Whether your shopping is functional or for pleasure, you can find it all in Tenerife and two big pre-Christmas openings are catering for the extremes of the spectrum.
At Chinatown Shopping Centre in Las Chafiras you can emerge having filled your bags with everything you never realized you wanted or needed. There are many Chinese operated bargain supermarkets in Los Cristianos and Playa de Las Americas. The original idea was everything for one euro but they have stepped over that threshold… just. Chinatown is all concrete and chrome, but you’re not there for the architecture. It’s divided into two barn type halls stacked with clothes, kitchen and garden utensils, toys, DIY tools, and novelties.
Locals find the Chinese supermarkets invaluable for those small items like light bulbs, ash trays, towels, glasses, plates etc. Visitors are soon pointed in their direction for those annoying forgotten ‘musts’ like batteries, headphones, flip flops, and if it’s fiesta time a fancy dress outfit or silly wig. For my pre-Christmas visit there was enough tinsel, trees and little Santas to stock Lapland. Don’t expect brand names, high quality workmanship or a lifetime guarantee, this is cheap, short term fix land.
Chinatown is a bit more customer friendly. There is an attempt at a children’s play area with a small bouncy castle, and the outdoor aisle between the halls allows a more hands-on look at flowers and plants, they even having changing rooms in the clothes section. There are more units to be filled upstairs, a café would be nice. There is plenty of free parking and it’s well sign posted from the motorway turn off to Los Abrigos and Amarilla Golf. Open Monday to Saturday 9am to “late” I was told with a smile and a shrug. Chinatown is in Avenida Tenbel, Exit 24 on the TF1 motorway.
Parque Santiago 6 in Los Cristianos is a far different animal and looks like it has jumped off a designer’s work desk. Two layers of up-market fashion outlets and a huge Mercadona supermarket are served by free parking linked by ramps, lifts and an open plan layout. Names like Carharrt, Desigual, Geox, and H&M are popular in the big shopping zones of Santa Cruz. The main outdoor floor has play areas for the children with plenty of seating scattered around. At one end is the cheap coffee and snack chain 300 Montaditos while the other end has a café with a slightly more filling menu but still at reasonable prices.
It’s all about convenience, from the handy trolley bays to the wide drive-in access. Lighting and window displays are carefully crafted to lure your wallet in and even at busy times of the day there is enough space to not feel crammed. The men’s, women’s, and children’s clothes are proving very popular but the Mercadona is the engine that drives this place. They were proudly proclaiming all day opening for Los Reyes (Jan 6 – the big Christmas fiesta) so you won’t go hungry. Open from 9am to 10 pm in Avenida Chayofa, Los Cristianos, near the Court and the roundabout where Los Cristianos merges into Playa de Las Americas.
Category : shopping
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