Roca Nivaria Gran Hotel, Tenerife
Reviewed by Christine Charlesworth
We had never visited the Canary Islands and feeling in need of some sunshine my husband and I decided to visit Southern Tenerife for a ‘Winter Break’. We booked in to stay at the 5*Roca Nivaria Gran Hotel, which opened in 2005 as the latest addition to Adrian Hoteles. There are two other hotels in this family owned group, the 5* Hotel Jardines de Nivaria and the 4* Hotel Colon Guanahani which are both situated in the lively Playa de Fanabe area of Costa Adeje. We were in fact very lucky to be able to get a room for a short stay as all three hotels are very popular.
Roca Nivaria Gran Hotel is the largest of the three hotels and is situated in the quiet area of Playa Paraiso, occupying a splendid position on the edge of the shore with wonderful, uninterrupted views. Although it is quite a way out from the main part of Costa Adeje, Adrian Hoteles run a complementary shuttle service at various times of the day so that guests can visit the town or their other hotels.
We arrived at the hotel in the evening, having travelled by taxi from the port of Los Christianos. The entrance and main reception area has a very modern feel, with glass walls to the main hotel area and comfortable seating. Once we had checked in we enjoyed a complementary glass of Cava in the large piano bar area while we waited for a porter to transfer our luggage.
Our room was 550 on the corner of the top floor with wonderful sea views and a view down over the swimming pools and gardens below. The bedroom was a good size, with two three-quarter beds, a walk-in wardrobe with a full wall of mirror, hidden behind double sliding doors. Our balcony was large and had two reclining sun beds, a table and two chairs. The front of the balcony was made of toughened glass so the view was amazing, even when reclining. We also had two easy chairs in the bedroom and a very modern desk/dressing table and storage fitment. The lighting was very good in the room. On the table there was a personal letter of welcome together with two small bottles of wine, some bananas and a bottle of water. The wide entrance hall led to the bedroom and, to the left, through another door, to the spacious bathroom. Twin washbasins with a large bath (large enough to drown in) to the right and a double walk-in shower and separate toilet/bidet area to the left. Towelling robes and slippers and a good selection of toiletries.
Once we had bathed and changed we found our way downstairs to the main dining room. This was called restaurant ‘Garoe’. There are two other themed a la carte restaurants, ‘Burgos’ is Spanish and ‘Verona’ is Italian, but unfortunately we were unable to use these as they have to be booked a day in advance. There is also a restaurant at the pool for lunch. The ‘Garoe’ is the main restaurant with a very large terrace giving panoramic views across the Atlantic Ocean and, in the evenings, the romantically lit pool areas. This is also the restaurant where buffet breakfast is served. We were shown to a table, ordered our wine and began our selection of courses from the international buffet areas. The staff were numerous and very attentive, the selection of food was good, although it seemed to favour a German theme. The restaurant is open until 21.30 and, as this is a family hotel, there is a seating area that is for adults only.
The following morning, while my husband went for a long walk to explore the area along the coast, I had a meeting with Hannah Huck of Adrian Hoteles. Hannah has been working for the marketing department for three years and, although originally from Germany, has lived on Tenerife since a very young age. Hannah took me on a tour of the hotel which has a very minimalist, modern feel throughout.
Of the three Adrian Hoteles, this is the one most suitable for families. It has a themed area in the family part of the main restaurant with a ‘pirate ship’ where children can choose food and drinks and have their own colourful plates. There are a total of 298 rooms including 93 rooms suitable for families with children. Hannah took me to visit the children’s area, which houses the ‘Miniclub and babyclub’ where I had a short tour and met the staff, who were very welcoming. The area is large, with an outside play ground, swings, sandpit and a safe, circular, heated paddling pool. There are quiet rooms with cots, changing rooms and large tables where the children can produce art, or do cooking. The room was filled with paintings on the walls and ceilings. Young babies can stay in this crèche for 2-3 hours each day but older children can stay all day and choose from a wide range of activities.
For guests who would like some activity there is a sports area offering tennis, paddle, putting green, gym, archery, volley beach ball, sports centre and a Jacuzzi. There is also a spa facility and guests have special rates on most golf courses on the island. There are two fantastic swimming pools. The main pool has sea water, infinity views over the ocean and is heated to a temperature of 29c. There is also a heated pool for children. The fresh water pool, with waterfall and small island at the centre, is not heated.
On our second evening we took advantage of the hotel transfer to visit the other two Adrian hotels. We were the only guests to request a transfer so had a large coach all to ourselves for the journey into town. For our return journey, however, we had our own chauffer driven Mercedes.
We were dropped at Hotel Jardines de Nivaria and as soon as we entered the main foyer we could see why it is considered one of the most luxurious hotels in the south of Tenerife. Built in 1997 this was the second Adrian hotel on the island. It has a wonderful art deco style with sculptures, metalwork and interior all in keeping with the main theme. We particularly liked the wide, curved double staircase off the main entrance hall and the two art deco stained glass lifts that travel up either side of the marble interior. The hotel has an elegant sense of space with art deco lighting and antiques adding to the atmosphere. We wandered round the interior and downstairs to the lush, well established, botanical gardens that surround the two large pool areas. It was easy to understand why guests returned to this hotel time and again.
Just over the road was Hotel Colon Guanahani, where we had a table booked at the La Pergola restaurant. This hotel was in total contrast. It is a small, boutique hotel, opened in 1990 and was the first of the Adrian hotels. Built in a colonial style the terracotta coloured, two story buildings are set round a peaceful, central pool and small garden area. With only 154 rooms it has an air of seclusion and intimacy and in November 2013 it became an adult’s only hotel.
As soon as we entered this hotel we were made to feel welcome and shown down to La Pergola restaurant, beside the pool area, where Flavio, the restaurant manager, was waiting to greet us. We were given a table overlooking the beautiful pool and gardens and, as this is a tapas restaurant, Flavio helped us choose just the right number and selection of dishes. We chose Marques de Caceres Rioja white wine and sparkling water to have with our meal. As soon as the wine arrived we were served with an amuse-bouche of curls of Parma ham on cubes of melon, held on silver cocktail sticks. We chose five dishes to share: prawns with garlic, crispy sweet potato with white fish, aubergine strips with carrot puree, thin strips of duck breast and finally, black pork (cochino negro) which is unique to the island. We had baskets of excellent bread and our wine and water were topped up whenever necessary. We ended our meal with a hot chocolate pudding with chocolate sauce and a caramel canarian, followed by excellent espresso coffees. The chef was Emanuelle , who really did an excellent job. The restaurant has only recently opened for tapas in the evenings as it was previously only open for lunch and I hope that it will become a great success. We could not fault the service, food or atmosphere.
On our final day at Roca Nivaria Gran Hotel we did not have to leave until late afternoon. Although we had to vacate our room before midday we were given a courtesy room, with all facilities, until we had to leave at 4.30pm. This enabled us to make full use of the hotel pool and have a relaxing day before showering, changing and leaving for the airport. An excellent idea.
This is a family run business and Rafael Adrian has taken pride in ensuring that the architecture of each of his three hotels is very different, while his wife has ensured that each space has its own style and elegance. We were very impressed with all the Adrian Hotels and would certainly recommend them as ideal places to visit for either a Romantic Winter Holiday or a Winter Family Holiday or indeed at any time of the year. All the hotels have a number of rooms suitable for wheelchairs. All rooms have free internet and Wi-Fi but some packages do not include use of the mini-bar. Although most holidays taken at Adrian Hoteles are booked through travel companies it is now possible to book holidays directly through the hotel booking department: firstname.lastname@example.org / www.adrianhoteles.com.