I am just back from a one-week stay with my family at the fabulous Royal Garden Villas situated on the outskirts of Adeje, Tenerife. Even before our visit, I knew this place would be special; afterall, you don’t achieve a #1 Tripadvisor status across the entire island without good reason. The property is owned by Don José Fernando Cabrera (President of ASHOTEL and Vice President of Tenerife Tourism Corporation) and DoÃ±a Maria Lozada (an interior designer and architect) who had already launched two previous resorts under the umbrella of Grupo Golf Resort. We stayed in one of the 28 villas here – the two-bedoomed Villa Coral, one floor below the reception level – and our “room” had views over the Golf Costa Adeje‘s two-tiered driving range towards El Teide, Europe’s highest mountain. To the right we also had views out to the Atlantic. To call it a room is an injustice; our accommodation consisted of an entranceway with a fountain, and a twin and master double bedroom to the left, each with their own bathrooms with gala hydromassage showers. To the right was an open-plan living area and fully equipped kitchen (including fridge, dishwasher, etc.), as well as a small utility room with washing machine and dryer – a rare addition but one that is so useful for young families! Both the master bedroom and the living room led out to a very spacious balcony with a swimming pool (which our children of course loved!) long enough to do a few lengths in (certainly more than the plunge pools which the one-bedroom villas offer) and ample space for eating outside, sunbathing and just generally relaxing – all to a beautiful backdrop of Teide. On the same level as our villa was the spa – with its splended doorway recovered from a temple in Thailand opening to a haven of tranquillity – and a gym. I had a relaxing massage in the spa which provided a welcome relief for my rather weary body (I’m one third of the way into a marathon training programme) and my wife a manicure. As well as the treatment rooms, the spa has a hydro-massage pool as its centrepiece. The resort also has its own restaurant – Restaurant Jardin – led by Victor Rocha. Tenerife is yet to have its first Michelin-starred restaurant but this place is sure to be a contender in that quest. Despite not being very able at it, we enjoyed ‘the aromas game’ over dinner; a tasting menu where, for each course, we were presented with three different scents in small bottles and were to try and deduce which scent had been used for each dish. Sounds easy enough, but it wasn’t, but nevertheless a lot of fun – with exquisite food. Although there is significant development going on on the island (as there has been for decades), Royal Garden Villas is somewhat protected from this by being flanked on either side by the golf course, making this an ideal place to stay if you’re a keen golfer. Additional sporting facilities on the doorstep of RGV include Tenerife Top Training which opened in October 2008 with an AthleticAquaCenter, hydrodynamic flume, football pitches and facilities for tennis and squash. There is also lots to enjoy in the immediate area, whether it be taking advantage of the golf facilities, visiting the twice-weekly market in Costa Adeje, relaxing on one of the nearby beaches, going on a whale watching trip from Los Cristianos (a highlight for us) or simply watching the sunset in La Caleta. A little further afield, attractions include Teide National Park and the well-advertised Loro Parque. But why venture so far when you’re staying at a haven of tranquillity such as Royal Garden Villas? One of the things that really struck me about this place is its peacefulness, from the moment we arrived to the day we departed. Such is the design of the resort that you rarely see other guests apart from at breakfast. The main pool area near reception was invariably deserted despite full occupancy, perhaps because each villa has its own pool, and reception itself is sometimes bypassed by guests because they can leave the complex via the car park on the lowermost floor. Similarly, we rarely saw guests at the spa. It’s this utter peace and quiet, attention to detail of both the staff and the design and furnishings that has justly earned Royal Garden Villas repeated praise since its opening in September 2006. Long may those glowing Tripadvisor reviews continue.
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