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Tenerife - Iberostar Bouganville Playa Hotel Review (Star Prestige)
Iberostar Bouganville Playa hotel building from the nearest beach
Iberostar Bouganville Playa is a 4-star hotel in Costa Adeje, Tenerife. It is newly refurbished (newly as in still fresh and shiny in 2018), which was one of the reasons I decided to book it as the place to stay for my Tenerife holiday. Refurbishment can make a ton of difference when hotels are a few decades old and it's very possible that your room will be better in a refurbished 4-star hotel than in an old 5-star hotel.
The second reason to come here is being seduced by the Star Prestige offering. For those who are not familiar with this type of offer - some hotels have an option of buying an extra package that will distinguish you from the standard guests and give some sort of privileges. The exact scheme details depend on the hotel, but the perks can be access to lounges, a better room, a separate restaurant etc.
After enjoying being treated in a special way with a similar scheme in the Sandos Papagayo hotel in Lanzarote, I've really taken to having extra perks during my holiday and the Star Prestige sun terraces at Bouganville Playa looked too appealing to resist, so we decided to splurge on the upgrade. Is Iberostar Star Prestige worth is? Read on to find out!
So, how did it all go?
To be honest, in my opinion, the location of Iberostar Bouganville Playa is not perfect.
On one hand, it's right by the sea and next to a small sandy beach, which is quite well protected from the waves, close to a large supermarket (Mercadona in centro comercial San Eugenio) and the main bus station can be easily reached on foot if you're planning to explore the island by bus. There are also lots of restaurants nearby for those who prefer to eat outside the hotel.
On the other hand, the area isn't as upmarket as it is further into Costa Adeje - you get a few dodgy-looking shopping areas where lots of shops are empty. Nor is the area particularly quiet - there is a rather noisy bar near the hotel, which isn't exactly conducive to good sleep quality.
View from Iberostar Bouganville Playa towards Costa Adeje
Our room was on the 10th floor (one of the perks of being a Star Prestige guest is that you get a room on a higher floor) and had a small balcony and far-reaching views towards Playa de las Americas, including sea/beaches and the hotel pool area. It was a good-sized room and I liked the freshly renovated modern look. The room had a Nespresso coffee maker with some pods (not much use to us as we drink tea and would have much preferred a normal kettle instead), a mini-bar and a large TV. The bathroom was also of a reasonable size and had a shower, a modern sink and bathrobes and slippers. There is a safe in the room; however, you must pay extra to use it (regardless of whether you are a Star Prestige guest or not).
Being on the 10th floor was both a blessing and a curse. I generally love being on a higher floor in hotels for the views plus it was very handy for access to the rooftop Star Prestige terrace, located on the 11th floor. However, the lifts could be (and often were) a nightmare. Though there were four of them, waiting for one to arrive took ages, especially at peak times, and when a lift finally did come, it could be so full already there was no space. We frequently chose to take the stairs instead of having to wait around - and while going down the stairs was ok, going up from floor -3 (pool level) all the way up to the 10th does require some stamina and a reasonable level of fitness, so if that's not something you feel up to, you might be better off on a lower floor. I chose to view the lift situation as a way to burn off some of those all-inclusive calories rather than just an inconvenience!
Some photos of the room are in the gallery below:
Iberostar Bouganville Playa offers all sorts of board options - we went for all inclusive as that's generally my preferred option in Tenerife. Breakfast and dinner are served in the main buffet restaurant on level -2 and lunch is served in a different (smaller) buffet restaurant on level -3.
The food selection was very good and for dinner there was a different theme every night, so apart from all the usual things, there was a stand displaying the 'themed' food, like Canarian, Japanese or seafood. There were also some stands preparing fresh things (like omelettes at breakfast and fish/meat at dinner).
One of my favourite bits was the freshly made juice section at breakfast. There were a few options made by the staff that you could pour into your glass from a jug and also a juicer and bowls with fruit and veg chunks for people to make their own juices.
Lunch was a more understated affair with fewer choices, but we still found something we liked every day. Please note that if you have lunch included and are planning to go on a full-day tour, you will not get a packed lunch, which was a bit of a surprise - so we were forced to make our own arrangements.
Fitness, Activities and Things to Do:
Another thing that deserves a mention at Iberostar Bouganville Playa is the fitness options available beyond the usual swim in the pool.
First of all, the hotel has a gym and it's one of the best ones I've seen in a hotel. Located on floor -3 by the pool, it's spacious, light and kitted out with a wide selection of devices.
But it's not just the gym that's great at Bouganville Playa - the animation programme offers some great fitness classes as well! You can do a bit of yoga, tai chi or stretching or up your game with some fit jumping or even aqua spinning. Yes, they do indeed have the special pool bikes that they bring out for the class and put in the pool where you work out to some music. It was my first time to try aqua spinning and I absolutely loved it! I didn't end up doing many classes as we were so busy doing all the tours and hikes - by the way, if you're looking for awesome things to do in Tenerife, check out my extensive travel guide - but if I didn't have an extensive list of things planned already, staying at the hotel wouldn't have been boring at all!
There are also the typical animation activities like bingo and archery - did archery and that was really good fun! Plus there is a nice reading corner with a selection of books you can try. There were also the usual shows on in the evenings, but we only managed to attend one, a flamenco show, which was enjoyable.
So we finally get to the question I bet you're all thinking - how was the Star Prestige offering and is it worth paying extra for?
Here is what you get as a Star Prestige guest:
Dedicated premium check-in area with a welcome drink and snack
Porter service for luggage
Room on a higher floor
Welcome gifts in room (fan and key chain)
Free drinks in the mini-bar on arrival (refill at extra cost)
Pool towels in the room with daily change and no deposit (different colour and better quality than for standard guests)
Access to rooftop (11th floor) and lower level (floor -2, but access via stairs from floor -3) adult-only sun terraces (inc. jacuzzi)
Access to the Star Prestige lounge with self-service snacks and drinks area (floor -3)
Separate area in the buffet restaurant for breakfast and dinner (both inside and outside seating available)
Late check-out subject to availability
As you can see, quite a lot of different perks, so I felt that it was well worth the money. I really loved the separate adults-only sun terraces, where there was never any early morning stampede to reserve a sun lounger - I could show up whenever and always get one. The lounge with the snacks and drinks was also very handy as that was where I got my tea fix, seeing as there was no kettle in the room. The Star Prestige area of the buffet restaurant was by the window, so you have views over the sea, plus it was done up in a nicer way than the rest of the restaurant, with white tablecloths.
There is one area that could be improved and that's the opening hours of the Star Prestige lounge with the snacks and drinks, which officially closes at 17:45, which is a silly time to close a lounge! I mean where are we supposed to go after dinner? Now the door isn't physically locked, so you can still go in and the Nespresso machine is there as well as the alcoholic drinks, but they clear away all the snacks and lock up the fridge with the soft drinks. Why on earth would you do that? If anyone from Iberostar ever reads this review - guys, you really need to do better here and extend the opening hours!
Everyone was very friendly and helpful, whether it's staff at reception or in the restaurants. I managed to lose my watch in the hotel (in the restaurant as it turned out) and it was found and returned to me that same night, which was an unexpected but pleasant surprise. In the Star Prestige lounge, staff were constantly popping in to clear the dirty dishes and refill the snacks if necessary.
My only negative comment on service is that room cleaning could be better. We actually arrived to find some coins left over from the previous inhabitants of the room on one of the bedside tables.
Overall, I really enjoyed my stay at Iberostar Bouganville Playa. Whilst there were certainly things that could be improved, there were also many positive aspects. The food was tasty, the room was spacious, the views were great, and I certainly made full use of the Star Prestige facilities. If you are travelling as a couple and looking for that extra special touch of luxury and exclusivity, then Star Prestige at Bouganville Playa is for you!
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