Natural swimming pool
We have often been to the small town of Alcala, (see Alcala1) which is along the coast a short distance east from Los Gigantes. A good parking place is found by driving towards the sea from the roundabout on the main road. Towards the right facing the sea is a very pleasant sea frontage with natural swimming pools and sandy beaches.
Snack bar by the beach
Beach with Hotel in background
Along to the left there is the small port and a square with a good selection of restaurants.
There is a very up-market hotel behind the pedestrian sea frontage called Gran Melia, It is part of a large group of hotels thoughout the Canary Islands and Spain. It has an infinity pool claimed to be the bigest in Europe, It can be seen at the webcam at http://www.skylinewebcams.com/en/webcam/espana/canarias/santa-cruz-de-tenerife/gran-melia-infinity.html and on Googe Earth
The 13th November was holly's 70th birthday so we decided to have two nights bed & breakfast at the Gran Malia.. It was expensive in fact it cost more than a month at our self catering apartment at El Medano!
We arrived about 3.30 on 12th November and found plenty of parking space beneath the hotel. We had booked in on line and were taken to our room from reception and show how to open the door with our card. We had been given two admission cards and two cards for towels for the swimming pools. If you wondering what extras you may find in an up-market hotel bedroom they are 25 green glowing indicator lights at all the light switches, his and her wash hand basins, and a convenient extra telephone right by the loo.
We had an evening meal at a restaurant in the town square, walking there and back.
So far so good.
Holly has been suffering with an arthritic knee and the loss of feeling in two of her fingers due to a trapped nerve. She had visited Carmen in Las Chafiras and had 6 knotted muscles sorted out.
The bed mattress was too hard for holly, and there were the small indicator light shining all night. One was for the television and one or two for each of the light switches.
Holly had such an uncomfortable night that I suggested in the middle of the night that we returned to El Medano the next day.
However the next day we had an appointment with the hotel's webcam at 10 am; there was a buffet breakfast, with as much as you could eat. So we filled up so much that we did not need a midday meal.
At 10 o'clock we positioned ourselves where we could be seen by the webcam and waved to all watching, several people said they'd seen us on their computers.
We were both tired after the bad night, so we went back to our room and holly phoned her sister. We had an early siesta, and at 4 o'clock holly collected a towel and went for a swim in the infinity pool.
The infinity pool was completely tiled under foot, in mosaic, and had unheated sea water, but it was not too cold so holly and several others stayed in for over half an hour. Around the perimeter and in some parts of the centre, it had beige “loungers” just underwater which turned on a mass of bubbles when you lay on them. There was a space where 7 or 8 showers, each with a different head, sprayed water on the swimmers beneath as they came by. Also you could swim into a large spa and sit on any of the 8 seats and enjoy the jets' massage. There were 2 large bays where the floor slopped gently to the basic depth of 1.50 metres and shallow steps elsewhere to ease you into the pool. Around the pool were numerous sun loungers and 5 or 6 bali beds, curtained if you wanted some privacy.
Fountains in the pool
Holly swimming in the pool
In the evening we did not feel like walking into the town for a meal. We had had a good breakfast but no lunch so we were hungry .We decided to have an hotel meal although we had not booked one. We went down for a buffet meal which cost us 42€ each. In comparison our meal the previous meal it the town had cost 50€ for the two of us including wine. However we had a very substantial meal with of course wine.
In the morning we had a big breakfast at the buffet restaurant. There was plenty to eat. The man in front of me when asked whether he wanted cheese or ham in his omelette he said everything, when she put in two slices of ham to start with he asked for one more. We took back our cards to book out at reception and drove out from our basement car park just before midday.
We are used to a quiet life on the Isle of Wight and find the apartment at El Medano made a bit noisy by the neighbours. However because of the large number of people at the hotel, mostly English ,and the loud evening “entertainment” in the main hall, we found the hotel far from restful.