Times like this, seemingly more than ever, call for that proverbial ray of sunshine, ie a holiday in the sun. But if you have a clutch of family members tagging along, especially impatient under-eights, you won’t want to drag them too far across the globe to find it. So the question, then, is where?
If it were a mathematical equation, it would look something like this:
Family holiday + all-year sunshine + bearable flight duration = happy smiles + lighter spirits + a healthy dose of vitamin D.
If algebra isn’t your strong point, the answer is Tenerife – or its south-west coast to be specific. Temperatures here hover between 21C and 29C throughout the year, and the only blues you’ll encounter are those of the sky and the ocean; all at just four hours flying time from the UK.
Costa Adeje and the coastline of nearby Guia de Isora are the sunniest areas of the island. And it’s no coincidence that the 12-mile stretch between Playa de El Bobo and Alcalá is where most of the family attractions are based, including 15 sandy beaches. The picks of the bunch for families being Playa del Duque, Playa la Pinta and Playa de Fañabé.
Golfers take note: there are two world-class courses here – the 27-hole Golf Costa Adeje and the spectacular Abama Golf, and green fees are substantially lower in summer than winter.
Away from those hallowed greens, a whale and dolphin watching excursion from Puerto Colón is a must-do. Pilot whales and bottlenose dolphins cruise the deep waters off the south-west coast, and close encounters with at least one species are almost guaranteed. A clutch of boat operators run three- or four-hour sails along the coastline, generally with food, drinks and a swimming stop included.
Back on land, the south-west coast offers the best viewpoints for the Canary Islands’ renowned sunsets. Grab a bean bag on the rocks of Playa Paraiso at the uber-chilled Roca Negra Sunset Club and, while the offspring explore the rock pools, you can sip a cocktail in peace as the sky turns a glory of fiery red over the neighbouring island of La Gomera.
And when it’s time to munch, almost all restaurants in the south are super family friendly; don’t be too alarmed if one of your brood is whisked up into the arms of an adoring member of staff in the middle of your mains. Many seafood eateries on the south-west coast offer the catch of the day delivered straight from the colourful boats bobbing in the sheltered village harbours of El Puertito, Alcalá and Playa San Juan. Alternatively, if you get a night off from the kids, book an ocean-view table at one of a dozen bayfront restaurants in pretty La Caleta – or, if you really feel like treating yourself, try the nearby Michelin-starred Restaurante El Rincón de Juan Carlos.
Where to stay
Conveniently slap-bang in the middle of the island’s sunniest stretch lies the Hard Rock Hotel Tenerife, one of the best accommodation choices for families looking for luxury and liveliness.
Its central location means it’s easy to get to most of the main points of interest. Siam Park and the excursion boats of Puerto Colón are within a 15-minute drive, as is the local hub Costa Adeje, while the dramatic cliffs of Los Gigantes are less than half an hour away, and Teide national park is 40 minutes by car.
The hotel’s striking pair of towers soar above the resort village of Playa Paraiso, offering an eyeful of ocean from balconies on all 15 floors. Some also overlook a white, lagoon-style pool area that features a DJ dock and live-music stage.
For guests after an extra level of opulence, the Rock Royalty rooms and suites on the upper floors offer the ultimate upgrade in design and far-reaching views, plus access to a concierge service, a dedicated VIP reception desk and the exclusive Rock Royalty lounge.
Across the hotel, rooms come with optional extras such as a Fender guitar and amplifier or a Crosley record player with a clutch of vinyls to set the mood. As you’ll gather, this is not a place where you need your kids to keep the decibels down. In fact, bouncing tunes are a constant wherever you roam, and making a bit of noise is all part of the fun – guitar lessons and DJ mixing sessions are just two of the music-themed activities offered to teens.
Add in the kids clubs, Xboxes, F1 simulators, small cinema, sports facilities and laid-back vibe, and the Hard Rock Hotel Tenerife is as good as it gets for keeping you and your little rays of sunshine beaming under the island’s perennial blue skies.
And while the kids are at play, the adults can have their own fun, whether taking a yoga class, hitting the gym, joining a dance session or just chilling by one of the three sprawling pools. Then, when you’re ready for some downtime, there’s the sumptuous Rock Spa, an oasis of relaxation with indoor and outdoor pools, a sauna, Turkish baths, massages, wraps – and a snow cabin. Appropriately, it’s just the place to retune.
With so much going on, the hotel’s restaurants and bars are great places to catch up with family and friends between activities. If healthy and organic floats your boat, a lunch of fresh fish and salads at the Beach Club could hit the spot. Meat lovers will make a beeline for Montauk with its impressive menu of steaks – rib-eye, sirloin or T-bone, all served with sides that include six-cheese macaroni and papas arrugadas (salt-baked Canaries baby potatoes). Elsewhere, Italian restaurant Capolavoro serves risottos, gnocchi, homemade pasta, and pizzas from cinque formaggi to boscaiola – with a specials pizza and pasta kids’ menu for younger diners.
Or, for the taste of something completely different, try Narumi – Hard Rock Hotel Tenerife’s pan-Asian restaurant, where Japanese sashimi meets Vietnamese pho, red chicken curry meets pad thai and ramen. Sitting on Narumi’s terrace, a glass of sake in your hand, with a gentle Atlantic breeze wafting past and the setting sun casting vibrant hues across the sky, you could be forgiven for thinking it was the perfect end to a perfect day.
Book your Tenerife break at ba.com/hardrocktenerife
With British Airways Holidays, you can reserve your well-deserved break with deposits starting from just £60 per person and pay the balance in as few or many instalments as you like*. All package bookings are ATOL-protected (5985) and include a 23kg baggage allowance per person. Their Customer Promise is a commitment to quality and service that ensures that their hotel partners adhere to strict safety standards, you’ll get a speedy refund should your holiday be cancelled and there’s a 24-hour helpline if you need any assistance on your holiday – just some of the reasons why 92% of customers** say they would choose British Airways Holidays again.
*T&Cs apply. Deposit balance due 7 weeks in advance for long haul and 28 days in advance for short haul. Travel restrictions may apply.
**From over 27,000 independent Reevoo reviews in the last 12 months – as at March 2022