Despite having been renovated in 1998 (which in hotel terms is quite a while back itself), the style of the hotel has no doubt remained the same since it opened in the 70s. It is a simple hotel with basic services, overwhelmingly catering for the older guest, hence the insistence on keeping the original, slightly dated style. Its location is the best, but it can boast good service and decent food, along with comfortable rooms and good views. Ideal for those simply looking to do very little for as long as possible!
El Tope is located, along with a few other hotels, in a residential area up and inland in the northern resort of Puerto de la Cruz. The closest beach, Playa de Martiánez, is around a fifteen minute walk downhill, while the centre of town, with its shops, restaurants and bars, is perhaps slightly closer. The hotel does have a limited number of free-of-charge parking spaces right in front of the entrance, however if none are available on your arrival you can always find a place on the street just outside. The island's northern airport is 16 miles away by road while the southern one is 56 miles away.
Some of the hotel's rooms are located in the basement and have no lift access, making them unsuitable for handicapped guests (there are a few rooms adapted for guests in a wheelchair). While these rooms obviously have no sea view, they do look up to the volcano Teide, a view which many guests prefer.
The El Tope is housed in a nondescript 1970s block high up above the coast at the top of a steep road. Although the outside is not particularly appealing, the entrance hall is slightly better with an old-fashioned wooden panelled reception to the left and a long spacious seating area to the right. Behind the reception are displayed a plethora of awards, in particular for service, which turned out to be perfectly justified (although none of the awards seem to have been won since the 1990s). If you do choose to stay at El Tope, we hope you like flowers, floral print and paisley patterns as these are everywhere: the carpets, the upholstery and in vases. You'll notice this as you walk around the hotel, which is easy to find your way around thanks to the simple layout, as well as the demoded décor. However, the hotel seems to be playing to a particular type of client and by all accounts they are succeeding. The pool area, which consists of just one pool (there is no kids pool), doesn't have an enormous amount of space and the sun doesn't appear until around 11am which is not ideal if you like to get in a quick sunbathing session before brekkie. We also found it a little noisy with traffic from the road. The views though into the interior of the island are quite pleasant with plants and trees in the foreground and the mighty Teide as the background. Another, rather agreeable, area of the hotel is the garden outside and to the left of the hotel entrance where one can sit and relax with a drink or a book and take in the sea views, although you might have to compete with some noise from the street in order to think. Other amenities in the hotel include a hairdresser, a sauna, limited massage services, a card-playing room, two tennis courts and coin-operated PCs for surfing the internet. While there is no animation team and daily activities, there is live music three times per week in the lobby. Note that there is a 6? deposit for pool and beach towels.
El Tope offers two categories of room, although the superior one, the junior suite, differentiates itself solely by its extra amenities and not by its size. The rooms, you won't be shocked to read, are, along with the hotel, in need of being dragged into the present day and wouldn't look out of place in your grandparents' country house. A red carpet gives warmth to the room which has a few basic pieces of furniture such as a desk, butler and table and armchairs. Amenities include a flatscreen television, safe (2.50? per week) and fridge (complimentary). The bathrooms are sufficiently big but only have (quite large) showers and no toiletries aside from soap and gel in dispensers. Every room has a balcony which overlooks either the sea or the island's interior and those on the first floors are biggest. Guests in the junior suites will enjoy such extras as bathrobes, slippers, fruit, water, champagne and free use of the safe.
The restaurant is conveniently situated just off the main lobby and so benefits from lots of light coming in through the floor-to-ceiling windows and of course a sea view. At both breakfast and dinner the choice and variety of dishes is wide and the quality of the food is not bad, although some of what was on offer was, it must be said, unidentifiable. The sea of white covered tables is smartly laid and the service from the waiting staff is excellent and good humoured. One small detail which we liked, and which won't make you choose this hotel over another but shows a bit of common sense, was the fact that for the dishes with a sauce, a long serving spoon was put in place so as to avoid its slipping into the tray and creating a mess. The restaurant also has a good selection of wines from the region. In terms of bars, there is one in the lobby, which is used mainly in the evening when the musicians are in town, while there is a second by the pool. This latter is situated, bizarrely, inside and is a bit grim so you'd do better to take your drinks straight outside to the poolside.
The closest beach to the hotel is Playa de Martiánez. The beach enjoys fine white sand although this is mixed with a little seaweed once in the water, which is pretty clear. There is plenty of space in which to sunbathe and sufficient loungers, which are available at a fee (all beaches in Spain are public). Even in the high season one does not feel too claustrophobic. Note that it can get quite windy in this part of the coast.
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