Classic Collection is a holiday company that we’ve used three times now. In return for writing this blog post, and providing some instagram coverage, Classic Holidays offered us their “Friends and Family” Discount on our holiday to Tenerife meaning that we obtained a 10% discount from the cost of our holiday.
About Classic Collection Holidays (from my perspective!)
Classic Collection is a brilliant holiday company. Being a family of five, the usual “family rooms” that hotels offer can’t accommodate us. Also, given that two of our three children are 19 and 17, we are effectively a family of four adults and one child, so if we want to stay in a hotel, two separate rooms are a must but trying to book interconnecting rooms online can be an utter nightmare – you really need someone with a hotline to the hotel. Given that our youngest child is 10, we are not the easiest family to accommodate on many levels – varying ages, varying interests, varying food palettes…it’s not always the easiest. Throw in the fact that Mr G isn’t really a fan of travelling “We need to be able to fly from Birmingham and we need a short transfer time on arrival” makes my job as chief booker of holidays, quite tricky.
Or it was, until I found Classic. Now I just give them a call (0800 047 1066), let them know what our requirements are and then I wait for them to do the rest. They send some options through via email, I whizz through them and then off we go. I really trust the hotels that they work with. In the past I’ve booked the flights myself so as to keep cost down but to be honest, I haven’t found the Classic Holidays to be hugely expensive. I spoke to another company last summer who offered us one room with a put up bed in (they said that it would be squashed) at a hotel in Cyprus for one week, the cost of which was going to be £8,000. Errrm, I don’t think so!
Our latest holiday to Tenerife was at the San Blas nature resort and golf . The hotel is part of the Sandos group and for us, it was the ideal location for a four day break in the time between Christmas and New Year. This is the second time that we’ve gone away at this time of year. Stepping away from the middle of Christmas, stepping into the middle of summer and then back for the New Year is slightly surreal but utterly brilliant and it’s so good to have a few days of being looked after and not doing any jobs. Plus rarely is anyone revising for exams over Christmas, so it’s a good time to get away from that perspective too.
Lots of people contacted me via Instagram to ask whether this would be a good place for a holiday for them, so I’m going to share our holiday highlights (there weren’t any low points!) so that you can decide for yourselves.
The two things that I do think that it’s worth highlighting though – and neither of these were issues for us – are that first, although we were right next to the sea, the coastline was rocky, so there were no beaches. That’s the Canaries for you! And secondly, because we were close to the airport, there were aeroplanes going overhead. But they weren’t 24 hours a day and they weren’t intrusive. But then I’m a bit of a plane nerd in any event!
The hotel is built on a slope, so it is on several different levels but there are slopes for pushchairs and wheel chairs, so it’s still very accessible. The hotel is part of the Sandos group and it prides itself on its eco credentials, encouraging the re-use of water bottles, switching lights off, using showers instead of baths and so on. There is a separate pool for adults, a gym, a spa, a football area, a beach volleyball area, a climbing wall and various activities are timetabled from pilates, to rides on segways, to darts and walks in the nearby nature reserve. All of which we spectacularly failed to do – other than the kayaking on the lake which we overlooked. We seem to make our own entertainment! Although we did walk to two little towns nearby, enjoying ice cream and chats along the way.
This was an all inclusive holiday to Tenerife which meant endless slushies for the ten year old, ice cream whenever we wanted it, all you could eat whenever you could eat it, snacks and fizz/gin/cocktails for breakfast lunch and dinner. Now all of this is great when you have kids who could otherwise cost you a small fortune but I do think that a healthy, moderate approach needs to be taken to all inclusives, so that you don’t end up feeling permanently uncomfortable.
We had two interconnecting rooms which were large and airy. Each had two twin beds which were pushed together and the settee in the children’s room was made into a bed for our 10 year old, which was fine for her. A large bathroom with a bath and separate shower and loo (which had music in it if you so wanted!) was perfect. Well, I’m not aware of any complaints from anyone anyway! We had a balcony with two chairs and a table which were sheltered (there is often a breeze in the Canaries) and made the best of the afternoon sun. There was a TV, fridge, safe and lots of wardrobe space (making it a win, win in my book!)
Flo thought that it would be good to persuade Freddie to wear the dressing gown and slippers that came with the room. I’m not sure that he was entirely convinced. Quite possibly for good reasons!
There were several swimming pools with plenty of sun loungers, which is where we spent most of our time. Not all of the pools were heated, making some super chilly. But the 10 year old didn’t seem to mind. A float bought from shop on site, combined with several slushies each day, and she was happy!
The above pool was the one that we spent most time at but the one below was gorgeous too – just a little busier. The resort wasn’t overly busy at all though, so there was plenty of room for us all.
There was also an adult pool which looked lovely but as we would have had to split up to go there, we didn’t quite manage it. It wasn’t all behind wooden railings but it’s quite hard to get snaps when there are lots of people about. I don’t want to get into trouble!
These sun loungers were our favourite places to hang out and that’s largely where we stayed, unless persuaded to go on a walk by Mr G.
Well if you couldn’t find something that you liked to eat here, then I can’t imagine where you would. From pasta with freshly made tomato sauce for the more fussy amongst us, to fresh fish stews, a roast, lots of interesting vegetables, salads, soups, cheese and nuts, paella, pancakes, desserts, churros – there really was something for everyone. Drinks were limitless and there were waiters to keep an eye on proceedings. Also, there was no queuing for food. As it was a buffet, we tried to implement some sort of a system so that we all had our first course at the same time, and our desserts at the same time, but our main course we could eat whenever we’d got it. I think that particular approach lasted for oooh, about a day.
The hotel buildings
The hotel architecture really appealed. The rooms were located in the sandy coloured buildings above but around the complex were various other buildings such as the spa, an a la carte restaurant and a bar, all of which were housed in these “tree house” looking type buildings.
We absolutely thoroughly enjoyed our holiday to Tenerife. A combination of a break when it’s dark and miserable here, warm weather, great food and lovely rooms, plus super quick journeys, made it a great experience for us all. If you have difficulty finding great hotels with minimum fuss, I’d really recommend that you give Classic a call. Everyone there is super helpful, not at all “salesy” and if they accommodate my tricky lot, they can probably accommodate anyone!
I hope that you have all had a super Christmas and I’ll be back in a later post with my outfits from the trip. xxx