During 2012, my travels took me to five very different destinations throughout the world. I began and ended the year in tropical locations that are part of the United States of America—the Florida Keys and Kauai, Hawaii. Sandwiched in between were Tenerife, the largest of Spain's Canary Islands, located off the coast of Morocco, Africa; Riviera Maya, on Mexico's Yucatan Peninsula, and the Galapagos Islands, made famous by Charles Darwin's theory of evolution, located off the coast of Ecuador in South America.
In looking back over these destinations, each spectacular in their own way, I thought about all the places I have temporarily called home—the hotels (and one a floating hotel) where I have laid my head (upon the satin pillowcase I take with me everywhere), but in very different locales. Which were my favorites?
Here is the second, which I am featuring in the order I visited them, with heartfelt thanks to all the staff at each of these world class resorts who made my stay so memorable!
Gran Hotel Bahía del Duque Resort
Tenerife, Canary Islands
(Visited April, 2012)
From the moment I checked into this 5-star resort in the Costa Adeje region of Tenerife, I could immediately see why it has become a landmark in the southern part of the island. It has a distinctive look and feel that is unlike any other resort I've seen. The resort covers 25 acres and includes 356 rooms; 46 are suites. Forty luxe villas and an expansive Spa-Thallasso were opened in 2009.
Why stay here? For many reasons, you won’t want to leave. The view from my room was like a postcard come to life and the room itself was beautifully appointed, from the king size bed’s painted tile headboard, to the large marble tiled bath with extra-large shower. The design of the 20 buildings making up the hotel was inspired by Canary Island culture, creating the feeling of an authentic town, while the uniforms of staff members match the colonial influences reflected in the surrounding architecture.
Other amenities: Nine restaurants (I enjoyed wonderful meals in two of them—La Brasserie and Asia-Kan), seven bars, and five pools, not to mention its private Playa del Duque beach. Bahia del Duque has fully earned its five-star designation for accommodations and services. It is a member of Leading Hotels of the World. TripAdvisor granted the hotel its Certificate of Excellence 2012.
Next: "Tops in the tropics 2012" - Rosewood Mayakoba Resort, Riviera Maya, Mexico