Driving through the gates into the grounds of the Bahia Del Duque Resort  is to enter another world. A world of luxury, of beauty, of elegance and so many swimming pools that the lovely beach onto which it fronts is almost redundant. It’s a little village of escapism, hedonism, indulgence and delight.

Bahia del Duque Resort, Adeje, Tenerife - photo by Zoe Dawes

Well, that’s how I felt during a very brief stay in this up-market holiday complex on Tenerife.  I’d recently been in the capital Santa Cruz taking part in the fun and craziness that is Carnival and needed a break – and this couldn’t have been a better place to unwind.  The grounds are extensive – 100k m² – and its tropical gardens are a microc0sm of the island’s lush flora.  Architecturally it is very pleasing, being loosely based on 19th century Canary island buildings.

Bahia del Duque gardens, Adeje, Tenerife - photo by Zoe Dawes

The main body of the ‘hotel’ is vast and incredibly easy to get lost in.  I was given a map of the grounds but really needed a sat nav to get from my room to reception.  (Meeting up with fellow travel writers for dinner, we were all late – simply because none of us could navigate our way up and down the different floors, twisting corridors and myriad buildings.)  My room was in the Campanile and a buggy transported me there from reception – walking took about 15 minutes! The suite had a pretty canopy above the bed and the balcony view was perfect – sparkling in the distance the deep blue waters of the Atlantic gently shooshed up onto the sandy shore of Adeje Beach.

Balcony at Bahia del Duque, Adeje, Tenerife - photo by Zoe Dawes

Dotted around the pools are oodles of sunloungers and it only seemed right to indulge in an exotic cocktail as I finally relaxed and soaked up the hot sun.  Very quickly the noise of children playing in the water, people chatting and some woman crooning away in a little pavilion faded as the heat and cocktail worked their soothing magic …

Bahia del Duque pavilion and pool - by Zoe Dawes

Before returning to my room to get ready for dinner, I went for a walk along the beach.  There’s a private exit from Bahia del Duque grounds and a series of luxurious changing pavilions.  Adeje Beach is public, as are all in Spain, but not as crowded as some in this part of south Tenerife, and the sand is not as dark as some of the other ‘volcanic’ beaches.  There were plenty of happy families having fun in the sun, people sunbathing, swimming, playing volley ball or simply wandering through the shallows of the warm waters.

Life Guard on Adeje Beach, Tenerife - photo by Zoe Dawes

Tenerife is a magnet for astronomers as it is one of the best places in the world for star-gazing due to its geographical position and clear skies. So I was especially looking forward to gazing up at the planets from the resort’s little Observatory. No such luck.  It just happened to be one of the cloudiest nights they’d had in ages and all we got to see was a little glimpse of the moon – which we could see outside anyway! I was most impressed by this young boy who appeared to know more than the astronomer (looking perplexed behind him) showing us how to use the telescope.

Star gazing at Bahia Observatory Tenerife - photo by Zoe Dawes

Stargazing at Bahia Observatory

I’m not usually keen on big hotels, resorts or holiday villages and even less so the ubiquitous ‘Buffet’ dinner but the dining experience in El Bernegal Restaurant was deliciously excellent.  So often the choice is limited, the food overcooked and the best things go too quickly. Not here.  Dainty starters, huge platters of various meats, cheeses, seafood and fresh vegetables, cooked-to-order steaks, chicken and fish, a wide variety of local and international dishes, every kind of bread you can think of and vast swathes of fresh fruit.  And the desserts – I still dream of those desserts.  Sometimes the ‘sweet trolley’ can be a big disappointment on holiday – but at the Bahia del Duque I could have spent a week just trying out all the temptations on offer …

Bahia Pastry chefs and desserts - Tenerife - by Zoe Dawes

Bahia Pastry chefs

The next morning I just had time for a quick walk along Adeje Beach and up to the nearby Paris Shopping Centre before breakfast and departure back to England.  Sitting high above the sea looking down through the gardens towards the Atlantic on a hot sunny morning, it felt like a veritable paradise, one I was sorry to leave …

Breakfast at Bahia del Duque Tenerife - by Zoe Dawes

Breakfast at Bahia del Duque

I travelled to Tenerife, one of the Canary Islands off the coast of Africa, courtesy of Tenerife Tourism and stayed in 5 Star luxury at the Bahia del Duque Resort on Adeje Beach.

You can read about activities and sport in Tenerife here