Bahía del Duque, Tenerife


One of Tenerife’s most spectacular resorts, the 346 rooms, 58 suites and 40 private villas of Bahía del Duque, located on the Atlantic coastal town of Costa Adeje, are a world away from the kind of package holiday hotels populating the most tourist-friendly of all seven Canary Islands. Attracting two million Brits a year (a figure that’s on the up), Tenerife is a holiday island through and through, but for those who want an exclusive luxury resort that will bear comparison to any in the world, Bahía del Duque is it.

Belonging to the Tais group and a member of the prestigious Leading Hotels of the World collection, the hotel has spent the past 25 years offering the luxury traveller everything they could possibly desire; a stand alone Wellness Centre with pilates equipment, state-of-the-art gym and a hair salon, clay and lawn tennis courts, a 9 hole pitch and putt, an observatory for star-gazing romantics, to countless salted and heated swimming pools with a daily aqua aerobics class to ease the lethargy caused by days of sun bathing. There is even a spectacular Fumoir for smokers and those who want a quiet corner to read a good book. The Club House will meanwhile assist the more adventurous in planning excursions such as luxury yacht trips with champagne and (hopefully) dolphin and whale-watching laid on, to a whole host of activities such as scuba-diving, kite surfing or jet skiing.

For those who are going to need a serious breakfast to start the day, the hotel’s main restaurant, El Bernegal offers an elaborate buffet that makes you realise just how many guests you are holidaying with – the reason it’s a help yourself affair with the inevitable queue for the coffee and orange juice. At least one day I urge you to forgo the full bacon and eggs for lunch at the elevated, white washed Beach Club set in the heart of the pool complex and overlooking the Atlantic; an idyllic spot to enjoy local wines, salads and seafood as the waves crash against the island’s volcanic rocks.

There are a boggling array of other restaurants and cuisines to choose from including the casual, daytime-only poolside ‘Burger Bar Azul’ to the more formal ‘Las Aguas’ serving Canarian cuisine, ‘Alisios Market Food’, Basque inspired ‘Sua’, Italian ‘La Trattoria’, Spanish ‘La Hacienda’ or the classic French ‘La Brasserie by Pierre Résimont’. The only Michelin star awarded restaurant is the Japanese ‘Sensu’ with haute cuisine dishes, a sushi bar and a robatayaki grill.

Wellness Centre

A newsagent and essentials shop, along with several boutiques including a luxury jewellery store in the lobby make you feel no particular urge to step outside. If you do, there are a couple of nearby designers shopping malls – essential if the weather turns unexpectedly stormy – or at least that’s my excuse. With tiered terraces and pools looking out to sea and acres of sprawling botanical gardens with Palm Trees, Dragos, Indian Laurels and Flamboyants beautifully maintained by a team of experts, there will almost certainly be an occasion when you’ll feel like taking advantage of the fleet of buggies ready to shuttle you around the complex at lightning fast speed. Staff are unfailingly friendly and helpful, and there appear to be almost as many employees as hotel residents.

The seriously sophisticated Wellness Centre is just the place for solitude, and in a hotel this size you might just need it; completely empty during my visit with double day beds and sun loungers crying out for company, I was happy to oblige. The open air thalassotherapy circuit with rain shower is something not to miss, with therapeutic sea water taken directly from the Atlantic Ocean, while the overall design encompasses a garden café, hammam, sauna, luxurious treatment rooms, a beauty salon and an outdoor solarium for catching the rays. Sheer bliss under the sun. I might as well have been on the moon for all the life I saw that day – and I loved every minute of it.

Gran Hotel Bahía del DuqueAv. de Bruselas, s/n, 38660 Costa Adeje, Santa Cruz de Tenerife, Spain. For more information and reservations please visit the website. Images copyright of the author.