Last month we went on holiday to Puerto de la Cruz in the North of Tenerife for a quick week in the sun and I’ve been promising you a full review for a while now – so here it is.
Our week in Tenerife was booked through Thomas Cook. I’ve been on quite a few package holidays with Thomas Cook and each one was a big hit so I had high expectations for our time in Tenerife. When I have booked with Thomas Cook previously, they have taken care of everything down to the last detail. I was a bit surprised therefore to discover that not only were we flying with EasyJet (not my idea of a good time), we also had to book our own seats on the plane and pay somewhere in the region of £50.00 extra for the privilege of sitting together. Hmm. Not the best start.
The Journey to Tenerife
We arrived at Manchester airport around 14:00 for the weird evening flight to Tenerife (I definitely prefer an early morning start!) and we parked up at the Meet and Greet car park right outside the terminal. I definitely recommend doing this. We tried this service for the first time when we travelled to Florida last year and we have used it each time since. You just park your car, nip into the office to drop off your keys and go off on your holiday. On return, you pop back into the office and get in your car, which is waiting for you at the entrance. A God send when travelling with tired, whingy kids!
As I mentioned in an earlier post, I had ordered formula milk to be picked up at the Boots the chemist store on the airside of security. We took an empty suitcase (hand luggage size) and filled it up with all the milk cartons. I expect we looked like lunatics to any onlookers but they lasted for the whole week and it was definitely the easiest way of getting her milk to Tenerife.
This was Sophie’s first flight and so we weren’t sure how she would react. I’d packed a bag that Mary Poppins would be proud of in readiness for any eventuality. It turned out that I did need those three changes of Babygro’s despite Mr S’s eye-rolling so it definitely pays to be prepared! She was very good on the flight, although a little bit fidgety at times. Four hours did feel like quite a long way though having said that.
We arrived in Tenerife late at night to discover that it was at least an hour’s drive to our hotel and so we were exhausted once we arrived at our hotel – Blue Sea Resort.
Not that great to be honest.
We arrived at midnight and the reception was closed. We were rerouted to another reception by a series of child-like arrow drawings. It felt like some sort of magical mystery tour and with a baby, a pram, a travel cot, two suitcases, two bags and a truck load of baby milk this was not fun.
We eventually found the reception and it was a relief to receive a warm, friendly welcome from the staff and some clear instructions on the amenities included and where are rooms were. It was a shame that there was no porter to help take our bags to our room on the first floor though.
The Hotel Room
The room was large, with twin beds that had been pushed together and a really good travel cot which had been all set up for Sophie. She slept really well in the travel cot and it was spotless, which is always a relief. The decor of the room was extremely old fashioned and tired – this was the same throughout the hotel unfortunately.
We had a large, private balcony with a table and two chairs but probably the worst view in the complex – a car park! I heard that there were other much better sea views on offer but sadly not for us!
There was a fridge and a television in the room and we were able to hire a kettle for a €20 deposit although there were no tea or coffee facilities (often there aren’t outside of the UK). The bathroom was large and exceptionally clean with the most powerful shower I’ve ever been in! We also had a bath which is a bonus when you are travelling with a baby. The cleaners came every day and the room for the most part was comfortable and satisfactory.
The Hotel Complex
The Blue Sea Hotel in Puerto Resort is a 4 star hotel in the North of the island. In my opinion the hotel is more comparable to a good 3 star hotel and this was the opinion of a lot of guests that I spoke to as well.
Set high up in the hills, it has two sister hotels surrounding it and guests are invited to use the facilities, pools and restaurants in each of them.
We stayed in the Canarife hotel which had the two decent sized swimming pools and a small children’s pool. The water was absolutely freezing cold but it didn’t stop Sophie having a little splash for the first time ever! It’s at times like that, that I’m so pleased I do record so much footage of the kids – her first time in a swimming pool was such a lovely thing to capture and look back on. She absolutely loved it!
We were booked on an all inclusive basis so all our food and drinks (non-branded) were included.
Food at meal times was pretty good. The restaurants were large, airy and buzzing with attentive staff members.
There was a large clientele from Russia and Germany so I’d say the food was geared more towards them but it was hot, there was plenty of it and in general it was pretty good. It wasn’t the best all inclusive resort I’d ever been to but it wasn’t the worst either. During the day though, it was a big let down. There was a room near the swimming pool where all the drinks were laid out on a table and some buffet style food was brought out a few times a day. Not appealing at all and the tiny plastic cups that went along with it were just plain irritating if you were over the age of 12.
Taking everything into consideration and comparing it other similar resorts I would probably give the food and drink a 7/10.
Awful. Sorry but it wasn’t good. An hour from the airport and set half way up a mountain (literally), next to a street full of cheap, tacky bars it was like something from a 1970s package holiday experience. The whole place has no atmosphere and was really quiet. You would not have known it was peak holiday season – it felt more like the winter season. It is a whole different ball game to the South of the island, which is bustling with people, bars and restaurants.
It was a better atmosphere in the local town but we had to trek up and down the most mahoosive hill to get there. Apparently there was a shuttle bus running from the hotel but we only found this out on the last day. Sophie of course didn’t mind a bit being pushed up and down the hill by Daddy in her little chariot!
The town itself has quite a nice beachfront with shops and restaurants set against the backdrop of the rugged coastline. We spent quite a bit of time people watching, eating out and having a few cocktails there, which was fab!
As you can tell there were a fair few things that we would have changed about the hotel and resort. It didn’t help that Mr.S came down with some sort of virus or food poisoning on the last day! Not an ideal scenario when you are sharing your room with a young baby but fortunately both Sophie and I escaped the lurgy and he rallied like a trooper for the journey home.
This was my first experience of Tenerife and although it was beautiful, I was disappointed with the weather and the lack of activities in the North. People have assured me that the South of the island is much better but I’m not sure it warrants the 4 hour flight with littlies.
When I write a review, I’m always honest because I’m conscious that others may go on to use or try the place or product I’m writing about. With this in mind I have to say I am not sure what Thomas Cook did for the money they charged. The flight wasn’t with Thomas Cook, there was no Thomas Cook airport transfer and no in-resort rep. We were left guessing as to when and where our taxi would arrive to take us back to the airport only to eventually be told that there was a little notice in a yellow file in a room off reception with our pick up time in it. Helpful. I must admit I was surprised as I’ve never had this experience before with them.
The positives about the hotel include how friendly the staff were and how clean everything was kept. They gave the impression that they were trying really hard to keep their customers happy, which is always nice. Although we wouldn’t return to that part of the island again, I would still say that it was lovely to get away from everything, recharge our batteries and be on holiday together as a little family for the first time. Sophie was a little treat for the whole week and she at least thoroughly enjoyed the whole experience.
Now that we have been home for a few weeks, it is all beginning to seem like a distant memory – holidays are like that aren’t they?! We are turning our attention to our main family holiday to France in a few weeks so I will report back about that in September.
I’d love to hear what you thought of my review. Have you ever been to Tenerife? How was your experience? As always, let me know in the comments box below.
See you soon for my next post