TRAVEL: Winter sun and a boutique experience of Tenerife

Sunset from the Club terrace
Sunset from the Club terrace
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Think of Tenerife and you could be forgiven for picturing package resorts and drunken British tourists.

But there's a more bespoke side to this Canary island where summer never really ends.

The pools, bars and terrace areas at Hotel Jardin Tropical

The pools, bars and terrace areas at Hotel Jardin Tropical

I recently visited the resort of Costa Adeje with a group of British journalists on a trip organised by golf marketing specialists Azalea Group.

We were guests of one of their clients - the four-star Hotel Jardin Tropical, which is popular with golfers but keen to expand its appeal following an extensive refurbishment.

The 400-room complex has an elevated seafront location, and proudly offers five-star service to complement its relaxed boutique vibe.

The hotel has two pools - one of which is filled daily by fresh seawater - and an exclusive terrace for those who have upgraded to the VIP 'Club' package. Guests can chill out and watch the sunset on Bali beds and be served cocktails and canapes on demand in an experience more reminiscent of south-east Asian honeymoon destinations.

The open-air gym has stunning views - yoga and fitness classes are held in peak season

The open-air gym has stunning views - yoga and fitness classes are held in peak season

There is a stunning open-air gym with ocean views, and a spa is currently under construction. Several partner restaurants are located within the Jardin Tropical compound, allowing diners to choose from gourmet seafood, Italian cuisine or a steakhouse.

Golfing groups are a mainstay of the hotel's business, especially during the mild winter months, and there are several highly-regarded courses nearby. Our host played a round at the Abama, which boasts lush, verdant greens, panoramic views and styles itself as the island's best. Green fees can be steep, but discounted rates are available through the hotel.

Most of the clientele were British, German or Belgian, and the majority were retired couples - among them the Italian referee Pierluigi Collina, who took charge of the World Cup final in 2002. The hotel is not particularly aimed at young families, although children's rooms are available and organised activities take place during high season.

A personal highlight was Jardin Tropical's luxury take on the all-inclusive buffet - ubiquitous in these parts. The attractive and spacious restaurant area was home to a huge choice of fresh and beautifully presented dishes, both at breakfast and in the evening. There were meat, sushi, fish, tapas, bread and vegetarian counters, and a heavenly dessert selection.

The dessert table in the hotel restaurant was a sight to behold

The dessert table in the hotel restaurant was a sight to behold

We were able to enjoy two excursions organised by the hotel. Tenerife is one of only three places in the world where pilot whales live all year round, and we stepped aboard a cruiser for a trip three miles offshore in the hope of seeing some of these fascinating animals. Our patience was rewarded when a pod of baby whales appeared, and we watched at close quarters as they swam and played near the boat before swimming south to their feeding grounds.

We were also taken by minibus to Mount Teide, the island's volcanic national park famous for its stunning lunar-like landscape. Home to both extinct and dormant volcanoes, it's a geologist's dream, and although very busy with tourists, we were captivated by the contrasting terrain, much of which is above cloud level. Spain's highest village can also be found en route, and we stopped to try a local delicacy - the barraquito liqueur coffee.

The quality of the accommodation itself was excellent. Most rooms have private balconies, and the suites are well-proportioned and airy.

Jardin Tropical is an upmarket option if you're keen to avoid the large family hotels along this coast. Although room rates reflect its rating, it's well worth the extra outlay, particularly in low season when you're guaranteed your pick of the Bali beds.

Exploring the volcanic landscape of Mount Teide National Park

Exploring the volcanic landscape of Mount Teide National Park

Prices start from 160 Euros per night for bed and breakfast, rising to 210 Euros for the Club package.

Hotel Jardin Tropical - http://www.jardin-tropical.com/en/
Abama Golf Club - http://www.abamagolf.com/en/
Skyline Charters (whale watching) - http://www.skylinetenerife.com/
Feel Tenerife (Mount Teide tours) - https://www.feeltenerife.com/