I belong to the Facebook group Tenerife 4 All and there are often old photographs of how the resorts used to be in the days before tourism. Many of those photos show “Casa del Peña” (House of Rock) the only surviving original banana plantation buildings from the 60’s located right on the seafront in Los Cristianos. Obviously once a very attractive villa with its prominent archways, it was reputed to be the holiday home of Elizabeth Taylor and Richard Burton.
Sadly, today, it has fallen into total disrepair and stands vandalised and empty. Following a fire on December 15th 2014 the villa was declared a ruin by the town council and unfortunately, will eventually be demolished.
Despite numerous questions and Google searches, nobody seems to know much about the house. Sitting in my local bar one evening, I was told the following story, which was of particular interest as it is also connected to the village where I live.
A lady and her family used to live in Santa Cruz when she was a child. Her father was a builder and someone came along with an offer he could not refuse which included giving the family an apartment in Los Cristianos. In the 1960s, the family used the accommodation at weekends and for holidays. In those days, despite having a car the journey was arduous and would take hours as there were only dirt roads.
While on holiday the family would walk along the seafront and one day as they passed the large villa on the banana plantation, the owner was sitting on the porch under one of the arches. The man knew the father was a builder and asked if he was interested in building some houses in Chayofa for a German community. The man and his wife who owned the banana plantation and the Casa del Peña owned the land in Chayofa as well as a large amount of land in Adeje and San Miguel.
Part of the building contract was that the father was offered a parcel of land in Chayofa to build his own villa and the family still live there today.
I just wish I knew which villa it is and the person who lives there as perhaps she can throw a little more light on the history of Casa del Peña.