Mary Sanderson finds out whether sun, sea, sand and a relatively carefree holiday exists for exhausted parents
Last year, with me very pregnant and a feisty toddler in tow, my husband and I were in dire need of a break. But where does one go for a week’s winter sun without flying to the other side of the planet? We didn’t want jet lag, or the battle of a long flight chasing a toddler who just wants to ‘see the cockpit mummy’. All we wanted was to fly ‘n’ flop, and we’d heard wonderful things about the Abama Ritz-Carlton Hotel, so off we flopped to the ‘Pink Palace’ (as it’s also known) in Tenerife: a four-hour flight with no time difference and continuous winter sun.
Situated on the South West coast of the Island in the quiet Guia de Isora district, the Abama is set among lush green gardens, surrounded by a volcanic backdrop with spectacular views out to the Atlantic Ocean. Once inside its multi-storied reception I was transported into the world of sleek, five-star service, where ‘nothing is too much trouble, madam’.
The resort itself is vast, without feeling alienating, with more than 400 rooms in the main Citadel, as well as separate villas that share their own pool. Our new pad was a deluxe room complete with a six-foot bed, a spacious marble bathroom and a private terrace looking out to sea. A cot was ready and waiting, as was all the baby kit we required from a changing mat to bottle warmer.
Our aim for the week was simply to relax, so our days were spent with visits to the baby pool, where our little one could splash her chubby toes around in the water and we could bask in the sun. Or we caught a ride down to the sea in the hotel’s cable car. The beach is special here because of its pristine white sand, imported from Africa. Tenerife is, of course, a volcanic island so many of the beaches have black sand.
Lunching, a serious business on holiday, is a difficult decision at the Abama as there are 10 different restaurants to choose from, two of which are Michelin starred. (Take advantage of the nanny service here if you can and dine ‘a deux’). We frequently ate lunch at the laid-back Beach Club, where there were high chairs and crayons on hand for restless little eaters.
Obviously, as an exhausted mummy, I was in need of some serious spa action, so by midweek I decided to leave hubby in charge and off I flopped to the award-winning spa for its sublime in-house facial. An hour of plumping later and a quick dip in the Roman Thermal Spa pool, I arrived back at my room feeling radiant and refreshed. There are plenty of other attractions available at the Abama, should lounging by the pool not be your thing – check out the on-site tennis academy, yoga at the spa, or the hotel’s famous golf club for a challenging round. There are also endless activities for little ones at the all-important Kids’ Club (free for four to 12 year olds).
So, the big question, would I go back to the ‘Pink Palace’? Definitely. I can’t wait to get on the plane!
Travel Beam: Costs from £1,699 for two adults and an infant for seven nights in a Deluxe Room at the Citadel Resort.This includes breakfast, flights and luxury transfers with a car seat.
0845 845 0145 | travelbeam-luxury-hotels.com