When it was first suggested that Tenerife could be our next dream family holiday, if I’m completely honest, I wasn’t rushing with glee to pack my bikinis. The largest and most popular of the seven Spanish Canary Islands has suffered something of a tarnished image in the past. Scenes of raucous hen and stag dos, and coachloads of package holiday tourists deposited onto over-crowded beaches were the images which sprang to mind; and this kind of reputation has done the island a disservice over the years, not exactly encouraging Tenerife family holidays. But that was before I paid a visit to CLC Sunningdale Village resort on the south of the island; and boy am I glad we did. The Tenerife that my family and I discovered was beautiful and buzzing for all the right reasons and here’s why…
Fun and sunshine
At Sunningdale Village, we stayed in a two-floor Signature Collection apartment which had a double plus a twin bedroom, perfect for our family of four. There was a stylish, large open-plan kitchen, diner and living room leading onto a spacious terrace which we used for alfresco dining and the odd BBQ. When the sun went down, and the kids were in bed, we enjoyed the luxury of our private Jacuzzi.
All mod cons are provided in the kitchen, and there’s a supermarket on-site, although cooking is not strictly necessary because Zacary’s Bistro & Bar is situated in the heart of the resort, offering breakfast, lunch, dinner and pool-side snacks as well as a great cocktail menu and evening entertainment. The Bee Gees tribute band and an evening of ‘flamenco’ music were particular highlights for us. The two main pools are the central attraction at the resort, gently heated to please even the most tentative young swimmers.
If you fancy venturing out and exploring what this Canary Island has to offer, everything is within easy reach from a base at Sunningdale Village. Tenerife family holidays give you access to some of the best sea life you’ll find in Europe, especially along the south-west coast, and the helpful staff were happy to arrange a ‘Submarine Safari’ excursion for us on our first day. From large portholes inside the yellow submarine – accompanied by a soundtrack of the classic Beatles song, of course – the Atlantic Ocean came alive as schools of white seabream, barracuda and trumpet fish entertained us.
At one point a diver swam alongside the vessel, a huge stingray hitching a lift on his back to the delight of their captive audience. My boys were then thrilled to receive a certificate to remember their marine adventure. The next day we continued with the water theme visiting Siam Park, less than 30 minutes’ drive from the resort – we hired a car which gave us some independence when exploring the island. Siam Park is the biggest water park in Europe and suitable for all age groups.
We whiled away a day cruising down the ’Lazy River’ in floats, caught waves in the world’s biggest artificial wave pool and ducked under buckets of water in the Lost City, which is aimed at younger children, with inland beach and plenty of places to grab a sun lounger to soak up the sun. Finally, we spent a day at Loro Parque - one of the most popular wildlife attractions in Spain and an animal sanctuary which prides itself on its research and conservation efforts, putting the welfare of the animals first.
It’s home to the world’s largest parrot collection with over 300 species, plus we saw lions, tigers, chimpanzees, and toured a stunning aquarium with a shark tunnel. After my son got up close with dolphins during the daily show he was buzzing until bedtime, securing Tenerife’s place as a dream family holiday destination in my mind.
My top tips for Tenerife family holidays: CLC World Resorts & Hotels has four resorts, all in the south of the island. Sunningdale Village is close to the lush green oasis of Golf del Sur, and it’s worth noting that it’s an easy fifteen-minute transit from Tenerife Sur airport. I also highly recommend enjoying lunch across the street from the Parque at Brunelli’s steakhouse, where the beef is as legendary as the beautiful, dramatic coastal views from the glass balcony.
Back at Sunningdale Village, it was time for relaxing around the pool for the grown-ups while the children visited CLC World Resorts & Hotels’ Team Marina Mini Club, an on-site children’s club for ages 4 to 12, where they decorated cakes and created jungle masks with club leader ‘Javi’ who they took to instantly.
The following day an inflatable ‘assault course’ was in the pool for the children to enjoy – mine had to be prised away from it at the end of the session. Tenerife is a dream family holiday with attractions and scenery to suit everyone, all within easy reach of Sunningdale Village, and I’m already thinking about our next trip because we ran out of time to take in all the sights, including a trip in the Mount Teide Cable Car to explore Spain’s highest volcano.
CLC World Resorts & Hotels has a simple mantra – ‘to deliver memorable holiday experiences’ – so if you’re looking for sunshine on tap, day trips for the family and an easy escape to a wonderful island, they have it covered.