The ‘before and after’ of luxury tourism in Adeje

Gold medal presentation for Hotel Bahía del Duque

José Miguel Rodríguez Fraga: “This hotel opening signified a ‘before and after’ in the tourism model here and in the rest of the island”

The Adeje council, following a unanimous vote, this Tuesday awarded the borough’s Gold Medal to the Hotel Bahía del Duque, celebrating 25 years since it opened in 1993. The presentation was made by Adeje mayor José Miguel Rodríguez Fraga and accepted on behalf of the hotel by the president of the group, Francisco Javier Zamorano. Also present were the current director of the hotel Cristina de Juan and the seven workers who have been with the hotel since it first opened its doors.

The hotel was built in 1993 and that decision to construct a 5-star luxury hotel, in what was a period of economic uncertainty in the region, was seen as a brave one, a risk but one that marked a confidence in the tourism sector in Adeje and in the islands in general.

The mayor José Miguel Rodríguez Fraga, on presenting the award, said that the hotel’s construction and philosophy marked a ‘before and after’, “not just for our borough but for the sector as a whole because it was our entry into the top level of tourism, the introduction of a new brand where the main goal was quality, something we have striven for in the 25 years since”. He also congratulated all the workers who have, over the years, contributed to the success of the hotel as well as the directors and owners, “who have consistently worked to introduce new tourism concepts, and created a school for staff training…to work in the Bahía del Duque has always been seen within the sector as a mark of professionalism and ensuring things are properly done”.

The president of the group said it was an honour for the hotel to receive the award. “When we began 25 years ago the idea was to create a destination which would stand out for its qualities of excellence and after a lot of work, dedication and perseverance, we have created a product that is synonymous with luxury, quality and personalisation in a unique setting without losing those traditional values that make us different. Thanks too to the institutions and public administrations such as the Adeje council who have supported us in every way possible”.

The hotel, designed by architect Andrés Piñeiro, opened with 346 rooms, 57 of those were suites, and 40 villas, and was an excellent reflection of Canarian architecture. It is acknowledged as the first luxury hotel to open in the Canary Islands and was also innovative in offering private villas with personalised steward services, as well as hotel rooms.

With 600 employees it boasts 5 pools, squash, padel and tennis courts, gyms, a lake, the Bahía Wellness Retreat and a biosphere with 63,000m2 of tropical and subtropical vegetation. From its inception it was seen as force to improve the local economy in the south of the island, and over the years has become an excellent resource for employment given the on-going staff training. And since 1993 many other hotels have copied the style to enhance the luxury offer in the south.

The Bahía del Duque is, today, a recognised standard bearer for good practise in the luxury hotel industry and experts have consistently named it as one of the best establishments of its kind in Europe. It has also won numerous prizes over the years, including the Conde Nast Johansen best hotel in the world in 2011, with various of the different installations also being recognised internationally for their quality.

 

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Tenerife – a well kept secret!

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Recently the British Guild of Travel Writers was in Adeje hosting their annual conference, the second time Tenerife has been chosen as the venue for this important event.

Almost 90 of the top English language travel writers, photographers and broadcasters gathered in the Bahia del Duque for the inaugural dinner, at which Adeje deputy mayor Carmen Rosa Gonzalez Cabrera officially welcomed them to the borough and wished them well at the start of their conference.

“We are delighted to see you all here, in Adeje, a very international borough, home to 120 different nationalities, as well as the first choice destination for hundreds of thousands of British holiday makers every year. We are very proud of Adeje, both as a place to live for so many people and a holiday destination, and I hope you will have some time during your stay to discover why people don’t just chose to come to Adeje once, but come back again and again.

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“Our tourism offer is constantly changing and developing, It would be easy to sit back and say, ‘OK, we are one of the top ten destinations, we don’t have to do any more’, but instead we are constantly looking to move forward, to meet new tourist challenges and needs. Some of your Guild members – Joe Cawley and Andrea Montgomery fell for the charms of our island years ago and live here…and it’s great to see the guild represented in Adeje and Tenerife”, she concluded, referring to the two Guild members who live here in Tenerife and often contribute articles about the island to international publications.

The incoming chairperson of the guild, Alistair McKenzie, an online travel editor, was delighted to be back in Tenerife, “it’s a year round destination that we can trust”, and “as one of our writers said, ‘it’s one of the best kept secrets’, it’s a fantastic destination, it’s not hard to find good stuff to write about and lots of it”. He agreed that conferences of this kind really do benefit the location as many members will return on holiday. He also said that Tenerife had indeed overcome some the negative imagery of the past and nowadays was seen as a top class destination. “It’s become a sophisticated destination”, he said, “and increasingly so with more emphasis on activities (hang gliding, scuba diving, mountain biking, etc)…for the millennial generation those activities are much more sought after and it actually plays to your strengths”.

The conference was organised with Tenerife and Promotur sponsorship.

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