Hotel San Roque

Garachico, Tenerife, Spain Book from Book from £164 per night

The best hotel in the Canaries? Film-star good looks seduce at this designer conversion of an 18th-century mansion in the sleepy fishing village of Garachico
Garachico, old and pretty, is squeezed between ocean and mountain, but it’s San Roque which exhilarates; everything about this boutique hotel is special. Inside, you find luxury, chic style and peace.

The architectural elegance of this 18th-century mansion needs little embellishment. Wide cloistered walkways under heavy beamed ceilings lead to arched stone doorways. Wood, stone and steel mix easily with the terracotta-washed walls and the feel is uncluttered and airy, with a sense of timeless calm. Big wicker sofas are scattered about, the daily papers wait to be read. Lie by the pool and take the sun or walk down to the sea and bathe in volcanic rock pools. Potter back for a cup of Earl Grey on the roof terrace or grab a video from reception and head to your room. The 20 rooms are strikingly simple. You’ll find Rennie Macintosh and Mies van der Rohe chairs, Spanish modern art, super-comfortable beds and all the 21st-century gadgets you could want. Candlelit dinners by the pool offer some of the best cuisine on the island; breakfasts won't disappoint either. The kindest staff add the final touch. Perfect.

Highs

  • The exquisite traditional architecture is combined with delicate modern décor
  • We found the food to be outstanding - modern and inventive, a real rarity in the Canaries
  • The swimming pool is in a cloistered courtyard that's lamp-lit at night, and heated in the cooler months
  • The great staff are helpful and unobtrusive; they park your car, remember your favourite wine and do an impeccable turndown service
  • This is ideal for those looking to discover the real Tenerife; the north west is a world apart from the built-up resorts on the south of the island

Lows

  • You'll need a hire car to get down here, but this is easily arranged either through the hotel or other companies on the island
  • The good white-sand beaches are on the other side of the island, putting them out of range, though there are some lovely black-sand beaches within striking distance
  • North Tenerife is cooler and cloudier than the south, but this also makes it more lush and green - and less crowded
  • You may find the air-con a little underpowered in summer, and the bedroom lighting a little dim for reading
  • No kids under 14 allowed, a plus for some!

Best time to go

Anytime of year - the average temperature is 25C. Low season prices between May and September are very attractive, though it can get very hot at that time of year. December to February is the busiest and most expensive time as it's the closest place to the UK to find warm weather in winter. February is carnival time.

Our top tips

If Garachico is draped in clouds, try driving west past Buenavista and along the spectacular lane to Punta de Tena, where the little black-pebble beach and red-striped lighthouse are usually bathed in sunshine (and wind). Don't be put off by the 'Road Closed' signs after Buenavista - they are just being cautious.

For faded colonial grandeur, stroll through La Orotava, stopping off to eat ice cream in the Botanic Gardens and buy quirky local souvenirs (lava jewellery, jars of mojo) in the handsome wooden-galleried townhouses.

Great for...

Great Outdoors
Honeymoon
Wedding
  • Boutique Hotel
  • 20
  • Restaurant and bar
  • Over 14s only
  • Open all year
  • Heated Pool
  • Spa Treatments
  • WiFi
  • Pet Friendly
  • Disabled Access
  • Beach Nearby
  • Off-street Parking
  • Restaurants Nearby
  • Air Conditioning
  • Guest Lounge
  • Terrace
  • Garden
  • Gym
  • Jacuzzi
  • Tennis Court
  • Bicycles Available
Room: Junior Suite

Rooms

The same effortless style hangs over every square inch of San Roque and the bedrooms are no different, with an easy grace begat from uncluttered décor. Creamy linen curtains hang in front of big wooden window frames, thick rugs cover reddish wooden floors, and contemporary art hangs on colourful walls. There are exposed timber ceilings, contemporary lighting and glass tables. Best of all is the hotel’s collection of Art Nouveau and Bauhaus chairs, many of which are scattered throughout the rooms. You get hand-crafted Macintosh high backs and low-slung Cabonier cow hides. Bathrooms come with Jacuzzi baths, power showers, robes, slippers, and all the bits and bobs.

Rooms come in different colours (greens, blues, reds and yellows); all have plasma TVs and DVD players. Standard Rooms are fine, but lack any sofas or armchairs. Duplex Rooms are larger but some are rather dark. You get a proper sitting room with a sofa and armchair, then a staircase that leads up to a big, galleried sleeping area. Junior Suites and Suites are exceptional - we particularly loved #110, a bright Junior Suite with velours Bibendum chairs and a circular Jacuzzi in the corner. The Tower Suite is spread over 3 floors, with a bedroom, a sitting room and a private roof terrace (the highest point of the hotel). In the bedroom, 4 walls have a window each, giving huge views north, south, east and west (or sea, mountain, banana plantation and town).

Features include:

  • Air conditioning
  • Bathrobes
  • Cd player
  • Central heating
  • Coffee tea making
  • Dvd player
  • Extra beds
  • Hairdryer
  • Internet access
  • Jacuzzi
  • Minibar/fridge
  • Phone
  • Radio
  • Safe box
  • Satellite tv
  • Terrace
  • Toiletries
  • Tv

Eating

The dining room is tiny because no-one ever uses it; instead, you eat around the pool. Breakfast is served until 11am, so there’s no need to dive out of bed first thing. Freshly-squeezed OJ is brought to your table, there are croissants and pains au chocolat, fruit and yoghurts, lots of cold meats and cheeses, and something delicious tortilla-style wedges or toastettes with goats' cheese and quince jelly. If you’re still hungry, you can order something cooked - scrambled eggs, omelettes, bacon, that sort of thing.

Dinner around the lantern-lit pool is the real highlight. Danish chef Danny Nielsen concocts a delicate mix of "local specialities and other ingredients I love" - perhaps bream with red tomato pesto and caramelised almonds, or juicy beef tenderloin with Stilton-infused mash. Desserts include a light-as-cloud white chocolate mousse and strawberry soup with mascarpone ice cream, all of which make a refreshing change from the typical Canarian cream-and-sugar bombs. We can certify that all the above are superb, and that there is little to be gained by eating out (we did, once, and wished we hadn't). If you have any special dietary requirements they’ll happily sort you out with something suitable.

An extensive snack menu (salads, pasta, tapas) is available throughout the day, either as room service, down by the pool or in the library (wherever you want, really).

If you want a drink, staff will serve you wherever you are, but there's a bar in the sitting room/library (with lots of design books). At one end, a table is given over to a wonderful collection of brandies, whiskies and unmarked bottles with stoppers in them. If you want to disappear for a while, this is a good room to do it in.

If you do want to eat out, manager Dominique will happily advise. He knows the island like the back of his hand, and its restaurants even better. There are a couple of options in town, or more if you're willing to drive.

Features include:

  • Bar
  • Breakfast
  • Coffee tea making
  • Minibar/fridge
  • Restaurant
  • Room service
  • Vegetarian menu
Eating:
Activity: Garachico

Activities

  • Take a tour of the town - it’s utterly authentic, beyond the tourist trap. Don’t miss the town square, Glorieta de San Francisco, or the tiny but wonderful gardens in Plaza de Juan Gonzales de La Torre. Here you'll find the original arched entrance into town, the only piece of architecture to survive the 1706 volcanic eruption

  • Head down to the seafront and you'll find a number of volcanic rock pools. They're not hot springs, just sea water, but they are quite popular. They stretch over a relatively large area and are connected by labyrinthine paths cut into the rock. Waves come crashing in, but you don’t get wet - it's a great place to watch the sea

  • You’re in the loveliest part of Tenerife, the northwestern tip. Mountains rise behind, as does the odd mountain road. These are not for the faint-hearted, but a trip up into the hinterland takes you into some spectacular scenery. Climb up to El Tanque and you can stretch your legs in one of 3 nature reserves: the Teno Rural Park, the Forest Crown Nature Park and the Chinyero Special Nature Reserve. Take the road on to Masca and you’ll find a tiny village up on a mountain with vast views out to sea - utterly remote and a very special place

  • You can keep going and do a tour around the volcano; most people do. There’s a lookout halfway along, where you can gaze out from the top of the mountain all the way down to the coast. There’s also a good restaurant up here for a bit of lunch

  • Head to the western tip of the island for an 1883 lighthouse, volcanic bays, dreamy colours and spectacular views down the coast to the cliffs of Los Gigantes. There’s great hiking here, too

  • Golfers will be in heaven down at Buenavista, a course designed by Seve Ballasteros. Seven of the holes run along the ocean (a magnet to most golf balls). It’s a great day out and the hotel can arrange a tee-off time for you - see Rates

  • If you want a day out, head up to Santa Cruz, the island's capital. You'll find fancy shops, big churches, a whiff of history, a top-flight Spanish football team and an exceptional concert hall with a resident orchestra (the hotel can arrange tickets)

  • The hotel has mountain bikes that you’re welcome to borrow. Staff will advise where you can ride without having to take on the big hills. Nearby Los Silos is one of the greenest (and flattest) spots on the island

  • Fishing rods are available from reception and the sea is on your doorstep. If you catch something edible and ask nicely, they’ll probably cook it for you for supper

  • There’s a tennis court across the road where you can lose balls in the ocean. The hotel has racquets and balls and will book the court for you

Activities on site or nearby include:

  • Cycling
  • Fishing
  • Golf
  • Hiking
  • Historical sites
  • Horse-riding
  • Sailing
  • Shopping / markets
  • Surfing
  • Swimming
  • Tennis

Kids

This is a grown up hotel, only teenagers 14 years old and over are accepted

Best for:

Teens (over 12)

Family friendly accommodation:

Duplexes work well, as they have a double sofabed (quite narrow, so best for just 1 teen) - we liked the fact that they made it up as a sofa each morning and re-made the bed at turndown each evening. If you have 2 teens, one duplex suite can take 2 extra single beds

Kids Activities nearby:

At the Cesar Manrique water park in Puerto de la Cruz, the main town on the north coast, you'll find huge azure pools (n.b. not heated in winter), some with waterfalls and volcanic islets: teens can splash around while you devour novels or cold drinks on a sunlounger. The much-advertised Loroparque zoo is also a good option for cooler days, but arrive early to justify the steep entry fee

Families Should Know:

There are precious artworks and valuable pieces of furniture

Kid Friendly:

Our guests' ratings...

Based on 11 independent reviews from i-escape guests

9/10
Rooms
9/10
Food
10/10
Service
9/10
Value
9/10
Overall

The property is beautiful and restful, the food is great and the staff could not have been nicer and professional as well. The town is interesting, perfect for a few days of soaking up atmosphere and there are lots of interesting day trips around. Whether you are sitting by the pool, on the roof top solarium or the courtyard or bar, you always feel like you are in the beautiful home of a friend.

10/10, , January 2017

Beautiful hotel. Easy to find, easy to park close by. Lovely staff – everyone there with a smile and an Hola! each day. Breakfast was a delicious buffet and eggs cooked to order. Always had freshly squeezed orange juice on the menu. Altogether lovely.

10/10, , January 2016

The room was fantastic, the food at the hotel was superb and although the town is very lovely the best place by far to eat was the hotel. The service was very friendly and helpful at all times. The overall value was exceptional. All in all it was an amazing hotel in a wonderful setting, a great find of yours and most definitely top marks in every sense.

10/10, , September 2015

Fantastic restaurant, very helpful and friendly staff

9/10, , May 2015

Very nice stay, we have been upgraded upon arrival and it has been very much appreciated! One point only is that the pressure of the bath tub was so slow that it took 40 minutes to fill it and the water was not hot enough therefore when the bath was filled up water wasn't hot enough!

10/10, , March 2015

Hotel San Roque is undoubtedly a special place to stay, the building and outside areas are impressive and offer exactly the right balance of privacy and easy socialising. In my opinion the description of 'suite' needs to be reconsidered. The Junior Suite is in essence a large bedroom. The jacuzzi in the corner is a quirky feature, but I would have preferred a more comfortable seating area. The staff are very friendly, but there were a couple of occasions when we ended up needing to find someone to sell us a drink in the bar, not really the kind of impeccable service I expect in this kind of hotel. The food was very nice and we ended up eating in the hotel most evenings. What dented my enthusiasm somewhat was the fact that the crockery in the restaurant didn't match - not a huge disaster, but again, I would have expected better from a hotel that is selling itself on being a cut above the rest.

7/10, , February 2015

Very helpful staff, excellent service, quiet location. We were in Tenerife for hiking which involved 45 minute drive form the hotel to the main areas we were interested in (around La Caldera and Santiago del Tiede.) If you suffer from vertigo then be sure to stay on the main roads when driving into the into the mountains and ignore your GPS.

10/10, , January 2015

The staff at the hotel were warm, friendly and always available to help. The hotel was lovely. The food was good, but for half the price we preferred to go the restaurant two blocks away (Ardeola) which was right on the beach front, hipper and more relaxed. We also preferred the food there. I was not a huge fan of the rooms in the hotel. I didn't see everyone else's room, but many rooms front only onto the central atrium, with windows in the doors shaded by the large porticos. We had a small studio, with the siting room on the first floor, on the atrium, and the bedroom above with a small skylight. Still, very dark and the decor is also quite dark.

8/10, , December 2014

Some times the front desk was too formal, the hotel is showing its age some refurbishment could be done. The hotel was spotless. We found the mezzanine in our room was too dark the lighting didn't reach into the wardrobe area of the room. We thought the front desk is a barrier to interaction with the guests.

9/10, , November 2014

The property has been beautifully restored and the traditional architecture is complemented by an eclectic mix of art and sculptures. It is definitely worth booking to eat at the restaurant in the evenings as the food is delicious and the daily set menu in particular is also excellent value bearing in mind the quality of the ingredients and dishes. Our room (116) was on a split level with living space and bathroom downstairs and bedroom on the mezzanine. Although the wooden ceiling was beautiful, it did make the bedroom area rather dark. The same was also true for the bath/shower which was very dark as it was under the staircase and had no direct light. Although there was a sofa in the living area we didnt find this particularly comfortable so chose to read out on the perfectly accommodating sofas overlooking the central courtyard or on the chairs in the courtyard itself. I would return for the excellent staff, food and architecture as well as the beautiful surroundings of the town but would prefer a different room for any future visits.

9/10, , November 2014

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Rates for Hotel San Roque