Hotel Hacienda de Abajo - San Miguel de La Palma

Stepping into the Hotel Hacienda de Abajo is like coming home. For me it's like being allowed to play in the rooms that I was never allowed to when I was young. My mother kept half the house out of bounds to me and my siblings, only allowing us to catch a glimpse on days when my parents had parties. I remember hiding on the stairs trying not to get caught whilst gorgeous pieces of china and glassware intermingled with laughter in a magic world we had no access to. I always thought, one day...

Checking in at the reception of the Hotel Hacienda de Abajo in Tazacorte on the island of San Miguel de La Palma in the Canary Islands, I knew my day had come.

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Situated on a 17th century sugar estate, descendants of the original owners, Doña Maria del Carmen del Castillo-Olivares y de Sotomayor and her nephews, the 11th Marquis of Villafuerte and 3rd Count of Peromoro and don Luis Ignacio López de Ayala y Aznar, with don Javier López de Ayala y Aznar and don Enrique Luis Larroque del Castillo-Olivares have opened the hotel, filling it with elements from their private collections as well as acquisitions intended to complete the collection of property that was listed as belonging to the estate in ancient inventories.

Of course it's a child-free hotel. It could not be otherwise. The hotel houses, amongst many other pieces, a beautiful collection of 16th 17th 18th century Flemish and French tapestry and important pieces of Chinese porcelain from the Tang and Qing Dynasties. Waiting for the paperwork to be completed, I can't help wondering how they manage the cleaning...and the size of the insurance bill.

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I am not allowed to think too long. The girls on reception are terrific and everything is finished in a jiffy and almost immediately we're offered cocktails and a tour of the property. Due to our tight schedule, there is only the possibility of a one night stay, so leaving the tour until the morning; I decide that a decadent swim in a September sun just has to come first. It's fabulously balmy and there is an honesty bar in the corner that just completes the whole home from home feel, and there is a spa It's PERFECT.

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The hotel has only 32 rooms that start from a standard (1st picture with bed) to the suite (above). All are decorated with exquisite objets d'art so I don't really think it matters which one you choose. There is WiFi in the lobby and the restaurant and the tapas bar is definitely the place to hang out. It's full of locals in the evening and is where we're served breakfast from an incredible buffet in the morning.

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I am really not sure what to say that will do Hotel Hacienda de Abajo justice. Sometimes, in some of the most beautiful hotels I have stayed in, they are just that: beautiful. But here, the accommodation and staff are beyond fantastic and then of course the CLIMATE. It's perfect virtually all year round in the Canaries.

I will be back...maybe with my mother. And I'll let her go in all the good rooms.