of new four and five star hotels which get more palatial and more expensive as you travel westwards from Playa de Las Américas into Costa Adeje where few hotels fall below five stars.
The west coast has fewer hotels, opting instead to develop luxurious resorts on a grand scale and place them further apart than the more crowded southern resorts. Thus some of Tenerife’s most prestigious accommodation such as the Abama Hotel and the Gran Palacio Melia are dotted amongst the banana plantations and fishing villages. For this reason, I have included the best hotels along the ten kilometre stretch of coastline between Los Gigantes and Playa de San Juan in the Los Gigantes section.
Meanwhile, in the north of Tenerife, the island’s first ever resort of Puerto de la Cruz has invested little in its hotels over the past decade and with the notable exception of the hotels I’ve included and a few I haven’t, many of the resort’s accommodation offerings are outdated and sadly in need of major refurbishment.
As yet, the island’s capital city of Santa Cruz has evaded the tourist spotlight entirely, save for the thousands who daily disembark from the luxurious ocean liners that dock at the busy port. The result is an almost unbelievable lone five star hotel (currently being refurbished) and a quiet growth in three and four star city centre hotels which offer high style and comfort along with commendable value for money.
Rustic charm, tradition and character
Move away from the resorts and city altogether and you’ll discover the real Tenerife. In amongst the mountains, villages and hill communities is an amazing selection of rural houses and hotels. Usually renovated traditional Canarian mansions or fincas, they’re choc full of character and charm and are perfectly located for enjoying peace and tranquility along with your sunshine quota.
Things to consider before booking
It pays to be aware that Costa Adeje now stretches to the west coast and that some of the newer and highly prestigious developments such as the Roca Nivaria are a considerable distance from the shops and nightlife of the new, shiny Playa de Las Américas. This is particularly true of the resorts of Playa Paraiso and Callao Salvaje.
Tenerife is still predominantly a winter sun and beach destination for northern Europeans which means that its busiest and most expensive season is from October through to March.
During July and August Tenerife reverts to its Spanish roots, particularly in Puerto de la Cruz but increasingly around the south and west resorts too. As the trade winds generally keep the island from getting too hot, summer’s a good time to look for a bargain and avoid some of the ‘Britain abroad’ feel that some resorts inevitably have in winter.
Watch out for IGIC, the Tenerife equivalent of VAT, which is a standard 5% tax which hotel rooms carry and which may or may not be included in quoted prices but is always stated as included or excluded.