High standards throughout at the Bahia Principe Sunlight in Tenerife
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They'd only just checked in too, but having visited this wonderful complex in the Canary island's Playa Paraiso resort six times, they were able to fill me in with some helpful hints.
The next couple we spoke to had been four times before, the next were five-time veterans, and this seemed to be the case with whomever we spoke to. I could see this was a hotel people came back to time and time again.
And it's not difficult to see why. But first I need to explain my asterisk earlier. We were on a Jet2Holidays break at the all-inclusive Bahia Principe Sunlight Tenerife, which sits beside and blends seamlessly into its sister hotel the Bahia Principe Sunlight Costa Adeje, and for all intents and purposes is one big sprawling and picture postcard-pretty resort.
Pastel-coloured accommodations of differing sizes and heights form the stylish perimeters for pools aplenty (five across the two resorts - with an infinity at the Costa Adeje and also a whirlpool at both) accessed via meandering paths bordered by pumice edifices, towering palms and impressive cacti, and other geological and floral nods to the island's volcanic history and equatorial location.
These walkways - and indeed the two hotels in general - are wheelchair and buggy friendly, though travellers must note that the resort is built on a hill should you wish to experience all of it from top to bottom.
Inside the two complexes opulent brass and marble abound, and decor is stylish and tasteful, with striking contemporary artwork adorning the high walls.
The accommodation junior suites ooze a more rustic charm and are incredibly spacious and immaculately maintained with maid service every day. Flatscreen TV, fridge, hairdryer and air conditioning are all included, as is free wifi throughout the hotel.
With regard to dining there is so much choice - not just in terms of the many varied dishes, but also the choice of venues. The Teide Restaurant was our main eaterie, where we enjoyed breakfast, lunch and dinner either inside or outside with breathtaking views over the Atlantic, the shimmering outline of nearby sister Canary isle La Gomera providing the perfect backdrop as you dined or sipped your sangria.
Also included in the price is a visit to three of the hotel's four a la carte restaurants for every seven days' stay. These are The Asia (Asian Fusion), Dona Lupita (Mexican), Portofino (Traditional Italian) and Casa Bonita Steak House.
They made a really nice change from the nevertheless excellent Teide restaurant and, with more of a dress code, gave us something to put on our gladrags for, and look especially forward to, in the evening.
If you don't fancy moving too far away from your sunbed for lunch, you can also take advantage of the pool cafes, where burger and fries, hotdogs and roast chicken meals can be ordered, with a buffet of salads and other accompaniments to help yourselves to.
Entertainment plays a massive part at the Sunlight, with something happening all the time, be it games and competitions by or in the pool with the dedicated animation teams, through to the evening's entertainment with soloists, duos and larger acts on the stage in the impressive enclosed outdoor courtyard area located midway between the two hotels.
We enjoyed a relaxing break at the complex so were happy to stay within its confines, but as Playa Paraiso is an otherwise small and quiet resort the hotel puts on a free bus service to Playa de las Americas every day for those who fancy a bit of shopping and sightseeing in the island's largest resort.
And of course there are myriad trips courtesy of your ever-present Jet2holidays representative, with excursions (too many to mention all!) including Siam Park - arguably the world's best waterpark (I'm a five-time visitor and it's amazing!), Teide mountain tour, jeep safaris, a variety of island tours and a medieval castle adventure to name but a few.
One thing I wanted to add is that the Sunlight is one of the many hotels where Jet2Holidays offer their Free Resort Flight Check-in Service for the return journey. On our last morning we brought our hold luggage to reception to be taken off our hands by Jet2 staff.
This meant we enjoyed our last day bag-free, didn't have to queue at the airport check-in desks, and collected our cases back in Manchester - what a great idea and service!
So what does keep bringing holidaymakers back to the Bahia Principe Sunlight? Quite simply, it does everything to a high standard. So while you might have perhaps enjoyed other dishes elsewhere, or maybe really loved the entertainment at another hotel, the many Sunlighters we spoke to told us that this was their favourite resort that did everything really, really well.
I can see where they were coming from.
Jet2.com operates award-winning flights to Tenerife (Spain) from 11 UK airports – Birmingham, Bristol, Belfast, East Midlands, Edinburgh, Glasgow, Leeds Bradford, Liverpool John Lennon (starting 2024), London Stansted, Manchester and Newcastle . From Manchester Airport, Jet2.com is operating daily services to Tenerife (Spain) year-round.
Fares to Tenerife (Spain) with Jet2.com start at £130 per person one way including taxes. Package holidays with Jet2holidays to the 4-star Bahia Principe Sunlight Tenerife, start from £899 per person for seven nights all-inclusive accommodation, departing from Manchester on May 12 2024 and based on two adults sharing. Price includes a 22kg baggage allowance, 10kg hand luggage and return transfers.
With a relatively early flight we got our holiday off to a great start by booking a previous night's hotel stay and parking for the duration with Holiday Extras.
They are the market leader in UK airport parking, hotels, lounges, and transfers – and last year most of their customers saved at least £100 on their airport parking vs the price they'd have paid on the gate.
Booking park up Meet & Greet means you can enjoy more holiday with less hassle. Plus with Flextras, if you need to cancel or amend you can without charge. One night’s accommodation at Manchester Doubletree by Hilton with seven nights JetParks3 parking is from £150.30.
For more information and to book, visit HolidayExtras.com or call 0800 316 5678.
Our great start continued with a visit to the 1903 Lounge, Manchester Airport’s premium lounge. It offers fantastic views of the airfield, and has its own team of chefs providing freshly cooked food and premium drinks, cooking them up in front of guests in its theatre kitchen.
The 1903 lounge offers all of the benefits of the Escape lounge, but also gives diners access to a constantly-rotating menu of freshly prepared hot plates, pastries and snacks, plus self-service bars serving complimentary premium alcoholic and soft beverages, including Champagne and locally-produced artisanal spirits.
Passengers will also be able to make use of an included Fast Track security pass and unlimited free Wi-Fi. The lounge is priced from £49.99 per person when booked in advance. At present, 1903 is only available in Terminal Two, with the lounges in Terminals One and Three due to reopen next year.
For more information or to book, visit www.manchesterairport.co.uk/1903