With a multitude of food intolerances holidaying at a Hotel for me is a very daunting thought. Something I’d almost rather not consider. But after a tough year with health issues and a house move we really felt we needed a break away. A break where we both had complete relaxation , no cooking or worrying about what to eat.
My husband had heard good things about the Abama in Tenerife . A Ritz Carlton Hotel in Guia de Isora . After a little persuassion we booked a week in the winter sun.
In advance we emailed the food and beverage manager at the hotel . Giving a hotel advanced notice I think is a good idea, whether you are gluten free due to having coeliac disease or a dairy intolerance or like me a long list of foods I have to avoid. The restaurants then have time to make sure they can be fully prepared.
I felt far calmer about the holiday once the email was sent and a reply had been received. My husband researched all the restaurants at Abama and pre booked every night before we flew. Abama has two Michelin star Restaurants , neither was something we felt we needed to try , although I’m sure they are amazing . With so much other choice we knew we would eat well . We chose to go half board to get the best deal.
La Miramar – locally sourced Seafood restaurant / Breakfast venue for Villa guests
Verona – Italian
20/20 Steak house
TXOKO – Traditional Spanish
Beach club restaurant
Los Chozos – Bar and restaurant ( not visited )
La Casa club ( not visited )
Sports bar ( not visited )
M.B – Michelin star restaurant ( not visited )
Abama Kabuki – Japanese fusion Michelin star restaurant (not visited )
We arrived on Thursday afternoon and after checking in we were met by the Executive chef and we were given a glass of Cava . He instantly made me feel at ease about my week at Abama . Opening up his laptop he took more notes as I chatted him through my list including onions, garlic, paprika, chilli’s, yeast including wine & vinegar and Gluten . He was so reassuring making notes in both english and Spanish to send to all the restaurants. A fantastic start!
Our first meal was lunch at the beautiful beach side restaurant local fish grilled with the softest mash , just perfect alfresco dinning in a relaxed atmosphere. In the evening we ate at the Seafood restaurant overlooking the sea. With the weather in Tenerife warm enough to sit outside with heaters just like a UK good summer. We enjoyed a salt crusted Sea bass with traditional Tenerife style potatoes and vegetables.
Day 2 was our first chance to experience breakfast on the veranda of La Mirabar Alfresco this restaurant is for Villa guests only . A big plus for me, close to our villa and views straight out to the sea and the island of La Gomera. At 9am in the morning it was warm enough to sit outside with just a cardigan. From the very first minute I felt like a very special guest . Post it notes were on all our bookings and every day I was told reasuringly that they were informed about my intolerances. There was a huge buffet but also an a la cart menu Which I chose from every day. Sometimes asking for things off menu which the chef was happy to provide . Delicious omelettes , poached eggs, salmon bacon, avocado etc.
They struggled to understand that I couldn’t eat the gluten free bread and rolls and occasionally offered it to me. The good thing was I was able to have a look at what was on offer and the gluten free rolls etc looked really nice. I also noticed that lactose free milk was available and soya milk was available at the buffet. Plenty of fresh fruit as you would expect and hams and cheeses were on offer. I had these brought directly from the kitchen rather than the buffet to avoid the cross contamination .
Our evening was spent at the steak restaurant 20/20 This restaurant is up at the hotel a steep walk or a 5 min buggy ride away. The waiting staff here were a little slow but on the whole it was a fine meal of Spanish cheese and Iberian ham , Steak and gluten free fries and a creme brûlée . It reminded me of eating at Côte.
Our third Evening was spent at the Amazing Spanish restaurant our favourite . The waiting and front of house team were exceptional The surrounding were lovely an indoor restaurant up at the hotel again but very Spanish in feel and just that extra bit special. The food was a real treat the best aged Iberian ham I have ever tasted along with some good quality Manchego cheese .
My main course was some beautifully cooked fish with crispy skin , steamed veg and fries made specially for me in separate oil . Gluten free desserts are always more difficult to find on a menu it seems. But here I was offered the most incredible Spanish decadent rice pudding I had ever tasted with a brûlée style topping . At the end of the meal unexpectedly the wonderful Chef came out to be introduced and shook our hands . I’m sure the other customers thought we were very special , they made such a fuss of us.
Days were spent by the adult only pool very close to our villa looking out to sea and beyond to La Gomera , With complimentary water and fruit there was no need to move at all, or pay out for lunch .
Just plenty of time for absorbing some much needed vitamin D and reading some gentle books . Perfect for improving your mental health and completely switching off from all the pressures of life. The pool staff were attentive and friendly the pool area was very clean and quiet . The water was 24 degrees perfect for a little light exercise . There was a bar on site for tapas style lunches and a cheeky drink.
Day 4 we had booked to eat at 20/20 again but as we were not over enamoured with the quality of the food we changed to the Spanish restaurant where we knew we would eat like Kings. It might sound strange but I had virtually the same meal as i’d had the night before. Being a Spanish restaurant the majority of main courses contained onions and garlic etc But I was quite happy having more beautiful fish and this time special mash made for me by the chef in advance as he had asked on our last visit if there was anything he could make for me specially . The rice pudding the night before had been so amazing an even though there was other choices apart from fruit . I couldn’t resist ordering it a second time. So sweet and creamy it somehow felt very homely and comforting . Although I’ve never eaten quite such an amazing rice pudding in the UK.
A very memorable evening meal was the special Paella the chef created at La Miramar
Our final evening was spent at the Italian restaurant at the hotel, This restaurant did have gluten free pastas available , but I chose some lovely fish and fresh veggies followed by a delicious raspberry panna cotta .
If you are thinking of spending a week on Tenerife, I can recommend a drive up the volcano Mount Teide , the scenery is absolutely stunning and surprised me enormously.
The small coastal villages are beautiful as are the historic inland villages like Garachico with quiet squares for people watching and welcome shade in the heat of the day.
The hotel we stayed at was really lovely and I can definitely recommend . I would particularly recommend a villa rather than a hotel room . It has the edge on the hotel and feels just that little more special. Our room was clean , nicely decorated and had the most stunning views from our balcony.
Well worth a stay if you are celebrating a special birthday or anniversary . Just be aware the hotel is on a hill , with relatively steep slopes and numerous steps around the resort. There is though a team of drivers to taxi you around in golf buggies ( allow 15mins plus ) , a resort train to take you to the beach and hotel.
and a funicular railway down to the golden sand beach .
We had a fabulous time, and would definitely return, when we’ve saved up !
its certainly not a cheap holiday but for a special occasion you can’t go wrong.
Happy Holidays !