We have just returned from a holiday in Tenerife. It was our first visit to the Canary Islands and we were very pleasantly surprised. We made our booking through Voyage-Prive and were very pleased with the customer service that we received.
We stayed at the Las Aguilas Hotel which is situated on the top of a mountain overlooking the Mt Teide volcano. Before booking the holiday I had looked at the reviews of the hotel on trip-adviser. Many of them were quite negative but luckily we took them with a pinch of salt and decided to see for ourselves.
The hotel is in the north of the island with easy access to Peurto de la Cruz. We had a private transfer from the airport, which took nearly an hour, but we were amazed when we checked into the hotel.
Our room, which was actually a suite with a large lounge, was so spacious. We had a double balcony with amazing views of Puerto de la Cruz and the sea beyond, particularly at night when the skyline was lit up. In addition, when we opened the fridge, we found a complimentary bottle of cava and a box of chocolate truffles inside.
We had booked the hotel on an all-inclusive basis. From previous experience of AI we weren’t expecting the food to be very good but how wrong we were. The restaurant catered for every taste and we were spoilt for choice, – freshly poached salmon, moules mariniere, fresh tuna, paella, and that was just the fish course. We had cava or Bloody Mary’s for breakfast, a choice of beer and wine with lunch and dinner, and unlimited drinks at the bar (not only local drinks but well known brand names).
The first couple of days we spent just chilling out at one of the three pools and also exploring the beautiful landscaped gardens. The hotel offers a regular courtesy bus into Peurto de la Cruz but we preferred to take the footpath through the landscaped gardens into the town, which took about an hour, and then got the bus back.
There is so much to see and do in Peurto de la Cruz and we have saved some things for a second visit when the island is not so busy with tourists. We loved the top of the town (furthest away from the harbour). It is a maze of very small steep streets with old houses, tapas bars and local shops with much of the architecture retaining the typical Canarian wooden balconies.
The coastline is very dramatic, rugged and rocky with black volcanic sand. Many windsurfers are attracted by the huge rolling waves that come in from the Atlantic ocean. The lido, El Lago Martianez, designed by Canary Island artist César Manrique, offers respite from the sea. This a large complex of swimming pools combined with an outdoor door museum of contemporary art.
We spent a very enjoyable afternoon sitting on the terrace of the Restaurant Rustico (built into the sea wall) . We drank a bottle of local wine made in the Oratava Valley, Bodega Pista los Guines, whilst watching a fisherman attempting to catch our lunch and also the locals swimming from the rocks before going home for their lunch and afternoon siesta.
For those who want to travel further afield to other parts of the island the local buses depart from la estación de guaguas and offer a very cheap and reliable service. It takes 1hr 15 minutes to Santa Cruz.
Puerto de la Cruz is very green with many parks and squares. Our particular favourites were Parque Taora and Jardines Taora, they were the halfway point of our walk from the hotel into town where we stopped for coffee at one of the cafes. Jardines Taora is beautiful with lush vegetation and amazing waterfalls.
We have travelled to many places in the world but Puerto de la Cruz and Hotel las Aguilas is definitely on our list of places that we want to return to.