Tenerife is known for year-round budget vacations, but its wild west coast has rugged volcanic cliffs disturbed by nothing more than cacti, succulents, and the odd banana plantation.
Here, in Guia de Isora, you’ll find the 459-room Ritz-Carlton, Abama: a terra-cotta-hued collection of Moroccan-style palatial buildings with serene infinity pools and manicured tropical gardens.
It’s less than 30 minutes’ drive from Tenerife South Airport, served by several affordable flights a day, but far enough away from the package tour scene that many imagine when they think of the island.
Arrival & location
It’s far too exotic to be Europe, isn’t it?
The hot climate of the Canary Islands mixes with palm trees, banana trees, hibiscus bushes and North African architecture to end up feeling more like Morocco or Dubai.
As a 400-plus-room golf and spa resort, it’s not boutique — but great care has been taken to ensure everyone has enough space to enjoy themselves. That goes for the nine food and drink venues, including multiple breakfast zones, the nine swimming pools, and the hotel’s sizable beach at the foot of its cliff-top setting.
The Abama attracts a gym-fit, camera-ready crowd, including golf-mad older couples and plenty of young families who love the motorized mini-train to and from the beach and the largest Ritz Kids Club in Europe. The chic restaurants and high-end design mean this is a place to dress up for dinner.
Rooms can play it safe on the decor side — think soothing sand, dove-gray, and cream tones to offset the building’s light salmon-colored exterior — but they’re cool and comfortable with spacious balconies and living areas.
Huge sunken his and hers tubs and sinks will satisfy the luxury crowd in the bathrooms, while plush bathrobes and Nespresso coffeemakers will delight the business crowd. Small touches such as illuminated make-up mirrors, mineral water in glass bottles and balcony tables tiled with mosaic round off the luxury factor.
It has accessible rooms, but only two.
to eat and drink
It’s not just a pretty face — the RCA has two Michelin-starred restaurants to tick off during your stay.
The first two-Michelin-star MB serves deluxe Basque cuisine dreamed up by Martin Berasategui — think smoked eel and foie gras millefeuille — while the one-star Abama Kabuki, at the top of the resort’s golf course, sophisticated is Japanese creations with a dazzling view of the sunset. In the latter, don’t miss cocktails beforehand.
Elsewhere, the food is bountiful, healthy, and pan-European — breakfast buffets offer plenty of fresh juices, fruit, and homemade yogurts, along with hot dishes and quality cheeses and meats. In the evening, restaurants like El Mirador serve up grilled fish and expertly cooked Spanish rice under the clear stars.
service & style
The sprawling grounds include a par-72 golf course, clubhouse, funicular, mega-lobby bar, fashion boutiques, and a koi carp pond, plus a modest but glamorous spa. Head to the latter to soak in plunge pools and whirlpools at different temperatures, practice yoga in the gazebo, or indulge in an expert Espa massage.
The beach is golden and gently sloping with cliffs on either side to protect it from the wind – take the invigorating stroll down the many steps, slide down the funicular or wait for the mini train at the resort’s pretty bus stops.
It’s quite a hike around this sloping resort — a struggle for some and a built-in fitness challenge for others — but free car and golf buggy shuttles are always just a minute away. You can work out in the fresh air on the outdoor fitness equipment with a view of the sea – wonderful.
Staying in the elite “Villa” rooms rather than the main “Citadel” building gives you access to your own private swimming pool, which is shared with a handful of other guests – as these rooms are divided into family and adult room groups , You can choose between happy chaos and peaceful silence, where only the turning of a page disturbs you.
Villa guests also get free cava, beer or wine by the pool, and free sunscreen.
Design and sheer space are the best things about this resort, though the need to plan a long walk or book a buggy for trips around the grounds somewhat negates the spontaneity. It might be perfect for parents who want some bling with their bucket-and-spade break; Golf fans and digital nomads (this WiFi works everywhere – even on the beach).
Double room from around €375 per night, B&B. Packages may also be available from Irish tour operators. See Visit ritzcarlton.com/en/hotels/spain/abama for more information.
https://www.independent.ie/life/travel/reviews/hotel-reviews/hotel-review-is-the-ritz-carlton-abama-the-best-hotel-on-tenerife-41599160.html Hotel Review: Is the Ritz-Carlton Abama the best hotel in Tenerife?