The past few weeks have been rather busy, and I’m beginning to crave some serious time-off. While I truly love my job as a travel writer and photographer, it is not always as laid back as many people think. Everything requires careful planning, and some days can be quite stressful – especially when travel plans change in the last minute. In busy periods like this, I sometimes enjoy to just let my imagination roam free for a while, as I dream myself away. Right now, I long for deep relaxation, lavish treatments for body and soul, and beautiful environments in a warm climate – so I started planning a luxury retreat to Tenerife!
Living like a princess
Tenerife is perhaps not a destination most people associate with luxury, but I found a couple of Tenerife 5 star hotels that look truly amazing and luxurious. In my dream retreat to Tenerife, I would stay at either Grand Hotel El Mirador, or Grand Hotel Salomé. Both hotels are located on Costa Adeje; an upscale and laid-back part of the island with clean beaches and peaceful atmosphere. Both hotels are also exclusively for adults, meaning I will not have to share the pool with a bunch of hyperactive kids that splash water all around, while I just want to float on my back, or slowly swim back and forth. It also means that my long breakfasts on the terrace won’t be ruined by high-pitch yelling and screaming. Don’t get me wrong; I love kids, but sometimes I just need some silence so I can hear my own thoughts, am I right?
El Mirador offers everything I dream of at the moment: a large SPA, sun terrace and swimming pool with sea view. The SPA has everything from sensation showers and chromotherapy, to volcanic hot stone massage. The best thing is that the hotel is only 5 minutes walk from the beach, making it easy to take a quick dip in the sea in the morning before breakfast, and again in the sunset.
Grand Hotel Salomé is a beautiful, newly refurbished hotel with sea view, butler services, huge swimming pools and a wide selection of treatments and massages. The rooms look amazing too, with whirlpool baths, pillow menu, hammocks for sunbathing and – best of all – strawberries with chocolate to welcome you! I have to admit that I absolutely love little treats like that! Despite being luxury resorts, both hotels are really affordable if booked at Iberostar.com.
Vegan versions of traditional dishes – yes, please!
What would a deluxe get-away be without treating yourself with some outstanding food? I checked the selection of vegan restaurants on Tenerife on HappyCow and there are way more interesting options than I had expected, considering that the traditional cuisine is very much based on seafood. For lunch, I would love to try the vegan versions of traditional recipes atVeggie Penguin. This small restaurant, established in 2017, is on a mission to educate people about healthy lifestyles and raise the awareness about the benefits of a vegan diet while protecting the environment and defending animal rights. It goes without saying that I wholeheartedly support all of that. I also genuinely appreciate restaurants that make an effort to veganize traditional recipes, while keeping the local and historic flavors.
For dinner, I would go to Samelo Veg, a vegan restaurant at the beach with Italian owners and excellent reviews. Samelo Veg offers a small menu that changes by the season. Apart from mouth-watering dishes such as risotto with red fruits and ravioli with pears, walnuts and “cheese” made of cashew nuts, they also have juices, shakes and organic wines. Just seeing the pictures online makes me drool!
An ideal location for yoga at the beach
My ideal vacation definitely has to contain a lot of time for fitness and wellness. When my body feels good, my mind tends to feel good too. In Spanish, Tenerife is called “Isla de la Eterna Primavera”, which means Island of Eternal Spring. And it truly is. With an average temperature of 18–24°C in the winter, and 24–28°C in the summer, Tenerife has a warm tropical climate all year round, and 2,900 hours of sun per year (that’s a lot!). This makes the island perfect for outdoor activities regardless of season, such as one of my all-time-favorites: yoga at the beach. I would definitely sign up for a yoga, meditation and mindfulness retreat, perhaps even one that combines yoga with surfing or kitesurfing.
Snowy mountains and sunny beaches only an hour apart
Last but not least; I would make a day-trip to the volcano in Teide National Park, and go for a long walk in the dramatic landscape. Tenerife offers its visitors a unique experience indeed; summer and winter at (almost) the same time. During January and February, you can swim in the warm sea in the morning, and walk through snow in the Teide National Park an hour later! How awesome isn’t that?
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