THE BACKGROUND: This five-star, 252-room hotel is part of the group that owns Siam Park theme park and the Loro Parque zoo. It has a classic, old-fashioned charm, and was one of the first hotels on this north coast of Tenerife, where tourism started on the island. It has ISO 14001 certification for sustainability.
THE LOCATION: It is on the east side of Puerto de la Cruz, handily placed across the road from the Botanic Gardens from which it gets its name. Being on a hill above the main town makes it an easy 20-minute walk to the nearest beach and a bit further to the promenade and town centre. The hotel runs a regular shuttle bus service to the town.
THE ROOM: My Double Deluxe Mountain View room had floor-to-ceiling windows and a door to the full-width balcony overlooking the pool with the mountainside beyond. There was a large, comfortable bed, a fridge and safe, and lots of storage space including a big hanging cupboard. Numbered prints on the walls were of Yellow-winged Amazon parrots by the artist Eric Peake. The bathroom was in marble, with bath and spa-style shower, twin basins and an enlarging mirror. The single rose in a vase was a nice touch.
KEY FACILITIES: The striking feature of the hotel is its extensive grounds with sub-tropical palms and vegetation, beautifully kept, and with butterflies, exotic birds and lizards in abundance. There are tennis courts, a swimming pool, and a golf range with putting green and practice bunker. The Oriental Spa Garden is a separate area, with two more pools, and offers a range of treatments, massages and rituals. Three of the five restaurants are à la carte. The large bar is home to an interesting collection of paintings from Canarian artists such as César Manrique, Oscar Dominguez and Pepe Dámaso. There is also a library with small pool and billiards tables.
THE VERDICT: A very comfortable, characterful hotel with all the facilities you could wish for. The choice of pools means you can always find a peaceful setting for your swim among the palm trees. The spa is excellent, as is the choice of restaurants, and you can easily walk into town.