“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”
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).
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.
This is a grown up hotel, only teenagers 14 years old and over are accepted
Teens (over 12)
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
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
There are precious artworks and valuable pieces of furniture