“Every year my two friends and I search for winter sunshine. It’s a great chance to get together and luckily for me they usually arrange all the logistics whilst I tag along.
Due to various commitments, this year I found myself volunteering and I had no idea where to start.
Thankfully, Sharron at Abbotts Travel had been incredibly helpful in sorting out tickets for a trip last year, so I headed to the shop to tap into her wisdom.
She was once again amazingly helpful. After a brief outline of what we wanted - sunshine and all-inclusive - she quickly narrowed our choice down to two hotels in the south of Tenerife.
I had complete confidence in her advice, which made the final decision easy.
It was our first time to Tenerife, but previous girls’ trips had taken us to Lanzarote and Fuerteventura.
Nicky sent us all the information and boarding passes ahead of the holiday, and before we knew it we were boarding our plane.
We highly recommend flying with Jet2, the staff were welcoming and helpful.
We stayed for seven nights at the Sandos San Blas Nature Resort & Golf, set on its own between San Blas and Los Abrigos whilst also being close to the airport.
I initially thought that being so close to the airport would be a problem but it was actually exciting watching the planes come into land.
The hotel was very well designed, sloping downhill towards the coastline and aesthetically very pretty.
We all had luxury double rooms for single occupancy with a sea view.
The hotel sits next to a large Environmental Reserve with several different paths. Most were easy to walk, with some steps that carved down into a dry chasm.
Guided tours of the Reserve were available, including information on the flora and fauna.
The hotel also has its own museum that tells the story of the volcanic activity on the island and how the different rock formations came to be.
There are several swimming pools, sunbeds are plentiful and lots of daily activities are on offer - with excellent volleyball/tennis courts and a kayaking lake.
It was unfortunate that, after two years in the planning, during our stay the council started to build a bridge across to Los Abrigos - a pretty fishing port half a mile away.
The sound of the excavator pounded against the walls of the hotel from 8am–4pm, Monday to Friday – with short breaks for coffee and lunch.
It wasn’t helpful for the general vibe but it wasn’t within the hotel’s power to do anything about it and the place was far too nice to abandon.
The weather was generally sunny and around 22-24 degrees.
The hotel food was very good and served buffet-style in the semi-subterranean restaurant, with lots of choice. The wines were also palatable and plentiful.
The range of drinks included within the all-inclusive package was excellent and although they weren’t all known brands (you could pay more for those) they were near to the real thing.
For every five nights of our stay we were entitled to dine in the restaurant ‘Gourmet La Proa’ overlooking the sea.
The architecture of the restaurant itself was beautiful, with adjoining round dining rooms and high glass windows separated by tall, vertical wooden beams.
There was charming table service and the food was exquisite.
A drawback of ‘all-inclusive’ is that you don’t venture out to local restaurants – well we don’t!
We did venture out for half a day’s whale-watching on the Freebird catamaran. €48 with cava, beer and food included.
There are apparently 500 pilot whales in pods between Tenerife and nearby La Gomera so you have a 98% chance of seeing whales on the trip. We were especially lucky as we also saw dolphins and turtles.
I would highly recommend the hotel and would love to revisit. If we came again we would check out the central volcano ‘El Teide’ and the evening trip with an astronomer to see the stars (it sounds mesmerising).
I’d have no hesitation in returning to Abbotts Travel for their excellent service too.”