This is a charming hotel, in a lovely resort on a smashing island. The Valle Mar stands in a fantastic position, right on the pedestrianised promenade of Puerto de la Cruz and opposite the intriguing lidos of the Lagos Martianez, designed by the artistic genius Cesar Manrique. The five-storey Valle Mar is a traditional (some may say old fashioned) Canarian hotel. Our corner room on the first floor was oddly shaped but spacious and with a double aspect, sliding doors to the massive balcony + a large fixed window. As well as twin beds, it had a desk, table and two comfortable armchairs. The mattresses and pillows were too hard for our liking, but they always are in holiday hotels. The flat screen satellite TV has only one English-speaking channel, the dreadful BBC World News. There are loads of German-language stations for the predominantly-German guests. The irritation here is that most of the programmes are American movies or TV shows which are dubbed into German. If they were sub-titled, we poor Brits could enjoy them too! The bathroom was large but oddly-configured with a bath, washbasin,WC and bidet. The shower - plenty of hot water - was over the bath, not my preferred option. The decor throughout the room (indeed the whole hotel) was dark brown wood, not everyone's favourite, but we liked it. As with the rest of the hotel, our room was carpeted which is off-trend in 2013 but certainly keeps down the noise levels. The Valle Mar is the quietest holiday hotel we have stayed in during recent years, with little room-to-room sound transmission. We were a trifle worried that outside noise from the busy promenade would be a problem. But it wasn't. Puerto de la Cruz is not a party town. The hotel restaurant is on the first floor with terrific panoramic views over the sea, a really lovely space. The food - buffet style, of which I am not a fan - is varied, well cooked and of good quality. But, as is always the case, it can be repetitious for guests staying longer than a week. The standard of cleanliness throughout the hotel is exemplary. The staff are courteous, professional and efficient in all departments. My only gripe with the hotel is the swimming pool. It is on the roof - and is tiny. It has curious, sloping sides and a tricky ladder. As the pool is small, so is the surrounding sunbathing area. Inexplicably, the upper tier in the pool area was roped off while were there, so dozens of neatly-stacked sunbeds were out of bounds. There is also a sunbathing deck on the 3rd floor but beds and parasols were in short supply there, too. But, that problem apart, Valle Mar is a nice, friendly hotel. My wife and I loved it. Puerto de la Cruz is an interesting town - a good mix of holiday resort and an authentic working town. The promenade outside the Valle Mar leads to the Paseo de San Telmo, a pedestrians-only street, high above the Atlantic waves ceaslessly crashing on to the rocks, and through the town (again walkers only) to the Plaza del Charco, a tree-lined square surrounded by restaurants, bars and shops and the focal point for visitors and locals in the evenings and at weekends. There is a beach (Playa de Martinanez) of black volcanic sand within 100 metres of the hotel but it's scruffy and mainly for surfers. The best beaches (also black sand) are at the opposite end of the resort - Playa Jardin and Playa de Punta Brava. The main tourist attraction in the resort (indeed on the island) is Loro Parque, a cross between a zoo and a theme park. I normally hate this kind of thing but it's excellent. In the (very steep!) upper areas of the town, there are the more understated botanical gardens, orchid gardens and water gardens. All are well worth a visit. Unlike the grisly south of Tenerife (with the ghastly Blackpool-like resorts of Playa de Las Americas and Los Christianos) where the 'countryside' has the appearance of a string of worked-out industrial quarries, the north (around Puerto de la Cruz) is lush and verdant. This was our first visit to Tenerife; it won't be our last.
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- Also Known As:
- Valle Mar Hotel Puerto De La Cruz
- Valle Mar Tenerife/Puerto De La Cruz