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Where to stay in Tenerife (and where NOT!)

Tourists sunbathing on Los Cristianos beach

So where should you stay in Tenerife? While most choose to stay in the South in the bigger resorts like Costa Adeje, Playa de las Americas and Los Cristianos, the rest of the island has much to offer as well. If you are looking for a more relaxed or budget setting, Golf del Sur, Costa del Silencio, Puerto de Santiago and Los Gigantes are great choices. For those who want to discover the lush and green Tenerife, Puerto de la Cruz is ideal in the North of Tenerife.

Best hotel & destination for you in Tenerife

I visited 80 of the best-reviewed hotels during my stay in Tenerife. Below you find my selection of the best hotels with the best location for that specific type of hotel. If you don’t care about the location because you spent most of your time in the hotel itself, I would advise you to look at my complete list of the best hotels in Tenerife.

For the mentioned hotels below I provide affiliate links to Booking.com for more pictures and pricing.

Family holiday in Tenerife

When you’re looking at the ideal location for a family-friendly hotel, the Landmar Playa la Arena offers by far one of the best options. Not only is this hotel very family-friendly with different pools with water slides, but it is also right next to the Playa de la Arena beach. Moreover, it is less than 50 meters from the actual beach. Also, within a very short walk, you arrive in the heart of the resort, where most of the bars and restaurants are.

Also worth considering is the Landmar Costa Los Gigantes. The hotel is more extensive and has even more pools and family fun stuff to choose from. It is right next to the Be Live Experience Playa la Arena but higher up the hill.

Both the hotels mentioned above are located in the smaller Playa la Arena area. However, if you want to be in a busier destination of Tenerife with more things to see and do, then the Spring hotel Bitacora in Playa de las Americas might be an excellent choice for you.

Luxury holidays

For a more luxurious and upscale holiday in Tenerife, your best choice is Playa de las Americas and the newer additions to the Costa Adeje.

The Sir Anthony hotel is an excellent five-star option in Playa de las Americas. This hotel is not adults-only but has an “adults-oriented” vibe. So quiet, peaceful and relaxed. It is located in the heart of Playa de Las Americas, right next to the beach but a bit away from the Los Veronicas party area, not to be disturbed by it.

In the newer “Costa Adeje” areas, you will find both the Vincci Collection la Plantacion del Sur and the Adrian hotels Jardines de Nivaria in a peaceful and quiet location near the more upscale restaurants and shopping of the Costa Adeje area.

Beach hotels

If you want to spend most of the time on the beach during your holiday in Tenerife, no specific hotels come to mind that is the best. Just look for great hotels near the Playa del Duque, Playa el Beril or anywhere in the Playa de las Americas and Los Cristianos area… the bigger, more family-friendly beaches on the island.

If you want small and compact beaches, all hotels in the Playa Paraiso, like the Clubhotel Riu Buenavista and Hard Rock Hotel Tenerife are great choices.

Adults only holidays

There are quite a few great options on the island for those looking for an adults-only holiday in Tenerife.

If you want to be in a quiet and relaxed hotel and location but still want to be within easy walking distance from restaurants, bars and nightlife, the personal feeling and compact H10 Big Sur in Los Cristianos is one of the better choices on the island.

For those who want a more prominent and more gran-dish feeling hotel, the hotel Riu Arecas in the lovely area of Costa Adeje makes a great choice.

All-Inclusive holidays

By far, the best for a unique all-inclusive holiday in Tenerife is the Barcelo Tenerife. However, there is very little to see and do around this hotel since most is offered within the hotel.

Sunlight Bahia Principe de Tenerife is another great hotel with everything you want within the hotel near the Playa Paraiso area of Tenerife.

Holidays without a car

If you are not renting a car in Tenerife it is best to stay in Costa Adeje. Not only do you have many things to do nearby, but also many bus lines leave from here to all over the island. Also, there are many tour operators organizing trips all over the island from here and many free buses to some of the more popular tourist attractions on the island are available from here.

Nightlife and party holidays for young people and couples

There is only one real place in Tenerife for those who want to go clubbing or spend the whole night partying in Tenerife. This is the Las Veronicas area of Playa de las Americas.

Evening and nightlife

If you want to be close to the party area of Playa de las Americas but not be in the middle of it every day, then Los Cristianos and Costa Adeje are nearby to this area and a great option to stay. However, since these areas are pretty big, make sure to check the hotel’s exact location you choose before booking.

Budget-friendly holidays in Tenerife

While hotels and accommodation in Tenerife come in every price category, the more budget-friendly destinations on the island, in general, are Golf del Sur, Costa del Silencio, El Medano and Callao Salvaje. If you want to do a city holiday, then the capital of Santa Cruz is also very budget-friendly.

Holiday destinations in Tenerife

Golf del Sur

Golf del Sur beach

The holiday destination closest to the airport is the Golf del Sur area.  There are a few hotels here and an extensive shopping, bars and restaurants centre.  This area is very popular with golfers, but other holidaymakers come here as well.  In general, it’s pretty cheap here compared to other holiday resorts in Tenerife. This area has a beach, but it’s not the nicest one. In recent years it has gotten a new extension of the promenade that will take you to the neighbouring area where you will find an authentic fishing village with some interesting restaurants.

Best places to stay in Golf del Sur
Family – Barcelo Tenerife
On a budget – Santa Barbara Golf and Ocean Club

Costa del Silencio

People swimming at Costa del Silencio

Also close to the airport you will find the Costa del Silencio with next to it las Galletas.  The Costa del Silencio is very popular with Belgian tourists and Dutch and French as well.  The area has a nice place to swim near Costa Amarilla. The Costa del Silencio in Tenerife has seen better days but recently has started improving and reinvesting.  A bonus is the Las Galletas area next door, it feels very Spanish, and the prices are pretty friendly here. Also here you will find some excellent restaurants and a harbour from where you can do many watersports.

El Medano

El Medano is a small and authentic Spanish holiday resort with, at the moment, mostly budget hotels with not the best ratings.  It is very popular with surfers and people visiting it for just one or two days. Many pro surfers also come to practice here. The whole resort has a bohemian and hipster feel. If you are looking for a place away from all the tourism on the island, then El Medano could be your best choice.

Best places to stay in El Medano
Beach – Hotel Medano


Palm-Mar is one of the lesser-known areas in the South of Tenerife. This might be because it is the only destination in the South that does not have a nice beach. Just some beach clubs and rocks near the front. But if you are not a beach person, there are some excellent hotels here in the area.

Los Cristianos

Los Cristianos is one of the more popular resorts in Tenerife.  It still has a pretty Spanish and authentic feel and a lovely big white sandy beach and restaurants catering to all nationalities.  This resort is a bit busier than the Costa del Silencio and Golf del Sur we have discussed previously. In the last few years, they started offering a lot of good adults-only hotels in this area.

Best places to stay in Los Cristianos
Family – Paradise Park Fun Lifestyle
Adults-only – H10 Big Sur and Arona Gran Hotel

  • In short: Big resort but still with a nice Spanish feel
  • Nightlife: A large selection of bars and restaurants with a mostly chilled-out vibe near the beachfront. On the Av San Fransico, there are some more dance and music bars. No real clubs in Los Cristianos.
  • Best time to go: All year, December has more rain
  • Airport transfer: From 4 euro
  • Top tip: Siam Water Park
  • Video: Los Cristianos tour

Playa de las Americas

Busy Playa de las Americas beach

Playa de las Americas is known for parties and nightlife, and yes, in the Veronicas area where they have a lot of it.  Near this area, in the Playa de las Americas you find the Troya beaches, black sand beaches. On the other side of Playa de las Americas you have a white sand beach, and that area is less party and more upscale dining and shopping. So know that Playa de las Americas is pretty large and has a lot of variety. Pick the right place for you within the resort.

Best places to stay in Playa de las Americas
Family – HD Parque Cristobal
Luxury – Sir Anthony Hotel Tenerife
Budget – Parque Santiago 3

Costa Adeje

Swimmers in the Costa Adeje

The Costa Adeje area is the largest holiday area in the South of Tenerife. Also, because of this, there is much variety within the resort.

  • Puerto Colon (Playa la Pinta) within the Costa Adeje is one of the oldest, more crowded and more busy places to stay in. This is also closest to Playa de las Americas, so if you also want to have some nightlife this might be the best.
  • Playa de Torviscas and Fanabe beach are very similar but larger.
  • The Playa del Duque is a little further away from these beaches and also where you will find many new-build hotels with a 4 or 5-star rating.
  • The Playa el Beril is the newest addition to the Costa Adeje and has the newest, most upscale and most expensive hotels.
  • Then there is also the La Caleta area in the Costa Adeje all the way at the end of the resort. This area feels like a small compact holiday village near the front with many new and modern hotels surrounding it. So you can stay in a luxurious hotel while still having a real authentic village near the front of the resort. If you like to stay on the beach then the Playa de la Enmarada nearby will connect you to the rest of the Costa Adeje.

Wherever you decide to book in Costa Adeje, make sure to check the location of your accommodation. The further you go away from the beaches, the higher up the hill you will be, and it can get very steep and hard to get around. Especially the accommodation located on the other side of the highway is very high up the hill.

Best places to stay in Costa Adeje
Adults – Iberostar Gran Salome and Adrian Hotels Colon Guanahani
Luxury – Adrian Hotels Jardines de Nivaria and Vincci Selection la Plantacion del Sur

  • In short: Big resort with a large variety of beaches
  • Nightlife: One of the largest selections of bars, dance, music and family pubs on the island.
  • Best time to go: All year, December has more rain
  • Airport transfer: From 4 euro
  • Top tip: Check your hotel location on a map before booking
  • Video: Costa Adeje tour

Playa Paraiso

Quiet beach at Playa Paraiso

A few kilometres away but technically still part of the Costa Adeje is the Playa Paraiso.  There are a few excellent 4 and 5-star hotels here, like the new Hard Rock Hotel Tenerife. The Playa Paraiso is relatively small and quiet, with not much nightlife except for festivals and parties in the Hard Rock hotel.

Best places to stay in Playa Paraiso
All-Inclusive family – Riu Buena Vista
Beach club – Hard Rock Hotel Tenerife
Luxury – Adrian Roca Nivaria

Callao Salvaje

Callao Salvaje beach resort

Callao Salvaje is a cheaper holiday destination with only a few hotels, primarily 2 and 3 stars. Here you will find a pretty nice beach as well. It is located just next to the Playa Paraiso.

Puerto de Santiago

Playa la Arena black sand beach

Next up is the Puerto de Santiago area.  There is everything you can want here from bars, to restaurants, to shops and nightlife.  This area is lesser-known but very lovely. Just keep in mind it is pretty hilly and therefore might be less interesting for holidaymakers with babies or disabilities. However, you can find a few lovely family hotels here as well as a harbour and a few different, smaller beaches.

Los Gigantes

Town square in Los Gigantes

Los Gigantes is the resort next to and connected to Puerto de Santiago. This resort is an authentic feeling village with a nice harbour area with many excellent restaurants and little bars, all with a more authentic Spanish feel than many other holiday destinations in Tenerife. The one thing that is important to know is that there is a lot of uphill walking and nearly climbing in this area, depending on where your hotel is. So keep this in mind.

Best places to stay in Los Gigantes
Family – Royal Sun Resort

Puerto de la Cruz

Beach in Puerto de la Cruz

In the North, you will find one of my favourite destinations in Tenerife, Puerto de la Cruz.  Why? Well, it’s a real town with hotels added in, not just hotels next to a beach like other places in Tenerife.  Also, it is in the North, and it’s more lush and green here because of the microclimate. This also means there is more rain here than in other places on the island, so keep that in mind.  In Puerto de la Cruz, you will also find two great beaches. This resort is very popular with an older generation looking for a relaxed destination.

Best places to stay in Puerto de la Cruz
Family – H10 Tenerife Playa
Luxury – Hotel Botanico
Budget – Apartamentos Casablanca

Santa Cruz de Tenerife

Santa Cruz is the capital of Tenerife, and strangely enough, even tho it is the capital… one of the cheapest places in Tenerife.  To make a quick comparison… a good mojito here will cost you about 3 to 4 euro. An average ok mojito in the South will cost you about 7 to 8 euros.  You will also find a few hotels here and the Playa de las Teresitas, but this is about 8 km outside of the city. So I would advise Santa Cruz to stay for just a few days, not a whole week’s holiday.

Best places to stay in Santa Cruz de Tenerife
Luxury – Iberostar Heritage Gran Mencey

Should you stay in the North or South of Tenerife?

Something people ask me a lot is if the South or the North of Tenerife is better? The North is nice, but that does not mean it is the right choice for you. The South is still the more popular place on the island. Primarily because it is highly developed and aimed at tourists with everything most tourists are looking for.

The North, on the other hand, is less popular and more authentically Spanish. Something I like better, but that is a personal preference and might not be yours. Also, in wintertime, you will notice a few more clouds and more rain in the North because of the microclimate. But this also means the North is more lush, green and has more beautiful places to walk or explore.

In summary: If you want an easy sun and beach holiday with all the comforts of home, then the South is best for you. However, if you want a more unique and active holiday in Tenerife with a more authentic Spanish feel, the North is best for you.