Is Tenerife on your 2019 bucket list? Renowned hotel reviewer Matthew Hirtes recently revisited the island. Here’s what he made of his stay at Vilaflor’s Hotel Spa Villalba.
Hotel Spa Villalba….savour the rareified atmosphere at Tenerife’s loftiest hotel
There’s a relaxed, thanks to the friendly staff, though indisputably formal air about Hotel Spa Villalba. This can be explained through its four-star rating and the fact it’s adult-only accommodation as only those aged over 14 can stay here. Then there’s the dress code, from the no-nudity spa to the smart restaurant which insists on long over short items of clothing, although you would feel underdressed at the hotel in more ways than one if you’d sported the classic beachwear and flip-flops combo given that the Villalba is closer in terms of altitude to Spain’s highest mountain, Teide, than, say, Costa Adeje.
There’s no bar to speak of at the Hotel Spa Villalba, unless you count the ones of the miniature variety in the rooms. The La Vendimia restaurant does have an interesting wine list, however. Another option is to order from the smaller selection of drinks (including Tenerife ecological beer for 3,50€, 4,50€ mojito sorbet, and sangria by the litre for 10,50€) available on the room service menu from 11:00am until 6:30pm which you have to also fork out a 6€ surcharge for.
The room-service menu includes non-alcoholic beverages such as the 4€ rustic smoothie (banana, dates, almond milk, and cinnamon), pineapple juice for 3€, and 2,50€ soft drinks. If you stay on a half-board basis, like I did, you’ll have to fork out for the drink(s) which accompany your dinner such as local (a 40€ bottle of Tacoronte’s Presas Ocampo Vino Sumergido which is placed in a metal cage and submerged 18 metres deep in the Atlantic Ocean for a period of three months), national (Torres’ oaky/smoky D.O. Ribera del Duero Celeste for 18€ a bottle), and international (60€ Moët&Chandon champers). Twas the season, however, for mulled wine which made for some very pleasant Sunday-afternoon drinking in front of the library’s log fire.
If you’re hungry and don’t want to leave the comfort of your own room, there’s a snack menu you can order from. But don’t forget the 6€ surcharge nor the limited (11:00am to 6:30pm) availability. Highlights include an assortment of croquettes and sweet black-pudding and almond truffles for 7€.
As a half-board guest, I dined and buffet breakfasted at the La Vendimia restaurant. My Saturday-night menu consisted of a choice of cream of mushroom soup, aubergine, tomato, mozzarella, and pesto tower, or smoked salmon salad as a starter; main courses of veal stroganoff, macaroni carbonara, or baked cod; and chocolate cake, Bailey’s and coffee mousse, or banana with chocolate and cream for dessert. As a vegan, I was able to replace with options from an adventurous á-la-carte menu including a courgette spaghetti dish with a moreish fruit (as in tomato) and nut (almond) sauce.
It might surprise you to discover that Hotel Spa Villalba’s located in the south of the island. But it’s positioned above the resorts. In Tenerife’s highest municipality, Vilaflor, 1,400 metres above sea level.
You can reach the hotel in under 40 minutes from Tenerife South airport by hire car. As I don’t drive, I was transferred on a comfy Let’s Go Bus. Rooms as spacious as they are stylish with stripped pine floors, in a hotel very much made to fit in with the local environment, offer views of the Corona Forestal natural park’s pines.
Doubles are available from 109€ a night. Included in the price is a free Narayana spa circuit including sauna, steam room, and underwater pebble path. Treatments such as the therapeutic all-body Marma Abhyanga Ayuveda massage cost extra (in this case 80€).
Contact Hotel Spa Villalba
Website page: https://www.hotelvillalba.com/en/
Address: Camino San Roque S/N, 38613, Vilaflor
- Tlf: 922 70 99 30
Disclaimer: I stayed at Hotel Spa Villalba as part of a Tenerife press trip. You’ll be able to read all about my exciting weekend in a forthcoming issue of Adventure Travel Magazine. I’m already looking forward to returning to the hotel for some serious unwinding.
Matthew Hirtes, our resident broadsheet journalist, moved to Las Palmas de Gran Canaria back in 2004. He’s travelled extensively through Spain, covering it for such publications as Telegraph Travel, Metro, and The Independent. The author of Going Local in Gran Canaria: How To Turn a Holiday Destination into a Home, Matthew truly is a resident expert.