29 May 2018

Sometimes our UK winters feel like they will never end and if like we did, you wake up one chilly February morning craving some warm sun on your face then it’s worth thinking about Tenerife.


We booked quite late, and went for 4 nights over the Easter weekend staying at the newly refurbished Iberostar Sabila. Previously the 4*Iberostar Torviscas and having undergone an extensive 11 month renovation to upgrade it to a 5* we were pleasantly surprised. A short 15 Minute drive from the airport we arrived in the Costa Adeje area of Tenerife easily. The hotel had only just reopened (March 2018) and was boasting its new “earthy” yet contemporary design, bright, airy with a warm welcome from the reception Team and a glass of cava to get us into the holiday mood.


The theme extended to the rooms, we stayed in room 372 which had a balcony with side sea view and was immaculately designed and well thought out, something you would expect from Iberostar I guess. Everything had been more than adequately covered including a coffee maker, minibar, a large bathroom with wet room and his/hers sinks, adequate wardrobe space with plenty of hangers, a full size mirror and plenty of power points. The in room entertainment was very good with a large flat screen tv with Netflix, some UK channels and movies to rent. We could have paid more for a Star Prestige room (5th & 6th floor) which included some VIP services like access to the rooftop pool area, free snacks and drinks (alcohol included from midday) and a more personalised service generally but having talked our way up to have a look at the rooftop area, whilst very nice, it wasn’t a patch on the main pool which had a lot more room and much nicer pool so I personally didn’t see the value in this.....although plenty seem to have taken the option.


On arrival we did what I expect most new arrivals do.... dumped the cases, adorned our swimmers and headed for the pool and an afternoon of that much needed sunshine..... and of course a little quality control testing of our favourite cocktails. The main pool area was fairly tranquil (except the odd occasion where the Iberostar animation team were entertaining with either exercise classes or live music) with chilled relaxing tunes and a balcony that overlooked he sea. This said we were located in the heart of Costa Adeje so there was some limited noise from the hotels and bars in the surrounding area but nothing we found irritating. The sun beds (which in my opinion make or break a 5* hotel!) had thick mattresses and were perfect for snoozing and recharging the batteries whilst soaking up some sunshine. Whilst the pool was heated it still provided a cool refreshing interlude from the 75-80 degree heat.


As I said our reason for booking this trip was to recharge our batteries and with just 3 full days and a half day either side we did just that. Mornings were spent walking along the promenade heading north, exploring the black sand beaches, the lava rocks that you could see had many years ago melted into the sea with my Fitbit raising an eyebrow at the sudden 15-20,000 steps a day. My husband is a keen road cyclist so excited by some warm weather, many of the Pro teams being on their “winter cycling camp” up Mount Teide and decent bike hire (around 30 Euros per day for a carbon road bike which was delivered and Collected from the hotel) he headed off in the mornings for a spin, although it has to be said cycling in Tenerife does not appear to be for the faint hearted or amateurs...... as an island based around a volcano I’m sure you can imagine the terrain is very undulating! Afternoons for both of us were spent relaxing by the pool and enjoying sundowners until around 6.30pm before heading out for dinner.


We ate somewhere different every night.....

El Molino Blanco - you wouldn’t know this gem of a restaurant was there if it wasn’t recommended. Heading inland it was about a 20 minute uphill walk from our hotel but well worth it. A typically local menu in a great rustic setting, live music and great service and I can thoroughly recommend the steak and the tarte tatin for desert which was fabulous! We had 2 courses, a desert to share and a nice bottle of wine and the bill came to 135 Euros which we felt was good value. I would advise pre-booking this restaurant as it was busy with locals and tourists.
SeaSoul - located along the promenade in Costa Adeje about a 15 minute walk from the hotel this is a contemporary style restaurant with a focus on the live soul music which was very good. We opted for a couple of traditional starters with paella for mains and just a coffee to finish with and the bill, with drinks but no wine came to 85 Euros. Not sure we would return but that’s more due to tables being pretty much on the promenade so it’s not a very private experience.
The market place at the Iberostar Sabila - a good concept where there’s a selection of tapas stalls around the market place with different styles of tapas, long tables with barstools and live music. It was fairly busy and the idea was great although the quality of the food we had wasn’t anything to write home about and the service was a little “confused” due to the “we cook from fresh for every order” approach. Not a great experience for us personally but if they iron out some of the early creases I’m sure it will improve. As you’d expect from a 5* hotel it was fairly pricey with 2 lots of tapas and a desert with a couple of local beers coming to around 100 Euros.
La Torre del Mirador - a beautiful set up in rustic style overlooking the sea on the Costa Adeje promenade. It took us about 30 minutes to walk to this restaurant from our hotel along the promenade but it’s a lovely walk along the front with a beautiful sunset keeping us company on the way and a stunning full moon on the way back. Clearly this is a well known restaurant with pictures of the owner with a myriad of what we assumed was Spanish celebs adorning the walls and a great courtyard set up over 2 levels with good quality live music. The service was very good, the food good quality (their local calamari starter comes very much recommended!) and our bill with a couple of glasses of cava and a half bottle of wine was 125 Euros, again we felt good value. Pre-booking is recommended and you can either chose a balcony front table (which overlooks the sea) or a lower courtyard table which watches the live entertainment.

Overall, whilst the hotel was impressive if you’re looking for more 5* elegance then maybe compare the Iberostar El Mirador against the Sabila but with a very keen rate for this newly opened hotel there really was nothing to complain about. So all in all did our 4 nights in Tenerife tick the boxes of a good quality winter break to recharge the batteries? Yes absolutely and we would return.