Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Our hotel - Bahia Principe Tenerife

View from our hotel room. Amazing, isn't it?
We were sooo happy and contented with our hotel.

This was my first trip to Spain and I don't know if it's because of the Spanish culture but the staff at the hotel were so friendly! They were all smiles and would greet us with the usual "Ola" whenever they saw us. Housekeeping was impeccable and they always managed to clean up our room promptly. It felt like the entire staff at the hotel was proud to be working there and would go the extra mile to make your stay comfortable.

Service was perfect too. Our hotel was overbooked at the beginning so we didn't manage to get our junior suite for the first two nights. However they more than compensated for that by upgrading our room for the rest of our stay (5 nights) to a junior suite with ocean view. We also got a complimentary bottle of sparkling wine as well as free Wifi and usage of the safe for our entire stay. :)
Interior of our hotel room. Double sinks and wooden salon doors leading to the toilet area
Right in front of the hotel pool. We could hear cheery Spanish music every morning!
It was beautiful! We woke up everyday to clear, blue skies and a vast expanse of the blue Atlantic ocean sprawled out for as far as we can see. And in the evenings, we would be able to see the sun set while painting the horizon a whole myriad of orange, yellows and reds.
Gorgeous isn't it? God's beautiful reminder of His love for us at the end of everyday!

I even looked forward to getting up in the morning (quite unlike me), because we would have breakfast, lunch and dinner buffet included in our package price. Needless to say, I did indulge a bit excessively in food but tried to make up for it by going swimming everyday.

Mummy, I want the camera NOW!
That's the one catch of the hotel. The water in the pool was freezing!!! Brrrr..... Sammy would cry for a couple of seconds while he got used to the chilly waters. Me too. Ok, I didn't cry but I really hated the threading-into-the-water part of swimming / playing with baby.

Even though we had very warm temperatures (at least 30 degrees everyday), it didn't help the water to heat up. To make matters worse, once we got out of the freezing waters, the sun would quickly dry up the water on our bodies such that it would be even harder to get back into the water.

Hence, we would usually let Sammy play in the water for a while until we realize his lips are trembling / he's shivering. Then, we'd take him out of the water, change him and let him nap in the stroller.

My two boys having a siesta
View of the hotel from the pool. It's actually built to look like a mini town, with different coloured buildings clustered together
Food-wise, I was deeply impressed! Hubby, knowing the Singaporean in me would have a very high expectation of food, told me to kindly lower my standards because this was afterall going to be a buffet experience. And as all of us know, buffet = mediore, sub-standard food.

I was seriously blown away! The cook(s) made an effort to vary each day's menu and there was always a generous selection of all kinds of food, including fresh seafood - fish, shrimps, mussels etc. Spanish Paella was available most days as were kid-friendly food like pasta and pizza.

Sammy ate his hearts out for most of his meals. I could barely eat myself because the little boy kept "demanding" me to feed him by tugging at me and saying, "Please, Mom I would like some more food." - NOT. I'm sure he does say "please" in his baby language though, even if all I hear is a smattering of "Ahhhs" and "Mehhhhs".
Ok, that's a very unflattering shot. But unfortunately the only shot of the food I took for the entire stay! I could never wait long enough to indulge in it myself
Oh and we always had white, red and / or rose wine for every meal. The waiter / waitresses were ever so attentive to constantly refill our glasses such that by the end of our meals, we would be wondering why we're so light-headed and happy! LOL. Hubby ain't much of a drinker so needless to say 2 glasses of alcohol would knock him out! .... Thought to myself: Now wouldn't it be cool to have alcohol-free, baby-safe wine to help babies sleep better at night? **just kidding**

Sammy was fine most nights though. He didn't sleep particularly well at the beginning but I'm attributing it to a change of environment. He adjusted soon enough and was dozing off quickly by nightfall.

There was also live music and people dancing (standard dance, jazz, rumba, waltz etc.) everyday after dinner. It remains a dream of mine to be able to go for dance classes when we can afford the time. Soon soon! :)

One negative point though. The quality of the food at the restaurants were average at best. There are altogether 5 restaurants to choose from - Italian, Asian, Spanish, Canarian and Mexican. One is entitled to a choice of 3 restaurants per week of stay. After visits to the Asian, Spanish and Canarian restaurants, I think we can safely say that we prefer the main lobby buffet restaurant.

In fact, the Asian one was so mediocre (I say that because I myself am Asian), that I even considered going into the kitchen to teach them how to make spring rolls. I mean, how hard can I be to make spring rolls right? But the spring rolls were hmmm..... Let's just say I took a bite and that was it.
Our family shot - with Daddy's head! LOL. I actually think Sammy and I look quite similar here
And to be fair, some father-son shot. Sammy got quite a tan! Look at his legs! Yay to Asian genes!
Tenerife is a volcanic island. It's pretty massive! I think it spans about 2,000 square kilometres! That makes it about 3 times the size of Singapore! Holy smokes. And there I was thinking that we could even explore the island in 1 week!

We didn't do much exploration though because we only had about a week's time - about 6 full days. So we just wanted to make full use of the sun, pool and food at the hotel. It was such a needed break for us cos hubby has been working a lot and for myself, it felt so good for me to NOT have to think about what to cook / cook / wash up / clean the house for one entire week! You can't imagine how much I needed that! It requires a lot of brain cells to plan our weekly meals! And FYI, I do cook every. single. day. 

Ok, back to the hotel. One thing that confused us while booking the hotel ís that there are actually two hotels side by side. Bahia Principe Tenerife and Bahia Principe Costa Adeje. They apparently belong to same company but personally, I felt that our hotel was quieter, smaller and the service was more attentive. The other hotel was teeming with people and our photographer said that over summer, they sometimes had 300 kids (!!!) in the hotel! Oh my word.

Guests are able to use the facilities in both hotels but they are supposed to only eat at their own hotels. One thing I liked about the other hotel is their infinity pool next to the ocean. The waters were freezing there too, but it was a nice experience swimming so close to the Atlantic.
The infinity pool at the other hotel
Took this photo from my beach chair
My little one couldn't wait to get into the water! He was wearing Daddy's shirt because he pooed so badly into his diapers and we didn't have a change of clothes for him then
The hotel is elevated so we could have a great view of the ocean. Unfortunately, this also meant that we didn't have any access to a beach of any sort because it was all rocky and frankly-speaking, very dirty! We took a mini stroll down to the closest "beach" and all we saw was dog poo. It didn't look appealing to dip our feet into the waters.
On our walk to the "beach"
All rocks and nothing to shout about
Hence, to complete our beach holiday feel, we did take a 20-minutes bus ride from our hotel to Playa de las Americas ('beach of America") to spend the day there. And that's what my next post will be about!

7 comments:

Bern said...

Sammy sleeping in his pram is so reminiscent of how u used to sleep as a baby...so absolutely adorable! And he's teething!

Chrish said...

It seems like a nice place! It is also very popular to norwegians cos a few of my colleagues been to this place and they are happy about it as well! :)

Pris said...

Bern - So nice how you have recollections of how I used to look as a baby! Cos I seriously don't remember anything! Plus it doesn't help that I have hardly any photos of myself as a baby / kid in Germany. Really need to get down to scanning / printing some when I go back Singapore sometime.

Yah! Sammy has 3 teeth now! :)

Pris said...

Chrish - HELLO! Nice to hear from you! I see that you no longer have a blog anymore?!? Oh yah, I think this place is very popular among Germans as well. That is why our travel agent recommended it to us!

Chrish said...

yeah i opted to make it to pte now hehe ;P

elainegan said...

Lovely view!! Sammy got himself a tan pretty quick ;) That stroller looks so lightweight, what brand is it?

Pris said...

Elaine - Thanks! Yeah, I like Sammy's tan! But the tan didn't stay very long...almost gone by now. The stroller is Concord Neo. But there's a newer version - Concord Ion by now. Can check it out!

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