Hotel Review: Hotel Botanico & The Oriental Spa Garden – Tenerife

Hotel Botánico, one of the Leading Hotels of the World is where the welcome cocktail and the gala dinner of the Convention takes place. There is a huge advantage to staying here because they offer a welcome desk for convention attendees and free transportation to the venue of the Convention.  Even without the convention, the grounds are stunning, wild feral parrots such as Quakers, Amazons and Indian Ringnecks can be seen in the trees and the views from the rooms are amazing.  They offered unbeatable value for accommodation to the participants of the 2014 Convention and there was no way I was passing this up.  Fortunately, since we used miles to get to Tenerife, we could splurge here.  I also wanted to make sure my husband could enjoy his holiday while I was attending the convention and the pool/spa area is amazing!  The breakfast buffet has a huge variety and we never needed a full lunch while we were here, just a snack around mid-day.  We also stayed here for the 2010 conference and expect to be back in 2018!


DOUBLE ROOM: 128,00€* per night (3 to 6 nights)
118,00€* per night (starting from 7 nights)
DOUBLE ROOM (SINGLE USE): 98,00€* per night (3 to 6 nights)
88,00€* per night (starting from 7 nights)

This special offer includes an excellent breakfast buffet, exclusive access to “The Oriental Spa Garden” (minimum age 16) and free Wi-Fi.

*excl. 7% of taxes. These prices are only valid for the participants of the VIII International Parrot Convention and their companions.

The hotel has a free shuttle to a shopping centre downtown where you can walk 2 blocks to where the Loro Parque train picks you up.  Even without the shuttle, just about anyplace in town can be reached for under 5 Euros by taxi.  It was fantastic to be able to relax in the hot spa pools after the conference every day!  I felt so spoiled!

HOTEL ENTRANCE – Watch the trees for wild parrots!

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OUR ROOM – Love the artwork!IMG_0643 IMG_0647 IMG_0641 IMG_0644 IMG_1439




SPA & POOL AREAIMG_1065 IMG_1066 IMG_1068

FLAMENCO SHOW IN THE LOBBY BAR – Wonderful dancers, don’t miss it!IMG_1017 IMG_1020 IMG_1025 IMG_1033

VIII International Parrot Convention – La Vera Breeding Centre & Social Program

Continuing from yesterday’s post, I will share some of the extra events that were part of the VIII International Parrot Convention.


This is something extra you can add on to your conference package.  For an extra 90 €, you get a one year membership in Loro Parque Fundación, 1 year of free visits to Loro Parque and a visit to the La Vera Breeding Centre.  It’s well worth joining just to see the stunning parrots they have and support their conservation programs!  Their breeding aviaries are spacious, well-planted and offer 5 star accommodation to the birds.  If only everyone who breeds parrots could follow this example!  These are just a few pics as I took way too many!  For some reason, I am partial to Golden Conures!

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Unfortunately I didn’t get photos of this event.  I did manage to catch up with a few old and new friends.  There were so many people there it was hard to find people in the crowd!  There was plenty of champagne though!


I met some nice people from the States and we hung out together at this BBQ.  I am not used to eating so late at night and I was pretty tired so left early.  The food was excellent!  I really wish this had been a lunch event.  It would have given us more time to chat and get to know each other without worrying about getting enough sleep.  The weather was perfect and it would have been nice to have an afternoon beach party!  (Hint hint for 2018)!

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Somehow this one went wrong.  We were bussed to the venue after walking to the shopping centre next door making me regret that I wore high heels.  The venue is stunning and most of us were mesmerized by the sunset.  We waited patiently (somewhat) for the dinner while enjoying some lovely wine and a few hors d’oeuvres which were brought around on trays.  Remembering the lavish buffet of the day before, I only nibbled a few hors d’oeuvres because I wanted to save room for the main course.  I was not the only one!  We soon realized that the hors d’oeuvres were all we were getting!  Many people went home hungry that evening.  I got one of the first buses back so I could get some sleep.

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The closing Gala Dinner was spectacular and very classy with most people dressed in formal or semi-formal clothes.  The food was delicious and the entertainment was interesting, sort of a multi-coloured Blue Man show!


My husband Ina & I with our friend Aviva


Sometimes it pays to have a husband who doesn’t drink as I got his champagne as well as my own, LOL! The dessert was divine!

IMG_1426 IMG_1433 The next day we flew off to Venice to take a Mediterranean cruise.  Some people stayed on a few days to participate in the workshops and attend the grand opening of Animal Embassy at Loro Parque.

Tomorrow I will review the hotel we stayed at – the spectacular Hotel Botanico!


Photos From The VIII International Parrot Convention At Loro Parque

Held once every 4 years, the VIII International Parrot Convention sponsored by Fundacion Loro Parque was an overwhelming success this year!  Around 840 parrot enthusiasts from all over the world were in attendance.  We met people in person from Facebook, saw old friends from the last conference we attended in 2010 and enjoyed 3 days of amazing lectures from top parrot conservationists around the world.


Every day we were welcomed to the conference by the friendly Loro Parque staff and the Scarlet Macaw mascot.  Everyone was given a headset so they could hear the lecture in their own language as some speakers spoke English, some spoke Spanish, French or German.  Between presentations, snacks were served on tables scattered around the lawn.

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As you come into the building, there are several vendor stalls of people who specialize in parrot orientated products.

Aviva and David Vishnia from Israel with their Inca Incubators

Aviva and David Vishnia from Israel with their Inca Incubators


Loro Parque T-shirts and other merchandise

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Here I will only post some title slides to protect the copyright of the speaker’s material.  I didn’t get all of them as my SD card filled up unexpectedly.  Most of them were conservation orientated which is why I love this conference so much.  Topics which catered to breeders were of a more scientific nature so even if you are not a breeder (like me) you still learn something!  A full list of speakers and topics can be found here.

The whole conference was amazing and everyone learned something new about parrots!  Even the breeders who previously weren’t familiar with conservation efforts learned a lot.  The one thing that I found a bit sad is that attendance dropped off on the third day.  I think some people were so exhausted from the late nights of the social program they just couldn’t get up for the early starts of the actual conference.

I personally would have preferred a much earlier social program (luncheons or BBQs?) on the 1st & 2nd day of the conference.  The 3rd day doesn’t matter as you leave the next day unless you stayed on in Tenerife for tourism or some of the Loro Parque workshops.  I ended up leaving the evening events as soon as possible to try to get some sleep as I didn’t want to miss any of the lectures.

IMG_1064 IMG_1083 IMG_1098 IMG_1105 IMG_1125 IMG_1155 IMG_1165In tomorrow’s post, I will show a few shots from the evening social programs and the visit to the La Vera Breeding Facility.

Recently Returned From Tenerife & The VIII International Parrot Convention

You probably didn’t notice because I had pre-written posts scheduled to appear daily on this blog, but I was away for over  a month.  The main focus of the trip was to attend the world’s top parrot conservation conference in Loro Parque, Tenerife – VIII International Parrot Convention.  This amazing conference is held every 4 years and I had been to the 2010 one and loved it!  For readers coming from the miles & points community think of it as FTU on steroids with people coming from all over the world!

Since we were traveling all the way from Australia to Europe in business class, I wanted to maximize the time we were over there so I had a pretty convoluted flight schedule booked.  I wanted to visit Israel since I hadn’t been there since the mid-80’s and my husband had never been there.  Since most of our trips are birding/eco-tourism type trips, I wanted to do something different so we took a Mediterranean cruise after the conference.  Since the cruise didn’t stop in Monaco, I used miles to slot in a 2 day stop-over in Nice before the conference.  None of this would have been possible without the extensive use of miles and hotel points!

I will be elaborating in further detail on how I booked everything and how I maximized my miles and points after my Tasmania series is finished but for now, here is a synopsis of the trip.  Since the Israel, Europe & cruise parts are off-topic for this blog, I won’t be elaborating on what we did and saw there but just covering the parts that pertain to miles and points as it shows how you can take a business trip and maximize it.

BNE-BKK-IST-TLV business class – outbound leg of US Airways award before they left Star Alliance for OneWorld.

2 nights Crowne Plaza Jerusalem – IHG points

2 nights Park Plaza Orchid, Tel Aviv – Club Carlson points with 2nd night free

TLV-IST-NCE economy class – one way award using United Mileage Plus

2 nights Radisson Blu Nice – Club Carlson points with 2nd night free

NCE-MAD-TFN economy class – one way award booked with Iberia Avios

5 nights at Hotel Botanico, Tenerife as part of conference package, paid cash (actually Chase Ink)

TFN-MAD-VCE economy class – one way award booked with Iberia Avios

1 night Comfort Inn Diana – Choice Rewards points

12 Day Grand Mediterranean NCL cruise – booked with United Cruises to earn points, also some minor manufactured spending is possible on cruise ships.

BCN-ZRH-FCO-PEK-SIN-BNE business class – return leg of afore-mentioned US Airways award)  This one got pretty convoluted as it was hard to find space in business class and I was trying to get a 12 hour layover in Beijing on the return for a quick trip to the Great Wall.

As one might expect with any trip booked so far in advance (I was pretty much right on top of it at the 330 days mark), there were dramas, schedule changes and world events that threatened to wreak havoc on my carefully planned trip.  Did all go as planned?  Tune in after a month or so when I start blogging this trip in detail!