The Grand Hotel Mencey in Santa Cruz, the Final Piece of the Jigsaw

Wed, November 16th, 2011 - By Jack Montgomery

When I moved to Tenerife I had a long list of places to visit and things to see – Masca, Mount Teide, the UNESCO World Heritage Site of La Laguna, the famous flower carpets in La Orotava, carnaval in Santa Cruz and Puerto de la Cruz, the drago tree at Icod de los Vinos…the list went on and on.

 

Slowly and surely I ticked them all off, replacing them with new, more obscure ‘things to do’ as I learned more about the island. But one remained unchecked; to stroll around Parque García Sanabria in Santa Cruz. I’d read about how beautiful and enchanting this park was but almost from the day I set foot on Tenerife it was out of bounds; a steel fence enclosed the whole park.

What should have been one of the most attractive areas of the city was incomplete. The sculpture-lined La Rambla ran alongside the park’s perimeter, the old bullring and trendy bars and tapas restaurants lay nearby and opposite was what was to me the number one hotel in Tenerife – The Mencey. The grand old building had been welcoming the rich and the famous, film stars and dignitaries for years. It epitomised what 5 star luxury on Tenerife meant decades before the first bricks had been laid to build the tourist resorts of Playa de las Américas, Costa Adeje or Los Gigantes.

After three years the steel fences around Parque García Sanabria came down, revealing a magical space that exceeded expectations. Inside was a mix of nature’s beauty and artistic delights – the area was back to its best.

 

But then the fences went up again, this time around the Mencey Hotel. What should have be one of Santa Cruz’ most attractive areas was back to being incomplete. The old dame had been looking tired and online reviews from guests reflected this. Tenerife’s grand star needed a facelift.

Restoration planned for six months stretched into twelve… and then eighteen. We almost forgot the hotel even existed.

On a memorable date, 11/11/11, the curtains were finally drawn back and the only 5 star hotel in Santa Cruz re-opened its elegant doors for business with a new look and a new name, the Iberostar Grand Hotel Mencey.

Having been at the opening ceremony I can report that the hotel is looking absolutely fab. The original features that lent the Mencey its exclusive grandiose demeanour are still there, but interiors and bedrooms have been perked up by modern designs and furnishings. The gardens are tropical, the dining room classical, the bar stylishly inviting and the spa ultra-cool (even though it’s obviously warm).

 

The hotel’s new persona mixes Tenerife’s traditional colonial styles with modernistic strokes and it works a treat. The Grand Hotel Mencey feels both elegantly historic and freshly contemporary. It is a hotel that should please discerning travellers who enjoy city breaks and guests on business in Santa Cruz in equal measures and it isn’t as expensive as some 5 stars with a lesser pedigree.

The Iberostar Grand Hotel Mencey has the potential to be a great city hotel, aided and abetted by a wonderfully unique location. All it needs to achieve this is for the service to match its 5 star looks.

Posted : Wednesday, November 16th, 2011 at 9:33 am
Category : accommodation
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