This time last month Mr Thrifty and I would have been sitting beside a pool sipping on a cocktail. Ahhh cocktails. We were flown off to Tenerife courtesy of Jet2Holidays to stay at the and try out the facilities at the all inclusive sister hotel. Both of the hotels are situated in the resort of in south Tenerife and if I’m honest we were a little dubious about the area before we set off. We’d heard it was the grimmer side of ‘Brits abroad’ with fried egg and chips in every restaurant and builders’ tea on tap but thankfully we were pleasantly surprised to find this reputation is largely unwarranted. When we holiday we like to experience the local area, culture and cuisine so we were incredibly pleased to find local culture and food widely available without having to hunt high and low.
At this point we’ve been together for 8 years but all of our holidays have involved a lot of sight seeing and very little relaxation so we took this opportunity to relax and take it easy for most of the 7 days. Our hotel and the sister hotel, where we dined and hung out a lot, are on the same road with only 150-200 meters between them. They are within easy reach (5-10 minute slow stroll) of 3 nice, clean beaches and multiple restaurants, bars and shopping centres however we were really, really surprised at how quite and peaceful this particular road was. Usually in busy holiday resorts or cities I spend at least 2 nights as a sleepless drone due to loud music or traffic but both of us slept perfectly for the full 7 nights without a whimper of noise to disturb us.
PRIMECOMFORT CALIFORNIA APARTMENTS
The Primecomfort California is a 3 star hotel apartment complex with a leisure facilities such as pool, free sun loungers, table tennis and bar. It isn’t luxury by any stretch of the imagination but is fits the 3 star bill nicely with comfortable, clean and modern rooms and attentive staff along with a great pool and plenty of places to chill out other than your room.
Our room was entered from an outside landing into a kitchen/hallway. The kitchen came equipped with everything you’d need from hob through the fridge and everything in between. The bathroom was next up again with everything you need including a shower in which you could easily fit a small family.We were thrilled to find our room on the 6th and top floor of the building giving us a cracking view out to sea one way and a wonderful view of a volcanic mountain range from the other side. Next comes the living area which is designed to sleep 3 with a double bed (can be twins) and a sofa which pulls into a third bed. Whilst there is space enough for a few nights of this, I imagine it would get a bit tiresome after about 2 nights, the rooms are much better suited to two people. The sofa area however makes a nice area to chill out and it became my go-to place for bunging some slap on my face.
The room is bright, clean and airy with a modern bright yellow feature wall (which I liked a lot but I have to say I’m glad it was behind us in bed because I imagine it could be quite startling to wake up to) and huge mirrored wardrobes which even though we had a luggage allowance of 22kg each we’d have struggled to fill 1/6th of the space between us. The room opened out onto a large balcony with looked over the pool and out across the resort to the sea and has the usual furniture and a drying rack for clothes. I have to say it was easy to tell the rooms have been designed to be cool, fresh and contemporary which I think has been achieved nicely especially with the pops of colour throughout rather than just keeping it as a dull white box. Oh and the ceiling fan helped with the cooling element, it certainly wasn’t one of those piddly fans which cools only three stands of hair.
Food and drink
We ate breakfast 5 out of 7 days at the hotel and really enjoyed it. They served a choice of continental buffet with plenty of cheeses, meats and a variety of breads and fruits or sausages and eggs – eggs which Mr Thrify noted as delicious – which were cooked to order. In the bar area you can order bar snacks such as burgers and fries, which we sampled once or twice when I recovered from as spot of sunburn (turns out you can burn in under 5 minutes when wearing factor 50, who knew?). The food was basic but passable and made to order.
General facilities and staff
The common areas are light and bright but cool enough to retreat for a cool down session on a hot day. We arrived on a very hot, humid day and enjoyed stepping over the threshold and into the reception area as we instantly cooled down. The reception area is small but has space enough for sofas, a few internet hubs and a breakfast area and bar which leads out to the pool. We loved the pool, loved it. It isn’t even anything really that special but it was quiet, warm, clean and we had so much fun acting like children splashing around and laughing. it was our first real stop-and-do-nothing holiday as a couple and lounging around the pool listening to an audio book and sipping rum and coke couldn’t have been more pleasurable. The staff were lovely and couldn’t do more for us and other guests. They were chatty and friendly without becoming intrusive and super helpful with directions and recommendations.
The only real bad points where
1. Once past reception the common parts did look a bit shabby and drab but as we left a member of staff told us the hotel was closing for a few weeks to bring those up to standard.
2. The hotel next door was a bit close so you could feel a bit over looked when in the pool at times – however I think that tends to be the case with a lot of built up holiday resorts.
SUNPRIME CORAL SUITES AND SPA
As part of our package our all inclusive meals and entertainment were provided at the Sunprime Coral Suites just down the road. This is a much larger hotel with a huge, modern reception area and bar to the ground floor, a roof top deck serving drinks and a full restaurant and bar outside beside the pool. There are also facilities such as spa, gym and evening entertainment.
Food and drink
My only previous experience of all inclusive was as a student booking the cheapest holiday we could find in 2005 and not enjoying any of the food at all (and look at me, I’m hardly picky), so I was really nervous. Thankfully the Sunprime Coral was a different class to the crap I’d had in my 2005 all inclusive experience. Food was served as buffet style but it wasn’t left there to curdle in sauce or go cold, kitchen staff were constantly replenishing and cooking certain items fresh to order. At each meal time we were greeted by a huge amount of choice from fish dishes through to BBQ, local dishes, salads, yards(!) of fresh fruit and the tastiest little cakes I’ve come across in all my cake munching years. As all inclusive guests you’re entitled to 3 meals a day, snacks and unlimited drinks from a select menu however you can also order off menu and pay but the prices weren’t prohibitive. We loved the cocktail selection with Tom Collins as our favourite. Some of the cocktails took a little time to make but the staff seemed to enjoy the theatre of it and chatted with us throughout.
The pool is a great asset as it is large in size and has the plus point of second smaller pool just for taking a cooling dunk. The sun loungers fill up really fast with some people not budging from their sunbathing spots all day, so it’s well worth getting down soon after breakfast if you want an enjoyable, relaxed day beside this pool.
We stuck around for evening entertainment once but it seemed aimed at a slightly older generation and we could see guests of 50+ enjoying the singer of the evening but it just wasn’t our kind of thing. We tended to float off to a local bar with some friends for the evening. My favourite experience was venturing up to the roof top deck to sip cocktails whilst listening to funky jazz in the light of a full moon, this feature is definitely something they should make more of (it is only open once a week but I think it should be open each evening) because it’s something which has wowed a lot of our friends and lured them into looking towards booking their holiday there. The staff at this hotel are lovely, especially the bar staff who work really hard and yet are still really friendly. I will say however that the reception staff weren’t always as helpful as they could be and when I asked about the All Inclusive their information didn’t translate to what the bar staff thought we we’re entitled too.
Tenerife with Jet2Holidays
We only had one small gripe with Jet2Holidays and I think the way they handled it was a credit to them and deserves a mention. We had transfers included in our holiday but when we arrived at the airport in Tenerife there seemed to be no record of us to be found. The manager was so, so helpful and despite not being able to find us on the records offered to find us a transfer or help us get a taxi. We got a taxi because we were hot and tired and wanted to get to our hotel quickly but Jet2Holidays promptly got in touch to let us know there had been a problem with our booking from the press team, they then refunded us the price of our taxi and gave us full renewed details of our return transfer. All credit to them! The return transfer was seamless and quick.