The Canary Islands might not be the first place that comes to mind when considering a wellness getaway, but you might want to think again. On the island of Tenerife sits a sprawling luxury resort called Bahia del Duque - which translates to Bay of the Duke - spanning over a 100,000 square metre estate (of which over 63,000 are tropical gardens).
Celebrities and professional athletes alike have stayed here, with the complex hosting eight restaurants, including a Michelin Star venue, and its own Observatory for star gazing. Intrigued yet? Read on.
What sets it apart?
Before we get into the resort's features, you first need to appreciate its size. As you already know, the grounds are huge and have the accommodation to match. Bahia del Duke offers 346 spacious rooms, including 57 suites and 40 private villas; however, despite its scale, the resort feels far from crowded.
Perhaps it's Bahia's secluded and private nature that has made it appealing to A-list guests such as Mariah Carey. Or maybe it's the fact that you have everything you need all in one place, from multiple pools and restaurants to activities and entertainment. If you want to retreat from busy streets and bustling markets for a few days, or even weeks, this might be just the ticket.
Tell me about its wellness offering
If, like me, you also don't know what thalassotherapy is, it comes from the Greek word 'thalassa', meaning 'sea' and involves using seawater as a form of therapy.
On arrival, you're also given a schedule of the classes offered at the resort for the duration of your stay, ranging from Aqua Gym and CrossFit to Latin dance and Aerobics.
If you prefer to keep your own schedule, why not check out the tennis courts (where high-profile players have been known to train out of season), or go for a walk along the beach right outside the resort, featuring volcanic sand and a pier overlooking the bay?
And if you're lucky enough to have a clear sky at night, you can also head to the hotel's observatory for an intro to star-gazing. Fun fact about the Canary Islands: the Canaries are protected by 'Sky Law', designed to address night-time light pollution and regulate air routes making it a particularly popular destination for star-gazing. Bahia even has its own Observatory so that guests can learn more about astronomy and enjoy the view during their stay (weather permitting, of course).
How are the rooms?
The rooms are spread across the resort and I was lucky enough to have one overlooking the central courtyard and ocean. Not only was the bed super comfortable, it was also absolutely huge - two big ticks in my book. As for the bathroom, you were spoiled with the toiletries provided, which is especially helpful if you're travelling with only hand luggage.
I was staying just off the main reception building, making it well connected to the bars and restaurants but if you're looking for something a little more private, the hotel also has a retreat within the ground called Las Villas.
What about the food?
Bahia has a whopping eight restaurants on-site, one of which has a Michelin Star, so there's no shortage of culinary options.
The breakfast offering is, quite honestly, unparalleled. There are countless buffet stations to satisfy a wide range of dietary requirements and preferences, ranging from gluten and dairy-free options to a gourmet egg station and even a chocolate fountain, so there's literally something for everyone. If you're tossing up whether to include breakfast in your stay, I couldn't recommend it enough.
I went to three other restaurants within the resort, with La Hacienda being my favourite. Overlooking the promenade, this little gem has amazing cocktails and seafood options, perfect for snacking as you watch the sunset over the horizon.
During the afternoon, I stopped off for an Aperol Spritz, olives and garlic prawns at the Bar Beach Club, which sits atop a terrace over one of the many pools with an incredible hotel view.
Another night, I visited SUA and enjoyed the cured meats and cheese, followed by grilled chicken and T-bone steak. My recommendation would be to order the roasted pineapple with aged rum sauce and vanilla ice cream for dessert.
If I was at the resort for longer, I also would have loved to check out the Michelin Star eatery, Nub, but perhaps this is another reason for me to return...
For more information about Bahia del Duque and to plan your trip, visit the luxury travel site Sovereign.