We finally settled on Vincci Seleccion's La Plantacion del Sur (part of the Small Luxury Hotels of the World collection), located in Costa Adeje on the southern coast of Tenerife. Perched high above the shoreline, it offered beautiful views of the ocean and I crushed so hard on its stunning selection of pools, as well as the spa. We were, after all, looking for total relaxation and I knew we wanted a place we could stick around in all day, if we felt like it.
When we arrived to the hotel at 10 p.m., slightly dishevelled and weary from the flight, we were greeted with enthusiasm (and a glass of prosecco!) by hotel staff. Our gorgeous room was approximately the size of the entire flat we'd previously rented in Islington - I couldn't quite believe it.
And when I woke up the first morning, I eagerly pushed back the curtains to take in the sunrise from one of our two balconies, which quickly developed into this view:
It was glorious. The palm trees alone made me swoon, but the blue sky, plus the view of the ocean (and those adorable cacti!) were almost too much for me to take in.
During the day, we'd eagerly gulp down our breakfasts before grabbing our books and magazines from the room to lounge on a Bali bed by the pool for hours on end, often dozing off mid-page. I loved that the hotel had a strict no-reservations-allowed policy for the beds and sun loungers - I wish more hotels would enforce this rule! What's more annoying than the people who race to the "best spots" and throw their towel or book on a chair before disappearing for 3 hours? You know who you are.
Despite this rule, we never had any issues finding the perfect place to read and sunbathe - with six pools available for guests to enjoy (three of which I never even dipped a toe into), La Plantacion del Sur is not short of prime sun-worshipping space.
When the sky finally clouded over for a few hours on our last day, we retreated to the spa, where I shrieked and uttered a few swear words after lowering myself into this icy plunge pool ...
... before warming up in the adjacent sauna and steam room. There's something so wonderful and meditative about sitting quietly in a sauna; I always feel so cleansed and refreshed when I emerge!
The spa's outdoor heated hydrotherapy pool was also a treat. It was relatively quiet during our stay, so we had most of the space to ourselves. I swam up to the edge of the pool and, for a second, felt like I was on a set from Game of Thrones!
I was just so impressed with how well-kept the hotel was, despite its size. The only sign of neglect was the water-cooler in the gym, which seemed to be out of order after our workout (and a bit of a contributing factor to John's subsequent heatstroke and dehydration, poor thing!). Staff were always on-hand to help and were so, so friendly - a lovely contrast to a recent disappointing stay we had at another SLH hotel.
If you're thinking of heading to Tenerife soon, I'd highly recommend staying at La Plantacion del Sur - it's beautiful, peaceful, and serves as the perfect escape from whatever worries/stress you're holding onto.