Selling Travel Connect: Luxury Tenerife

Three Selling Travel Connect: Luxury Tenerife events were held at Harvey Nichols’ Fourth Floor Brasserie in Leeds (30 April), in The Chester Grosvenor’s Westminster Suite (1 May) and also at The Belfry hotel and resort in Sutton Coldfield (2 May).

“The aim of the three agent events was to showcase the luxury offering that British visitors can experience in Tenerife. The popular Canary Island is redefining itself as an upscale destination proud to show visitors its natural beauty and authentic self,” said Tenerife Tourism Corporation’s Elena Mastora.

Reasons to visit Tenerife

She explained that Tenerife is the largest of the Canary Islands and one of the most popular and easily accessible holiday destinations for British travellers looking for a premium gateway.

“Guaranteed sunshine, diverse landscapes, idyllic beaches and charming villages make Tenerife an ideal holiday choice all year round; while its vast array of fantastic activities – from year-round whale watching and stargazing on Spain’s tallest peak to caving adventures inside Europe’s largest lava tubes – ensure that the island’s variety of experiences are as emotional as its flavours and friendly people,” said Mastora.

“There’s more to our island than the popular golden beaches and sizable resorts of the south. Tenerife offers upscale visitors a luxurious escape with its five-star hotels and exclusive villas; gourmet dining, including Michelin-starred restaurants; world-class spas; and unique landscape for exploration, including the majestic Teide National Park. High-end shoppers can revel in designer boutiques while golf enthusiasts enjoy championship courses,” she continued.

Tenerife’s luxury accommodation offering is continuing to grow: a trend that will continue over the coming years. Several properties will open in 2024 including the new five-star Gran Hotel Taoro in Puerto de la Cruz in December 2024. Originally established in 1890 as Spain’s first luxury hotel, the 211-room property operated as a casino before its redevelopment back into a hotel with three pools.

Tenerife’s vibrant and varied culinary scene offers discerning diners everything from traditional Canarian flavours to chic establishments with contemporary flair. Nine Michelin stars are currently shared across seven restaurants. In November 2023, Taste 1973 at the Hotel Villa Cortés in Arona and Haydée in La Orotova were distinguished with their first Michelin stars.

“In response to the recent demonstrations, we would like to reassure travel agents that Tenerife is a safe tourist destination. The protests are not against tourists; they are a demonstration by society in favour of a change in the tourism model, mainly driven by certain serious problems that the islands have in terms of mobility and a lack of housing,” said Mastora, explaining that efforts are underway to address those challenges and promote sustainable tourism “to ensure the long-term prosperity and sustainability of Tenerife”.

Luxury accommodation in Tenerife

Luisa García-Estrada represented the 284-room Tivoli La Caleta Tenerife Resort, a five-star property whose prime seafront location in the exclusive resort area of Costa Adeje offers direct access to the ocean promenade. From there, guests can stroll to nearby beaches, restaurants and bars.

The resort offers elevated gastronomy, shaped by celebrity chef Olivier da Costa, and has Tenerife’s first Anantara Spa.

“The hotel underwent a full refurbishment and rebranded to Tivoli before reopening at the Tivoli La Caleta Tenerife Resort in 2023. It was the first Tivoli resort to open in Spain,” explained García-Estrada, who – like other Selling Travel Connect: Luxury Tenerife attendees – is keen to work with UK travel agents.

Mariana Nori Rosendo explained that gastronomy, focus on excellence plus exclusive services, as well as the unique, upscale experiences are selling points of the Royal Hideaway Corales Resort.

“We would like to convey to travel agents our spirit of service and excellence, as well as the great and unique opportunities that exist in Tenerife for an exceptional and tailor-made holiday that adapts to all the needs of our guests. Our mission is to show all the elements that exist in our destination, and in our product, so that they can discover, live and feel an exquisite and unforgettable experience at any time in Tenerife and at Royal Hideaway Corales Resort,” said Rosendo.

The Royal Hideaway Corales Villas, with 61 two- or three-bedroom villas, is set to open in September.

Reasons to visit northern Tenerife

“Our award-winning spa and our wonderful 25,000 square metres of subtropical gardens, together with the hotel staff, are unique selling points of the Hotel Botánico and The Oriental Spa Garden,” said Rachel Dearden of the luxury property in Puerto de la Cruz. Rooms are being modernised, the spa can be used by all hotel guests aged 16 and older and there is an 18-hole putting green that guests can enjoy free of charge.

Dearden attended Selling Travel Connect: Luxury Tenerife to show travel agents that the Hotel Botánico and The Oriental Spa Garden is a comfortable base for discovering the north of Tenerife: “where you can enjoy a great culture and the best gastronomy.”

Within the hotel guests can choose to dine in an Italian restaurant, Il Pappagallo, enjoy Spanish gastronomy at La Parrilla or opt for Asian cuisine at The Oriental.

Luxury hotels in Tenerife

Annabel Griffin explained that the 100% sustainable Royal River Luxury Hotel is an adult-only retreat set on Costa Adeje Golf Course with magnificent views of mountains and the Atlantic Ocean.

“There are 50 luxury villas that are African and Asian inspired, starting with River Villas, Pool Villas and Lagoon Villas. Four Lagoon Villas share a large lagoon between them and have all-day sunshine. Whilst Pool Villas offer complete seclusion, the River Villas have access to two rivers that run through the resort from their private heated pool,” said Griffin.

“Four fine-dining restaurants open on different nights of the week to ensure you experience each. Kokoro [Asian cuisine] and Flamingo, a French bistro, offer tasting menus. The Top is a brasserie offering rooftop dining and a unique ambience. For every day, there is Pineapple restaurant.”

“The hotel has an incentive in 2024: make one booking and receive two complimentary nights and one dinner,” said Griffin of an offer that is likely to be of interest to travel agents selling stays in Tenerife.

Guests at Royal River Luxury Hotel and its sister property Royal Garden Villas can experience exclusive trips to see dolphins and whales aboard the Royal Garden yacht.

“Royal Garden Villas has 28 one- to three-bedroom luxury villas surrounded by beautiful gardens on the Golf Costa Adeje course. Each villa has luxurious amenities such as a heated private pool, a fully stocked drinks cabinet, a secluded ocean-view terrace and a fully equipped kitchen,” explained Griffin, adding that they are ideal for families and offer babysitting.

Each villa displays sumptuous furnishings from the owner’s world travels. Its spa offers innovative treatments and Alqvimia products while the Jardin restaurant serves cuisine prepared by head chef, Bruno Lorenzo.

Unique experiences for holidaymakers

Sales Manager Dunia Rodriguez represented the Gran Meliá Palacio de Isora at Selling Travel Connect: Luxury Tenerife. She was looking to promote the Meliá brand and the advantages of booking with the company.

“Gran Meliá Palacio de Isora is a unique, luxury resort in the southwest of Tenerife that’s perfect for families but also for adults, as there is an adults-only boutique hotel inside. We also hold the largest seawater infinity pool in Europe,” she said of the five-star hotel with a 2,000-square-metre Clarins spa.

“We are always adapting our experiences and our spaces. This year we are launching a splash park for children,” said Rodriguez.

Global Incentive is a local destination management company (DMC) specialising in MICE and luxury travel offerings. COO David Febles introduced travel agents to Global Incentive’s originality and dedication to providing quality and tailor-made offerings.

His company is keen to offer its experience to UK travel agents and to collaborate to offer memorable experiences in Tenerife.

“We want to introduce travel agents to the slow luxury concept of Tenerife,” said Febles, emphasising that the offering on the island is very different to its counterpart in Asia.

Access to the beach

The UK is the main market for Bahia del Duque’s Sales Executive Ismael Garcia who attended Selling Travel Connect: Luxury Tenerife to establish new relationships with travel agents and convey the five-star property’s news. That includes receiving a Condé Nast Johansens Award for Excellence and renovating 50 rooms this year.

“We are a five-star hotel that has direct access to the Playa del Duque beach: it’s a very nice place with a lot of restaurants outside of the hotel. The area is very suitable if you want to go for a walk outside of the hotel. So for clients who want to experience the island, make some activities outside of the hotel and experience the good gastronomy that we also have in the hotel, I think it’s the best place for them to go,” said Garcia.

Travel agents’ perspectives

Debbie Dickson, from Althams Travel in Horsforth, said, “I’ve learnt a lot about the luxury hotels in Tenerife, rather than the standard hotels, and have caught up with people and had fun.”

Heidi Wilkinson, also from Althams, expressed surprise at how much Tenerife has changed: “Years ago, the north of Tenerife was associated with an older clientele. It’s more traditional than the south but now seems to be for all ages.”

Michelle Harriman from Jet2 added, “I wanted to further my knowledge of Tenerife’s luxury product market and get to speak to people. I understand that they want to diversify more, want people to visit the north more and get rid of existing preconceptions. It’s clearly nonsense that Tenerife is not welcoming guests at the moment and it’s good to know that we will still welcomed in Tenerife.”

Keir Woodward’s Karen Bancroft said: “The event was a fantastic way to connect with luxury hotels, many of which we use on a weekly basis, some of which we were slightly less familiar with and so were able to obtain a good understanding of what they offer and what makes them different. It was presented in a super relaxing, friendly manner. The location was spot on!”

Travel agents attending the events had opportunities to win prizes, including meals and stays at hotels. The winners included the Jessica Blyth, Fiona Whitehead, Lizzie Anthony and Tom Parsley.

Read more about the island’s luxury offerings in the Discover Tenerife guide that will be distributed with the May/June edition of Selling Travel magazine.

Leeds

Chester

Sutton Coldfield