Spending our final holiday at the Roca Nivaria Gran Hotel in the beautifully sunny Tenerife, has to be the highlight of my year. After visiting the Canary Islands last year, staying in Fuerteventura, my hopes weren’t too high for Tenerife. Fortunately I was pleasantly surprised.
After scrolling through reviews of Tenerife hotels and scrolling the online travel agents, we soon realised that any hotel which looked reasonably nice was well above our budget.
Still above budget, we downgraded to half-board but after seeing photos and TripAdvisor reviews for the Roca Nivaria hotel we KNEW this was exactly where we wanted to stay. So after upping our budget, and booking our stay, away went.
Roca Nivaria Gran Hotel
The reviews don’t lie, Roca Nivaria Gran Hotel is a 5* spa hotel in Playa Paraiso (near Costa Adeje). It’s beautiful. Exactly the kind of hotel we had been looking for, we couldn’t wait to explore it.
It’s trendy, luxurious, has a fully equipped gym, a tranquil spa, sports areas, delicious and nutritious food and 2 lavish infinity pools.
Arriving at Roca Nivaria around mid-day, after our private transfer from the airport, we were ready for bed. Our early morning flight meant we didn’t get much sleep, waking up at 1:45am that morning. We were shattered.
Walking through the doors of Roca Nivaria, expecting to be overwhelmed, we were warmly greeted by the friendly and accommodating reception staff. Assisting us out of our taxi with our bags and explaining everything to us in detail, but not so much that we would be overloaded, we knew this holiday was going to be great.
After arriving early, our room wasn’t quite ready so we were invited for complimentary welcome drinks in the lobby bar. Roca Nivaria’s Lobby bar is a beautifully designed area with pool tables, books and spectacular views across the pools and sea, much more than we expected from a reception bar.
Roca Nivaria has 2 indoor bars, the one in the lobby and the piano bar just below, both with stunning outside terraces, and views of both the sea and the beautiful pools. The piano bar is where the hotel holds their evening entertainment, however, we only managed to catch one show, “Amazing Mongolia” a crazy acrobatics act.
We booked a Superior Sea View room through Thomas Cook, but after speaking directly with Adrian Hoteles we were informed that not all superior rooms have sea views. Maybe this is something Thomas cook should review in the future.
Still, our room, number 428, did not disappoint. We may not have had the best of sea views as some of the other rooms, but it was great nonetheless.
The room’s huge. It’s the kind of room you would expect Roca Nivaria to be selling as their premium suite. With minimalistic, yet contemporary decor, an opaque glass divider separates the bedroom and living area, it looks almost like an intricate Tim Burton meets asian flower design.
I don’t know about you, but I for one, hate arriving at a hotel, wanting a siesta only to find horrible, hard single beds pushed together to form a double. As a result spending half your sleep falling through the gap in the middle. That’s what we had on our last holiday, but not here.
The comfy king size bed made our siesta time perfect.
With regards to housekeeping, we were asked on arrival how often we required our sheets and towels changing. Being the eco friendly couple we are, we opted out of the daily change and chose every 2 days instead. Because, it’s not like we’re smelly, dirty people, but fresh sheets are one of the life’s luxuries.
In addition, housekeeping attend to the rooms twice daily to tidy, clean, make beds, then open the beds and leave chocolates (YES!) on the bed. So, make sure you don’t leave your “do not disturb” sign up.
For extra space, our Roca Nivaria superior room came with both a living room and a walk-in wardrobe, which was great for me as I tend to have clothes sprawled out across most hotel rooms I stay in. I of course allowed the boyfriend one clothes rail, however, the rest, was definitely mine.
And lastly, the bathroom. Not only did it have a shower, but a bath as well. Also, being a Spanish Island, there was also a Bday next to the loo, alongside the double couples sink area.
Pool & Beach
This has to be two of Roca Nivaria’s prime features. We’d already seen from their reviews many photos, but we didn’t expect them to be so perfect.
Spending the majority of our time in the hotel, the pool is such an important factor. There really is no need to leave. Reading books on my kindle app, next to the sparkling pools became a big part of my day (hence why I’m now writing this on a plane with a burnt bum).
With 2 vast infinity pools, surrounded by tropical palm trees, plenty of sun loungers and cabanas which can be rented out for the day or the duration of your stay, Roca Nivaria has it all.
A relaxing, salt water pool on the top floor, to make swimming, floating and relaxing a much easier task and a cooler, more “child” friendly pool on the lower floor. By child friendly, I think I saw one child throughout the stay, so don’t worry about noise or annoying kids.
The lower ground pool isn’t heated. It’s a great pool if you’re going to keep moving around, otherwise it can get pretty chilly.
The first experience we had of this pool was on our first day, planning to explore and look around, we got dragged into playing pool volleyball by one of the animation team (Gabby, I think her name was) which was a fun start to our holiday.
As well as the pools, Roca Nivaria also benefits from its very own beach cove. After spending the majority of our time in the pools, we didn’t get much time for the beach, besides, I find sand pretty irritating and it always ends up in places it shouldn’t be. However, we still took a little wander down, dipped our toes in the beautifully warm sea and admired the location.
Gym & Spa
Staying active on your holidays is hard. But, with a fully equipped gym and spa there really is no better place than this. We even managed to fit in 2 cardio days and 2 weights days during our stay.
As Well as the indoor fitness suite, Roca Nivaria also boasts an outdoor area filled with bikes and cross trainers. Due to the shape of the cover, we stayed sheltered from the sun and even had a nice, gentle cooling breeze.
After heading down to the spa area to check out the indoor gym, and enquire about prices, we were shocked to be told it was FREE. Which was great for keeping up with our usual training routine, without having to pay any extra costs.
And, after all that exercise, we benefited from a free spa circuit, which customers receive in voucher form on arrival.
Starting with a relaxing stone foot bath, an essential oil shower and a warm relaxing pool it’s then over to the plunge pool for a quick dip. Unfortunately that was more torture than relaxation. I honestly don’t know why you would subject yourself to almost freezing temperatures, for relaxation?
However, after the torturous plunge pool, it was on to the Saunas, Jacuzzi, steam rooms and then finally ending in a magnesium salt filled flotation pool. Which more than made up for the plunge pool incident. Floating around without a care in the world, what could be more relaxing?
What’s The Food Like?
One of our main draws to this hotel was the pictures and reviews of food on TripAdvisor. I love food. All food. Everyday. Food.
The Buffet Restaurant
After previously experiencing some less than adequate buffets at other hotels we couldn’t wait to dig in. Of course, there was still the beige foods like bread, pizza and chips, but unlike some, it wasn’t restricted to just that.
With more salad, vegetables, fish and meat than a farm, there was so much variety and choice.
Every night was a different theme—Mexican was my favourite.
There are also three different areas, other than the middle salad and cold foods section, serving a selection of different options:
- 1. One for fish and some meats
- 2. One for pastas
- 3. And another for the bbq area outside serving steaks, sausages, and pork.
Always managing to find (at least) 3 courses worth of food, the food baby grew spectacularly.
The best thing about the food, though, is the fact that it wasn’t all unhealthy. Of course, I had churros, pancakes and pastries for breakfast some days
every day but I generally feel like I ate reasonably healthily and definitely ate at least 5 portions of fruit and veg a day.
More Than Just The Buffet
As well as the buffet restaurant Roca Nivaria also has 2 a la carte restaurants, a Spanish and an Italian. In addition, it also has a poolside restaurant, which is used for the lunch time buffet and snacks. However, we didn’t venture to any of these as we were more than impressed by the variety on offer in the buffet restaurant.
No matter what I tell you about the food, I won’t be able to do it the justice it deserves. It’s just great.
We didn’t spend much time outside the hotel. On our first night, we took a taxi to the “party” side of town to meet one of my boyfriends uni friends but I wasn’t too impressed.
Adeje & las Americanas
Our taxi cost €20 and dropped us off in a place called Veronicas. As we got out the taxi we were immediately hassled by “lads” promoting bars and trying to tempt you in with free drinks and “top shelf” spirits.
I don’t care. It’s Tenerife, not Magaluf, if I want to get hassled and dragged into bars I’d go there. Still, it seems quite a few lads and ladettes holiday in Tenerife and the sights are quite amusing.
After heading away from the strip, to a little Irish bar called Dubliner, with a downstairs live music area and fairly cheap drinks. We realised we were now far away from “riff-raff” on the strip, and enjoying a more “mature” clientele.
We also had a few drinks in the hard rock café because their cocktails are pretty epic, unlike Harry’s opposite, who I think gave me alcohol poisoning in just one sip of my Pina Colada—I’ve never tasted anything so strong.
Roca Nivaria is around 20 minutes in a car from las Americanas (the tacky part of town) and 15 or so, from Adeje. We had a few drinks around the playa Fanabe and Adeje areas but we preferred the atmosphere in our hotel and didn’t really feel the need to go out exploring other bars.
Roca Nivaria is located in Playa Paraiso, which is currently a massive building site, but from inside the hotel, you would have no idea that they’re actually building a hard rock hotel just 30meters away (which is due for completion October 2016).
We didn’t really explore Playa Paraiso, We walked to the supermarket occasionally for some lunch bits and bobs and bottles of water, but again felt no need to go anywhere else. Roca Nivaria was definitely enough on its own.
In A Nutshell
I honestly don’t think I will ever be able to do a budget holiday again. After a life fit for a princess all week, going back to the day job is going to be pretty tough.
I will 1000000000% be returning to Roca Nivaria, Whatever it takes. For 10 days this time, so hello scrimping and saving time.
Roca Nivaria, it’s been a pleasure—see you again (hopefully soon)