In the mellow south of Tenerife, Royal Hideaway Corales Beach is styled like a luxurious ocean liner, permanently docked well away from the crowds who come for the year-round Canarian sun. Families are welcome at the neighbouring sister property, but this is an adults-only affair, with island-born chefs – the perfectionist Padrón brothers – and architect, who lovingly designed the hotel to mimic a grand cruise ship. There are several restaurants to choose from (and a handful more next-door), including nifty Nikkei cuisine at San Ho and Michelin-starred miracles up at the rooftop Maresia. There are also no fewer than three saltwater pools: this is a great hotel for the indecisive.
Get this when you book through us:
A welcome gift on arrival and free entry to the spa for two adults (once per person, per stay)
Noon, but flexible, subject to availability. Earliest check-in, 4pm, also flexible.
Double rooms from £362.35 (€434), including tax at 7 per cent.
Rates usually include breakfast.
If you're booked on the half board rate, you'll need to use the buffet at Nao Atlantic Food Experience for breakfast and dinner. If you're on the half board rate but want to eat à la carte, you can dine at either hotel, and will get 25 per cent off the bill (drinks are excluded, and the offer isn’t valid at El Rincón de Juan Carlos).
At the hotel
Free WiFi throughout, valet parking, gym, beach. In rooms: air-conditioning, flatscreen TV, minibar, tea and coffee, and bath products by Rituals.
Our favourite rooms
There are two rules to keep in mind here: 1) the higher the room, the better the Atlantic-filled view; 2) any view looks better from a hot tub. The simple answer is: go for a top-floor suite with a Jacuzzi on the terrace. Easy.
There are three heated, saltwater pools: a lawn-surrounded one by the bar, one with a bar and restaurant attached up on the roof, and a third in the spa (€25 a day, availability subject to Covid-19 restrictions).
The spa has seven treatment rooms, a sauna, steam room and hydrotherapy circuit (availability subject to Covid-19 restrictions). The resident brand is Natura Bissé, which is employed in treatments such as the couples’ ritual, which involves a herby body peel and a full-body massage each. Spa access is an extra charge (€25 a day), but you'll get spa access for two as part of your Smith Extra. Guests will also have free access to the gym with Technogym equipment; Pilates, yoga and other classes are held regularly, and personal trainers can be arranged if you’re feeling extra energetic.
Orange is the new black, especially when it comes to striking swimwear to showcase against dark volcanic sand – rainbow shades of Lycra, welcome.
There are eight specially adapted rooms for wheelchair users on the ground floor, the common areas are accessible and there's wheelchair access to both main pools.
This stay’s delightfully child free, but Little Smiths are welcome at the sister property next door. The spa's for over-16s only.
The building was designed to maximise natural light and reduce energy use – score one for sustainable architecture – and has been described as the ‘smartest building in Spain’. Much of the energy used is generated by solar panels and geothermal sources, B-Ecology and sustainable maintenance programmes are in place and greener transport plans are promoted for both guests and employees. The pools are kept sparkling with a saline chlorination system, guests can charge their electric cars on site and the resident flora is watered by drip irrigation. Zero-kilometre products are given priority in the culinary offerings – one of the bars uses only local ingredients, even in the cocktails – and the resort works with local biofarms, fincas and fisherman. The resort also organises clean-ups at the neighbouring beaches.
Base your table requests on palm-tree and pink-sky gazing through the glossy windows in San Ho, and enjoying the sea breeze on the terrace at El Rincón de Juan Carlos.
Evenings get strict for Mr Smiths: long trousers and closed shoes are required at all of the restaurants for dinner.
There are a handful: Nao Atlantic Food Experience, San Ho and El Rincón de Juan Carlos. Breakfast – a feast of largely local products – is served in Nao, which helpfully remains a (seafood-stocked, tapas or Mexican) buffet-style operation for dinner. The Maresía Atlantic Bar offers panoramic views of the Atlantic and La Gomera, with a locally sourced cocktail menu and a side order of sunset in the evening and creative poolside sustenance by day. The sea-facing San Ho serves Japanese and Peruvian fusion food; don’t miss the tiger’s-milk ceviche washed down with a lairy wasabi martini (booking is recommended; closed Tuesdays and Wednesdays). If your stomach’s still roving, there are a few more options open to guests over the road at Royal Hideaway Corales Suites, including a gelateria. Lunch is served at the pool bars.
There are four, including Nao the Bar by one of the pools, which keeps guests hydrated from 10.30am until 11pm. Maresia the Roof has a bar by the rooftop infinity pool; it’s open from 10.30am until midnight. Food is served in both bars from noon until 5.30pm. The third is Starfish, at the family-friendly sister hotel Royal Hideaway Corales Suites.
Breakfast runs between 8am and 10.30am. Lunch in Nao is noon till 5.30pm; dinner is from 6:30pm until 9pm. Maresia Atlantic Bar is open during the day; El Rincón de Juan Carlos takes over for formal dinner service. San Ho’s hours are 6:30pm–9:30pm.
Breakfast can be served in your room, as can a series of salads, pastas, pizzas, main meals and snacks.
Av. Virgen de Guadalupe 21
Playa La Enramada, La Caleta
Corales Beach is in the southern stretch of Tenerife, away from the crowds and close to the well-heeled area of Costa Adeje.
The island’s South airport (occasionally still known as Reina Sofía) is around 25 minutes away by car. Hotel transfers cost €92 each way (for a maximum of three passengers). Tenerife Norte is an hour’s drive north.
The hotel is a 10-minute drive from Costa Adeje. Guests arriving by car should drop their bags off first – valet parking’s available for €18 a day.
A ferry service links Tenerife with the rest of the Canary Islands, including Gran Canaria.
Worth getting out of bed for
Once you’ve checked out the various bars and restaurants, chilled in the spa and relaxed by the rooftop pool, it’s time to get active, which, in Tenerife, can include any combination of the following: volcano hiking, surfing, diving, vineyard touring, stargazing, kitesurfing, paragliding, tennis, canyoning, sailing and cycling, all of which can be organised by the hotel. The nearest beach at La Enramada is of the black-sand (AKA authentic) variety – unlike its shipped-in sugar-white counterparts in the more tourist-packed parts of the island. Don’t miss a sunset paella by the water in La Caleta, a charming little town where the locals like to eat and drink.
For fine French fare just off the coast of Africa, head for a lively lunch at La Brasserie by Pierre Résimont, within walking distance of the hotel in Costa Adeje. Slick Japanese food is on offer at Kamakura and ocean-facing Kabuki; and sushi lovers can get their fix at Restaurant 88. If it’s imported Italian notes you’re craving, try Saúco up the coast in Alcalá (5 Calle la Fábrica, a 20-minute drive north). Also in Alcalá is Restaurante Lúpulo(13 Calle la Plaza), which is where to turn up with an expandable waistband and an appetite for a tasting menu. Grilled goodness awaits at the aptly named Char in La Caleta.
Enlist the master mixologists at Lagarto in La Caleta to muddle up your favourite alcoholic concoction – its cocktails are legendary.
Hotels on Tenerife can be a little – how can I put this? – substandard. A little bit lacking in style, in grace, even in service. This is one popular island and that sense that another coach is just around the corner, that more tourists are due any minute, can lead to a shrug more often than a smile.
And so how refreshing Corales Beach feels. As soon as we arrived at the hushed, all-white reception the car was whisked away and a glass of cold cava thrust into our hands. No sooner had we expressed an interest in the Maresía restaurant than a table was booked for us the following night. We were taken to our room via a quick tour of the facilities – grinning at each other at the sight of the rooftop infinity pool, and at our bellhop’s assertion that we wouldn’t even need it with the room we’d booked.
He was – almost – right. Our room was an ocean-view junior suite (with hot tub) and it knocked spots off any hotel room we’d had in Tenerife before. Mr Smith was immediately on the balcony sizing up said tub and declaring it more than big enough for two; I was delighted to find a double sink – no fighting over space when getting ready for dinner. That hot tub was pressed into service straight away and, on the first night, even kept us from having a sundowner in the rooftop bar. Why bother getting dressed when you have a perfect view of the sun setting into the Atlantic from your outdoor bathtub? We vowed to make amends the following day and headed out for dinner.
Although Corales Beach has several restaurants, one of the best things about staying here is its location right behind La Caleta. This old fishing harbour has retained its traditionally Spanish feel despite the encroachment of tourism and is one of my favourite places for a plate of fresh fish and local white wine. We feasted on two types of bream that night, washed down with a bottle or two and held each other up as we tipsily walked the five minutes back up the hill to our room.
The next morning the pull of the infinity pool beat the soft entreaties of our king-sized bed and we found ourselves happily swimming lengths and pausing, arms folded over the side of the pool, to look down over the harbour and try to pick out the terrace we’d had dinner on. The perfect hangover cure.
We spent ages soaking up the sun but with breakfast running in the Nao buffet until 10.30am there wasn’t any rush. We wandered in soon after 10am and found none of the scrum we had feared – this is a calm space with plenty of staff on hand to bring freshly brewed coffee and eggs benedict. The buffet had the best selection of fresh fruit I’ve seen in Tenerife – mangos, berries, pineapple – and there were proper Kellogg’s cereals, freshly baked breads and even quinoa muffins for vegans.
Corales Beach is entirely adults-only, and so the rooftop pool was still quiet on our return. Staff laid out our towels on the comfy soft sunbeds and I sat sipping another coffee and losing myself in the sunshine and my book.
It’s tempting to stay by the infinity pool all day but there are also plenty of activities on offer, both at Corales Beach and at the Corales Suites family hotel next door. I was keen to do pilates in the afternoon so left Mr Smith to his magazine and headed down to the spa
for the hour-long class. The teacher led us through a routine that turned out to be even more relaxing than my usual class back home – though perhaps that was the fresh air and sunshine.
Mr Smith joined me in the spa for some pre-dinner hydrotherapy and we floated around in the warm pools and jets discussing our last meal. Maresía, the restaurant, is led by the Padrón brothers and we were excited to see whether it could possibly be as good as their Michelin-starred Rincón de Juan Carlos just up the coast.
We were pretty sceptical – until we found out that the degustation menu was the same one that had won the brothers that star. It ran to 10 courses and was amazing value at €80 each, with an especially memorable smoked eel served with delicious raspberry salt I scooped upon my finger and licked off in delight.
Since the restaurant sits on the rooftop, our table had the same view over La Caleta that we had enjoyed from our hot tub and from the infinity pool. We sat and looked out over the lights of the harbour as we sipped our digestifs and agreed that Maresía is second only to Rincón de Juan Carlos. And that Corales Beach is most certainly the best hotel on the island.