Attractive resort, directly in front of Playa de las Americas' namesake beach
Three pools (one heated in winter), surrounded by palm trees and native flora
Fresh, beachy rooms with flat-screen LED TVs, air-conditioning, and balconies
Extensive dining options include a main buffet, pool bar, and beachside cafe
Two lobby bars, a bar/nightclub, and a coffee shop
Full animation program for all ages
Bars and entertainment go until late (a con for some)
Very kid-friendly: daily activities, play room with ball pit (unsupervised), kids' pool
Modern (but small) fitness center
Breakfast included for all room types
Wi-Fi free throughout
Rooms can pick up noise from street and hotel entertainment
Beds are reportedly a bit rigid
Kids' club is unsupervised
The upscale, beachfront H10 Las Palmeras was one of the first hotels in the area, but thanks to a 2015 renovation, it's also one of the freshest, with a bright, retro-modern look that is a major deviation from what is commonly found at Playa de las Americas hotels. But there's substance as well as style. In addition to trendy decor, the 519 rooms have mini-fridges, air-conditioning, flat-screen LED TVs, and balconies or terraces -- many with ocean views. Plus, Las Palmeras has so many features (three pools, five eateries, three bars, an exhaustive entertainment program...), you'd think it was in the middle of nowhere, not in the smack-dab center of town on a prime beachfront piece of land. Travelers looking for less of a big-resort experience could check out Aparthotel El Duque, a scaled-down all-inclusive that's a short walk from Costa Adeje's best beach.
A refreshingly fashionable spin on the Tenerife mega-resort
When Las Palmeras was built in 1983, it was one of the first buildings in the city center. It was acquired by the H10 brand in 1994, and received a fresh makeover to its bi-level lobby and common areas in 2015, when Barcelona-based interior designer Lazaro Rosa-Violan reinvigorated the shared spaces with a bright, retro-modern maritime theme. The first thing that catches the eye is the floor laid with colorful Moroccan tiles in a huge variety of patterns. The busyness of the floor is offset by streamlined furnishings and organic materials, like the plush blue velvet couches, contemporary woven square ottomans, metal-framed wood-plank coffee tables, natural jute area rugs, and Brancusi-like totems made from blocks of wood. Oversized prints of corals and nautical charts in simple light-wood frames hang on the wall and Medusa glass pendant lamps dangle by the stairs.
The fresh style can be spotted all over the resort -- by the elevator banks, where glossy white, navy, and lime tiles form contemporary patterns, or in the lower-lobby bathrooms, where vintage-style palm-tree wallpaper looks breezy and cool with the graphic black-and-white floor and heavy marble countertops. Such attractiveness is truly an added perk at a resort where guests are primarily concerned with the beach and pool scenes. Here, the pool area is usually boisterous with volleyball players in the water and flamenco dancers on the stage by the pool bar; quiet corners under the shade of the palm and pine trees are a score.
In winter (November through April), guests are primarily half-boarding pensioners who stay for long stretches of time; an exception is on and around Christmas, when more young people and families also fill the hotel. The all-inclusive is the hotel's most popular package in the summer, when guests tend to be younger. No matter the time of year, the hotel receives guests from a loyal fanbase. When we visited in November, we saw an elderly Belgian couple pull over the assistant manager to excitedly remind her that they had brought her chocolate from their home country.
Nearby sister property H10 Conquistador offers a very similar experience, except that it has a spa -- and tends to be just a touch pricier.
Right on the epic beach promenade in the center of Playa de la Americas' commercial district
With all of its large-resort features, you'd think Las Palmeras was compensating for a far-from-the-action location. Instead, it sits in the heart of the tourist zone. The namesake Playa de las Americas beach is right outside the hotel's back gate (one of its many dining options is a Mediterranean beach bar, which is on the promenade that runs for miles up and down the coast). The Canary Island La Gomera is visible in the distance. Exit the hotel on the street side, and you'll find supermarkets, pubs, restaurants, water-sports outfitters, pharmacies, and retail stores within minutes. Tenerife South Airport is an 18-minute drive away.
Bold design, mini-fridges, free Wi-Fi, and balconies or terraces
Las Palmeras' room types fall into four buckets. The entry-level Double Rooms face the street, which obviously isn't ideal at a beach resort, but the payoff is that they provide views of the town and mountains. Double Room Sea Views are identical to Double Rooms, but with the big advantage of facing the ocean. Both Double Rooms and Double Room Sea Views offer 215 square feet of space. Next up are Junior Suites, which, at 485 square feet, offer nearly double the space. Like Double Rooms, the Junior Suites face either the town or the sea. The 755-square-foot Family Rooms offer the most space, with two bedrooms and a living room. Family Rooms are located by the main pool.
Rooms have flair -- courtesy of the metallic damask wallpaper covering one wall -- but not nearly the style of the lobby. Still, the accent wall is a chic backdrop for the modern laminated headboards and bedside lighting. Beds are two twin mattresses pushed together, but this is common practice in Tenerife. Across from the bed, a white lacquer writing desk and shiny purple tub chair sit below the 32-inch flat-screen LED TV mounted on the wall. All rooms have air-conditioning, mini-fridges, and balconies or terraces.
Most bathrooms feature shower/tub combos, but a few have walk-in showers. All feature H10 bath products, magnifying mirrors, hairdryers, and bidets. Individually controlled air-conditioning is in all of the rooms. Use of the safe requires a fee, but Wi-Fi is free. Housekeeping is daily.
Assorted pools, activities, and places to eat and drink
Apart from its beachfront and central location, features are H10 Las Palmeras' biggest pull. The three freshwater pools, including a medium-sized one for kids, are surrounded by low rock walls, red-tile decks packed with sun loungers and patio furniture, and well-mowed lawns with flowering bushes, palm trees, and pine trees. (In the winter, the main pool is heated.) The area is usually a hotbed of activity, with guests cashing in on their free diving lesson one of the pools, the animation team performing Latin dance and Brazilian capoeira on a stage with booming speakers, and people playing water polo and doing pool aerobics. There is no food and drink service by the pool people, but La Choza, Las Palmeras' large pool bar and grill, offers onion rings, buffalo wings, salads, sandwiches, and burgers.
Activities for kids range from drawing and painting balloon-making and treasure hunts. There is also a kids' play area with a ball pit (unsupervised), plus nightly mini discos. For adults, the activity schedule includes petanque, shuffleboard, archery, darts, Zumba, football, French bowling, and ping-pong (adult activities are restricted to guests 14 and older). The animation team will also lead tennis tournaments on the hotel's four tennis courts. There is a small fitness center, and tennis and yoga classes are available. Additionally, there are three computers in the lobby's business corner, a car rental desk, a gift shop, and a luggage room. There is no salon, but an on-site salon is operated by an independent contractor. Wi-Fi is free throughout the hotel.
A buffet and two a la cartes where reservations are required
The main restaurant is Garoe, the extensive buffet restaurant open for all three meals, where station after station after station is lined with sliced meats, cheeses, pastas, pizzas, bruschetta, paellas, salad greens, salad toppings, smoothies, and desserts. Live cooks prepare made-to-order mains like grilled salmon, sole, burgers, and chicken, and a boulangerie area offers a variety of breads, pastries, and rolls. Garoe's nightly dinner themes are Spanish, Italian, Oriental, Asiatic, International, Seafood, and Canarian. Vegan, gluten-free, and vegetarian options are available. There are two reservations-required, dinner-only a la carte restaurants. One is the Italian Specchio Magico, which occupies a windowless space next to the main buffet with wide wood tables. On offer here are antipasti, meat and cheese plates, bruschetta, pizzas, pastas, and risottos. The other a la carte option is Sakura Teppenyaki Restaurant, where two 11-person counters surround teppanyaki grills, where chefs live-cook Japanese cuisine. There are two nightly seatings, and guests must be at least 8. Both Specchio and Sakura are open five nights a week.
La Ballena is an a la carte beachside cafe (not part of the all-inclusive program) with a Mediterranean menu (including live paella cooking), ice cream, beer, and cocktails like mojitos and Aperol Spritzes. In the lower lobby, Mike's Coffee offers coffee drinks like cortados, cafe con leches, cappuccinos, and barraquitos (espresso, condensed milk, milk, Licor 43, lemon rind, and cinnamon), as well as milkshakes, smoothies, hot chocolate, and teas. Mike's alcoholic coffee drinks are included in all-inclusive program. Other places to grab a drink? There are two lobby bars; Big Ben Bar is on the lower level, by the restaurants, and serves cocktails, beer, and cider (hard to find here!), plus meats and cheeses. The other lobby bar is on the upper level, and has an indoor terrace overlooking the pool and occasional live piano, violin, or guitar music. At night, the live musicians and entertainers (including Beatles and Queen tribute artists) fill the stage at Imagine Bar, where dozens of white paper lamps hang from the ceiling, and the John Lennon lyric, "Life is what happens when you're busy making other plans," is written in neon lights.
Las Palmeras' board options begin with bed-and-breakfast and go up to all-inclusive. All-inclusive alcohol options include international brands, and premium brands are available for an extra fee. The package is not 24/7, but food and drinks are available all day, from breakfast until late at night. Room service is available, but it is not part of the all-inclusive program.