More about La Palma Princess & Teneguia Princess
We have just returned from a week at the La Palma Princess hotel in Fuencaliente, La Palma. The brochure said it was stunning, all the reviews said the same and, guess what they were all right.
This is a magical hotel located in a less than magical location. Without a car you are stuffed, it is miles from anywhere and suitable only for those who wish total isolation. Having said that we did indeed hire a car, shop around for the best deals, and the island of La Palma is picturesque beyond belief. Having done most of the 'Canaries' this is very different. Very lush and green everywhere, although this must be partly due to the mist which clings to most of the high points, and let's face it most of this island is 'high'.
The possible highlight was the two inches of snow that fell in and around the 'observatory area' in the north of the island! Glad we had front wheel drive.
The hotel itself was flawless, if you overlook the sluggish service in the 'piano bar'. The bedroom and all other areas were spotless, attention to detail is apparent everywhere. The food could not be faulted. If you were unable to feast to busting at every meal then you have some serious eating problems, the food was quite simply delicious.
Would we return? Probably not, but only because of the hotel's location which was the only drawback in what was a superb week.
Great place to stay...
read other reviews and wasnt sure as some negatives, but couldn't recommend high enough...if a relaxing secluded holiday is what your after
resort is modern, clean & well kept. rooms were nice, clean & spacious- great big bathroom with seperate shower & bath. cleaned very well each day
we went with a 16 mth-old daugher and she loved it. kids swimming area, playground & kids club with really friendly asistants. kids disco every night (for the slightly older kids) and they really looked after the kids.
secluded location if you don't have a car - but lots of excursions available to see the volcanic island
buffet style food was good - there are 2 restaurants you can book into - you get 1 free pass, and only 8 euro for other nights - highly recommened as great feed and nice change from the buffet restaurant - have to book in morning at 9am though!
all in all, would def go back
Chilled out and relaxed !
I visited here with my partner for a week from the 10th to the 17th March 2008. We booked it knowing that it was a hotel that was remote from the rest of civilisation and that it offered a complete relaxation and chill out style holiday. We were not let down, the hotel lived up to its promises and we had a great week doing very little and spoiling ourselves in the spa.
The hotel is immaculate, clean and very well presented, the rooms are a generous size with well appointed bathrooms and great double walk in showers with excellent water pressure. The maid service was unobtrusive, efficient and very good each day. Linen was changed once during our stay.
The facilities offered by the hotel are great if you enjoy the spa life and want to pamper yourself. 12 swimming pools, one heated to 27 degrees C, and an excellent water spa facility which cost just 10Euro per day but you could come and go all day long. The spa also offered a whole range of massage and detox facilities with treatment in the region of 40 to 80 Euros depending on what type of mud or even chocolate you want to be massaged with. There is an excellent outdoor “relax” area with further steam room and sauna facilities which is also a naturist area for you to develop that all over tan and mix with our more liberated continental cousins. Throw caution to the wind and give it a go! The tennis courts were good, there were about 8 courts which were hardly used, all situated on top of the car parks, and they weren’t expensive only about 8 Euro for the court, racquet and balls for an hour.
The only facility which lets the place down is the gym. A hotel of this size and calibre should have a good, well managed gym with plenty of equipment, trained staff and pleasant air conditioned facilities – dream on, this doesn’t have it. A few tired and rusting cardio machines and a set of free weights is all you get, a big shame !
The animation during the day is a bit sparse but it is there if you look hard enough and we enjoyed a game of French boules and watched the volleyball.
There is not a lot else to do at the hotel other than use the spa, swim, sunbathe, read and relax and that’s exactly what we did for most of the week and very pleasant it was too. If you want to get out and about then you have 3 options: hire a car and go exploring yourself. Go on an organised excursion or walk, or hop on the bus which leaves the hotel every two hours and explore the local area on foot. Hire cars were from 25Euro a day which mysteriously went up to 35 Euro per day for Easter week but they try and get you to book 3 days for around 100 Euro – didn’t bother with hiring a car but they all looked pretty sound. The organised trips were basically bus tours of the North, Central and South of the island around 40 to 60 Euro per person with stops and walks along the way. The roads are very long, steep and windy and the hotel is about 2 hours journey away from any of the main sites on the island which made the prospect of a bus tour rather unappealing – but they are there if that’s your thing and they seemed a reasonable way to see the island. There are other walks that you can do from the hotel. About 20 minutes away is a small beach with black sand and a beach kiosk selling drinks and snacks which is worth a stroll to. There is a longer walk in the other direction through the banana plantations to a lighthouse or you can jump on a bus and make the 15 minute ride up the hill to Fuencaliente and go and walk to the San Antonio and Teneguia volcanos. The volcano walk is really interesting and you can climb right up to the top and around the cone of San Antonio and get right inside the crater of the Teneguia cone where you can feel the heat coming through the rock. Having done the volcano walk with three old German guys from the “Last of the Summer wine” we rested with a beer and a raid on the supermarket in Fuencaliente and then for some obscure reason thought that it would be fun to walk back down the hill to the hotel. It takes 2 hours 10 minutes to walk back down. We only did it once, but you do get some good views of the hotel.
Food at the hotel is just about OK. There is plenty of it and there is a reasonable choice but being a buffet style it just never seemed hot enough – lukewarm at best. We both succumbed to a day of upset stomachs which may or may not have had anything to do with the food it was impossible to tell, but we had our suspicions. Instead of doing breakfast in the main buffet restaurant which is a bit of a cattle market go and check out the late breakfast in the La Choza restaurant the quality was far better with all the hot buffet being freshly cooked in front of you and the pace of life was just a bit more serene. Why are these places so stingy with the coffee ? At breakfast flasks were brought to your table filled half full with a rather non descript lukewarm liquid and no coffee was served at dinner. Don’t be tempted to get one from the bar either they were a rip off at 5 Euro for just half a cup which was still only lukewarm. Take a travel kettle and a jar of Nescafe and have a brew in your room.
Wine with dinner was very pleasant – just 11 Euro for a bottle of tinto, rose or blanco which seemed to go a long way. Once a week you can opt to eat a la carte. You get a menu at the beginning of the week and you just sign up on the day which takes your fancy. On the assumption that the food would be similar to the buffet we weren’t much looking forward to it, but it was by far the best meal of the week the baked seabream and the veal fillet were superb and there were a few nice touches like a sorbet course and a glass of Cava thrown in too !
For dinner, gentlemen are requested to wear long trousers so bring your favourite pair of Farah slacks lads !
Entertainment is provided each evening, either a show by the animation team or an act from outside the hotel. Mostly traditional dancing, juggling, singing etc. They attempted “Cats” one night which was a bit sad but rather amusing. There is a live band in the lobby bar which plays every night who are quite good but they have a limited number of songs and by the third night you’ll have heard it all before. It reminded me rather of Phoenix Nights – get your mum and dad up to dance !
A few tips to help you along. There is one shop on site which sells a bit of everything from sun cream to ice cream, maps to magazines and English newspapers but you also get CNN and Sky News in your room if you want to keep up with the world. Take Euros but if you have just come for a chill out it will be a cheap week as there is nothing to spend your money on providing you don’t drink like a fish. Drink prices are a bit on the high side with most things costing between E4.50 to E5.0 and a gin and tonic will set you back E5.90 which is a bit steep, buy a bottle in duty free at Gatwick and drink it while you are there. On the return journey the airport is chaos at check-in but Emma the Thomson rep loves to shout and she’ll soon have you lining up in the right queue. Any duty free you buy on your outward journey and want to take back to the UK has to be packed in your suitcase for the journey home as they won’t allow any duty free through the check-in and boarding process it’s all a bit strange so just be warned.
The hotel charge for pool towel hire which is refunded at the end of your stay so long as you return the towel and if you want clean towels each day there is a charge of E 50 cents. We took our own towels as the towel regime sounded a bit unnecessarily strict. Why make life complicated – it’s a towel get over it !
If you want a chill out and total relaxation this hotel and holiday is great, it will appeal more to older generations 50+ or those who like to walk. It’s not really a place for young families, kids or teenagers who could quickly get bored as there is not much “youth culture” going on at the resort. The clientel are mainly older “empty nesters” and ladies who wear gold sandals and use a blue rinse ! Bring a pack of cards and the travel scrabble and you’ll be fine ! Have Fun !
Great getaway but isolated
We stayed at the Princess Hotel in La Palma betwen 24/3/08 to 31/03/08. There is no doubt that this is a lovely hotel and a very clean hotel as per previous comments, however, you should take note of the following if you are planning a trip here. First of all if you can I would book the private taxi to take you from/to the airport. This is the best value taxi we have ever had and of course there is no waiting around at the airport for other guests. Also the roads are so windy and the transfer is about 40 minutes and to be honest I would not fancy doing it on a coach! As previous reviews have stated, this resort is isolated and I mean isolated. We are keen walkers but due to lack of footpaths and the distance involved there really is no shops/bars/resturants that you can walk to, even the nearest beach would involve a car trip. Having said that there is a reliable bus service, however this does not run all day and there is not alot in the nearest village anyway. What I had not factored in when I read previous reviews is that if the weather is bad, car hire is the only option to get anywhere - unless you decide to go on one of the orginised trips which can be expensive. The pools are great and we had no problem getting a sunbed etc. The rooms are large and the daily maid service is excellent. We were on a half board basis so lets talk about food....breakfast - it's adequate but we found the late breakfast at La Choza a bit better and less busy. Dinner....if you are looking for nice romantic dinners each night this is not the place for you....it's all a bit canteen style and a bit the same each night, but there is plenty and on the whole it's warmish. The themed dinner you get one night is alot better just because you dont have to keep getting up and down as it is table service. The only real complaints we had was 1) The service in the evenings getting a drink while sitting outside, we waited up to 20 minutes so took to ordereing our drinks direct at the bar. Bear in mind that the hotel was only 25% full when we were there so you could be waiting alot longer in peak season. 2) The Gym - as previous reviews stated machines are still broken and it's not really adequate for a 4* hotel. 3) We put all of our drinks/lunch etc on our room bill - we decided to settle up the night before we left to save time and queueing up in the morning, this lead to being then locked out of our room. We had to go back to reception twice (not a short walk) to gain access and a bell boy had to come and let us in eventually. Having said that the bill was spot on, and we only kept a rough tally through the week. Car hire is easy to orginise - we paid 25Euro for one day. The staff are friendly in general but their English is not great. The only other slight problem is the on sight shop - it's very small for the size of the resort, agreed that it has most things that you could possible need but is a little overpriced in some areas. If you really only want to sit by the pool for a week or two this is the place for you. If you hire a car, beware, the roads are very very windy and mostly full of hairpin bends as they traverse the mountains - it's quite stressful driving so be warned. Would we go back - no because we never go anywhere twice but it is a beautiful island and a decent resort, I've certainly been to worse!
one of the best
This hotel has to be one of the best I have stayed at the rooms where clean there are 11/12 swimming pools all very well kept only 2 pools heated and the childrens pool was heated as well. the food was very good it could have been a little hotter at times but again with hotels you do get this. The grounds excellent with some lovely flowers and plants all kepy very tidy, if you wanted to have a late breakfast you could in one of the many eating places they had one open from 09.00hrs until 11.00 hrs and cooked it in front of you, the only problem I found with the hotel was it is very hilly with lots of slops, but they did take your luggege to your room and pick it up if you asked them too. I did find the slops hard at times but this was the only moan I have about the place.When I came home I did email the manager and suggest they have some kind of people carrier to take the less able like myself up and down the slops and yes I did get a reply saying he had noted my comments, the 2 Portland / Thomson girls where 1st class nothing was too much trouble for them.
Perfect for a relaxed break
This hotel did not disappoint. It was everything it said and more.
There are two hotels side by side. The restaurant, bars, dining areas and pools are all shared. Payment for all drinks, spa, food etc can be charged to a card you get on the first day – and then you can pay before you leave, so you don’t need much cash.
There is a small shop selling water, drinks, sweets, toiletries, magazines, swimwear etc.
Prices were very reasonable considering they have a captive audience. It was 4.80 euros for a cocktail, 3.50 for a glass of wine and only 6 euros for a large pizza. Service is very good.
The hotel was not full when we stayed. We could always get a sun bed by one of the pools at any time of day. It was a very relaxed atmosphere.
The rooms are very luxurious with TV, fridge, hairdryer, safe (14 euros), sofa & chair, balcony or terrace. The bed was very comfortable. The bathroom had a huge power shower and separate bath.
The food was excellent - buffet service with lots of choice.
The only disappointment was the equipment in the gym didn’t work too well. There are some free weights though.
It costs 10 euros to go into the spa for the day. It is well worth it. There are various jets aimed at different parts of the body – it’s as good as a massage! This includes sauna, Turkish bath etc – but treatments are separate. It was never over busy which was nice.
The hotel is isolated, but there are plenty of organised trips out.
This Hotel will not disappoint if you want a peaceful relaxing break as long as you are aware that it is built on a hillside and requires a fair amount of uphill walking. The rooms are very comfortable and well maintained. The food is second to none and the Pools are fabulous. Late breakfast in la Choza restaurant is to be recommended.Although you are quite isolated here the Hotel does not exploit this, we charged all drinks and snacks to our room and were surprised how reasonable this was. The staff are very helpful and the animation team are tireless and very talented.
We hired a car and toured the island which was very easy as there is very little traffic on the roads. The san antonio volcano is not to be missed although it is closed in windy weather, when you go you will see why.
All in all a top class hotel in a beautiful setting with wonderful food. I would rate it 4 Star Plus
Very nice, but only if you like banana plantations
I agree with what people say about the hotel, but it is totally isolated and there is nothing around it for miles, so if you are the kind of person who likes to go for a stroll after dinner or likes wandering off and finding somewhere outside the hotel for a drink or a meal, you will be sadly disappointed. The hotel exploits this by over-charging for drinks, and the service in the bars is appalling. The problem is that there will never be anything near the hotel because it has been built at the bottom of a steep mountain and in the middle of a banana plantation. Have a look on Google Earth before you book it; if I had done that I would have gone somewhere else.
The other thing you need to bear in mind if you go to La Palma is that you may not be able to return on the day you planned. We should have flown back to Gatwick on Monday. 7 April but our plane was diverted to Tenerife on its flight to La Palma because of high winds at Santa Cruz Airport. We finally escaped by getting a 0630 ferry to Tenerife on the Wednesday morning, arriving back in London over 48 hours late. This is not acceptable, and I think this kind of weather happens more often than the tourist authorities would have you believe. This may be OK for retired people, but not for people who have responsible jobs to go to.
Relaxing,Peaceful and isolated (great)
Have just returned from the La Palma Princess.Stayed a week,pity it was not longer as we had a super time.
The hotel is very isolated,but we thought this to be a benefit as we throughly relaxed and enjoyed all the hotel has to offer.You can go on organised trips,catch the local bus to town(not much there)or to the Lighthouse at Faro(2 hour walk) 10 minutes on bus.
This is a nice spot for sunbathing with a small beach,also it has the islands desalination plant,where they recover and sell the sea salt.
Its also a strange landscape with volcanoes to view above you.
Take a packed lunch as there is only 2 vending machines in the exhibition /lighthouse building.
You can also walk (30minutes) to another small beach with a tiny cafe selling fresh cooked fish/calamare etc.
The hotel rooms were very large,with also large bathrooms which had a shower room you could hold a disco in,which is seperate to the bath.
The rooms are housed in blocks and we found all area's to be clean and quiet.If walking is a little difficult ask for a ground floor room near to reception.
The pool area's are fantastic with plenty of sun beds.Even though thoughtless people still took down their towels to reserve them there were plenty to go round.
Breakfast is superb in the main dining room(7.00pm to 10.00pm)with such choice.If you want less choice but still good
where you can also sit outside, use the la choza alongside the pools for breakfast(9.00pm to 11.00pm)
Dinner as like breakfast is buffet and very large choice is offered we can't see anyone being negative about either.
The entertainment in the evening was mixed,the animation team were very good at what they did,but somewhat dated in the style/type offered.
The professionals were much better,we had a Bee Gees band who were very,very good.Then another night Flamenco with 2 girls who were superb.The acrobat show was okay,but not the best I'm sure? The room where the entertainment is put on is vast,with plenty of seating.
We went with Thompson who provided a very good package,the local reps who are at the hotel,were good but could have been a little more proactive with information. If you book any trips make sure that shops/amenities are open and not closed due to any bank holidays/festivals?
Just one last point it does seem to be a walkers paradise,so if you're into walking you will not be disapointed with scenes and walks to do.
I know most of what I've written has already been said,but its just too confirm all the positive things that folk have commented on.
One definitely last point was that when we arrived we queued for registration at reception(the only negative)we spoke to 2 ladies (mother and daughter)one of whom has a daughter who works for Thompson. She said that she'd phoned her daughter as soon as she arrived seeing where the hotel was situated/isolated.
She asked her to get her out of there asap as she didn't like it one bit. I said give it time you've only just arrived!!!
2 days later and she had fallen in love with the place,with her mother wanting to come back for 2 weeks.
Excellent hotel. Rooms, food ,facilities couldn't be faulted. Weather hot sun every day heated pool very good. Car hire fairly cheap and hassle free. Island lovely.