Well it was news to me. Having been in travel for more years than I care to remember, I’m often shocked to discover things that I feel came into being only yesterday, have actually been around in the industry for almost as long as I have. Take, by way of example, the appearance of seriously luxurious, world-class hotels in Tenerife.
Its 20 years since the Bahia del Duque Resort was constructed from the designs of Tenerife-born architect Andrés Piñeiro. At first the idea of a five star luxury resort hotel being constructed in what was then the midst of a semi desert in southern Tenerife seemed so ludicrous that it almost became the large three and four star investment the planners had originally conceived it to be.
Thankfully those wanting something different, something more and something brave, won out. And a trendsetter was born. Bahia del Duque Resort is not just a hotel but an important point of reference in the development of tourism in the Canary Islands. It marked the beginning of the development of a large number of luxurious five star hotels in the now exclusive Costa Adeje region of Tenerife, and beyond.
Andrés Piñeiro went on to become an architect of luxury hotels around the world. In this his first project, set on the Ocean front of El Duque beach, the style that predominates is typical Canarian meets Venetian plaza amongst lavish gardens, springs and waterfalls. Swimming pools mingle to form cascades, flowing from one level to the other, creating streams and lagoons. There are no fewer than 20 buildings giving the feeling of an authentic town, sleeping gently on the sea front.
Pascua Ortega, the Madrid-born interior designer who counts the Spanish Royal Family amongst his clients, was responsible for the look of many of the hotel’s rooms and the exclusive villas which opened in 2008. The outstanding Spa was launched in 2009 and was named Best Spa in Spain 2011 by Condé Nast Johansens. In keeping with its pioneering spirit the hotel has also received a biosphere certification for its commitment to responsible, sustainable tourism.
If you had mentioned to the planners back in 1993 that the likes of Margaret Thatcher, Elton John, Michael Schumacher, Mariah Carey, John Major, Brain May and many other high profile figures would be blazing a trail to Costa Adeje, they may have looked at you askance.
The good news is that, thanks to the Bahia del Duque, people who enjoy a slightly less high profile can also enjoy a world class luxury holidays in Tenerife in a superb hotel and benefit from a wonderful climate that’s just a short flight from home.