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Our hotel in Los Gigantes was … gigantic. It was busy, lively, bustling, fun and chilled out.
The Be Live brand earmark their hotels into categories (City, Collection, Experience, Adults Only and Family) and ours was ‘Family’ with bells on. When we arrived we could hear children going for dinner, laughing, crying, being kids. Any time of day and night you’d see children, you’d see buggies. I couldn’t make my kids stay up past 9pm if I tried but I admired the alert meercat toddlers wheeling about as 10pm came and went – no exaggeration, loads of toddlers were up later than me, so whatever schedule your family keep you’ll fit in. The dining halls had hoards of buggies parked outside – we were definitely not the only family in the village. We belonged.
We dumped our bags – we’d booked a two bedroom suite so Mr Toddler had his own room and a sofa bed [his own tele, fridge with mini bar and balcony (smug)] and Mr Baby had a travel cot in our room (we had a tele but no balcony or mini bar – not so smug) and there was an ensuite bathroom.
Gold star to BeLive – Mr Baby’s travel cot was not only there when we arrived, it was free (I dislike being charged for cots in ‘family’ hotels) and it was erected for us, so one less thing to think about. The rooms were spacious, clean and straightforward.
The various pools stretched off ahead of us – six in total – one children’s pool with flume, two baby pools and three adult pools. Mr Baby was aloof but Mr Toddler was slightly deranged in anticipation. We discovered one of the small baby pools which, despite how big and busy the hotel was, we often had to ourselves, especially around 9.30am, and it never got overcrowded. We didn’t struggle to get three loungers (as Mr Toddler wants his own now to read his kindle!!) as the hotel’s so big there was room for everyone.
We spent hours by the pool. It’s so easy. Especially when you can nip for a coffee (all inclusive), an icecream, a strong gin and tonic and Mr Toddler discovered slush puppies – boy, did he discover slush puppies.
The view from our balcony (sorry, Mr Toddler’s balcony) shows what else was available on site – you can see the high ropes/zip wire, mini golf, soft play, tennis courts and football courts. Every other day Mr Toddler and Mr Husband had a kick about on the football court and we went to the soft play area late afternoon each day.
There’s also a spa/gym, table tennis, air rifle shooting available. We got a voucher to try the spa but I’m Scottish, and I don’t go indoors when the sun is shining. Overall there was enough on site to keep us and the boys entertained. There was a mini club available for four to twelve year olds, plus a notice-board full of kids activities.
One of the biggest draws of a family all inclusive holiday is the food – declaration – I was a glutton and I couldn’t help myself. BeLive offers; Palapa – a Mexican, Spanish and Italian restaurant; Teide the main hall where breakfast, lunch and dinner are served; and a snack bar with regular bar-b-qs. The food was cooked for mass consumption but the quality was good and varied – one night there was sushi which totally threw me, in a good way. There was a children’s buffet too and the chefs would cook up fresh pasta bolognaise in front of you which was a hit with my tots.
I hadn’t appreciated how much, as a mother, I’d be bobbing back and forth to the buffet for various courses for all of us – people are like food yo-yos in these places. I also hadn’t appreciated that eating most meals at the hotel then playing at the pool meant that we’d be public parenting 99% of the time. It’s fine, it’s just not what I’m used to, in life or in self-catering. But if you’re worried about tot meltdowns then don’t – these halls are buzzing, the noise level is high and parents are supportive of each other. The majority of the time everyone’s kids were having the time of their tiny lives, eating ice-cream till it came out their ears.
The restaurants were busy, we always got a table, but there were queues for sought after items (meat at dinner, coffee (blessed coffee) in the mornings so a few more coffee machines wouldn’t go amiss) but it all moved swiftly enough.
All is forgiven for serving prosecco on a Sunday morning at breakfast – baby in high chair, toddler by my side, yet a glass of prosecco before 10am, I was definitely on holiday, a Be Live family holiday.
LOWDOWN – We flew direct from Aberdeen to Tenerife with Barrhead Travel. The flight takes under five hours. Mr Toddler had his own seat for the first time, as he’s now two, which cost more but it made the flight so much easier. The transfer time was just over an hour.
The return leg was an early one. We were collected at 0420 (ouch) and the rest is a blur to me.
The hotel does have a beach a ten minute walk away which I’ll highlight in another post so you can nip out of the hotel for some sandcastles and sandwiches. We also had a really great day out on a pirate ship – more to come!
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