Monthly Archives: July 2014

All Inclusive: the advantages of a fixed budget

The famous All Inclusive concept keeps prevailing in every destination in the Spanish coast which receives most of the tourists who visit the country.  Majorca, Costa del Sol, Cádiz, the Canary Islands… Although people is opting for a more specialized and better quality service, it is still an alternative targeted at those who do not want to worry about money on holiday and prefer to travel with a fixed and limited budget.

The modernization of facilities in many All Inclusive hotels in areas such as Torrox Costa, Málaga, or in so common destinations such as Torremolinos, the improvement in services, restaurants and customer service, have given a boost to this type of travel which, although is less flexible, is really advantageous if you bear in mind that it is an affordable and generality very complete option of accommodation.

Before, in an All Inclusive accommodation we could enjoy a buffet restaurant and general entertainment activities in the hotel. Nowadays, nevertheless, an All Inclusive accommodation provides interesting extra services such as introductory diving courses in the hotel’s swimming pool, a guided tour to places of interest or just a few hours or a day with free access to the spa.

A good example is the golf hotel in Isla Canela, Huelva, Iberostar Isla Canela, with All Inclusive, resort where guests can enjoy a delicious cuisine and, besides, entertainment, sports, spa and discounts on green fees in local golf courses.

Even though hotels are gradually being refurbished , we should be careful when booking an All Inclusive hotel in areas such as Torremolinos, because there are many hotels  –specially those offering All Inclusive as only option – that leave a lot to be desired as far as services, facilities, attention or cleaning are concerned.  Therefore, it is essential to pay attention to the hotel category and choose accommodations with 3 stars at least in order to have a guarantee.

Prices and affordability are really surprising, this is why they gain new followers, specially families travelling with children, since they offer a guarantee and allow to travel with a fixed budget, without last minute surprises.

If we pay attention to the type of services offered by an All Inclusive hotel in Torremolinos or in Benidorm, it is likely that the list surprises us: show cooking, miniclub, gym, hammocks, adult and children’s entertainment, car park, theme parties, transfers, wifi, playground, access to swimming pools…

Tenerife: hotels with menu for children

Hotels for children in Tenerife are one of the best choices that you can do for enjoying a real holiday if you travel with family.  The hotel offer  of this emblematic Canary Island is one of the most complete ones and the offer of accommodations specialized in children is really varied: from the classic All Inclusive hotels in Costa Adeje to the exclusive Flintstones Hotels belonging to the Sol Hotels company.

Most of those who look for a hotel for children, think of playful activities offered by the accommodation and their compatibility with a space designed for adults to relax and rest: spa hotels, beauty centre or wellness area, hotels with Jacuzzi in Tenerife, hotels with miniclub, babysitting service and chill out area  for 16 years old and over…. However, one of the most important details that, really often, are ignored when deciding the accommodation to stay is the restaurant service offered by the hotel or the apartment.

Does it offer children’s menu? Children eating table? Healthy snacks? All those who travel with children have probably had the problem of eating in a restaurant in an All inclusive hotel without the possibility of giving to the children a meal that they find funny , allowing to have a pleasant time instead of a torture.

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The healthy and funny food is one of the most interesting options offered by some hotels for children as an element for attracting new clients.  And the demand is growing: there are more and more travellers choosing their hotel for family holidays in Tenerife in accordance with the good offer of children’s menu.

Although most of the family hotels in Tenerife offering a children’s menu include it in their All inclusive offer, some accommodations offer it as something special for an additional charge.  In these cases, the buffet or menu is usually more complete, varied and with a best quality, since they are usually accompanied by a specialized instructor which are responsible for children to eat and to learn to see the food as something good and funny.

For getting the choice right, the most recommended is checking the hotel’s official website, since there is where we find details about the gastronomic offer of the accommodation. Occasionally, we find in some websites the menus and philosophy of the service.  It is also important to look into the possibility of finding dishes for coeliacs and for children with food intolerances, as well as a guarantee of nutritional  quality.

Directly consulting with the hotel is an alternative, you can also play safe and select a hotel belonging to a big chain or a 3 star or above hotel, since they all are usually  careful in this sense: NH, Barceló, Melià, Iberostar…  In general, in all the accommodations of these companies which consider themselves as family hotels, we can find services with appropriate children’s menu.

The hotels in Tenerife offering best service of children’s menu are Sol Parque San Antonio and Princesa Dácil, the Olé resorts and the Iberostar Anthelia spa hotel in Tenerife, a 5 star hotel with 4 bars with snack and 4 top level restaurants with delicious specialities.

Different hotels

The value of a hotel is always determined by the attention and services that, in the end, are what make it worth its price.  Nevertheless, the needs of twenty-first-century travellers are different from those of many years ago.  It is not enough to offer a hotel with miniclub in Majorca where children can have fun and parents can enjoy a great buffet and break the diet.  Modern travellers attach more importance than ever to the small details such as, for example, the decor and the architectural design of the hotel.

Today we will talk about this: how hotels in Spain and Europe have been changing, leaving the typical sun and beach resorts for the Caribbean market and betting on the added value in the general concept of the accommodation.

Service, restaurants, cleanness and location are still the main reasons by which we book a hotel, according to several statistics made by the NH Hotels chain among its customers.  But when the basic needs —rest, food and comfort— are covered, the traveller begins to highlight less significant aspects such as hotel rooms with original design, appreciating, for example, a room with a unique character and a special theme, related to the destination or to the general concept of the hotel. In the same vein. there are numerous hotels in capitals such as Seville, Madrid or Barcelona. which have openly bet on this, such is the case of Petit Palace Barcelona Museum.

This hotel in the centre of Barcelona offers to the travellers the possibility of sleeping in an authentic modernist house, an aspect directly linked to one of the main travel motivations provided by the destination.  This added value, along with the advantages of a 4 star hotel in Barcelona, has turned this accommodation into a reference, specially among those travellers who arrive to the city from other countries.

Same or similar proposals can be found in other capitals of the country and go hand in hand with so established chains such as Barceló: the business hotel in Isla Mágica is a good sample.  Its architecture is inspired by the Guggenheim Museum in New York and its interior spaces are full of small details which have make of it one of the most outstanding design hotels in Spain.

Hotel Barcelo Renacimiento

Hotel Barcelo Renacimiento

This scheme, adapted to hotels for children in Playa de Palma, Playa de Muro, Ibiza coast and, in general, all the Mediterranean area, is noticeable in some hotels belonging to the Sol chain of  Melià, which have significantly changed in the last lustrum.  Besides its famous Flintstones Hotels (about which we have talked in previous posts), the Calvià Beach project is the result of renovating several family hotels in Palmanova and Magaluf, turning them into a big luxury holiday complex in Majorca, where we find from hotels for surfers to a replica of the Café del Mar in Ibiza.

Majorca keeps its character of epicentre as far as hotel innovation is concerned, it is a destination where we can see how and where go the demand and offer of the Spanish tourism trade. Offering exclusive services at affordable prices, bringing the luxury to the middle class and getting an increase in the daily expenses in order to compensate for the reduction of the stays duration in the last years.

In other beach destinations such as the Canary Islands, although it seems more slow, we can note this tendency in some spa hotels in Tenerife, in certain resorts in Lanzarote designed for families and in 4 star hotels in areas like Playa de Jandía, Costa Adeje and Corralejo. This last municipality is considered one of the fashionable destinations for this 2014 summer, according to the users comments in Tripadvisor.

Even so, the urban hotels are setting the trends in this way. The accommodations in the centre of Madrid are betting on taking care of the brand image and of the offer of original experiences inside the hotels with the aim of attracting new clients and competing in a more and more difficult market.

The medium-high level travellers are the objective and it is necessary to give them a series of attentions that, even though they were not essential in the last years, now are really indispensable.

If we pay attention to the annual statistics about tourism in Spain, we can note how the wifi service or internet connection in a hotel is one of the key elements when confirming a booking. Despite being now so common that travellers request a good virtual connectivity, there are still so few hotels in Madrid with free wifi, especially if we compare it with the big world capitals such as Berlin, Paris, Milan, London and New York.

Petit Palace Opera Garden

Petit Palace Opera Garden

Nevertheless, some of them have seen the gold mine that this service represents and have really bet on becoming technological hotels of reference. It is the case of several hotels in Madrid offering iPad for enjoying it during the stay.

The details and extra services included in the price, the traditional hotel in Barcelona with included breakfast  or the hotel with a welcome gift for kids, are other of the most attractive elements for the guests when closing the booking.  In the same vein, some Adults Only hotels offer a spa voucher or a dinner in the hotel included in the booking, other family hotels include first-kid free accommodation (especially in high season and early bookings).

Although this will probably be the norm in some years, nowadays these hotels are classified under the concept of different hotels, where we can find that plus we all want in our holiday or business trip.  Choosing is nowadays difficult due to the offer, the key is seeking what is really special, without breaking the budget.

The best plan for this summer in Costa Adeje

When it comes holiday with children in Tenerife, there is a destination where comfort, service and quality accommodation converge in order to offer the best summer plans: it is Costa Adeje, in the most southern part of the island, where we find some of  the most amazing beaches as well as the most visited tourist attractions, such as Los Cristianos and Playa de Las Américas.

Family hotels in Costa Adeje stand out for their versatility and their growing specialization. The most established hotel companies and, specially, those that have just begun in this area, have started an interesting process of renovation of their holiday offer, giving a fresh impetus to this beach and sun destination in Tenerife.

Personalized holidays in which the hotel plays a decisive role in the plan, but as an additional attraction of the destination.  This concept have been applied by the new Olé hotel chain, which has opted for taking care of details of its spaces, facilities, services and staff in order to make of the hotel one of the trip motivations of its guests.

Ole Tropical Tenerife

Ole Tropical Tenerife

The investment  goes beyond building spaces and has focused on reconsidering the hotel’s concept, turning it into a family accommodation in Tenerife where everyone wants to go.  Prices are very affordable and this allows to quickly book, this is why it is more recommended to take advantage of the early booking in winter months to end the year holidays.

The programme of activities specialized in children, the gastronomic offer (beyond the classic buffet restaurant) and the new cocktail bars ideal for relaxing among adults while kids enjoy playing are some of the services more appreciated by its guests in the different reviews we find on websites like Tripadvisor.

Another of the main attractions of these new hotels in Costa Adeje are their package offers for family holidays, representing a considerable saving in relation to other type of accommodations: All inclusive, Free Kids,  Best Online Price Guaranteed… And the complete rooms standing out for its modern design, in contrast with many hotels belonging to an older generation.

This new type of rooms and suites in Costa Adeje are very bright spaces, with a lot of versatility, designed to accommodate parents and children in a comfortable way without giving up the privacy. Services are another point in favour: modern, well equipped and conceived of to ensure comfort and entertaining.

The charm of Playa del Matorral

Playa del Matorral is one of the most famous beaches in Fuerteventura.  Situated in the most southern part of the island, which was before a land separated from the rest of the island by a small sand strip, it offers a long area with fine sand and a semi-wild environment that gives it the appearance of an almost pristine beach in Fuerteventura.

In the last years, Playa del Matorral has been recovering its real natural charm, it has started the process of ecological restoration of the entire area that goes from the hotels in Jandia Beach to the lighthouse, almost to Morro Jable, which is the most southern town bordering on the sandy area.

Iberostar Playa Gaviotas Park

Iberostar Playa Gaviotas Park

After walking its 4 km of length, you arrive to the swimming area known as Playa Gaviotas, less wild and more ideal for families. There you can find all type of services and first-class hotels such as Iberostar Fuerteventura Palace, a perfect  accommodation for travelling with children, where adults have their own space and thousand of possibilities for enjoying their time even in a trip with family.

Very close to these hotels in Playa Gaviotas, we find El Saladar de Jandía, a place that represents one the main reasons by which El Matorral is considered an ecological reserve.  It is a very comfortable fine sand beach for walking next to the sea and, even though it is very visited in summer, its spaciousness allows to placidly do a long walk by the seashore.

Playa del Matorral preserves an area where nudism can be practised.  Now we see few nudists and the family sector has gained ground, but anyone can enjoy one of the few nudist beaches that remain in the south of Fuerteventura.  The family area is separated from the nudist area by the Jandia lighthouse.

Playa del Matorral offers all types of services, from car park to hammocks and sunshades, without losing, of course, the charm of natural beach that makes it, among other beaches in the island, one of must visits, at least once in your lifetime.