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Five Star in Tenerife – Review of the Abama

My friend Shruti is a luxury travel nut.  Read on for her post on a trip to the Abama Golf & Spa Resort in Tenerife.  Tenerife is an island within the Spanish Canary Islands, a popular choice for winter sun.  If you’re looking for sunbathing weather then go between May to November with Jul/Aug/Sep being the hottest months.

Abama - beach

Who:
Shruti & husband, 3 yo daughter Arianna and 18 mth old daughter Anushka

Where:
The Abama, Tenerife

When:
Mid Sep 2013 – weather was lovely.  Nice and sunny every day but not too hot

Hotel & Flight Booking
We booked the flight on air miles with British Airways and the hotel through Amex Platinum.  If you book through Amex Platinum you get extra benefits e.g. free entry into the spa and a room upgrade

How was the flight from London to Tenerife?
This was actually quite tough with an 18 month old who was desperate to walk around but who was confined to her seat and bored of all the toys I had brought for her to play with.  Arianna was fine, although I had forgotten that it being a European flight, there would be no TV, so I probably should have loaded up the iPad with things to keep her busy.

How was the hotel room?
The hotel room was lovely.  They upgraded us to an Ocean View Suite in the hotel (as per our booking entitlement).  This consisted of a huge living room (big enough for a bed, a cot and tons of space around them, to the extent that the girls could not even see each other when they went to bed) and a big bedroom for us with a lovely balcony.  Nice to have a glass of wine on once the girls had gone to sleep!  There was also a toilet adjoining the living room and a big ensuite bathroom for us.  It was also nice there was lots of wardrobe space so unpacking was easy.

What baby items were provided?
We had a cot and a fold-out toddler bed.

How were the facilities?
We were there during off-peak seasons so I don’t think that we saw the hotel at its best.  I think the Kids Club normally puts on shows etc during busy periods and they didn’t have any of that when we were there.  Having said that, there are plenty of pools (including one which is intended to be just for children, although it wasn’t particularly shallow so I’m not quite sure why that was), a beach (which was nice but not very big) and the Kids Club.

Abama - Anushka

How was the Kids Club?
We couldn’t leave our girls there by themselves as they are too young, but the staff seemed lovely and there was a range of activities (including a large ball pit with slide, a mini cinema room, some outdoor space and then all the usual – colouring, books etc).  While we were there, the girls also took part in a pizza making class and a photo frame making class, both of which were cute.
Abama - Kids Club

How were the restaurants?
The kids menu is not particularly adventurous or extensive.  The adults menu seemed to me to be quite expensive for what it is.  However, we are vegetarians and the hotel made a very big effort to suggest and make vegetarian food which was not on the menu but was very kind of them.

Did you do any excursions outside of the hotel?
Yes.  We drove to a local beach, bought a ton of inflatables and had some lunch in a nice seafood restaurant.  There are plenty of beaches near to the hotel which are nice and worth exploring.

Abama - beach 2

We also went to the water park one day (Aqualand) which was probably a bit too ambitious for very small children as they were not allowed on any rides by themselves and the rides were probably a bit too grown up for them to do without an adult.

What made this hotel stand out?
The hotel is huge, with lots of pools and restaurants, and the room sizes are fantastic.

Tips on booking a room?
You can either book a room in the main hotel (which is nice if you want easy access to the Kids Club and main restaurants etc) or in one of the villas which are separate to the hotel (in which case you get use of a nice golf buggy to drive yourself around in).  Personally, given that the hotel is so huge, I think on balance it probably makes more sense to try to book a room within the hotel, but we did actually use the golf buggy and my eldest daughter loved it, so either option is probably fine.
Abama - golf buggy

Any negatives?
I personally did not love the hotel – I thought the service wasn’t up to scratch (we would often ring in-room dining to no answer which is frustrating when you have small children), they lost some of our laundry without mentioning it to us, they often did not follow through on things that they said they would etc.

The hotel is huge and not very well signposted which is frustrating when you are lugging two small children around and nobody (including the staff) can point you in the right direction – this is particularly true of the kids club which is slightly hidden away and is difficult to find.  The map they provide you with when you arrive is out of date so that isn’t very helpful either.

I don’t know if it was because we there during off-peak season or otherwise, I felt that the staff were not properly equipped to deal with the number of visitors at the hotel and that was very disappointing.

In Conclusion!
My personal experience is that the facilities are great but the service is not.

Abama - ice creams

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