a shot of Bahía del Duque from above, with lots of palm trees

Old School Family Indulgence: Bahía del Duque, Tenerife – Hotel Review

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Tenerife’s grand dame hotel is better than ever

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Built like a 19th century colonial Spanish village with apricot-washed walls, terracotta tiles and winding pathways, the classic grand dame hotel, Bahía del Duque, proves that it is still one of the finest in the Canaries. Here, your senses are turned up to full volume: the colours are brighter, the sounds lovelier, and there is always that sun warming your chilled British bones. Relaxed family fun comes washed down with excellent service, a dizzying array of restaurants and an idyllic beachfront setting.

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Bahía del Duque, Tenerife – Hotel Review

the villas at Bahía del Duque overlooking the swimming pool at dusk

STAY

Remember announcing, pre-parenthood, that having children wouldn’t change your holidays? This could be as close as you’ll ever get to realising that statement, without actually leaving the little ones at home. While Bahía del Duque is laidback enough for rambunctious crews and welcomes families with open arms – with the friendliest of staff capable of calming toddler meltdowns (they’ll even leave little gifts in the room for your sprogs) – it is also smart enough for grown-ups after a real escape.

a villa deck at Bahía del Duque with two sunbeds and a private pool

Villa Las Palmeras

Rooms are classic and unfussy, with comfortable beds and large terraces decked with loungers and twinkling views of the ocean, ideal for an afternoon siesta while the baby naps. If you can, book one of the 40 sprawling villas, each with their own pool and 24-hour butler service, ideal for families who want more space to stretch and call their own, while enjoying all the whistles and bells of the hotel.

DO

If you’re not the sunbathing-all-day kind of holidaymaker, there’s heaps here to keep you busy: tennis courts, five outdoor pools (the freshwater lagoon style pool was our favourite), pitch and putt, and giant chess. Follow the twisty path through the hotel to reach tiered gardens stretching out to the Playa del Duque promenade – one of Tenerife’s finest beaches with ice-cream-soft sand and sunbeds (locally charged), where thrill-seekers can try their hand at windsurfing and parasailing. 

Bahía del Duque merging into the beach and then the ocean

Whisk the small people off to the Duqui Club, where they’ll get stuck into cooking workshops and treasure hunts, while you flop by the pool, Sangria in hand. Even stroppy teens have their own hangout here, with Playstation and table football on the cards.

Pop by the hotel’s observatory for star-gazing evenings, best finished with a nightcap and spot of live music at the toe-tapping Piano Bar.

a small hilltop stargazing observatory

Observatorio

EAT

From hearty Italian to modern Japanese and fine French dining, there are nine restaurants to choose from, meaning you’ll never tire of the choice. Take lazy lunches at Burger Bar Azul, where, you guessed it, homemade burgers the size of your children arrive, best finished off with ice cream sundaes at the hotel’s seafront La Heladería bar.

a restaurant terrace with light streaming in

Nub restaurant

La Hacienda’s traditional Mediterranean fare is unbeatable. Think grilled, just-caught octopus served with sweet potato and spicy ibarra chillies, or locally aged galician veal sirloin, all served up with breathtaking views of the ocean. Or, for those without young children (there’s a great babysitting service available if needs must), the Michelin-starred South American and European fusion restaurant Nub is well worth a reservation for its creative tasting menus and local wines.

Breakfast on the sweeping terrace of El Bernegal is a daily highlight, where you tuck into everything from churros to pancakes, a full English or the freshest, juiciest fruit. Oh, and there’s a chocolate fountain, too – just in case your creatures weren’t spoiled enough.

breakfast at el bernegal, with set tables and lots of greenery

El Bernegal

THE FINAL WORD

Bahía del Duque is a grown-up hideaway of stepped lawns, twisty paths and terraces, all looking majestically down to the sea – one that offers ample refuge and fun, all wrapped up in a relaxed setting where nothing is ever too much bother. It’s not often that indulgence can be this family-friendly.

BOOK IT: Rooms from £300 per night. thetaishotels.com