“A splendidly restored hacienda estate - the oldest in the Canaries - set in a sea of banana trees with views for miles around”
Walk up the wide stairs in the central courtyard and there's a beautiful wooden veranda extending around both sides of the hacienda. All Double / Twin Rooms veer off this wonderful old-world loggia. Some have pretty four-poster beds, flowered wallpaper (chintzy or charming, depending on your view) or exposed stone walls, and there's always a shuttered window to fling open for the view. Front- or back-facing, it doesn’t matter: the green banana tree horizon is endless.
The Junior Suites are duplexes. They have a double or twin bedroom on one level, and a sitting area with a sofa, a table and lamps on the other - though with the TV by the bed, which didn't use ours much. The sofa can fold out into an extra bed, best for an older child. The ceilings are high, with big oak beams and a fan that you will need, since rooms lack air-con (in a particularly warm September, the circulating air was a godsend). Our double bed was comfy, but was the ubiquitous European arrangement of 2 large twins pushed together. We enjoyed the his'n'hers loungers on our small patio (partially private with hedges on each side), just a hop and a skip from the pool.
Bathrooms in all rooms have showers and tubs (our junior suite corner bath could fit 2), although the rooms themselves are on the small side. There are generously sized bottles of posh French shower gel and hand moisturiser, hairdryers, plenty of towels, and a couple of enticing white fluffy bathrobes… but it was just too hot to wear them!
The hotel's restaurant is called El Alpende - which translates rather unappetisingly as 'the toolshed' - but the fare on offer is delicious and delicate.
The long stone trough where horses were once tethered and watered is now cleverly utilised for the buffet breakfast… and if you're one of those who's as hungry as a horse in the morning, you're in luck. There's an impressive array of cheeses, salami, fresh fruit, juices, pastries, cereal and yoghurt and, once we had taken our plates to our table, we were asked if we'd like eggs and bacon too! But we opted for a café con leche and lingered on the sunny terrace…
Guests can book half-board packages which include a 3-course dinner, available from 7.30pm to 10pm. You might have a choice of parma ham or blue cheese salad, a meat or fish dish (like the Canary staple bacalao, salted cod), and a dessert. Veggie options are available, but limited. On the à la carte snack menu, we noticed queso herreño, the famous smoked cheese from El Hierro which, grilled with a spicy tomato chutney, is absolutely delicious. When we ordered it again the following evening, the waitress smiled knowingly and brought us an extra big chunk.
For lunch, Peggy, the helpful manager, directed us to one of the restaurants in Arucas, where we were the only tourists and feasted cheaply on yummy tapas and half-carafes of rosé. Or you can head to Las Palmas for a wider range of eateries and drinkeries. But if you do decide to stay put, light lunches can be prepared. El Alpende is well-known and open to non-guests; there are plenty of indoor tables, and it hosts the occasional birthday or wedding feast.
Children aged 0-2 stay for free in a baby cot, and the sofabed in the Junior Suites can be used for an older child for a charge. The hotel is not really suitable for young children, as the atmosphere is more one of peaceful seclusion, and noise around the pool is discouraged.
Children (4-12 years), Teens (over 12)
Extra Beds Available