I love staying in hotels. It doesn’t matter the size or whether it’s a luxury, budget or rural hotel as long as the place has character, the rooms are attractive and comfortable, the food is good and the staff friendly and professional.
But there’s one aspect of hotel life which often leaves me cold, the hotel bar/lounge. All over the world I’ve found hotel bar lounges to be generally quite depressing places with entertainment which ranges from mediocre to ‘OMG get me out of here’. Usually, after a few minutes of checking it out, the hotel lounge ambience, or lack of it, sends me scuttling to my room’s balcony with a bottle of wine to help act as an antidote to lounge lethargy. Few hotels seem to be able to recreate that warm and fuzzy feeling that envelopes punters in ‘real’ bars. However, there are some hotel bars on Tenerife which buck the bland trend and come close to creating a buzzing bar vibe.
These are 10 hotel bars on Tenerife which have had me saying “uno más por favor”.
Iballa Bar, Iberostar Hotel Grand Mencey, Santa Cruz
My favourite, possibly because I enjoyed one of the best gin and tonics ever sitting at its lovely curved, leather padded bar. I enjoyed it so much I nearly missed a themed dinner created by Michelin star chef Yolanda Leon. The gins were expensive but worth it. The Iballa in the Hotel Mencey feels like a real bar, possibly because it’s in a city centre hotel and a lot of people who frequent it look like business people.
Take your pick, Gran Melia Palacio de Isora, Alcalá
The Palacio de Isora not only has a couple of sophisticated bars which are great places for hanging out in, they’ve managed to create a town ‘plaza’ atmosphere, a particularly stylish town at that. I’d want to go to DUO if it wasn’t in a hotel, or sit in the ‘plaza’ bar sipping cava whilst watching the dancing fountain and listening to chill out sounds from the Lava DJ. One of the best all round hotel courtyards I’ve spent time in anywhere.
Blue Lounge, Melia Jardines del Teide, Costa Adeje
Another stylish lounge with a proper chill out bar feel to it, the Blue Lounge at the Jardines del Teide does good, and quite different, cocktails. We tried a dragon’s blood cocktail there which was based on the legend surrounding the Millennium Drago tree in Icod de los Vinos. Simply a nice bar to spend time in.
The 16th, Hard Rock Hotel, Playa Paraiso
You’d expect a Hard Rock Hotel to have decent bars and whilst it does, and despite the great music everywhere, they’re not up there with my top three favourites. The main lounge is surprisingly conventional but the 16th rooftop bar on top of the Nirvana Tower is a seriously stunning spot for a sunset cocktail.
Tiffany’s Bar, Hotel Jardines de Nivaria, Costa Adeje
I particularly like Tiffany’s Bar because of its Art Deco good looks – the name’s a bit of a clue to the style of the place. The circular bar looks as though it deserves to be frequented by flappers in beaded dresses and men wearing Gatsby suits. The lounge area away from the bar itself slips into standard hotel lounge territory.
Chiringuito, Hotel Villa Cortes, Playa de las Américas
Overlooking the beach and separated from the actual hotel itself helps give the Chiringuito at the Villa Cortes an independent beach bar personality. In fact the first time we had a drink there we didn’t realise it was part of a hotel. A DJ helps with the chill out beach side ambience. This is a top place for sunset mojitos.
Church Bar, Hacienda del Conde, Buenavista del Norte
It was a hot August night and we were the only two people in the bar at the Hacienda del Conde, but it didn’t matter. The barman was chatty, the cocktails strong and quaffable, and the surroundings unique. With a theme which blends colonial and religious architecture with contemporary furnishings, it’s a gorgeous looking bar and looks more like it belongs somewhere like the Noria district in Santa Cruz than in rural Tenerife.
Hall Bar, Iberostar Anthelia, Costa Adeje
A bright exterior with a wedding in a marquis look to it raises the hall bar above the traditional lounge affair, but what makes is stand out for me is the bar itself. It might be a bar in hotel reception area, but with an Art Deco, oyster shell canopy it’s one which I’ll happily stand sipping drinks at.
Mojito Bar, Bahia Principe, Playa Paraiso
It’s really called La Terraza Chill Out, but as it has mojitos on tap I prefer to think of it as the mojito bar. Basically, it does what it says on the label. With its mood lighting and pristine modern seating, it’s a good place to chill out with a cocktail at sunset… or anytime.
Café de Paris, Jardine Tropical, Costa Adeje
For me the Jardine Tropical punches above its weight in a number of areas. The entertainment at Café de Paris might be of the hit and miss variety but it’s a good looking bar with plenty of panache which is why it makes the grade.
Looking back at my favourites, a couple of things occur to me about hotels which might have good bars. Both Melia and Iberostar seem to be reliable companies for delivering good hotel bars. Plus if a hotel has ‘jardines’ in its name, there’s a good chance its bar will be a decent one. Salud.
Jack is co-editor, writer and photographer for BuzzTrips and the Real Tenerife series of travel websites as well as a contributor to online travel sites and travel magazines. Follow Jack on Google+