Eden Parque Vacacional is perfect for families and longer stays
As any traveler knows, where you stay can make or break your vacation. This is not to say that everyone should be saving every penny in order to afford a week at a luxury resort. In some cases, the whole vacation revolves around picking a hotel with a spa, pool and gourmet restaurant. In other cases, the idea is to have a nice clean, comfortable place to stay while you explore the city. Sometimes you are traveling with family, other times it’s a couples getaway, or a work related trip. We visited at Parque Vacacional Eden in Puerto de la Cruz, Tenerife on our honeymoon. The truth of the matter is that we chose the hotel thanks to our good friend who has been working at the hotel for the past few years. He had been urging us to come visit for some time, and we saw this as the perfect opportunity. (I say this in an effort to be completely transparent, but I will also make an effort, as always, to share our experience while being as honest and frank as possible.)
We flew into Tenerife´s North airport where we decided to catch the public bus (“guagua“) to Puerto de la Cruz. Another option for transportation is a taxi which will cost you between 30- 40 euros. While it´s true that you can visit the island without a car, relying on different tours, vacation packs and buses, it is highly advisable to rent a car during your stay. When we checked in at the front desk we learned that Parque Vacacional Eden works with one of the car rental companies in the area and provides rental cars at a very reasonable price. We scheduled one to be ready for pick up the following day.
My first impression of Parque Vacacional Eden was rather different from what I had expected, but more than anything else because I was expecting a hotel, and really these are apartments with lots of the services provided in a hotel. Each unit has kitchen with a mini refrigerator, and there is a little bus that runs from the hotel down the hill to the supermarket, for free. And yes, the hotel is located at the top of a huge hill. But don´t worry, a taxi ride from the port area up to Parque Vacacional Eden will only cost about 3 euros. I´m not exaggerating and it is well worth the money!
As we had requested to stay in the equivalent of a “honeymoon suite” when we arrived at our room there were flowers and champagne waiting for us. We were told that this is an option that will soon be available for all guests if they choose to add a little special something for their vacation. We were really impressed with the room´s modern design and clean lines. The décor was pretty and fresh, and on the far end of the room was a terrace complete with a table and chairs to enjoy the view of the mountains on one side and the ocean on the other. The room also boasted a kitchen, spacious bathroom with a double sink, and a television with channels available in various languages (specifically Spanish, English and German). I think we were especially impressed with the room because the Parque Vacacional Eden is in the process of renovations. While the lobby area is clean, the décor is clearly dated, and it reminded me of a resort I had stayed at with my family when we visited Florida in the early 1990s. The carpets in the hallway (which we are assured will be replaced in the upcoming season) were similarly worn. The room, however, was a breath of fresh air and if the reforms are to follow suit, the end result will be amazing!
After getting settled in our room we took a walk around to get a lay of the land. We made our way down one of the multiple paths lined with wildlife and gorgeous plants native to the region towards the dining room. Each day the dining room offers a breakfast, lunch and dinner buffet. You can see the lunch and dinner offerings posted around the hotel, and decide whether to eat in the dining room, cook a small meal in your own room, or dine out.
As we were out and about exploring the island, we didn´t have a chance to eat lunch or dinner at the hotel, however we enjoyed breakfast one morning, and the buffet was very complete for most people´s tastes. There are plans to include a small “coffee corner” in the future for those guests who are leaving for an early flight or an early excursion to the Teide national park with coffee, juice, and some rolls or sandwiches available.
There is also a small bar located off the main dining room where you can order something small when the dining room itself is closed. The bar is also open at night if you want to have a drink after returning from a day of touring. Again, I will mention that the décor of the dining room and bar is somewhat dated with lots of floral patterns and wicker type furniture. Regardless, everything was clean, and the people working in the bar and cafeteria were helpful if a bit relaxed in their service.
Another feature of the Parque Vacacional Eden is its swimming pools. The complex has a total of three pools, one of which is covered in winter and is heated to 23ºC. This pool is the largest one, at 25×10 meters and is located just next to the bar and hotel gardens on the first floor of Eden Luz. This was the pool we most enjoyed, as it was nearest to our room and usually less crowded. There is a small pool just next to the bigger pool (6.95 x 4.54 meters) for kids.
We also spent some time at another of the pools, which is located on the 5th floor of Eden Esplanade. The pool is smaller (18×10 meters) but from here you can enjoy views of the ocean, as it is higher up. The only possible drawback to this pool is that there tended to be more children splashing around and playing in this area. Of course, if you come with your children to spend a week or two, they are sure to find some new playmates (and may even have the chance to brush up on their German or Spanish skills!) The feature we most enjoyed about this pool was the ping pong table located next to the pool area. You can leave a deposit of five euros at the main desk and they will rent you a set of paddles and a ping pong ball. The deposit is returned when you return the paddles, but in the meantime, it’s a great way to have some friendly poolside competition.
Also available is a nudist pool on the 10th floor of Eden Esplanade with gorgeous views, although we did not choose to enjoy this particular feature of the hotel. The pool itself if 10×8 meters and is exclusively available for guests who respect and agree to the pool´s norms.
I think one of the most impressive features of the hotel were its 12,000 m2 of gardens. The hotel has actually won a prize for its extensive gardens. The flowers were really impressive and colorful, but what was most impressive were the little lizards that would run across the path at certain points. They don´t hurt you, but it is certainly not something we are accustomed to seeing in Madrid or New York City! We also spotted some house cats and roosters during our visit, but none of them bothered us.
Parque Vacacional Eden also offers a sauna and expert massages. You have to schedule this in advance, and we did not have the opportunity to enjoy this particular part of the hotel. Also available for leisure time are a children´s playground/park, minigolf, chess in the gardens, tennis courts, petanca, ping pong, billiards, and pilates classes. At night, there is live music (depending on the time of year you visit) twice a week. As luck would have it, there were no musicians scheduled to perform during the week we spent at Parque Vacacional Eden.
Tenerife itself is considered the “island of eternal springtime” and enjoys a wonderful climate year round. This in addition to the wide variety of flora and fauna, as well as the national parks, Teide, and beautiful beaches are more than enough reason for you to make Parque Vacacional Eden your destination. However, as I said at the beginning of this article, its important to consider what kind of hotel experience you would like. I want to make it clear that Parque Vacacional Eden is not a resort, but rather a community of vacation apartments with lots of the conveniences associated with a hotel. As it now stands, the apartments are not air conditioned (although at night the temperature cools off considerably), and the rooms do not have internet access (WiFi is available in the hotel lobby). There are plenty of conveniences for families traveling with children, and the habitual client is very independent, so you despite the high capacity of the hotel, you won´t feel crowded. We recommend Parque Vacacional Eden with 4 boquerones and look forward to seeing the completed renovation in the next couple of seasons.