When you get to a hotel and they tell you that there was a problem with the reservation, you tend to fear the worst. In our case, the ‘problem’ was that the Hotel Rural Victoria’s regular rooms were all full for the week. The receptionist inhaled severely. ‘We’re going to have to put you in a suite,’ he winked. And so we were upgraded, free of charge to the hotel’s swankiest room, complete with lounge, traditional Canarian terrace and total surface area of about double the size of our tiny apartment. Score.
The Hotel Rural Victoria is housed in an elegant 16th century building with glazed patio which, prior to being made into a hotel, was the private residence of a foreign general. Today, the hotel retains a strong flavour of its colonial roots with high ceilings, hardwood fittings and elegant touches throughout. Many of the rooms have balconies with exquisite views either up to the Teide national park or down towards the Atlantic Ocean. Its location in La Orotava is ideal for those seeking a more authentic experience on Tenerife, and the town’s gardens and atmospheric 17th century centre is within staggering distance. Likewise, visitors can fill up at the island’s best tea and cake spot Casa Egon or try some great local tapas and wine at Tasca Tapias before heading off to nearby El Puerto de la Cruz or Garachico.
This is all well and good, but the scenery, the free upgrade and the beautiful setting are nothing compared with the hotel’s little restaurant, which undoubtedly ranks among the best in the Canaries (and regularly features in the Michelin guides, no less). With an accessibly-priced menu (€30 to €40 per person with wine for a big dinner a la carte) and a bargain lunchtime set menu (menú del día) for €11, the food exceeded our expectations, magicking hearty local ingredients into dishes that any five star hotel would be proud to show off. We would especially recommend hitting up the sommelier (read: wine genius) Miguel for his tips on the best tipple to accompany your meal.
The restaurant (the beef medallions in particular…) stole our hearts, as did the exceedingly friendly staff (and not just because they brought us the beef). The lunch menu is especially good value, especially for bon vivants on a budget – we had Canarian soup, beef carpaccio and chicken curry followed by home made flan for desert.
Not so sure
Can get busy at peak times – don’t forget to reserve a table if you are planning on visiting at the weekend or in peak season. Also, the Wifi can be limited in hotel rooms due to the thick walls of this old palace (although it’s fine in communal areas). Internet addicts, you have been warned.
Address: Hotel Rural Victoria, Hermano Apolinar 8, 38300, La Orotava (Tenerife)
Tel: 00 34 922 331 683