Call of the Canaries: The all-singing resort in Tenerife that is music to the ears for families

  • Villa Maria resort is located in La Caleta in the south-western corner of Tenerife
  • There are 78 villas on the lush green site, which was once a banana plantation
  • It has all the pleasures of a hotel, including three pools and daily entertainment

Seven months pregnant — tired, vast, waddling — and all I want is to flop.

My energetic husband is keen for long mountain walks accompanied by panoramic sea views.

Our daughter, Grace, aged three, is determined to do as much splashing in the pool as possible, after squishing no fewer than five swimsuits into her Trunki suitcase.

And my sister, the bookworm and gastronome? She wants to eat fresh seafood daily, sample rabbit paella and have enough time sunbathing to devour several huge history books.

Sweet spot: The Villa Maria resort in the fishing village of La Caleta is a hit for both grown-ups and children 

Luckily, we find the lovely fishing village of La Caleta, in the south-western corner of Tenerife, in the Canary Islands. Perched on a hillside with spectacular views of the Adeje Mountains and Atlantic Ocean, it may be just around the corner from the Brits-abroad haven of Playa de las Americas but, spiritually, it’s a world away.

We stay at the Villa Maria resort, on the site of a former banana plantation — green, lush, with palm trees and bougainvillea everywhere — made up of 78 villas.

We’re blessed with our own pool — to add to the three others on site. We have all the pleasures of a hotel, including the huge buffet breakfasts and daily entertainment (the parrot show is a big hit with Grace).

Our stay is enhanced by booking through Tots To Travel, a specialist holiday firm that does all the graft to ensure it is child-friendly.

And as for our individual holiday wishes? Well, Grace is virtually prune-like by the end of each day, thanks to all those swimming pools; the vertiginous mountain paths allow my husband to explore and feel like a warrior, while my sister and I collapse with books.

There are no egg-and-chips restaurants in La Caleta. Instead (and keeping foodie sis happy), there’s a beachside parade of a dozen or so authentic Canarian seafood and tapas restaurants overlooking a pretty pebble beach, about ten minutes’ walk down the hill. Ocean waves crash throughout our evening meals and the restaurant windows are flecked with sea salt.

Piscis Terraza becomes a firm favourite, thanks to its delectable grilled fish platters.

Tropical: Palm trees line the promenade along the beach in the town of La Caleta

For a change of scene, five minutes in a taxi takes us to Playa del Duque, an upmarket spot with a lovely, white-sand beach and fabulous restaurants.

La Caleta has worked its charms on us all. It would work as a lure for grandparents, too, because Villa Maria is near the Golf Costa Adeje course (which has hosted the Spanish Open).

Few grandpas would pass up a few holes here, while grandmas would have the designer shops in Playa del Duque to keep them occupied. Something to bear in mind for us next time, when there’ll be two little swimmers to keep endlessly entertained. 


Tots To Travel (, 0800 014 2770) offers a one-bedroom villa at Hotel Suite Villa Maria from £206 per night for a family of three B&B. EasyJet ( flies from Gatwick to Tenerife from £76 return.

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