To celebrate their first anniversary of working with us, EasyJet Holidays invited a small group of agents to join them in Tenerife for a celebration in partnership with the Palladium Hotel Group. I was thrilled to accept a spot on the guest list.
I met my travel companions early. It’s been a while since I’ve flown from Gatwick and despite some concerns on the travel forums, check-in and security were no more painful than pre-pandemic.
In conjunction with No1 Lounges, the recently created Easyjet Gateway is a payable airside sanctuary at North Terminal. It is sparkly new with a contemporary yet comfortable design, attentive staff, splendid hot food catering for all dietary requirements, and superb coffee, making for an entirely agreeable pre-departure experience.
The new Easyjet aircraft have a sleek feel, with more legroom and despite being in the middle seat, I managed the four-hour flight with slightly less fidgeting and impatience than usual. By the time we reached Tenerife, Team Orange had become the best of friends, firmly bonded by our mutual horror stories of the past 20 months.
Arrival, passport control and the scanning of our Spanish health forms were efficiently managed, and the return of the passport stamp serves as a small yet satisfying post-Brexit compensation.
Our group size increased with the addition of arrivals from other UK airports, along with Adrian, our superb EasyJet host, and the feeling of bonhomie and shared purpose was high.
A short transfer later and we were eagerly welcomed at the impressive Hard Rock Hotel Tenerife by travel industry legend Jo Peters of the Palladium Hotel Group, benefactors of our fabulous accommodation and Hard Rock experience.
Given the investment, educational trips are understandably incredibly demanding with itineraries that will exhaust the most ardent and curious of agents, but our hosts made it clear that this trip was to be a celebration of a return to better times and a thank you to agents for their hard work and persistence through challenging times.
Making it impossible to protest the usual insinuations made by friends and family that my work trips are thinly disguised jollies, our schedule was to include an unprecedented amount of free time, and over the three days, our sole site inspection was of our host accommodation.
Hard Rock Hotel Tenerife comprises two 16 floor towers, the Oasis and Nirvana, home to the Deluxe, Studio, and Rock suite categories. The Nirvana building sparkles like diamonds and lights up with multi-coloured brilliance once the sun sets and takes glamour and opulence to new levels with the additional Rock Royalty Suites.
I fell for the rock and roll splendour of my room like a teen at a Harry Styles gig. Aside from the two-metre-wide bed, the Bose smart speaker, the programmable wine fridge, the contemporary furnishings and the generous balcony, the remarkable bathroom and mirror configuration had me at ‘twin sinks’.
Everyone that knows me knows that I LOVE a hotel bathroom and that it’s often the deciding factor for my personal accommodation choice.
Rock Royalty comes with some serious resident’s perks: an executive club with dedicated reception and concierge, an exclusive breakfast restaurant, afternoon tea, and evening aperitifs.
If you’d like a Fender Stratocaster and Marshall Amp for the duration of your stay, no problem; it comes with earphones!
If vinyl is your poison, then a record player and selection of tunes for your gratification is rolled out.
Ever heard of a Vibe Manager? No? Me neither. Well, it transpires that this lucky person’s job is to assess the changing demographic and mood of the hotel guests and to curate musical playlists accordingly, whether it be at the Beach Club, the adults-only chill pool, either of the two additional pools, including underwater, the achingly hip rooftop bar or the lobby.
Guests are invited to seek out the Vibe Manager to suggest a change in ambience should they feel so inclined.
In keeping with the tradition of the Hard Rock brand, fascinating memorabilia is scattered throughout the hotel. I wandered past a typically flamboyant Elton John outfit in the lobby, stumbled across discarded yet poignant lyrics by Slash, viewed a retrospective of candid Beatles images whilst waiting for the lift, and much to my delight on exiting the lift on floor 3 where I was staying, an artist’s rendition of my favourite rock and roll icon, Jim Morrison. It was meant to be.
I did manage to leave the hotel complex and visit the beaches of Costa Adeje for an afternoon, seeking relief from the sun’s rays at the Monkey Beach Club, which provided beautiful views, a cooling breeze, and pretty good Moscow Mules to boot.
This was followed by a stroll along the prom to Playa de las Americas to enjoy the stunning sunset in the company of locals, tourists, and the surf-dudes languorously bobbing in the Atlantic.
Our final night found us spoilt with a splendid meal at Montauk, the hotel’s à la carte steak restaurant, which also catered well for veggies and pescatarians.
The treats from our wonderful hosts continued, with an exclusive party at The Sixteenth, the most impressive rooftop bar that I’ve ever had the pleasure of patronising, with spectacular views of the ocean, El Teide volcano and La Gomera Island opposite.
An extensive cocktail menu combined with an ambient live DJ set ensured a failure to make it back to my room until the wee hours... for the third night running.
There’s only one way to detox following a series of late nights and that’s to head to the Rock Spa, the hotel’s temple of wellness which offers a 90-minute circuit of thermal waters “designed to stimulate the circulation, alleviate stress, and rejuvenate your body in an exclusive setting”.
I’ve been fortunate to experience many a spa and this one comfortably makes my top five.
Indoors are therapy pools, a sauna, Turkish baths, an ice pool, multi-sensory showers and Tenerife’s only snow cabin. The real bonus is that outside is a heated pool and hydro-massage beds which transported me to another level of zen entirely.
It’s not often you can top up your tan whilst getting your spa on. I loved it.
All too soon, it was time to say our goodbyes, feeling exhausted yet elated. The airport has an array of eateries; however the lure of Burger King (Omni and Vegan) was too strong for this group of recovering agents and we set about re-toxing before the flight home.
In summary, I’d suggest that the Hard Rock Hotel Tenerife would appeal to a broad range of clientele. The room sizes, kids club and multiple pools are perfect for families, whilst the high glam and lux levels make it a great choice for couples or groups of friends of all ages – the adults-only pool and Beach Club score highly in this respect.
As an ageing rocker, I didn’t feel out of place supping cocktails alongside the immaculately made-up youth of today nor whilst singing along to Elvis with some oldies on adjacent sunbeds.
My top tip? Consider focusing spend on your room instead of the board basis. Book into a Rock Royalty Suite on a bed and breakfast basis. The perks of the Rock Royalty Lounge include soft and alcoholic drinks throughout the day and afternoon tea is also served daily. If eating at the hotel, you can do so on an à la carte or buffet basis, without feeling restricted by an all-inclusive status if you fancy exploring the local eateries.