by Karen Quinn, Jun 09 2019
Tenerife is full of family friendly hotels to suit all tastes and budgets. They range from the value end to luxury all-inclusive mega hotels. The Roca Nivaria Gran Hotel is definitely at the top scale of the options. If you’re looking for somewhere to completely relax and ensure the kids have plenty to entertain themselves this is the place. Or check out these other hotels in Tenerife that are fantastic for families.
Family friendly features at the Roca Nivaria
Traveling with my daughter has completely changed the way I choose a hotel, of course I still like a bit of luxury but most importantly I want to be sure she is welcomed, happy and has plenty to do. This is why the Roca Nivaria is such a great choice for a family holiday to Tenerife, kids are the main focus.
Kids club at the Roca Nivaria
Kids clubs are always a bit hit and miss for us, sometimes Piper loves them, sometimes she refuses to go. The kids club at the Roca Nivaria was no different, some days were good, others not so much. Once she had made a friend and they went together, we could hardly get her out!
There are three age options in the kids club. Baby club for those over 10 months, then mini club which is split in two, 4 – 8 and 8 – 12. Piper is 8 so was allowed to choose which one she went to.
You will find the daily schedule on the many touch screens around the hotel and on the door of the kids club. There’s a small outdoor play area and plenty of crafting materials to keep the kids busy during quiet times.
The kids club is free if you’re staying at the hotel but you will have to pay an extra couple of Euros to take part in some of the activities like T-Shirt painting.
Kid friendly entertainment at the Roca Nivaria
Pretty much all the entertainment at the Roca Nivaria is child friendly, but there is plenty for little ones to enjoy before bedtime. Each evening after dinner the hotel has a mini disco run by kids club staff and the hotel mascot Roni the whale. They’ll play games, learn new dances and just generally have some fun.
After that in the main bar area there are acts such as magic shows and salsa dancing, it was lovely to watch all the kids get up for a boogie on the dance floor with their new friends.
Family friendly food
The main restaurant where you’ll take breakfast and dinner is very child friendly, kids can choose from any of the buffet options or even from the special kids buffet. This has options such as chips, nuggets, beans, all the usual kid friendly options. There are also colourful plastic plates and cups available for little ones. Piper just chose from the main buffet, there was always something she would eat.
Straight off the main restaurant is a small kids play area, with some colourful plastic slides for little ones and a gaming area for the older ones. Parents can finish their dinner in peace whilst the kids have fun with their friends.
Special events for children
The hotel regularly puts on special events for children. When we were staying over Easter they had an egg hunt around the hotel grounds organized by the kids club and rabbit facepainting after dinner.
Extra things for the kids to do
If your kids aren’t into kids clubs or you don’t like to leave them then there’s still plenty to keep them entertained. Obviously they’ll love the pools, Piper would happily spend all day jumping in and out. The hotel also has snooker, pool, table football, mini golf, a book exchange station and even some cute live in tortoises to entertain.
If you are feeling especially active then the hotel also has tennis courts and the option to hire bikes. For little gymnasts there’s a small play area with some monkey bars and play equipment to climb. It’s almost impossible to get bored at the Roca Nivaria.
Food at the Roca Nivaria
The buffet restaurant at the Roca Nivaria is absolutely huge and you’re sure to find something to suit the whole family. The quality is pretty good for a buffet and each night is themed, they had fish days etc and there was always something being freshly cooked.
There is an outdoor barbeque area where you can select huge steaks, chops and fresh prawns, cooked exactly how you like and absolutely delicious. Unfortunately we were not told until the last couple of days of our stay otherwise I think we would have eaten there everyday.
The breakfast in the buffet restaurant again has pretty much everything you want. Freshly cooked pancakes for the kids and plenty of healthy options if you’re trying to be good. You have the choice of sitting inside or out although it can get a little windy at times. We even occasionally started our day with a bucks fizz, lovely! As with pretty much every where in Europe, the bacon and sausage left a lot to be desired but the rest of the cooked food was lovely. The fresh egg station was a favourite, the omlettes cooked to your taste are absolutely huge and delicious!
As with all buffet restaurants, after a few days the crowds of people got us down, it’s busy, people milling around with plates piled high of food they will never eat and waiting staff trying to clear down messy tables to cram the next family in. Strangely for a buffet restaurant, there is a dress code.
Luckily the hotel has two A La Carte restaurants on site, a meal in each is included in your price. You’ll be served at your table and the food is amazing. Again, we were not told at check in so by the time we had found out we were only able to book into one. Try to book as soon as you arrive at the hotel, they will not let you book on the same day you want to eat, no idea why as the restaurant was empty when we had our meal.
The restaurant we tried was Burgos the Spanish one. The waiting staff were wonderfully attentive and the menu, though small had some tasty options. The lack of choice was actually welcome after the many options in the buffet restaurant! Piper didn’t like anything on the menu but the waiter kindly allowed her to order a spaghetti bolognaise from the next door Italian restaurant.
Other restaurants near the Roca Nivaria
Roca Negra Sunset Club
If, like us, you get sick of the buffet restaurant and fancy trying something else then there are a few options close by. Follow the steps down the cliff, across the small black beach and back up the steps to the small row of stores at the top.
Here you’ll find the Roca Negra Sunset Club. It’s a gorgeous café bar with one of the best views in the area. We enjoyed some delicious flatbreads whilst watching the waves crash against the black rocks. Piper loved the cute swings and friendly staff. They have plenty of healty options on the menu if you’re being good! You can check out their menus here
They pop colourful beanbags out on the rocks when the weather is good, for us it was the perfect place to waste a few hours. In the evenings, this is one of the best places to watch the sunset with a cocktail or two!
Roca Negra Address
Roca Negra Sunset Club,
Centro Comercial El Marques
Avenue Adeje 300 Adeje,
Roca Negra Opening hours
Tuesday, 10: 00-0: 00
Wednesday 10: 00-0: 00
Thursday 10: 00-0: 00
Friday 10: 00-2: 00
Saturday 10: 00-2: 00
Sunday 10: 00-0: 00
Phone reservations: +34 604 106 484
Meson La Finca
My favourite find from this trip to Tenerife was Meson La Finca Chayofa, an absolute treat of a restaurant out near Los Cristianos in Arona. We spent a whole afternoon here sampling their Canarian specials.
As is often the sign of a good restaurant, La Finca was absolutely packed with local families sharing a meal, the staff were rushing around, all with a smile on their face and plates of grilled fish and meats.
The restaurant has several different areas, you can eat inside if the weather is too hot/windy or on the raised area outdoors which has plenty of shaded spots. There is also a pretty terrace around the outdoor bar where you can enjoy a drink.
Parking is a bit tricky, there’s some space behind the restaurant or on the nearby street but if you’re visiting from the Roca Nivaria, it won’t cost too much in a taxi and it’s only about 15 minutes drive.
La Finca address
Calle El Taroso 43
Meson La Finca Opening times
Every day from 10:00 AM – 12:00 PM
Rooms at the Roca Nivaria Gran Hotel
We had a bit of a nightmare with our room at the Roca Nivaria, more of which later but we ended up in a huge room with a separate seating area with the sofa bed set up for our daughter. It has a large bathroom with separate shower and bath, plenty of storage space and a lovely view from the balcony.
The bed was two singles pushed together but other than that it was pretty comfy.
The rooms all have AC, a safe, TV, coffee machine and mini fridge. I thought it was a bit of a scam that the fridge is locked until you order one of their drinks packs but having a fridge is essential for us traveling with kids so we just ordered the cheapest and restocked it ourselves throughout the week from the supermarket across the road.
The pools at the Roca Nivaria
The pools at the Roca Nivaria are absolutely stunning, there are two main ones to choose from. The top (main pool) is heated so probably warm enough to swim in year round. There is a shallow toddler pool and a Jacuzzi for the grown-ups.
It’s an infinity pool so the views out to sea are amazing, I kept trying to get a good picture but it was just too busy.
The lower pool is a lot quieter, it isn’t heated so didn’t attract too many swimmers. There is a cute waterfall walkway and even a tortoise or two in their own pool.
There were plenty of sunloungers dotted about although to get one close to the edge of the pool you’ll need to be there early. People were reserving them with towels which, though nor allowed, was not strictly policed.
If you’re feeling particularly extravagant then you can hire one of the cabanas for the day. The package includes some food and drinks but we didn’t bother, I was sick of spending money at this point!
Staff from the mini club run aqua aerobics sessions each morning which was fun and a good way to burn off a bit of breakfast. If you’re staying on the all inclusive option, this is also where you’ll eat lunch, we tried the lunch one day, all very nice and tasty!
The Spa at the Roca Nivaria
Although we didn’t have time to use the Spa during our stay, I was told it was very good. The Azules de Nivaria Spa has a good choice of treatments, a salt pool, hydro massage pool, therapeutic showers, tepidarium, and footbath.
You can read more about the spa here.
Parking at the Roca Nivaria
The hotel has onsite, free parking. You head past the main entrance and its a sharp right turn into the underground car park. It’s not well signposted so go slow. If you get there late afternoon/early evening you may struggle to find a space in the main area in which case you’ll have to drive to the back and park amongst the old furniture!
All Inclusive at the Roca Nivaria, is it worth it?
You have several options when booking your stay at the Roca Nivaria. We opted for the half board option, this included breakfast, dinner and all the kids activities. You can upgrade to all inclusive which includes drinks from 11am until midnight and lunch.
We don’t tend to eat much lunch when there’s a huge buffet breakfast available and prefer to eat away from the hotel a few times so all inclusive wasn’t really worth it for us but if you’re going to be spending your whole time in the hotel and drinking lots then you might find it easier and more cost effective.
Where is the Roca Nivaria Located
The Roca Nivaria Gran Hotel is located in Playa Paraiso, a tiny town on the coast. There’s not much there apart from holiday apartments, a small beach, some bars and luxury hotels.
There are plenty of seaside type shops selling all the usual inflatables and flipflps and a few supermarkets making it easy to stock up on snacks, milk and drinks or nappies and wipes for little ones.
If you need a doctor during your stay
Unfortunately, Piper was ill whilst we were away. There is not an onsite doctor and reception staff were not particularly helpful in finding us one. There is a pharmacy in Playa Paraiso, easy walking distance to the hotel however this was closed on the day we needed it (Sunday). The pharmacy in Costa Adeje is open seven days a week and they were able to direct us to a local health centre where we were seen by a friendly doctor within ten minutes.
The receptionist acted as a translator and I think we managed to communicate what was wrong. We left the surgery with ear drops, nose spray, syrup and strict instructions to stay out of the pool for a few days.
On returning home and heading straight to our local doctor we discovered she has Eutracian tube dysfunction, a curving of her ear drum, due to being bunged up with a cold combined with awful pressure on the flight. We’re still trying to fix it now. If you are flying with a poorly child, even if it is just a small cold, I recommend doing everything possible to clear it before you go.
The whole thing cost us around £100, not worth claiming off our travel insurance due to the excess.
Poorly kids when you’re away is always stressful and can ruin your whole break, I highly recommend getting good travel insurance to cover you all, just in case the worst happens and you need to travel home.
What we didn’t like about the Roca Nivaria
My husband booked this break as a Christmas gift, which was extremely thoughtful, unfortunately something went wrong and our daughter wasn’t included on the booking (yes, I’m normally the one in charge of all our travel arrangements for good reason ha ha!)
On arriving at the hotel after a day of traveling, the hotel they told us of the mistake and charged us an extra £900 to include her on our booking. Apparently they needed to upgrade the room to fit the three of us due to insurance even though I said we wouldn’t need an extra bed. So instead of recognizing our stress and doing a great deal we had to pay almost a thousand pounds for my daughter to eat breakfast and dinner each night and visit the kids club a few time. A total rip off in my opinion on top of the very expensive room rate we had already paid.
The reception staff did nothing to make us feel better about the mistake and I think this probably put me off the hotel for the rest of the week. I wish we had just cancelled and booked ourselves in somewhere nearby but you know what it’s like when you’ve been traveling for hours with tired kids! You’ll pay anything just to get them somewhere to sleep!
Other smaller complaints include only being able to log on to wifi on three devices. Once you add everyone’s phones, ipads, my laptop so I can work we need way more than this. The Wifi was also pretty poor in other areas outside of our room and non existent in the kids club. I gave Piper a phone so she could message us when she was ready to leave but she wasn’t able to do so without wifi.
Service overall wasn’t great, from the unhelpful reception staff to cleaning staff not replenishing tea, coffee and toiletries in our room and taking a full day to send us an extra pillow. Just little things which would be easy to fix but are just frustrating.
Day trips from the Roca Nivaria
As I’ve said above, you don’t really need to leave the hotel to find things to do but if you do fancy a day out then Tenerife has loads of family friendly activities available.
If you have a hire car then I would suggest a trip to the middle of the island at least once, the landscape is absolutely spectacular as you head up into the mountains towards Mount Teide National park. From here you can take a cable car to the top of Spains highest volcano.
Booking your stay at the Roca Nivaria
There are plenty of options when it comes to booking your stay at the Roca Nivaria Gran Hotel. I always tend to book through a price comparison search engine to ensure I get the best value.
Or you could book through a tour operator such as Thomas Cook which sometimes has some pretty good deals. This way you can book your flights, transport and accomodation all together.
Getting to Tenerife
There are two airports on the Island, Tenerife North and Tenerife South. If you’re staying at the Roca Nivaria then you’ll want to fly into the South. It’s just 25 minutes drive or taxi journey.
If you have to fly into the North then it will take you around an hour in a taxi.
Find the cheapest flights for your chosen dates on Skyscanner. I always put “UK” in the from search bar so I can work out which airport near me is cheapest.
Getting around Tenerife
We pretty much always choose to get a hire car when we’re traveling, it just gives you so much more freedom. The roads in Tenerife aren’t too bad to drive on and once you’ve downloaded your google maps, you wont get lost!
As with hotel bookings, I always use a car rental comparison site to ensure I’m getting the best deal. Auto Europe are normally pretty good.
Hard Rock Hotel Tenerife
The Hard Rock hotel is just over the road from the Roca Nivaria and we visited a couple of times. It looks absolutely gorgeous and on doing some research they have a wonderful kids club, probably more suitable for tweens and teens than the one where we were staying.
I love Hard Rocks, we’ve visited several around the world and always buy P a tshirt from them. Sometimes it’s great to know what to expect before you arrive and I think kids just find them so much fun.
We loved the piano in the main lobby, the café bar and the fact that the downstairs pool looked like a luxury festival rather than a hotel! It may however be a little too noisy for really little ones. And how cool are these swing seats?!
Sandos San Blas Nature Resort
Just 25 minutes further along the TF1 is the beautiful Sandos San Blas Nature Resort. We stayed here years ago when Piper was tiny, she actually took her first wobbly steps here, so it was lovely to head back for a visit.
I love this hotel and how ecologically friendly it is. It’s based in a nature reserve, overlooking the ocean so you’ll be completely surrounded by nature. They offer guided reserve tours which look amazing.
It’s super family friendly but they do have adult only rooms and areas so you don’t have to worry too much about annoying others around the kids pool.
There is so much for the kids to do, whatever age. They have a climbing wall, lake kayaking, treasure hunts, pool games and so much more. They even have 6 pools, two of which are heated!
This is another all inclusive hotel so expect some jostling at the buffet dinner but I remember the food being such a high standard, it wasn’t a problem. And again, they have an a A La Carte restaurant should you prefer that.
Book your stay directly with the hotel, they often have some fantastic deals. Currently they’re offering 35% off summer holidays.
Read other reviews for the Sandos San Blas here.
Make sure you pin for later for choosing where to stay in Tenerife with kids.
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