Tenerife, The Good, The Bad and The Ugly

Fri, September 26th, 2014 - By Andrea Montgomery

We often talk of an island of contrasts and, travel writing cliché though it may be, in the case of Tenerife it also happens to be accurate, and not just in geographic terms. In my opinion, sometimes this island gets it just right and sometimes it gets it very wrong. This is a personal view. I’m sure you’ll have your own.



The Good
1. Adapting to changing market demands:

  • The Luxury Market. It may not have much authenticity about it in cultural and heritage terms but there’s no denying the five star deluxe developments of Costa Adeje and Guía De Isora are hitting the right note for the burgeoning deluxe destination crowd. With exclusive boutique hotels within hotels, adults-only options and personal butler service, combined with unadulterated opulent design, Tenerife can compete head to head with the Caribbean and come out on top thanks to lower price labels.
  • The Rural Market. The best of all possible worlds for me, taking historic mansions and turning them into boutique and rural hotels is a brilliant way to capitalise on a discerning market and preserve Tenerife’s historic architecture – win win.
  • Activity holidays. Often hand in handlebar with the rural development, more people are waking up to Tenerife’s potential for extreme sports, winter sports training and endurance sports, and everything in between from Stand Up Paddle to hiking.


Romeria, La Orotava


2. Preserving Traditions: There’s a yin and yang to sustainable tourism development and if there’s one thing Tenerife excels at, it’s maintaining its fiestas, romerías and traditions. Long may that continue.

The Bad

  • Stuck in a rut: Despite the massive injection of funding to facelift the resorts, there are still far too many cheap and tacky souvenir shops; bad restaurants selling overpriced, low quality plastic burgers and microwave pizzas; and pop-up bars selling beer at €1 a pint and polluting noise levels with chronic karaoke. Not to mention mithering restaurant touts who are evident right across the island. When are we going to lose this rubbish?


La Caleta


  • Over development: More and more of Tenerife’s coastline is being gobbled up in hotel developments and beach building. Once a rocky wilderness leading to a quaint fishing village, now you can walk to La Caleta all the way from Fañabe, and it’s happening right across the south and west coasts.

The Ugly

  • ’60s throwbacks. Anyone who’s been to Bajamar and Punta del Hidalgo must have thought they were in a time-warp when they saw the 1960’s concrete tower blocks that once passed for hotels. Happily now closed but unhappily still in existence. Anyone who has stood at Parque Taoro and looked down over Puerto de la Cruz must, like me, have wished they had a secret detonator button to blow the monstrous Bel Air tower block to smithereens and another wire leading to parts of Costa Del Silencio.




I guess it would take a lot of public investment to rid us entirely of the ugly, but there’s no good reason why individual entrepreneurs, restaurateurs and hoteliers can’t do less of the bad and more of the good, is there?

Posted : Friday, September 26th, 2014 at 10:29 am
Category : about tenerife
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