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Image / Living

Dreaming of sunshine celebrations and five star food? This is your new winter sun getaway destination


By Dominique McMullan
20th Dec 2023
Dreaming of sunshine celebrations and five star food? This is your new winter sun getaway destination

In need of a mid-winter treat? Set aside any preconceived notions of a boozy, sunburnt island, and prepare to be wowed by Tenerife.

It’s been a tough few years for everyone, but these years have left us with an understanding of the importance of celebrating the big, and small moments in life. Whether that is a landmark birthday, a wedding, a lifelong friendship or simply getting to the end of the year; there is no better way to celebrate life than with fine food, delectable drinks and savouring the feeling of sunshine on your face. And, dear reader, Tenerife is the place to do just that. 

The island is an extraordinarily beautiful and diverse five-star winter getaway destination. No matter the time of the year, you are guaranteed sunshine and cool evenings. The volcanic landscape makes a dramatic backdrop to dazzling sunsets, mountain ridge villages and some of the best restaurants in Europe. 

Where to stay 

Nestled away from the most obvious tourist spots you will find The Ritz-Carlton Abama. Surrounded by banana plantations and overlooking the ocean, the hotel feels like a private, luxurious oasis – with a distinctive Moorish design (by Spanish architect Melvin Villarroel) mirroring an Arab citadel. The property is large at 400 acres, but still manages to feel accessible – with golf buggies, hotel cars and a funicular all available at a moments notice. The staff cannot do enough for you, this is the gold standard in hospitality.

Each room feels more like a villa, with immaculately swimming pools directly outside the door of most rooms. Lush gardens, tropical plants and shaded patios appear around every corner, making simply wandering around the property an enjoyable experience. 

What to do

Should you not be satisfied by simply wandering through the sun-dappled grounds, all ages and creeds will find something to love within the hotel. Located within a stones throw you will find a par 72, 18-hole Championship golf course and academy and a seven-court flexi-pave tennis academy. The spa features a range of treatments; a refurbished gym; a Turkish Hammam; a relaxation room; a spa garden; and a steam bath. The immersive kid’s club has a brilliant playground, a ball pool, a cinema and a planetarium and a programme focusing on conservation, learning, discovery, and play. 

For the water babies, there are seven swimming pools on the property, including one for each villa row, the Del Mar infinity pool, the Cascade Pool (ideal for families with young children) and the Lake Pool, the largest in the resort. Other water based activities nearby include whale watching, water sports, diving, and catamaran excursions. And finally, a rocky beach is located in a protected cove for the beach lovers among us. 

Copyright 2014 Matthew Shaw.

Where to eat 

The island sparkles with Michelin stars – you will not struggle with finding first-class food here. 

Kabuki is the resort’s Japanese fusion restaurant, founded by Chef Ricardo Sanz. Do not miss an opportunity to dine here – the Michelin star held by this restaurant is much deserved. Each dish is an exquisitely crafted work of art, with remarkable attention to detail, exploring Japanese and Spanish flavours. The wine selection features small batch wines, many of which are not available anywhere else. Sitting high above the hotel,  prepare to enjoy a spectacular sunset across the ocean with your unforgettable meal. 

M.B. is also located on the grounds of the Ritz-Carlton Abama. This two star Michelin dining experience is the only restaurant in the Canary Islands to hold the accolade, and is considered one of the finest restaurants in the world for good reason. Chef Erlantz Gorostiza carries out the vision of Martín Berasategui with flair and finesse. Each dish is a piece of gastronomic theatre, something to witness and admire. Every course bursts with creativity, bold flavours and local, considered produce. 

Should your gastronomic boots still not be filled, the Abama have just opened a brand new restaurant on the grounds with a very special premise. Verde Mar flips the traditional way of eating on its head. Vegetables are the star of the show here, with vegetarian main courses being accompanied, should you wish, by meat and fish side dishes. Provenance is front and centre of mind, with nearly all produce grown and reared within kilometre 0 and indigenous to the Canary Islands. Besides that, each course is delicious. This feels like the future of fine dining. 

The verdict

This is a special place, for a special treat. Set aside any preconceived notions of a boozy, sun burnt island, and prepare to be wowed. 

Ritz-Carlton Abama room rates (all include breakfast):

  • Low season lead-in rate for Deluxe Double Room – €320
  • High season lead-in rate for Deluxe Double Room – €375
  • Low season lead-in rate for a family room (2 x adults 2 x children) – €520
  • High season lead in rate for a family room (2 x adults 2 x children) – €575

Dominique McMullan was a guest of the Ritz-Carlton Abama.

This article was originally published in December 2022.