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A la Colthard

From the moment we were greeted warmly at reception on arrival I knew I would like the Hotel Botanico. It’s an old fashioned hotel that majors on their service which is impeccable.

It also has excellent amenities like 2 swimming pools, 3 superb restaurants and a more than adequate pool cafe, tropical gardens, spa, gracious salons, loads of organised daily activities set out in the daily newsheet you are handed at breakfast.

The criticisms are hard to find. Perhaps the decor in places is tired, the Muzak is as ubiquitous as it is irritating, there are no tea or coffee making facilities in the room. It reminds me of the Mount Nelson in Cape Town.

At 300 euros a day (half board) I would not regard it as that expensive.

Last night we ate at the Spanish Parrilla restaurant. We have now eaten at all three restaurants.

This was probably the best. I had foie gras, a fillet of pork and banas flambé with ice cream.

Each course was delicious and the local red Marba wine we sampled at the wine-tasting set it off well. I have had 5 meals in the hotel including two snacky ones pool-side and each have been excellent.

I appreciate an evening turn down service, a hotel employee who will actually take you to the loo rather than point its location and the ever present smile.

I tried the spa for a Thai massage. For this I had to wear a T-shirt and legging. I questioned this apparel to be informed it’s customary with Thai massages.

Okay, I know there is the odd exuberant client who might embarrass everyone including himself by seeking a “happy ending” but massage is about direct manipulation not through clothes. Why do I say “himself’? Aren’t we girls entitled to a happy ending too!!!

Kirker Holidays, who organise musical tours, have one at the hotel. It’s about twice the cost we paid but does include the concerts. It’s not the price that puts me off but the shepherding.

By the pool, I could hear the guide explaining to the group they have 5 minutes before convening for the Orchid appreciation tour.

I like the fact that I was intending to see Puerto Cruz yesterday but it was fine weather and at the last moment the pool seemed the more attractive option than a town centre no doubt overcrowded on a hot Sunday.

I don’t go on holiday to be organised.

Daphne Colthard
About Daphne Colthard

After graduating at RADA but finding no roles Daphne went into magazine journalism with Good Housekeeping. Widely recognised as one of the country's leading restaurant and hotel reviewers, particularly by herself, Daphne is the author of "Bedded and Breakfasted", a light hearted chick novel and Grand Hotels DC: the Daffers Dictionary. Daphne lives in West London and is married to an investment banker Oliver. They have 2 boys Humphrey and Tarquin. More Posts