Hotel Escuela Santa Cruz

The reception and welcome to the Hotel Escuela Santa Cruz were very pleasant. Montse was very busy with some last-minute things (I have to say that we visited Hotel Escuela Santa Cruz on the 2nd January, so logically they had a lot of work on) and she told me that Ángel would show me the hotel’s facilities, as well as the teaching part of the hotel. Actually I think it was very lucky that Ángel showed us the hotel, because he could give me some curious details from the point of view of a teacher at the hotel management school.

The Hotel Escuela Santa Cruz opened in January of 1998, so it already has many years of experience offering a great service to its customers, many of whom are regulars in certain seasons. The painter Miguel Arocha was present at the opening and he left some of his paintings at the hotel. He created one of the posters for the Tenerife Carnival in the 90s.

In the reception area there is a sculpture by the sculptor José Abad (also known as Pepé Abad) which evokes thoughts of a ‘lagar’ (a stone trough in which grapes are trodden).

As Santa Cruz is a city which has always been very connected with the sea, perhaps that was one of the reasons why the hotel architects decided to represent a boat which seems to advance towards the sea. The truth is that the architects didn’t leave any details to chance and on the left hand side you can easily see the dock where you will find ‘atracado el barco’ – the boat docked.

In the Hotel Escuela Santa Cruz they speak Spanish, English, German, French and Russian.

Reserve your night

Communal Areas at the Hotel Escuela Santa Cruz

The Tajinaste Restaurant has 4 forks (like stars) and is recommended in the Michelin Guide. As well as serving the hotel guests, anyone from outside can try its elaborate dishes both at lunchtime and at dinner. Equally they offer many business dinners, especially at Christmas.

The restaurant floor also trains the students and generally the customers get very good service from the apprentices.

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One decorative feature of the restaurant is that on the wall near the window on the left you will see an enormous, attractive ‘perenquén’ (which is what a salamander is known as in the Canaries) which was brought from the Mirador del Tanque restaurant, in a village on the north of the island. The paintings which decorate some of the walls of the restaurant are by the Canary Island painter Arocha.

The buffet-style breakfast is served between 7am and 10am during the week and from 7:30am to 11am at weekends. If you have not booked your stay with breakfast included, you can enjoy it for about €11 charge. One of the great benefits of the breakfast is that the orange juice is always fresh and recently squeezed.

In the entrance to the restaurant you will find toilets for ladies, men and those with limited mobility.

The hotel cafeteria opens every day between 10am and midnight. You can savour your coffee, cocktail or refreshing drink at the tables or on the sofas nearby, but also on the terrace by the pool if the weather permits.

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The walls of the staircases which lead to some of the bedrooms are painted in an intense red colour and are decorated with very varied paintings, like an original photo of the Palace of Justice, the Frontón de Bajamar, etc. The paintings have even led to reviews and comments by the guests of the hotel themselves

Bedrooms at the Hotel Escuela Santa Cruz

There are 65 rooms in the Hotel Escuela Santa Cruz, of which 56 are doubles, as well as one double for disabled guests, two suites, five Junior Suites and one Imperial Suite.

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Refurbishment work started in 2010 and since then they have refurbished several double rooms which are those which lead to the swimming pool. The area where the renovated rooms are located gives the impression of being a Canary Island patio with an interior garden and passageways which lead to it. Two years ago the palm trees which you will see planted in the interior garden had to be cut because due to their growth they broke the glass roof which is just a few metres above the ground.

In the Hotel Escuela Santa Cruz there is one room (which is the minimum that law insists a hotel must have) which is specially prepared for people with mobility issues.

The 65 hotel bedrooms are divided into smoking (11, which are all located along the same corridor) and non-smoking.

I was able to see room 306 (in the smoking area), which is one of the ones which hasn’t yet been refurbished. It was very spacious and it is possible to fit an extra bed very comfortably. It has air conditioning, TV with foreign channels, wifi and a minibar. If requested the minibar can be padlocked, for example if a sports group stays at the hotel and don’t want to be responsible for the players’ consumption of alcohol.

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As we were visiting the hotels during the Christmas and New Year period the hotels were so full, and for that reason at many of them we were not able to see the different rooms which each one offered, or when we were lucky we could see one when the guests had just left. This helps remind us that if you decide to visit Tenerife, book your flights and accommodation well in advance, particularly during Carnivals, Holy Week, the summer months and the Christmas period.

Function Rooms

There are a number of rooms which can be used for all kinds of formal events, meetings, courses, classes, etc. The services for hire usually include the screen and the spotlights.

Salón Tagoror has capacity for 250 people. It was opened in 2007, and is the largest and most modern of all of the rooms which the Hotel Escuela offers. It is on floor -2, but thanks to the hotel’s location is it quite light and has bathrooms and a spacious patio. The hire includes two screens and two spotlights. If it is being used for a personal event such as a wedding it can fit 250 people.

Salón de Actos has capacity for 120 people. It is located on the same floor as the reception. The big advantage of this room is that, when you want to relax and have a drink to recover your strength, the room is connected with a terrace which has spectacular views of Santa Cruz and the ocean.

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On the right-hand side when you enter the hotel you can see a mural with busts of many well-known iconic poets and artists from the Canary Islands, such as Rafael Arozarena, César Manrique, Teobaldo Power, Alonso Nava y Grimón, Tomás de Iriarte, etc

Salas Menores are four rooms with capacity for 50 or more people, depending on the layout which you choose (Theatre – in a horseshoe shape, School, Imperial, Banquet or Cocktail).

Rocas: hiring this room includes free wifi. It is called Rocas because when you open the curtains which cover the wide window you can see a group of rocks stacked up, and I think that brings to mind the dock where the boat is berthed. It has capacity for 35 people and is the cheapest room to hire.

Juntas is in a tranquil, warm area of the hotel, and has its own bathrooms, air conditioning (very important, particularly in the summer), and parquet flooring. Depending on how you organise it the capacity ranges from 30 to 50 people.

Gallos is a multifunctional room, as it can be used as much for dinners as for meetings. The obvious reason why it is called ‘sala de los gallos’ is that on the walls there are more than 12 paintings of cockrels. It has capacity for up to 50 people.

Panorámica is very light, but is the least used. Currently a particular business uses it on some weekdays.

Extras at the Hotel Escuela Santa Cruz

They have an agreement with a hire car company called Anaga Rent a Car and they can deliver the car to the customer at the hotel itself. If the guest wants to leave it at the North Airport, they will charge you around €12 more, and if you want to leave it at the South Airport you will be charged an extra of about €30.

If you need it, the hotel can provide a transfer from the airport, although it has to be booked in advance and involves an additional cost.

In the reception area of the Hotel Escuela Santa Cruz they inform you about excursions, cultural activities, general tourist guides, etc., so that not a single detail of what is on offer to discover and enjoy on the island escapes you. In this sense I have to say that public transport connections between Santa Cruz and the Teide National Park are not as good as they could be. We therefore recommend that you hire a car or go on an excursion which will take you to this natural wonder if you get the opportunity.

The Tegueste Council offers promotional routes and guided tours to discover the wine from the area, the caves, etc.

In 2018 the law will require all hotels to have everything they need to be accessible to people with reduced mobility. For this reason, among others, the Hotel Escuela Santa Cruz is collaborating with Simpromi to assess and identify the work which is needed to overcome the different physical barriers which currently exist in the hotel. I have to say that the work until now is very well done, as they have received recognition on the part of some organisations which have awarded them different prizes for their work on overcoming the physical barriers.

The sort of guests that usually book rooms at the Hotel Escuela Santa Cruz are nationals and residents of the islands for stays of one or two nights, usually because they are in Santa Cruz de Tenerife, the island’s capital, for work. They also receive many tourists who arrive at the island on cruises which usually stop at the Port of Santa Cruz, and they generally stay for the duration of the time when the boat is docked.

It is also a hotel which is chosen by sporting groups (basketball and football mainly, the latter quite understandably, given that Tenerife’s main football stadium, Heliodoro Rodríguez López, is located just opposite the hotel) or school groups on sports tours. The Hotel Escuela Santa Cruz shares the accommodation for sports groups with another hotel in the capital; at times for contract reasons First Division teams have to go to a particular hotel, but at other times what matters is proximity to the sports facilities.

The tourists who stay at the Hotel Escuela Santa Cruz are usually middle-aged and usually do so for a week or ten days. They are normally interested in the cultural life which the capital offers, as well as being in a privileged location for being able to visit different areas of the island (north, south or the Las Cañadas del Teide National Park) with total comfort and ease of access.

Educational Role of the Hotel Escuela Santa Cruz for Its Students

The Hotel Escuela Santa Cruz is not called that by chance; the hotel’s link with the name ‘escuela’ is thanks to the part of the hotel which puts on educational activities to prepare future hotel staff. They not only give theory classes, but the pupils also get work experience in the hotel itself. Therefore this is the ideal hotel to stay at on your city holidays to get the service and respect which all hotels should provide.

There are courses about cookery, tourist accommodation (usually timetabled in the morning), kitchen management, accommodation and bakery. There are also other courses about hotel paperwork, cookery, cocktail making, waiting tables, housekeeping and management.

On the first course they cover reception and reservations, as well as marketing and tourism.

In classroom 5 the module about hotel management (first course) is run and there are currently 28 students. The classroom has everything necessary to deliver the classes in an efficient and productive way, like a screen, whiteboard and projector.

The classes are mainly delivered in the morning, as I mentioned before. The training system is dual, learning theory on Mondays and Tuesdays and doing practical work from Wednesdays to Saturdays. The students rotate between the different shifts which the hotel offers (morning, afternoon and evening) and the different departments. In this way the training and learning process helps the student to get to know the profession or role which they like most (hotel manager, head of administration, head of maintenance, housekeeping, etc.) and they can base their decision on this information at the time of choosing the job they want to perform in a hotel.

The courses last one or two years each. Currently the first course has 28 students and the second course has 20. The cookery part has many more students.

The hotel has a job placement office, which means that many of the students get a job upon finishing their training. On other occasions, the students do work experience at some hotels across the island and do such an excellent job that they are immediately employed by those hotels.

Getting There

The hotel is located on the Avenida San Sebastián, in the capital Santa Cruz de Tenerife

Hotel Escuela Santa Cruz - Avenida San Sebastián, 152. Santa Cruz de Tenerife 38005 - Tenerife

Reserving your night at the hotel

Final Comments from the Authors

I found it particularly interesting that this hotel was designed as if it were a ship docked in an imaginary port. Given the well-known port origins of Tenerife’s capital, it is almost logical that someone would have wanted to render such a subtle and elegant homage to Santa Cruz de Tenerife.

Really it is a city hotel with a lot of art in its function rooms and communal areas, careful service and new renovations underway, which is everything that any visitor would want from their accommodation on their holidays. Among the many advantages of the hotel is that everything is relatively nearby: the football stadium opposite, the César Manrique water park, the Palmetum, the port where many cruise ships dock, etc. and for a week in the winter you can enjoy one of the best carnivals in the world … (after Brasil, right Fábio?) :)

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