Home from home: Family-friendly La Palma
Saturday 31 October 2009
It's hard to choose the prettiest of the seven major Canary Islands, but La Palma has a strong claim in terms of nature walks, romantic hideaways and dramatic scenery. It also does well in the family-friendly hotel stakes, thanks in part to the mammoth Hotel La Palma Teneguia Princess and Spa.
Technically speaking, it's actually two hotels; La Palma Princess and the Teneguia Princess. The complex's 625 rooms spreadeagle along a prime stretch of the Fuencaliente coastline, an area that traditionally enjoys warmer weather than the other parts of the island, thanks to its sheltered location offering protection from the north-east trade winds.
In many ways, this hotel sums up all that's good about family resort hotels in the Canary Islands. It's spread out, so there's never a feeling of jostling for elbow room, plus it gives adults and kids a chance to go their separate ways in a safe and quiet part of the island. Its location is well chosen, near La Zamora, the best cove out of a string of black volcanic sand beaches. It's also close to Los Canarios, a traditional fishing village surrounded by volcanic cones and vineyards, and fringed by pine forests climbing up ash-black slopes.
If the thought of black sand between your toes doesn't appeal, there's an artificial white beach back at the resort, tagged on to one of 12 swimming pools (only two of which are heated, incidentally). A hard-working team makes sure the junior family members are kept amused with an overflowing programme of fun and games. Sports competitions and exercise activities are also put on for adults looking to neutralise the effects of holiday bingeing at the five restaurants and seven themed bars.
Rare within the peaceful tranquillity of the "Emerald Isle", there's also a nightclub for the teens and teen-minded. And then there's the spa. Choose your weapon of indulgence chocolate, coconut oil or volcanic stones and let the battle of rejuvenation commence in a glass-walled palace of pampering.
It's the combination of contrasting factors that make this hotel ideal for family stays in La Palma: the surfeit of activities in tranquil surroundings; sub-tropical greenery colouring the stark, scorched earth; and sensuous spa facilities on an island of rugged drama.
Hotel La Palma Teneguia Princess and Spa, Carretera la Costa, Cera Vija 10, 38740 Fuencaliente, La Palma (00 34 922 425 500; princess-hotels.com ). Doubles from 81.99 per night.
Missing Malaysia Airlines plane: Despite expected death toll we must remember air travel has never been safer
Malaysia Airlines flight MH370 Q&A: What do we know about what happened?
The 10 Best hiking boots
Come to Crimea: Could tourism help heal the divisions in Ukraine?
Malaysia Airlines MH370: the missing aircraft, and what investigators will be looking for
- 1 Bad cattitude: Family call police after crazed and 'hostile cat with a history of violence' attacks baby before attempting to 'flee custody'
- 2 Family forced to flee home after discovering 'terrifying' nest of spiders in bananas
- 3 First Kiss: Filmmaker gets 20 strangers to make out on YouTube with awkward results
- 4 Grace Dent: Who cares if she spells it Barraco Barner? Gemma Worrall is more employable than some bookish arts graduate
- 5 Bob Crow death: 'Admired by his members, feared by employers' - Tributes pour in for RMT union leader and 'working class hero' Bob Crow
Britain's top vet sparks controversy with call for ban on slashing animals' throats in 'ritual' slaughters for halal and kosher meat products
Poor 'live like animals' says Boris's privately educated sister after going on 'poverty safari'
Exclusive: Impact of immigrants on British workers ‘negligible’
Vince Cable: Teachers 'know absolutely nothing' about the world of work
Ukraine crisis: Russia pledges to 'retaliate against sanctions' as Ukrainian president says Crimea vote will not be recognised
The quiet diplomat: Catherine Ashton - recognised and admired in all the world’s troubled countries, yet ridiculed at home
£25000 - £50000 per annum + Benefits: Corporate Traveller: Opportunity for a B...
£20000 - £45000 per annum + Benefits: Corporate Traveller: We're looking for t...
£25000 - £50000 per annum + Benefits: Flight Centre Limited: Flight Centre Bus...
£16000 - £27000 per annum + Commission + Award-Winning Benefits): Flight Centr...