As a mum of two, I wondered how long it would take for me to lose all thoughts of Peppa Pig and packed lunches as I set off on my trip to Tenerife child-free, and I'm pleased to report that I wasn't far past the seamless Jet2 check in desk before my mind was carefree and focused on one thing – sun, sea and shopping. After whiling away a carefree hour or two in the airport boutiques, followed by a dreamy four-hour flight, Tenerife came into view and my weekend of R&R had well and truly begun. We were welcomed to the country with a refreshing bottle of water before being transported the short 20-minute transfer to our home-from-home for the next two days, the Royal Hideaway Corales Beach Hotel – part of the Barceló Hotel Group – situated by the quaint town of Caleta on the south side of the island.
The finishing touches
With one of my great loves being interior design, I was immediately taken by the impressive and unusual style of this hotel, which boasts curves in all the right places, distinctive artwork and a welcoming open plan layout. Having only had its grand opening just a few weeks before our trip, the architecture and design of the hotel was all the more enthralling given that it was developed by Spanish architect Leonardo Omar – sticking to its Spanish and Canarian roots is something this hotel prides itself on, from its interiors to its cuisine. Interesting and one-of-a-kind, the inimitable style of the property continued throughout, with the five-star resort boasting stunning suites and penthouses across both its adult-only section and the family part of the hotel, which are linked together through a walkway.
Once settling into our rooms, which offered stunning views of Playa Enramada, it was time for a quick change out of our well-worn travelling clothes and into something more befitting of a restaurant run by Michelin-starred chefs. Yes, in what was music to my vegan-ears, I was set to be treated to two days of delectable cuisine catered specifically to my personal requirements by the Padrón Brothers – the only chefs specialising in Canarian cuisine to hold a Michelin star. With nine restaurants across the two hotels, four exclusively for adults, the chain prides itself on its culinary offering, and I can testify to the mouth-watering food available, while my carnivore companions assured me of the top-notch meat plates being proffered. Having enjoyed a leisurely lunch it was time for a spot of downtime – which I spent working off my full stomach in the fully-equipped fitness suite – heaven if you're a gym bunny like me – before I was treated to what can only be described as an angelic massage. A full 90 minutes – yes, 90 minutes – of pure candlelit bliss, I came out walking on air, just about managing to make it to the warming hot beds overlooking the tranquil spa setting. I'm not ashamed to admit I allowed myself a 30-minute snooze, when in Rome and all that… After a delicious evening meal in the San Hô restaurant, I called it a night, eager to have a blissful undisturbed sleep in a bed that was, quite literally, fit for a King – or five.
Under the sea
Loathe as I was to leave the comforts of my hotel room the following morning – a bath in the bedroom is a novelty that's hard to resist – the lure of whale and dolphin watching was too strong to withstand. Waiting for us at the harbour, the Blue Jack sailboat was a sight to behold, and it took me all of a nanosecond before I was horizontal, sun on my face, being gently rocked by the waves as we cruised out to see if we could catch a glimpse of the aforementioned mammals. And just a mere 20 minutes in they appeared as if by magic, in all their silent graceful splendour, taking my breath away and creating a memory that will stay with me forever. After watching these majestic beasts in silence for some time, we left them in peace before heading to a deserted bay where some of my companions braved the somewhat chilly February waters for a quick dip.
After warming up in the mid-morning sun, we enjoyed an alfresco picnic aboard the boat, washed down with a spot of champagne of course. Soon after we made a slow and steady pace home, reflecting on what would no doubt be a post-vows experience of a lifetime for any newlyweds. Returning to dry land, we headed back to the luxurious hotel pool to catch some afternoon rays, before donning our glad rags and seeing in a sunset while sipping the resident cocktail at the upmarket Maresía Restaurant – an experience not to be missed. And next was where the Padrón Brothers came into their own with a seven course taster menu, complemented by specific wines for each course, of course. Bliss…
If there's something that the Royal Hideaway hotels know, it's luxury, with rates starting at just €300 per room, per night on a bed and breakfast basis. And the newest addition Corales Beach is no exception – around every corner boasts another element of wonder, whether that's the wow-factor architecture, cuisine to rival any high-end London eatery, spa facilities to make you wish you didn't have to go home, and guest experiences that rival any resort I've had the pleasure of visiting. And, luckily for us, we were privy to one such experience – the in-room dining option. A perfect treat for honeymooners wanting to make their stay extra-special, the hotel has created the dream setting for an intimate event for two, bringing their world-class chefs in room. While only available for suites with kitchens, the hotel can offer a suite especially for this experience. We were treated to the full monty: in-room mixologist showing us how to make the resort's signature cocktail? Tick. Head chef giving a cooking class using locally-sourced ingredients? Tick. And the pièce de résistance? Said chef creating a culinary feast for us while we looked out to sea across the private veranda, complete with pool. And the icing on the cake? Personalised 'in-room chef' aprons complete with our names embroidered onto them. A keepsake honeymoon souvenir if ever I saw one.
Due to the trip only being a whistlestop tour, we headed back to our rooms to check out and head for home. However, I knew I'd only just scratched the surface of what Royal Hideaway Corales Beach, and Tenerife, had to offer – cementing my suspicions that I would indeed be back to delve further into this untapped territory.