Amongst the scented pine forests of the former spa town of Vilaflor – Spain’s highest village. The Villalba stands in its elevated position above the main route from the south to Teide National Park; a stone’s throw from the crater, the amazing Paisajes Lunar rock formations, wonderful hiking trails and forest picnic zones. At 1500 metres above sea level, temperatures are higher than on the coast in summer, and considerably cooler in winter.
Like everywhere else in the hotel, wood features strongly in the bedrooms, with polished floorboards, a simple headboard, shuttered windows and plain furniture in pine. Colours are predominantly white, with soft furnishings in earth tones. Lovely carved balconies and terraces give outstanding views - the ones at the back of the hotel are better, but that’s like saying a Ferrari is better than a Porsche. Bathrooms are particularly attractive with their traditional tiling. Rooms have air conditioning for hot summer nights and heating for days when the low winter cloud rolls in. Suites have Jacuzzis.
Swiss ski chalet meets traditional Canarian with a surfeit of wood and stone in the lobby. The lounge has a low beamed ceiling, a wood-burning stove and fat, comfy sofas in red and cream stripes. There’s an aptly named fireplace lounge for cosy winter nights when the fire roars and makes you feel like you should be dipping into a fondue and getting to grips with the après ski. Outside, rock gardens filled with endemic plants - including the crimson, tajinaste roja which grows to four metres in height and bursts into flower in late spring - surround the pretty, covered terrace.
Eating and drinking
The hotel restaurant uses herbs and vegetables grown in the gardens and local produce such as the potatoes for which Vilaflor is known. Dishes are based on traditional Canarian but given a more contemporary twist; the standard is very high but the menu is limited and only changes weekly so you may want to try a local eatery such as Rincón de Roberto in the village. Try the local wine – it’s amongst the best on the island.
The spa in the hotel’s name may be smaller than its coastal five star deluxe hotel rivals but it feels far more like a real spa than any of them. Set amongst the pines with views right down to the coast, there’s a quintessential Alpine element at play. Indoor and outdoor pools, sauna, Jacuzzi, steam room, pebble walking and a modern, well equipped gym are some of the facilities available.
Friendly and attentive; very like being in a ski chalet in fact.
Who stays there
German hikers predominantly, but also Spanish and British couples on romantic getaways or rural holidays.
- Mature travellers
- Seasoned travellers
- Escaping the crowds
- Great views / scenery
- Nature / wildlife
Pros & Cons
- Clean air and spectacular surroundings
- Easy access to Teide National Park and excellent hiking trails
- You’re a long way from a beach
- Cold nights in winter
- A car is essential