The Mencey Hotel, Santa Cruz De Tenerife
“Mencey” was one of the 9 Guanche kings who ruled Tenerife before the Spanish invasion.
The Grand Mencey was opened in 1950 with massive funding from Franco’s government. It was the first 5 star on the island and was designed from day one to offer the best accommodation in the capital.
When Taylor and Burton visited Tenerife after filming Cleopatra they chose to stay in the Mencey, as did the stars of the most recent Bourne movie when it was part filmed nearby. Many top musicians and singers have also stayed after performing in the spectacular Auditorio. The Mencey occupies a grand site off the Ramblas, opposite the botanical park Garcia Sanabria near the centre of Santa Cruz.
The hotel was completely renovated between 2009 and 2011 by Iberostar who lavished over €25 million on it. The makeover merged the existing grand colonial style with a contemporary minimalist design. Many of the hotel’s original features were retained including stunning wall-sized panoramas of the island in porcelain tiles and ornate iron railings on the staircases with the hotel’s insignia highlighted in gold leaf.
As you enter the foyer you are greeted by tall elegant pillars, chandeliers, soft lighting and an array of stylish leather and wood furniture and cool marble surfaces. You can stride on through to enjoy the hotel’s subtropical gardens with a large stone fountain dominating the colonial courtyard. Adjacent to these are the palm-fringed outdoor pool and the spa, gym and wellness centre with heated indoor pool.
Moving on to the bedrooms; all are modern, bright, minimalist and comfortable. The ensuite bathrooms are decorated in black and white with wooden floors, opaque glass doors and lots of floor space. The bedroom furniture is all stylish wood and leather with long thick cream crushed silk curtains.
The standard rooms are large; the superior rooms have a small living room attached and the executive suites are simply palatial. Most rooms have open balconies and overlook the hotel gardens or the Ramblas.
The hotel’s Los Menceyes restaurant is one of the best on the island with guest appearances by Michelin-starred chefs. They often dish up a range of degustacions – upper class tapas – as a demonstration of their skills. Despite this they offer remarkable value for money with main courses starting at €20. The buffet breakfast is comprehensive as you would expect. The adjacent bar has a row of exclusive gins and claims it can mix you the best G&T on the island – not a bad way to enjoy the sunsets from the courtyard’s colonial balconies.
If you’re feeling lucky you could try out the Grand Casino of Santa Cruz – 750 square feet of slots, poker and roulette tables on the hotel’s ground floor.
The Hotel Grand Mencey could justifiably be said to offer 5 star luxury for 4 star prices with 2 minor considerations – 1; if you want a really peaceful night’s sleep ask for a garden view room 2; if you fancy using the spa/wellness centre’s facilities you need to pay €18 pp/day extra.