SPAIN: MADRID & TENERIFE FAM TRIP

A “Simple Discoveries” theme combining Madrid with Tenerife. A perfect town & country combination for those looking for a different twist.

Now, everyone knows Madrid is the capital of Spain, so of course you will find a concentration of art, culture, culinary delights and much more.

Tenerife on the other hand, is relatively unknown outside of Europe. It is part of the Canary Islands and boasts one of the most temperate climates on earth along with breath taking natural beauty.

We like the twist of this town & country itinerary as it delivers both cultural excitement with pure relaxation.The following is geared for the travel professional and not the client as it includes hotel inspections and comments.

Day 1

Small group walking tour of Madrid city center – Puerta del Sol, Plaza Mayor with interior visit of Royal Palace – Duration: approx. 3 hours

Nice tour approx. 10 pax for the walking part, was very small group for the Royal Palace visit, we were only 4 pax for the interior visit. Tip – We recommend the Royal Palace because it does have some unique rooms that are different from other palaces in Europe.  As always, we only recommend and offer small and private tours.  You want your client’s raving about their trip on their return, these extras will do the trick.

Lunch recommendation:

Taberna Palo Cortado

Calle Unión 5

Very cute taberna (single room shop) located in the opera district, about 5-10-minute walk from the Royal Palace. They unfortunately only speak Spanish but Silvia, my guide, told me that they will translate the menu to English for us as one of us spoke Spanish. There were no tourists here and only locals, very authentic. We had a very nice lunch with Sherry wine tastings, excellent! I can recommend it.

Hotels:

We stayed at Iberostar Las Letras Gran Via Hotel – Upgraded to a Deluxe Room with private terrace which is very spacious – excellent location on Gran Via – so most of the sights are in walking distance and private transportation is not required. It is a historical building with high ceilings – very charming. Rooms are quite spacious and with modern design. It is a nice hotel if looking for a good 4* option. Staff is very friendly. Breakfast is very good with fresh fruit, omelet, coffee, bread, cheese etc.

Only thing to point out is that the height of the beds is rather low, so for older clients who are used to the high American beds – it might not be the best option

Site inspection:

Hotel Urso & Spa – 5* Boutique Hotel – part of SLH

Hotel caters currently to adults only as they do not offer any connecting rooms.

We would not recommend this property for families for this reason, but for couples who are looking for a nice 5* hotel with quiet atmosphere, this is perfect.

It is in the Chamberi / Chueca district (same district as Hotel Orfila the only Relais & Chateau property in Madrid which we use frequently) and is a boutique hotel set in a 20th century palace. Rooms are in modern design. Spa area is very nice. Breakfast is served in the conservatory, which is like a winter garden with a very nice atmosphere.

Dear Hotel  – 4* Design Boutique Hotel

Located on Gran Via at Plaza Espana

Features a Restaurant & Lounge on the top floor with 360º views of Madrid and has a small pool.  The rooftop views are one of the hotels strongest selling points.

Hallways are a bit dark in my opinion but rooms are bright – feature Deluxe, Premium and Suite rooms.

We would prefer offering the Hotel Las Letras over the Dear Hotel.

Silvia´s recommendations:

Hotel Atlántico  – 4* (on HotelsPro)

Located on Gran Via

She said it is very popular with American clients and they always receive very good feedback from visitors.

Madrid – Hotel Hospes Puerta Alcalá – 5* Boutique Hotel

Located in front of Retiro Park

This chic, 19th-century hotel with wrought-iron balconies is close to the Museo del Prado. Plush rooms and suites feature parquet floors, crown moldings and avant-garde furnishings. Something worth considering for your high-end stylish clients.

Day 2

Train to Toledo – approx. 30 minutes – this is a regional train with only 2nd class, but very spacious and clean. No worries, this the the train everyone takes.

From Toledo train station, best is to take a taxi to the old city center. We had a very foggy day, but usually they would use this ride to visit a view point of Toledo, before arriving at the old town city center.

Our guide – Javier Rodriguez – met us at Toledo train station.

Javier is a great guide, would recommend him for our clients and he is pretty (rumor has it the prettiest guide of Toledo…). It is suggested to not include any entrance fees as the guide recommends to briefly discuss the itinerary with clients at the beginning to cater to their interests and they can easily buy tickets on the spot.

We personally recommend to have a look at The Burial of the Count of Orgaz painting from El Greco at Santo Tome Church.

Silvia and I walked back to the train station, which is only about a 10-minute walk and you will get some great photo opportunities.

Lunch recommendation for local gourmet cuisine:

Restaurante Edemecum  Calle Núñez de Arce, 11, 45003 Toledo Tel: +34 925 28 14 43

My sunset recommendation in Madrid:

Going up to the Azotea del Circulo for drinks. It is in the Círculo de Bellas Artes building on the corner to Gran Via and Calle de Alcala. You will need to pay entrance to go up the elevator and it is quite popular with the locals so I recommend to arrive early to enjoy the sunset.

 

TENERIFE

http://www.traveltotenerife.com/

-Tenerife is the largest of the Canary Islands and the only one to have two airports:

* Tenerife Norte TFN, mostly for domestic flights from mainland Spain. From TFN to the South of the Island, for example Costa Adeje it takes around 1h15 min.

* Tenerife Sur TFS, mostly for international flights from other European cities.

-It has the highest peak in Spain – the breathtaking Mount Teide, of 3,718 meters (12,200 ft). Which is in the ‘middle of the island’

-It is the island of eternal spring. Tenerife’s climate is renowned for its mild summers and relatively warm winters, as well as the constant presence of the sun pretty much all year round. With temperatures ranging from lows of 17 ºC (62 ºF) in winter and highs of 25 ºC (77 ºF) in the hotter months, the atmosphere is cooled by the sea breeze and the trade winds. Moreover, the Island’s unique orography gives rise to varying weather conditions in different areas, to the point that you could find yourself playing in the snow on El Teide’s slopes in the morning and sunbathing or swimming on the south coast in the afternoon.

-We think Tenerife is a good destination for self-drive tours with rental car. The roads are in very good condition and the highway is new, from TFN to the South it is a new highway with 2 lanes, very easy to drive. In the future, there will be the possibility to circle the whole island on this highway. Currently they are building on the second part of it from the north side of El Teide from the south to the north.

-The Metropolitan Area is the heart of Tenerife’s bustling life. Together, Santa Cruz and La Laguna provide many of the cultural, shopping and leisure options you will find on the Island, as well as boasting a wealth of historic and architectural heritage, museums, large parks and squares. San Cristóbal de La Laguna is the only city on the Canary Islands to have been declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site. It combines the essence of a majestic Canarian city with the American colonial spirit, featuring wide pedestrian streets framed by buildings that date back several centuries.

– The south of Tenerife is renowned for the sandy beaches. The beach known as Playa de las Américas, which lies between Arona and Adeje, has a huge array of bars, restaurants, cafés and nightclubs on the sea front. But the islands feature more of the smaller bays – so it is NOT the place for Caribbean/Hawaiian long sandy beaches. And I would not sell it as a classic beach resort destination.

 Day 3

Arrival at TFN and transfer to Hard Rock Hotel  – 5*, in Playa Paraíso, Costa Adeje.

Huge hotel, newly opened fall 2016. Rooms are very spacious. The Hotel is a very big complex with two buildings. Features a kid’s club, bar, restaurants etc.

It is of course a very stylish and young hotel. Most people working there are probably in their 20’s-40’s and they all look like models.  It caters to a younger demographic who would like to have stylish but luxurious accommodation.

In the evening – site inspection of the hotel

Day 4

Site inspections in Costa Adeje:

Hotel Iberostar Anthelia  – 5*

Different rooms options and family room options

B&B, half-board and all-inclusive options

Various restaurants

Bahía del Duque  – 5* – part of LHW

My favorite hotel on the island

Different rooms options and family room options, as well as villa rentals

Various restaurants and spa facilities

Sheraton La Caleta Resort & Spa – 5*

Different rooms options and family room options, as well as villa rentals

Various restaurants and spa facilities

H10 Costa Adeje Palace – 4* (right next to the Sheraton)

I do not think that this is the right product for Eurobound. I did not like the hotel, very impersonal and I do not think good for the American clients. The pictures on the website do not look bad, but I really was not convinced on site

Visit and dinner at Gran Meliá Palacio de Isora – 5*

Also, a very nice property with various room options

Features adult only areas as well as areas for families

Siam Park – Water park

– fun for kids

Whale & Dolphin Watching Trip with lunch on board –  We did not see any dolphins but mostly pilot whales

Day 5

Morning – Jeep Tour to National Park of El Teide.

-Some movies have been shot here as it is supposed to look like the moon.

-It is accessible by car and features various hiking trails. It is also possible to hike the crater but this needs authority approval and is limited to certain numbers of people per day.

-I also want to point out that there is a Parador located in the National Park: Parador de Las Cañadas del Teide – 3*

-Other activities there are for example, stargazing experiences. Also, possible with a Canarian dinner (Sergio recommended this to me)

 

Site inspection in Guía de Isora:

The Ritz–‐ Carlton Abama – 5*

Together with the Bahia del Duque probably the nicest property on the island.

Good property for golfers.

Also, it features private houses for rental.

Day 6

-Bus tour in Santa Cruz, capital of Tenerife.

*Santa Cruz has the harbor where the cruise ships arrive

*Small city for shopping and museums as well as markets

-La Laguna walking tour (UNESCO). Colonial style, very cute small town (temperature here is a bit colder)

-Wine tasting and lunch at Bodegas Monje Bodegas Monje  in El Sauzal.

*Very good wine tastings with traditional lunch.

*Nice experience that I recommend.

vineyards with view to Teide:

Site inspection in Puerto de la Cruz:

Hotel Botánico – 5* – Part of LHW

In my opinion very outdated rooms.

Spa area is very nice though and has a very good reputation.

-The town of Puerto de la Cruz is very cute. Nice for shopping or dinning at the promenade.

*The famous pools designed by César Manrique are located here.

Day 7

-Transfer from hotel to TFN airport to Madrid.

 

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