Tenerife gets a bad rap, although take a look at her and she doesn’t seem to care one jot.
Three million years ago this volcanic island erupted out of the Atlantic swell and today she still stands proudly, her pinnacle the cone-shaped, still steaming Mount Teide – Spain’s highest mountain, no less.
Teide smoulders high above plunging barrancos, towering cliffs and sandy beaches. Cast aside your preconceptions and discover hotels offering everything from Michelin-starred cuisine to sublime spas. And not a full English fry-up or disco bar in sight.
The best hotels in Tenerife are:
- Best for escaping the kids: Red Level at Gran Melia Palacio de Isora, booking.com
- Best for rocking out: Hard Rock Hotel Tenerife, booking.com
- Best for dining: Royal Hideaway Corales Beach, booking.com
- Best for sports: The Ritz-Carlton, Abama, booking.com
- Best for all-out luxury: Bahia del Duque, booking.com
- Best for authentic island life: Hotel San Roque, booking.com
- Best for spa: Hotel Botanico, booking.com
- Best for family fun: Fantasia Bahia Principe Tenerife, booking.com
- Best for relaxation: Hotel Jardin Tropical, booking.com
- Best for a budget break: H10 Tenerife Playa, booking.com
Neighbourhood: Guia de Isora
Seeking peace and quiet? This adults-only enclave within the larger Gran Melia Palacio de Isora hotel has its own (blissfully quiet) pool, a lush garden with hot tubs and daily one-hour open bar timed for the sunset. You’ll get preferential bookings in the hotel’s Clarins spa too and can even get your butler to run you a bath on your balcony. Bliss.
Price: Doubles from €366 (£304 )
Neighbourhood: El Roque
There’s music everywhere at the Hard Rock Hotel, from the pool to your room – where you can request a bass guitar to be delivered or chill to the beat of one of three “Rock Om” yoga videos. The kids’ clubs give little ones the chance to join the band, while adults can sip cocktails at one of the pool bars (named, naturally, Oasis and Nirvana) or retreat to the Rock Spa to recuperate.
Price: Doubles from €189 (£157)
Neighbourhood: La Caleta
The Padron brothers are renowned in these parts for their gourmet cuisine (their restaurant Rincon de Juan Carlos holds a Michelin star). Foodies should not miss their latest opening, the rooftop Maresia restaurant, which sits alongside the glorious pool atop this adults-only five-star hotel. Suites are exquisite too, with vast balconies complete with bathtubs, and breakfast downstairs by the second pool can occupy you for hours with its copious buffet.
Price: Doubles from €335 (£278)
Neighbourhood: Guia de Isora
Golfers and tennis lovers will find no need to leave this palatial hotel – there’s a tennis academy with seven courts and a history of hosting pro events, plus an 18-hole links golf course, driving range and putting green. All this is on site, along with two Michelin-starred restaurants (the Japanese Abama Kabuki and the super-luxe Basque-inspired MB), numerous swimming pools and a funicular to a bijou private beach.
Price: Doubles from €313 (£260)
Everything at this beachfront hotel feels super-sized, from the over-the-top faux 19th century Canarian architecture, to the huge suites with their ceiling fans and canopy beds. Among the palm trees you’ll find eight restaurants, 13 bars, five pools and direct access to a white-sand beach (one of the island’s best). There’s even an astronomical observatory for tours of the night sky. You’re in the heart of the action too – right outside, the beachside promenade leads into the resort centre.
Price: Doubles from €299 (£248)
Away from the touristy south coast, the tiny northern town of Garachico retains a local vibe, complete with men in flat caps playing draughts in the square. This delightful small hotel in the centre has just 20 rooms, spread throughout a 17th century mansion with a heated swimming pool at its centre. Book ahead for a laidback dinner at the hotel’s Restaurante Anturium, where tables are arranged around the pool, or head out to soak up the town’s authentic Tenerife nightlife.
Price: Doubles from €217 (£180)
Neighbourhood: Puerto de la Cruz
It’s worth booking into the Botanico for its Oriental Spa Garden alone – though you will also find super-spacious rooms with marble bathrooms, views of Mount Teide and the island’s best Thai restaurant. The Spa Garden offers all manner of massages in small pagodas beneath the palms, while a “thermal circuit” package includes access to indoor and outdoor heated pools, a Japanese sauna and Turkish baths. The hotel also has its own dreamy botanical garden with plenty of quiet corners to escape into.
Price: Doubles from €251 (£208)
Neighbourhood: Los Abrigos
Wow the kids with a stay at this all-inclusive hotel, which comes with its own Cinderella-esque castle. Little ones will be dazzled by the miniature waterpark and nightly circus shows, while adults will love the included kids’ clubs and the opportunity to escape to the gym, spa or adults-only infinity pool. Food and drinks are unlimited and it’s a short walk into the pretty fishing village of Los Abrigos for a slap-up seafood supper too.
Price: Doubles from €206 (£171)
A tropical heated swimming pool, extensive gardens and a beach club with saltwater pool make this four-star hotel an enticing place to just sit and do nothing. Alternatively, there’s an al fresco fitness centre and massages by the pool. Couples should book a table for dinner at clifftop Las Rocas, a romantic setting for local seafood dishes. You’re very close to Puerto Colon too, where you can catch ferries to neighbouring La Gomera and go on whale watching trips.
Price: Doubles from €170 (£141)
Neighbourhood: Puerto de la Cruz
All the amenities of a luxury hotel with room rates more akin to a budget B&B, the H10 Tenerife Playa is also ideally located for exploring the island’s north. You’re in the centre of Puerto de la Cruz here, just 50 metres from gorgeous al fresco swimming pool complex Lago Martianez, designed by renowned Canarian architect Cesar Manrique, and 20m from the cultural and historic sites of capital Santa Cruz. Rooms are simple, but there’s a pleasant poolside bar, live music and a small spa.
Price: Doubles from €134 (£111)