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Privacy and luxury

Five-star sparkle at the Ritz-Carlton Abama

Anne Murray takes a lingering look at a hotel of unabashed luxury set in a fabulous location - where Penelope Cruz tops up her tan

This is a luxury five-star enclave sitting on the west coast of sun-soaked Tenerife... a year-round destination for warm weather that attracts a celebrity clientele. Its 72-hole golf course is a key attraction, as is a lovely gold-sand beach.

Star quality: Penelope Cruz, Javier Bardem, Bill Clinton, Stephen Hawking.

Vital statistics: A Moorish palace of excellence in Tenerife, set high on the cliffs, the terracotta walls of the Abama shore up the Canary island's most luxurious hotel. Surrounded by extravagant tropical gardens, you'll find nearly 500 suites and rooms amid its shady courtyards.


A stroll on the peaceful beach, which is reached by cable car from the hotel


Its cliff-top setting means that you'll be whisked down to the beach by a cable car, but if you want to stay put there are nine swimming pools, including an infinity pool at the cliff's edge that looks out across to the island of La Gomera.

The Abama's unabashed luxury continues with two Michelin-starred restaurants. MB comes under the supervision of Martin Berasategui, with classic Spanish cuisine.

Kabuki serves Japanese in a sleek red and black interior.

Eight others include Le Mirador, which specialises in seafood and has views of the ocean.

During school holidays, the bankers of Europe descend en masse with their young children.


Rocks and palms fringe a clifftop pool at The Abama, with views across the ocean


If you want to escape beautifully dressed euro-tots, head to the Tagor villas. The most exclusive (and expensive) of all the Abama's rooms are reserved for over-18s, with complimentary drinks and snacks.

Another refuge for adults is the Abama's 72-par golf course. Considered to be one of Spain's finest, it brings golf-minded celebrities including Bill Clinton to the resort.

Other sports facilities include seven tennis courts - one a show court with seating for 600 people.

Location report: Tucked away on the west coast, near Playa de San Juan resort, which is a 15-minute walk away along the cliff. The rest of the island requires a hire car.


Shady spots surround one of the nine pools


Key attraction: Privacy and the sort of luxury that you normally find in only a handful of exclusive resorts around the globe. Reliable short-haul winter sun with Ritz-Carlton finesse (Asprey products in the bathrooms).

The hotel's extensive grounds are meticulously kept, and the beach has imported sand because the local stuff was considered to be a bit dark and gritty for the hotel.

In the news: Cruz and husband Bardem were at the Abama recently.

Good enough for the rest of us?: Technically, the Abama's beach is public - but access is almost impossible without going via the hotel.



First published in the Mail Online - February 2015

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