Family frolics with plenty of peace for grown-ups, head to Gran Melia Palacio de Isora, writes Annabelle Spranklen
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Where Smart Families Flock: Gran Melia Palacio de Isora, Tenerife – Hotel Review
The thing about children is that they can wreak havoc with your holidays – that is, unless you find a hotel that magically manages to cater for families while still offering plenty of slick, grown-up-friendly vibes too – cue Gran Melia Palacio de Isora, one of the smartest hotels in the Canaries, located on Tenerife’s tranquil west coast. This is one whopper of a resort, packed full of Andalucian elegance, with 15 restaurants and bars, kids’ clubs and an Insta-worthy 400m infinity pool of dreams.
There’s a traditional village feel to the resort, where elegant five-storey buildings are enveloped by swaying palms and immaculate lawns sprinkled with pretty water features. There might be over 500 rooms but you’d never know because nature envelops it all.
Be clever and book one of the ocean-fronting Red-Level for Families suites. These contemporary spaces have ample room for sprogs to spread, armed with thoughtful child-friendly touches like microwaves, big fridges and plenty of drawers to hide the 700 bags of snacks you packed for them. There’s a separate living room, spacious bedroom with marshmallow-soft bed, large marble bathroom with whirlpool bath big enough for four, not to mention the sweeping sun-dappled terrace with breath-stealing views of the Atlantic – ideal for kicking back and having a nightcap when your exhausted offspring are fast asleep.
Best of all, you’ll have your own family concierge to look after you – from booking tables for dinner to organising sessions at the baby club (more on that later), they’re just a Whatsapp message away.
Days can be as busy or as lazy as you like. If you are with the kids’ you’ll be going “Arrrr” on the pirate ship in the children’s pool, or lounging on a Balinese bed while the bubs bob in the enormous saltwater infinity pool, which spans almost the entire 400 metres of the resort’s frontage. Every day there’s a schedule of activities guests can get involved with – from paddleboard pilates to yoga and wine tastings.
There’s a complimentary kids club for those aged 5-12 but parents of young children will particularly love the hotel’s baby club which offers morning and afternoon sessions to keep small people happy, while you shoot off to the adults-only pool and indulge in proper adult time (sunbathing, cocktail sipping, catching up on broken sleep). It’s an additional cost but worth every penny. Red Level Families also have access to a playroom that’s better equipped than most London nurseries, ideal for tiring them out before bed.
If an invigorating swim is in the cards, the resort is just a couple of minutes’ walk from rock pools and a man-made, black sand beach. The current can be strong so there’s a beach bar if you’d rather just soak up that salty sea air.
If there is one thing for sure, it’s impossible to go hungry or thirsty at Gran Melia Palacio de Isora since there are 15 restaurants and bars to choose from. The downside is that, since it’s such a large resort, you need to be plotting where you want to eat at the start of your holiday and get them booked pronto. Nevertheless, there literally is something for everyone. From the adults-only fine-dining Le Bistrot Provençal, where sunsets and steak tartare go hand-in-hand, to the Mediterranean-inspired Ocean Club and stylish Nami Japanese.
Meat-lovers will rejoice at Duo Steakhouse, where tomahawk steaks the size of your table will appear, perfectly cooked and moorishly presented, alongside bowls laden with salty fries and fresh salads. Elsewhere on the menu, indulgent wagyu beef, chateaubriand and angus rib eye await.
For easy-going dining, Pangea, the hotel’s buffet restaurant is a good option, offering everything from lobster to sushi, with live cooking stations and counters rumbling with pastries and sweet treats. This is also where breakfast is served, which sees chefs whip up omelettes and eggs exactly how you like them and where your little darlings will be on a sugar high, raiding the churros counter at 8am in delight.
Rates start from £250 per night. melia.com