In Spain’s Canary Islands, the Abama Golf & Spa Resort is located on Tenerife’s southwest coast. A private luxury estate operated by The Riz-Carlton Hotel Company, L.L.C., its trademark first class service began with the glass of Spain’s sparkling wine (cava) offered while I was checking in.
The largest of Spain’s Canary Islands, Tenerife is also known as the Island of Eternal Spring—with more hours of sunshine than any other part of Spain. At the Abama Golf & Spa Resort— a 5-star European beach destination–all those hours of sunlight are a good thing.
Guests need plenty of time to be able to enjoy its seven swimming pools, two natural seawater pools, private beach, 18-hole golf course, seven tennis courts, and spa (numerous therapies include an outdoors Thai-style Garden Cabana for couples). With ten dining options, and three bars, plenty of evening hours are equally necessary.
The complex sprawls over 160 hectares with some 469 guest rooms and suites. Those numbers include 148 villas, housed in several buildings apart from the main hotel. “Chauffeur-driven buggys”—we’d call them golf carts– buzz guests around to the various villas, pools, restaurants and golf course. It’s a gorgeous colorful “estate”; with Moorish type architecture. The buildings are almost a raspberry terracotta color (or maybe that’s just the affect of the sunlight on them), but it’s a lovely well-designed contrast with the green lush vegetation, towering palm trees and blue sky. It has a childrens’ program for vacationing families, but there’s also an adults-only set of villas with a private pool—where I was told that complete pampering is part of the program (for a price of course).
My room was one at the main hotel. It had a romantic and spacious terrace with two cushioned chaise lounges that overlooked gardens. Inside, an airy breezy island vibe was apparent in the décor and the Feng Shui inspired space. A king size bed had the luxury bed linens I expected from a Ritz property, and a big marble bathroom—with a deep luxurious tub.
With limited time (I was there one night), I chose to skip the pools and head to the private beach at sunset— where the brochures boasted beautiful sunsets with the island of La Gomera in the distance. A golf cart deposited me at the cliff-top where the glass-enclosed funicular lift awaited to take me to the beach below. (When was the last time you stayed at a place with its own funicular to its own private beach?)
The beach had plenty of lounge chairs as well as a separate outdoor terrace bar not far away. No matter where you chose to watch the sun sink behind La Gomera island, the view was magnificent. The sunset was all that had been promised, almost as if it had been programmed. If I had stayed longer at the Abama, I would have been at the beach for sunset every day. Afterwards, on my ride back up the funicular, the operator made a cell phone call to let the “buggy” driver know I was ready to be picked up and returned to my room.
For dinner, I ate at El Mirador, one of the ten dining options within the complex. Awarded for its seafood and fantastic views of the Atlantic, I still can’t decide which I liked more. Beneath the thatched Balinese-style roof, with candlelight flickering on the tables, the Atlantic in the distance, it was a dreamscape—and the delicious local seafood served fit perfectly with the whole atmosphere Tip: Do start the evening with one of their unusual specialty gin and tonics. The presentation alone is worth it.
Mornings at La Veranda where the breakfast buffet is served are bright affairs– in every way. Sunshine poured in the space—a huge and somewhat confusing array of places nad stations to find the more than 150 food specialties served. I think I spent more time wandering around trying to choose what to eat than I did actually eating: local fruits, pastries, Serrano hams, and stations for made-to-order omelettes, and more–plus coffees, fresh squeezed fruit juices, and of course, more sparkling wine.
Review and photos by Donna Tabbert Long who was a guest of the Tenerife Tourist Board.