Wandering through this sprawling property on the southern coast of Tenerife is like stepping into a movie set. Imagine a series of palatial buildings inspired by 19th century Spanish architecture; add arched footbridges, romantic pergolas, and pillared verandas, and envelop everything in exotic gardens bursting with palm trees, jacarandas, and laurels. This is Bahía del Duque, a fairytale village that doubles as a luxury hotel. There’s something for everyone in these vast grounds facing the Atlantic Ocean, from a squash court to a children’s playground to a reading lounge, not to mention a dizzying array of culinary options. Twenty-one bars and restaurants serving French, Basque, Japanese, and other cuisines keep guests nourished and entertained. Leading the pack is Las Aguas, a sophisticated dining room whose evening tasting menu offers a modern take on traditional Canarian dishes like bienmesabe, a creamy dessert made with almonds, honey, and lemon zest.
Tenerife’s perfect spring climate guests into an alfresco bath circuit that starts under a six-foot waterfall to awaken your senses.
The Shapes of Water
Most of the hotel’s common areas, decorated in a style that blends classic European elegance with breezy coastal charm, feature vast windows and abundant terraces designed for maximum enjoyment of Tenerife’s gorgeous landscape. The largest of the seven Canary Islands is known for its colossal Mount Teide volcano and for harboring some of the most beautiful beaches in Spain, including the resort’s own Playa del Duque, a mile-long stretch of white sand bordering azure waters. Sunbathing poolside is no less scenic, with multiple pool areas featuring tumbling volcanic boulders, infinity edges, and other eye-catching flourishes.
A stay in this thoroughly transporting locale would not be complete without spending some time at Bahía Wellness Retreat, the thalassotherapy spa. Designed by interiors maven Pascua Ortega, these expansive facilities are awash in natural stones and blonde woods spanning light-filled atriums and intimate gardens shaded by aromatic trees. The setup is hard to beat: Tenerife’s perfect spring climate lures you into an alfresco bath circuit that starts under a six-foot waterfall to awaken your senses. This saltwater experience is followed by stopovers at a steamy hammam, dips in an ice-cold well, and restful breaks in a solarium strewn with pillowed chaises. A plethora of massages and facials, performed in elegant treatment rooms using a combination of locally sourced medicinal plants and luxurious Natura Bissé products, help reveal glowing skin and soothe tired muscles. For those seeking a full health makeover, the spa houses a physical therapy and nutrition center led by a celebrity physiotherapist (he treats star athletes like Rafael Nadal and Roger Federer). And there’s more, including a beauty salon, fitness studio, and an atmospheric Thai Room dedicated to the healing traditions of Southeast Asia. With so many experiences, so much beauty all around, and a longstanding dedication to impeccable service, Bahía del Duque is like a self-contained fantasy world.