Liz Penn, Travel Counsellor
I have to admit I’m a little bit of a Lanzarote fan – enough going on to keep all of the family interested but plenty of places to find some peace and quiet. Couple that with one man’s successful crusade to limit the impact of development and for me it’s the perfect example of a Canarias island.
As much as I love Lanzarote, I invariably find myself both returning to and recommending clients visit Playa Blanca. This pretty little town is named after its beautiful beaches as, despite the volcanic nature of the island, the beaches are surprisingly golden, if not actually ‘white’. A couple can be found within the town boundaries itself and the more expansive sands of the Papagayo coves are just a short drive away.
On this visit I took the opportunity of visiting some of the hotels that I regularly recommend to clients. H10 White Suites is an all-inclusive, adult-only hotel, a short walk from the sea front and offering all suites accommodation. Styled as a small village around the pools, the hotel offers a tranquil oasis just 10 minutes’ walk away from both the town centre and the Marina Rubicon.
Just in front of the White Suites, 5* Princesa Yaiza is situated right on the sea front, with direct access to Playa Dorada. This imposing hotel has such wide corridors, palatial rooms and expansive public areas, plus a similarly impressive ratio of staff to guest, ensuring that even when full, you have a true sense of space and service. The grounds have been cleverly divided to offer an adult-only area with separate pool, the largest spa in the Canaries and an a la carte restaurant; the main area where many rooms overlook the sea and the majority of the restaurants and other facilities can be found; and a third family-orientated section close to the children’s area – Kikoland.
Dream Gran Castillo is set in Las Coloradas, within a stone’s throw of those famous Papagayo beaches and close to Marina Rubicon. The Marina is well worth a visit for its waterside restaurants and bars as well as some envious yacht admiration opportunities. Back to the Gran Castillo, another superb 5* hotel with a fantastic sea view and extensive grounds – there’s a very helpful map for first-timers to find their way around and I can see why! The initial lobby area opens out onto a terrace with sea views and the clever pool design actually creates 11 separate pool areas for both adults and children, whilst maximising privacy. If you want to go the whole hog you can rent a Balinese bed in child-free areas including some with beautiful sea views. There’s also Castleland – another fantastic children’s area with great facilities and rooms for families, including themed Merlin rooms with sliding doors to give families their own space.
I can’t recommend Lanzarote and particularly Playa Blanca highly enough – I know we Brits tend to think of it as a great spot for winter sun but the islands have a relatively stable climate year-round, so even during the summer holidays it is still a great place for a family holiday or a relaxing couples’ getaway.