The Hotel Barcelo Santiago is a luxury four star all inclusive hotel hugging the ragged coastline of Tenerife’s Puerto de Santiago resort. It offers visitors breathtaking views of the Atlantic Ocean, the island of Gomera and the famous Los Gigantes cliffs.
Barcelo Santiago – My Experience
We booked Barcelo Santiago with TUI for our annual holiday and we were not disappointed with our choice. We stayed half board with a sea view room, meaning the cost of our holiday entitled us to the buffet breakfast and dinner. All Inclusive is an option, and a popular one at the hotel, but we opted for half board as we were keen to experience food in local restaurants. Despite a few small hiccups at the start of our holiday, our issues quickly rectified and we had an amazing time staying at the Barcelo Santiago.
The Room & Balcony
We had booked a Deluxe Superior Sea View room through TUI but were initially disappointed to be given a ground floor room with a very limited sea view room. Albeit it did have a hot tub! As we were expecting a little more from our sea view room, something with a little more privacy, Barcelo were quick to offer us an alternative room on the fourth floor. We now had spectacular views of the Los Gigantes cliffs. Another issue arose as our balcony door lock was broken, but again it was fixed quickly by internal maintenance staff.
I think our second room was a Double Sea View (we were happy with the downgrade because the views were so much better!). The hotel recently went under an refurbishment and we were given one of the new rooms. The entire room was clean, bright, modern and decorated in cool whites and greys. It was very open plan, with the shower room and toilet enclosed in their own frosted glass cubicles. Another frosted glass/light wooden wall separated the sleeping area from the bathroom area, with the sink and mirror etc. on the other side of the wall.
The room had everything that we needed: WIFI, hairdryer, fridge, ample storage space and hangers, a safe (payable locally), a flat screen TV, desk and chair, and most importantly – a spacious balcony with comfortable seats. Although the outdoor seating included foot stools, it didn’t have a table. It also had a retractable clothes line to dry swimwear.
Pool & Outdoor Areas
The pool areas were by far my favourite part of the Barcelo Santiago. The hotel had a total of four outdoor pools, one of which is an infinity pool and another a small kids pool. The hotel also has a jacuzzi/hot tub out on their outdoor area which was absolutely blissful! All of the pools are lined with comfortable sunbeds and umbrellas. There are also outdoor showers peppered across the pools.
The outdoor area is not only blessed with amazing pools and loungers but also breathtaking views overlooking the Atlantic Ocean and the Los Gigantes cliffs. I can’t describe how beautiful the view is and I’m sure my photos don’t do it any justice. If you don’t opt for a pool view lounger you can get one overlooking the ocean as the hotel is cordoned with clear glass looking down to the rocky coastline.
If you’re looking for a bit of luxury to accompany your views, you can upgrade your sunbed to a Bali bed. These come at an additional cost, starting from around 15 Euros and can come with Champagne!
There’s also a pool bar that serves a variety of soft drinks, hot drinks, alcohol and cocktails. But more on that later!
We don’t have kids but there is a big kids club area to one side of the outdoor area which looked good but more on that in the animation section below.
Food & Restaurants
Half board entitled us to our free buffet breakfast and buffet dinner for our seven day stay at Barcelo de Santiago. Breakfast had a wide variety of different foods, from cereals, pastries, breads, toast and fruit to eggs, sausages, baked beans and bacon. These were all standard every morning but every day there was something that rotated e.g. pancakes, waffles etc. For drinks there were coffee and tea machines as well as milk, various fruit juices and water available. I noticed there was also a table with soy milk and I think what was gluten free foods. Breakfast is always my favourite meal of the day and Barcelo didn’t disappoint. Everything was fresh and the chef even made fried eggs and omelettes on request. I especially loved their huge croissants (sometimes the waiting staff would bring the basket over to your table to save you getting up!)
Dinner was similar to breakfast in that there was a huge variety of food to choose from every night. Again there was a huge selection that changed every night and a few things that stayed the same. I’m a really fussy eater and found something to eat every night. Things like pasta (bolognese and a altering white/cheese sauce), chips, pizza and hot dogs were on every night. Some of the things we had were nachos, chicken, fish and red meats (the nachos were by far my favourite!!)
There were lots of seats inside and a decent amount outside. Some of the inside ones near the far window overlooked the sea and cliffs, and the outdoor ones looked on to the hotel walkways. Depending on how busy it was sometime you had to wait for table outside but it never took long and staff were quick to turn around tables and hep where they could. I loved that the hotel also had big interactive screens that you could see what was on the menu for breakfast, lunch and dinner. I love planning ahead!
Barcelo Santiago offers a mix of bars that meet guests’ different needs. My favourite by far was the pool bar. It offered a variety of snacks and drinks. The food was always delicious and I was surprised how fancy is was for a pool bar! In terms of drinks they had the usual soft drinks, tea, coffee, beer, wine, spirits and cocktails. They also had two slushy flavours that I loved drinking by the pool! We loved having a nightcap here at the pool bar, under the fairy lights and alongside the sound of the waves crashing against the rocks.
There was also a bar at the front of the hotel and one inside the theatre that specialise in cocktails and entertain guests into the wee hours.
Entertainment & Animation
Animation by the pool at Barcelo Santiago was really lively. It was lively but not intrusive as there were plenty of quiet spots for pool swims and cliff views. Just like the food, there was a big interactive screen where you could see what games, events and classes were on in the coming days. This was really handy in planning my naps around the pool!
The staff doing the daytime were amazing, so friendly and didn’t push you to take part in anything. Activities ranged from pool-based exercise classes, yoga on the lawn, giant board games and my favourite… cocktail making classes! I learned how to make a mojito and got my fair share of rum that afternoon!
At night, there was a mix of different evening entertainment and shows. We never really got up close to any in the theatre, we preferred to sit outside at the Bar Reception and listen in on the shows while we wound down from a day of sunbathing and playing in the pool. I must admit, the service at every bar was excellent and staff were very helpful and accommodating.
Resort & Location
Barcelo Santiago is located at the heart of the Puerto de Santiago, a quiet resort in the west coast of the island of Tenerife. It’s a little further up than the more popular and lively Los Christianos and Playa de la Americas.
As I mentioned above, the hotel is on a rocky coast line, but that doesn’t stop people from setting up for the day at on the huge rocks. Plenty of locals and tourists set up their towels on the rocks and spent the day exploring the rock pools, snorkelling and jumping off the short cliffs. When we went down to the sea for the day, we were thankful we brought our beach shoes that we purchased before cliff jumping in Croatia. There’s no sandy beach in the resort but plenty of opportunities to still get into the ocean! The resort also has a natural swimming pool that you can explore if you can drag yourself away from the pool!
Outside Hotel Barcelo Santiago there are a few bars and restaurants that will keep you entertained and well-fuelled until you’re ready to hit the hay and do it all again tomorrow. We even managed to find one that showed the football on Sky Sports! Route 66 was a very lively bar that had live acts on every night, which I think were mostly rock. There were others that did karaoke and also live singers, too. So plenty to do if you want to venture outside the hotel.
Puerto de Santiago is a perfect resort as it is in the middle of Los Gigantes and Playa de la Arena. We never made it to the latter, but the Los Gigantes was beautiful. We walked a couple of nights to try out their bars, and even did a quiz one night! Los Gigantes or “The Giants” gives you spectacular views of the huge cliffs. The resort town also has a large marina, offering a range of snorkelling trips and whale watching excursions. We did the whale watching tour and it was brilliant, getting to see short finned pilot whales, including a calf!
Other Hotel Facilities
Barcelo Santiago also had a gym, spa and small indoor pool area. We were fortunate enough that the always use the numerous outdoor pools so didn’t venture into the spa area. Although we used the showers in the changing room before leaving for our late flight and could see the high standards in the hotel were carried on into this area. J did use the gym a few days and loved it so I’ll take his word (he’s used hotel gyms across the world!)
Barcelo de Santiago also had free wifi that was available throughout the hotel and pool area. It was a godsend for listening to music when relaxing on the sun lounger!
My Top Tips
I’ve listed a few of my top tips to get the most out of your stay with Barcelo Santiago. Either way, I know you’ll have a brilliant time.
- Bring a credit card for food/drink payments at the hotel, they don’t take cash. you can run a room tab and pay in cash on check out though
- Higher sea view rooms have the best views
- I recommend eating in the hotel’s outside area, even if it means waiting five more minutes for a table
- Bring sea/rock shoes for exploring the jagged coastline, snorkelling, sea swimming etc.
- If you have a late flight home, you can book the showers in the spa/gym a few days in advance
We had an amazing week at the Hotel Barcelo Santiago and I would highly recommend it if you were looking for a break in Tenerife. The hotel has a wide range of facilities and I believe it would have something for everyone, including young couples and families. The staff were very helpful and did everything they could to meet our needs, even when we had a few queries. It’s only been a month I’ve been back but I’m already looking to return!