Have you ever chosen where to go on holiday based purely on a hotel?
That’s what we did recently, as crazy as it sounds!
We’ve just come back from a week long Tenerife family holiday. It’s not a place we’d thought about visiting before, but we totally made the decision to go based on the fact there is a Hard Rock Hotel on the island and we had such a great stay in the one based at Universal Orlando.
It might be a slightly unorthodox way of choosing a holiday destination, but I’m glad we did it.
Highlights of our Tenerife family holiday.
It was a lovely holiday, but also a bit strange. That probably sounds a bit weird, but I’ll try to explain.
We kept ourselves busy, but I felt lazy at the same time (if that makes any sense at all). We were off out doing things almost every day, but still had lots of time to lounge around by one of the Hard Rock swimming pools and drink frozen smoothies.
You can watch what we got up to during our week away. I’ve also written about some of our highlights below. I didn’t think there would be much to do in Tenerife – it’s the largest of Spain’s Canary Islands, but still fairly small, Thankfully, I was totally wrong. I’m already planning what I’d like to do during my next visit!
If you don’t have a spare 25 minutes(!) to watch the video, here are some of the main highlights from our Tenerife family holiday.
1. Our hotel
We spent our holiday at the Hard Rock Hotel Tenerife. The hotel itself has two towers: Nirvana and Oasis. Our room was in the Oasis tower. I was secretly pleased; I’m much more of an Oasis fan than a Nirvana one.
The room we’d been given was nicely decorated with a large separate bathroom, including a jacuzzi bath. There was also a fancy mirror hanging directly over my kids’ sleeping area – we couldn’t resist taking a selfie!
Our room was at the front of the hotel, something I’d asked for because there was building work happening behind it. This meant that we had a lovely view of the ocean from our main bedroom window as well as one of the mountains from our side balcony.
There was plenty of things to do on-site. The hotel has 3 swimming pools. One is for children: it’s quite shallow and has a ‘splash zone’ and kids play area next to it. The second pool is for adults only with a swim up bar (so we didn’t get to spend any time at that one). The other was at The Beach Club, which you get to by walking over a bridge and taking lift down to it.
We particularly liked the swimming pool at The Beach Club. Not only is it huge, but the water depth never gets too deep. It meant we could let our kids swim around without always being right alongside them. The Beach Club also has a swim up bar, something that my husband and I took advantage of it to order frozen smoothies (so yummy). There’s a DJ booth in the middle of the pool too.
As well as the swimming pools, the hotel boasts a children’s play area, football and basketball pitches, table tennis tables and a mini golf course. We definitely enjoyed giving the mini golf a try – William, my 7 year old, even managed to get a hole in one!
2. Amazing pancakes
Okay, so this is kind of linked to my first ‘highlight’, but I felt it was worth singling out.
We’d booked our holiday on a half-board basis, which means breakfast and dinner is included in the price of the holiday. The all-you-can-eat buffet style meals are served in the hotel’s Sessions restaurant. We weren’t sure what to expect or how restricted the menu might be. We shouldn’t have worried, there is so much variety and choice available.
At breakfast there’s even a chef on hand to make bespoke pancakes just for you. You can ask for anything, or show him a picture, and he can create it. Olivia and William loved it. During our stay, they ate a wicked witch, volcano, dinosaur, Mario (from Super Mario Bros.) and Tails the fox (from Sonic).
3. Climbing a volcano
Yes, you read that right! Tenerife has a volcano, Mount Teide, right in the middle of the island. It’s classed as an active volcano although hasn’t erupted since 1909.
Mount Teide’s summit stands 3,718-metres above sea level – the highest point in Spain. The volcano is part of a 47,000 acre national park so is on protected land. It’s open to visitors and a cable car runs up the side of the volcano almost to the top. The summit itself is restricted and hikers need a permit to climb all the way. We didn’t have one – my husband and I didn’t think our children would enjoy the hike – so we didn’t go that far.
The drive to the cable car terminal is astonishing. You have to travel 2,356 metres above sea level to get there and towards the end we were driving through clouds. The cable car took us a further 1,199 metres closer to the summit. The views were out of this world.
4. Watching the sun set
The Hard Rock Hotel Tenerife has a roof terrace on the 16th floor of its Nirvana tower. It’s perfect for sitting back and watching the sun set. We bagged a big, cosy chair to snuggle up on and were given blankets by the staff to keep us warm.
5. Dolphin and whale watching
Who wouldn’t love the opportunity to head out into open water and watch whales and dolphins swimming in their natural habitat?
We set sail from Puerto Colon and were lucky enough to see a family of pilot whales during our 3 hour voyage. The coast of Tenerife is a popular home to these marine mammals: there are no natural predators for them to worry about and there is a plentiful supply of food.
6. The water parks
There are two main waterparks in Tenerife: Siam Park and Aqualand.
Siam Park is the largest of the two parks and is very highly rated with lots fo daring slides and drops. Meanwhile, Aqualand is more orientated towards families with young children.
We opted to visit Aqualand because it has a designated ‘Kidszone’ with mini slides for children. This suited us perfectly and, although Olivia and William were both nervous riders to start with, they had a great time.
We had such a blast on our holiday, I’m already thinking about when we can go back. Here are some more photos from our time away in Tenerife.