I love travelling, but I’m always seeking that ‘home away from home’ feeling on holiday. Somewhere to call your own, allowing you to move at your own pace, with only your own whims and wishes to satisfy.
Enter the Abama Luxury Residences, an impressive collection of spacious apartments and villas set above The Ritz Carlton Abama hotel on the south coast of sun-soaked Tenerife, overlooking over the island’s infamous Dave Thomas 180-hole golf course with sweeping ocean views. We’re staying in an effortlessly chic one-bedroom Las Terrazas apartment which boasts unobstructed views of the Atlantic and the resort’s subtropical landscape. They offer that cosy, homey feeling paired with 5-star hotel luxury service – a winning combination.
It’s fair to say that, sometimes, Tenerife gets a bad rep and it’s a judgement that, I must admit, I was guilty of. However, having spent a blissful week enjoying the tranquillity and world-class service which the Abama resort boasts, my opinion has drastically shifted. With just a short flight time (under five hours) from London to Tenerife South and being only a half an hour drive from the airport to the apartments – it’s a quick and easy escape to total island paradise, thanks to its enviable climate of year-round sunshine.
From the moment you enter the resort, guests immediately feel part of an exclusive, yet welcoming, club (and do, in fact, become part of the members’ club for owners too). The apartments serve as a sanctuary, a complete haven of serenity to soak up the sun, rest weary limbs and truly slow down to ‘island-time’.
Each apartment has an open terrace, perfect for enjoying those long summer evenings taking in the panoramic ocean vistas, while all ground floor flats feature gardens. Neatly dotted around the hill above the hotel, the apartments are affiliated with the Ritz Carlton resort, boasting its luxurious credentials and top-quality service, but exist as their own entity for property ownership and are truly a step above the rest. They offer full hotel services such as cleaning, laundry and a turn-down service, allowing owners those little hotel touches from their own entirely private space.
The resort is a compact set of clean, white properties which glimmer in the sunshine, offering a community feeling without being obtrusive. Owners have more than enough space to enjoy the peace and quiet, while the area still feels buzzy and friendly, with the gentle hustle and bustle of a small village.
Inside each flat is a similarly chic affair, with walnut furniture, marble tiles and natural silk and linen creating a rustic colonial aesthetic which is both effortlessly chic and cosy. You can feel the inspiration from the island setting in every room, from the ocean-blue cushions to the bold plant-themed artwork on the walls.
Alongside three pristine swimming pools, artfully scattered around the apartments which are privately reserved for owners only and complete with poolside bars, the resort features a gourmet shop, gym and restaurant. Other shared amenities include private parking and access to the professional tennis complex, beach and golf course – one of the finest in Europe.
The gourmet shop, set in the resort’s clubhouse, is a foodie’s dream pantry; it’s packed full of local charcuterie, cheese, bread, chocolate and, of course, Spanish wine. Owners can also opt for the new residence in-dining concept, which allows residents to enjoy award-winning chef Martin Berasategui’s cooking in the comfort of their own home (with none of the washing up, heaven). To ensure you’ve got a well-stocked fridge, aside from shelves of charcuterie, the resort will even send someone to the supermarket for you during your stay.
For those looking to dine out, there’s no shortage of top notch restaurants to choose from. The resort itself is home to Melvin, a restaurant designed with the culinary expertise of Berasategui who, with 10 Michelin stars, is recognised as one of the best chefs in the world. The space itself is, much like the apartments, clean and modern with a vast open-terrace overlooking the Atlantic and golf course. The menu offers classical Spanish dishes with an elegant twist, such as black rice with calamari and crayfish, all paying homage to local produce.
Owners also have access to the Ritz Carlton’s ten restaurants, including the two Michelin-starred M.B offering Basque cuisine and the Michelin-starred Abama Kabuki Japanese-fusion restaurant. On our first evening we dined at Txoko, offering a ‘culinary experience based in traditional Spanish gastronomy’, and loved it so much we came back once more for our final night. The dishes are warm, comforting and remind you of something your Spanish grandmother might have made. It’s deep, bold, punchy flavours, chorizo, Iberico ham, sweet red peppers, all refined with the chef’s trademark touches of innovation and creativity.
Another notable favourite was El Mirador, a stylish cliff top restaurant which resembles a high-end beach club and wouldn’t look out of place in Marbella or Ibiza. Diners can sit beneath the large, thatched roof and wooden beams, inspired by the North African architecture, or on the terrace to enjoy possibly the island’s most enviable views. The restaurant specialises in local seafood, choose from tuna tartare, oysters, crab croquettes or salt- crusted sea bass, all washed down with a crisp glass of white.
For something more low-key during the day, the Beach Club is the perfect escape from the blazing midday sun. Set on the hotel’s beach, simple roll off your lounger and under a parasol to tuck into fresh salads, ceviche or fresh pasta. We spent many a leisurely lunch in this spot, watching the boats drift along the shore in the distance or locals sauntering along the shore, dipping their toes in the sea.
The Ritz Carlton Abama hotel is truly a wonderful hotel to explore, situated in 400 acres of gardens along the island’s coast. During our stay, we quickly settled into a gentle daily routine. Starting with breakfast in the resort at Melvin we enjoyed the daily fresh fruit juices, pastries and eggs, before a gentle walk down the hill to the beach. Drinks on our balcony were a must, watching the sun setting over the horizon with a cold gin and tonic in hand, before the resort’s private car service drove you the (very short) journey to dinner within the hotel
The Abama Luxury Residences are clearly going from strength to strength, having sold 39 units this year; it has evidently continued to impress thanks to its fine architecture, beautiful amenities and peaceful location since launching five years ago. Residences range from the luxurious Las Terrazas and Los Jardines de Abama apartments to spacious detached villas. There are also expansive plots for buyers looking to design a custom-built home.
The resort is the ideal setting for families, offering a whole range of activities on offer both at the resort and more widely around the island, or couples looking for a leisurely break. Las Terrazas are truly a home from home; somewhere to curl up with a good book on the sofa after a day exploring the island, host a dinner party with one of the world’s top chefs or bask in a lazy Sunday morning lie in wrapped in soft linen sheets. Heaven.
To find out more, visit www.abamahotelresort.com
Apartments start from €550,000 and villas from €1.28m.