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Tenerife / Royal River

Defying the mainstream, this resort fuses design-led thinking, out-of-the-box poolscaping and a splash of safari to create a concoction that is unlike anything we’ve seen on Tenerife’s shores.

On the rooftop terrace, there’s a porcelain giraffe clasping a chandelier between its teeth. Surprising, yes, but that’s the kind of quirky to expect from somewhere like Royal River – chic with a hint of the unexpected. Removing itself from the more glitzy European beach haunts that call this island home, it leans more into the aesthetics of its neighbouring continent of Africa, creating a décor style that is wholly unique and an atmosphere that is far from the party scene.

Travel notes:

  • 50 villas, all with pools
  • 4 dining options including buffet breakfasts in Pineapple, brasserie-style dishes at The Top, Asian cuisine in Kokoro and Flamingo the French bistro
  • The seaside port of La Caleta is only a 15 minute walk or 5 minute drive away
  • Golf lovers can test their swing at the Costa Adeje Golf Course next door
  • Guests are able to use the facilities of neighbouring sister property Royal Garden Villas
  • Minimum age is 16 years

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A sense of place

The air here promotes a healthy dose of worry-amnesia with no pressure to switch on and show off, quite simply because the hotel does that for itself. Bold, sophisticated and a complete passion project for the owner, it’s where the young things with an aversion to the raucous nightlife and packed beaches hang out, mingling instead with their friends in the pretty bistro or on their private terraces. And since swapping the loud shouts of children for a more grown-up and tranquil feel, it’s not only become our favourite adults-only refuge on the island, but is completely different from anything else we have found in such a well-trodden location.

In pursuit of…

…Tenerife at its most quiet and picturesque. Elevated in a frame of mountains, guests know they’re in for something different just from the speedy drive to the door. Being brave enough to set up further away from the ocean has paid off in the form of an indulgent feeling of seclusion, where relaxation is key and staff are casual yet ensuring your every whim is catered for. Promoting indoor/outdoor living at its finest – think huge terraces, a rooftop pool and al fresco dining all-round – it very much makes the most of Tenerife’s eternal sunshine while staying far away from the island’s buzzing seafront.

"The air here promotes a healthy dose of worry-amnesia with no pressure to switch on and show off, quite simply because the hotel does that for itself... it is completely different from anything else we have found in such a well-trodden location."

Wake up here

The pools here really stand out, and with each villa having its own unique kind, you can’t go wrong with any. We’re not talking about the overcrowded or tiny plunge types seen in some other European hotels either; the Pool Villas each have one made perfectly private by their courtyards, the Lagoon Villas share an expansive one at the back, and the upper-level Sky Villas have ones that look out to the ocean. The hotel’s namesake and most novel, however, are the aptly named River Villas. Flanked by ferns and palms, a languid lazy-river-replica backs onto the vast private terraces, connecting to individual plunge pools. So guests can either stay in the confines of their villa or venture further downstream.

On location

Relying more on quality over quantity, the Serenity Spa only has two treatment rooms, making it the remedy to concerns over a crowded poolside or treatments going into extra time. And when blissed-out-beauties emerge from its tranquil quarters, they head to the rooftop for a pick-me-up and a swim in the infinity pool accompanied by 360-degree views at the bar. Or, alternatively, something a little more substantial can be found at The Top restaurant – where that chandelier-chomping giraffe resides.

A Carrier curation

Dining at Royal River is an exquisite affair, there’s no denying it, but something extra special lies just up the hill in its sister hotel, Royal Garden Villas. Guests slip on their Sunday best to dine at the Restaurant Jardin, known to both guests and gastronomes just stopping by. An experience in itself, fine-dining dishes are served on a seasonally dressed backdrop of elaborate florals and atmospheric lighting (even the staff uniforms change). Trust us, this is where you need to be for those special occasions. 

When to visit Spain

Mainland Spain’s climate varies from temperate in the north to dry and hot in the south. Spring and autumn are pleasant and warm whereas July and August are hot, particularly inland. In Mallorca sunshine and warm temperatures are the norm from April to October with the cooling influence of the sea preventing excessive temperatures during the peak summer months, winters are mild and dry with occasional showers. Tenerife and Gran Canaria are year-round destinations, the climate being constantly warm for most of the year with July and August being hot.

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