Saturday, January 7, 2017

January 7, 2017: Relocation to the Alcala Nation

Subtitle: Mellow at Melia Red Level

Gran Melia reception in Alcala, Tenerife

At hotels, you are an actress. Absolutely. You can do what you want. Go where you want. I love my home too. But I love to arrive in a hotel. They have books, chocolate, food. I put things in the little refrigerator. 
                                     Sonia Rykiel

So for Act III of Anniversary V, after leaving our lovely group in Medano, Tenerife, I booked a luxury class hotel on a beach for our last two days. Our goal for today was relaxation. And we found it at Gran Melia in Alcala. Alcala was once a tuna fishing village and cannery.  It is  still involved in fishing in Tenerife in a major capacity, but is better known for growing bananas and tomatoes at present.

We are here because of the Gran Melia Hotel. Paul and I trade year to year on who is responsible for the anniversary celebration. We have had some great times in five years in Costa Rica, Vero Beach, Bahamas, New Mexico and now, The Canary Islands. We did a week of fairly gruelling days hiking, and now we are on the tiny bit of luxury I feel he should experience before we go home.

This hotel is really one of those "rich people who want to be pampered" places. Frankly it is NOT my style, but since it is a gift, I am going with the flow. The grounds are immaculate and they tend to every need. For example, we have a "butler" and we are required to call him to "draw our bath" at the jacuzzi on our private deck. Believe me, even on MD wages I can only afford to keep the pirate here for about 2 nights, but we are having a blast. Today was relaxation to the max day. We checked in, walked around to check out the place, and then caught up on email, rest and "jacuzzi" time.

Lighting feature in our room

Christmas in the Lobby. It isn't over till Monday here.

This hotel is crazy gorgeous with many beautiful design features. Our room which is "red level"--- a separate adults only part of the hotel with additional luxury features like a butler.... what do you do with a butler????

Black sand volcanic beach at Melia Red Level. Lest you be too jealous, it was so windy no one was allowed in the sea.

The whole resort. Many pools and luxuries for all sorts of guests.

Our private terrace with sunning chairs and jacuzzi tub...which is filled only by "the butler."

A humongous infinity pool of sea water. All other pools are heated.

Our not too crappy room
After a week of challenging and gorgeous hikes on La Gomera, we were okay with a day of luxurious rest and very grateful for the privilege and the opportunity to do it. Our incredible unmerited favor is not lost on us.

So what to do after a walk around the property and a beautiful sunset and a day to do not a thing that is required?? Dinner at the luxury French restaurant, of course. There are 8 restaurants on the property with a range of food and service. 

Sunset in Alcala Tenerife 
Off to dinner at la Terraza. The amuse bouche was pulpo and potato with mojo. Very tiny. Very yum
A shared lobster salad. See description below. 
Despite the "wild shots" promised in this lobster salad, no one was injured.

Paul shows off his vegan "pasta" 

Incredibly tasty Canarian wine. Most of it has a very vegetably taste. This one was all fruit and amazing.

Berries and cream for dessert are berry, berry good.
We know we are amazingly fortunate to have this experience, even if only for two days before going  home. Tomorrow, we are going on a tour to hopefully the NONTOURIST parts of Tenerife. Stay tuned!

Luxury is anything that feels special. I mean, it can be a moment, it can be a walk on the beach, it could be a kiss from your child, or it could be a beautiful picture frame, a special fragrance. I think luxury doesn't necessarily have to mean expensive. 
                                                                                           Aerin Lauder

Paul admires the sunset on a windswept Tenerife
Paul's Ponderings: A VERY low key day today after a week of activity.   I guess we are entitled to do less than 10,000 steps for a day or so!   We moved out to our "Red Level" hotel today and had to loaf around a bit to get into it, so we had a nice lunch and sat on a sunny terrace for a while.   Not too bad, considering Knoxville is 7 degrees tonight.

Our main accomplishment was a nice dinner at the restaurant here at the resort, which is indicative of the fact that this is in fact a vacation!   We've enjoyed wines from the Canaries over the last couple of years, which are hard to find in the US, and we had a nice one at dinner tonight.   Overall a nice day out in an interesting and beautiful location.

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