We went to Tenerife during half Feb 2013 term and stayed here. Before I went, I couldn’t marry up the dichotomy of experiences I had read on TA, but now everything actually makes sense. It is a wonderful place, but there are a lot of niggles and I suppose how those niggles affect you will dictate what kind of experience you have. If you love a warm, welcoming customer experience where you feel valued, this is unlikely to be where you will find it. If however you like things to be organised and processed, then you will definitely experience those things. Here are our comments based on our own experience and opinions…
• Check in is perfunctory, so don’t ask for anything else at that point as, like us, you may be asked to come back when less busy – includes purchase of your necessary towel vouchers and safe payment.
• Safe costs 20 Euro and you get 10 back when you return the key at the end.
• Towels are 10E each which you get back at the end of holiday. Towels are obtained from a hut at the poolside, but check timing, as only at certain times can they be obtained and changed.
• WIFI costs 25 E from the main souvenir shop in the floor below reception. N.B. It’s 25E per device used at the same time, so you need to sign off one and sign onto the other at different times with the passwords – if you have two children who use their devices at the same time, then you’re looking at 50E.
• Have low expectations at check in because you aren’t shown to your room and it’s not an easy layout to find your way, at first. Our directions were complicated (we found a far easier route the next day) and we got a bit ratty with each other trying to find our room. I don’t know what disabled people or people with buggies do, because it’s stairs, stairs, stairs. There must be some kind of accessibility though, I guess, as we saw disabled badges in the restaurants on a few reserved tables.
• There’s a couple of pay pool tables, at 2E per game, in the lobby and what looked like x boxes.
• There’s a gym.
• There’s a lovely SPA where I had super treatments – massage and facial for 130E.
• There are what I thought were good shops in the complex – souvenirs, sweets, inflatables, clothes, jewellery, leather goods – nice.
• You get 3 evenings in one of the restaurants and the rest in the buffet dining area. These restaurants must be booked –and advise doing it v early on. Food is all good, in our opinion, but not excellent anywhere and we found it to be appropriately hot. We didn’t enjoy breakfast at all – probably just us!
• There’s a bus into Costa Adeje – timings displayed in reception area.
• Thomas Cook’s reps very accessible in resort and offer excursions bookable from their on-site office.
• Communal areas spotless – in fact constant cleaning goes on – but our room was very dirty and cleaning of room was not at all good, despite our daily tips for the cleaners. That was a real negative for us. (We found the cleaners to be v pleasant people.)
• Room TV was ancient and needed to be moved around to get a picture – a loose connection? Décor also a little tired.
• Genuine AI holiday where food and drinks can be obtained anytime and minibars are stocked daily with 250ml coke, Fanta and Fanta lemon as well as beer and 2 large bottles of water.
• 3 pools. Two split by a walk across bridge, heated on one side and icy cold on other. Infinity pool and quiet area with amazing views of ocean further on and whirlpool for age 14+
• Pools open 8-8 at this time of year but cleaning of only heated and therefore most popular pool takes place at 5pm on a Wednesday during our holiday, peak pool time – which irritated a lot of people.
• Lots of sun lounger hogging, sometimes with towels on unused sunbeds all day – and no people. We saw some people remove these towels and throw them on the ground or even take them. There was a bit of towel turf war, which we decided to ignore and kept our towels with us.
• Hotel regulations enforced erratically, e.g.
o Pool inflatables not allowed but sold in one of the hotel shops and pool full of them. However the children were all really well behaved and having fun and this was not a bother at all.
o No jumping into the pool from the bridge between pools, unless the organised entertainment includes this in one of their games – confusing for the younger kids.
o No drinking glasses around the pool – there are plenty of plastic glasses. This is ignored and I saw a breakage, which was ignored by staff. The lady picked up the glass (all of it?) and just walked away to sit somewhere else and it was v close to the poolside… swarming with children. That I found poor.
o No smoking around pool – ha ha ha…. If you have the same experience as us, you will find yourself in a haze of smoke and it’s a case of bad luck if you sit next to a smoker for the day…. There are even terracotta pots, filled with what looks like ash, where people were putting their used butts, around the pool sun lounger area. This was our main bugbear and is the reason we will never return to this hotel, sadly. Otherwise, we definitely would.
• Cigarette butts thrown from balcony windows at back of hotel, which staff constantly clean up. However, poor behaviour from guests and it is horrible to sit on your balcony in a haze of smoke – so we didn’t use it.
• Fun poolside entertainment and great fun joining in the catchy “Bahia Principe” song!
• Buffet very varied. Also v busy, like a fast food place and so noisy you can’t hear yourself think – eat outside where it’s a lovely, lovely experience and the views and atmosphere are super.
• Booked restaurants seemed v quiet so we wondered why it was so difficult to get a booking.
• Rooms have thin walls, so you can hear next door on both sides and the corridor, and bathrooms have strange half doors across toilet area which we found irritating.
• Cleaners did not replenish bathroom toiletries thoroughly, so I had to buy a bar of soap in the hotel shop – aloe vera, lovely. I did catch the cleaner and ask for soap. She handed me two bars, one of which I opened. I then found the second one had been removed the following day, leaving us with a tiny sliver: what?
• Staff are not friendly, rarely make eye contact and never smile, with the exception of two ladies from the buffet restaurant and a couple of the waiters in the Mexican and Italian restaurant.
• The hotel has rigorous processes in place for, e.g. shepherding people in and out of the restaurant, which is understandable as it makes management of the crowds efficient. There would no doubt be complaints otherwise, but this makes it ANYTHING but customer centric. It’s a process centric place.
o Went to Tenerife Pearl which was well worth a visit and I would recommend it. You get a voucher for 5% discount as soon as you land.
o Went to Santa Cruz for the festival. Were told it was second in the world only to Rio. Arrived 1pm and left 9pm. Be warned that there is nothing to do until the floats start, but I think you probably couldn’t get into the place after 1pm because they close the roads. By the time the parade started, we were tired and disillusioned. Couldn’t even get a taxi back to Costs Adeje (90 Euro) because of closed roads. Were very hacked off until we decided at around 7pm to go back to the bus and wait in the warm – it rained 3 times, the only rain we had the entire time in Tfe. It was on the way back that we found ourselves caught up, with a much smaller crowd, in the end of the parade and we were walking on the streets with the performers. There we spent about an hour. It was magical and made everything worthwhile. Went back to the bus happy, even though we had to walk for ages because they put the wrong number on our bus home and we couldn’t find it. We didn’t complain, several others did that…..
• There were two gentlemen and a child (separate parties) with identical unpleasant looking skin infections, one of whom was using Daktarin ointment – a fungal infection? Contagious? These people were using the pools, towels and sunbeds. We didn’t mention this to the hotel ,as we wondered what could/ would be done about it and felt we’d be labelled as complainers – maybe a sign could be put up for the future? I know this could happen anywhere and is about the guests and not the hotel per se.
• No real bad behaviour evident, despite all day AI alcohol. Friendly guests in general.
• We met guests from UK, Sweden, Germany, N Ireland and Russia and our son made friends, which was great for everyone.
• Entertainment varied and, as you can take it or leave it, ok. Non-intrusive if you want to avoid.
So if you book the Bahia Principe Costa Adeje, enjoy……
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.