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“New Year Disaster”

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Gran Castillo Tagoro Family & Fun Playa Blanca
Ranked #13 of 37 Hotels in Playa Blanca
Certificate of Excellence
GreenLeadersSilver level
Reviewed 13 January 2014

We went away for a week on Boxing Day to incorporate New year for a family holiday. This hotel
was recommended by a friend and her description was correct. The hotel is not a 5 star but a 4 star but very clean and the staff work hard and are very pleasant, the food I couldn't complain about either, it wasn't bad at all. The room we stayed in was the size of two double bedrooms
It was the biggest room I have ever stopped in and tastefully decorated. The pool and poolareas
where cleaned every day. The hotel is situated right at the far end of Playa Blanca and 10min walk to Rubican Marina and then a little further to Playa Blanca, nice if you like a stroll after breakfast or cycle. The entertainment at night is done most nights by animation team and odd nights where outside entertainment. The only gripe I had with this hotel was a POORLY ORGANISED NEW YEARS EVE, we where told by people in the hotel that you needed to book an early sitting or a late sitting (which to be fair most hotels require you to do this at New Year & Christmas Day), we
where also told, that we had to purchase either champagne or cava to reserve a table in the
entertainment lounge or we couldn't go in!!!Cheapest bottle started at 35euros and upwards, so
to avoid our little girls disappointment on the night we had to do it under duress. After a beautiful pre dinner cocktail and a nice gala dinner, we came out and they had tenors singing off the balcony and the younger kids could go to the mini disco. But once this had finished we had to
Wait 2hrs to wait for the entertainment room to open, but hardly anywhere to sit outside as all
reserved. We didn't get in to the entertainment room till 11.30!!no bar open to get kids soft drinks ect. They however opened the bar at 12 when you had to pay!! and drinks wasn't cheap. If we had been advised about not opening till 11 we wouldn't have bothered ordering a bottle. There
Where a lot of complainants about this night at reception, even people taking there bottles back
for a refund, but when I approached management about this problem, they didn't want to know.
We have stopped at 5 star hotels before over New Year and never been asked to purchase bottles
to reserve a seat. I wouldn't have been bothered if we had got in earlier after our meal. They did fireworks early not at midnight like most hotels, so if you where on later sitting you missed them. Hopefully the hotel will learn from this big mistake.

Room Tip: Quieter rooms are situated away from mini club,room numbers 4331and above.
  • Stayed: December 2013, travelled on business
    • Value
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Review collected in partnership with Alpharooms
3  Thank Daisy289
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
DreamplaceHotels, Director de Relaciones con Clientes at Gran Castillo Tagoro Family & Fun Playa Blanca, responded to this reviewResponded 17 January 2014

Dear Daisy289,
We would like to thank you for sharing your experience in our Dream Gran Castillo Resort 5* with us on Tripadvisor.
We would like to apologize for the inconveniences of your stay with us. We are very sorry that you thought the New Years Eve was poorly organized and that you were not able to get in to the entertainment area before 11pm. We are also sorry that you did not like the fact that you had to buy a bottle of cava or champagne to reserve the table. Our animation team worked really hard to organize a great night for our guests and we are sorry that you didn’t like it so much. The quality and the professionalism of our entire team are very important features to Dream Gran Castillo Resort 5* and we will make sure situations like this will not occur again. We are happy that you liked the fact that our hotel is always kept very clean and that you had such a big room. All our rooms are very spacious and provide everything our guests need during their stay and are tastefully decorated. At night our animation team puts on a great show, but unfortunately it is hard for us to meet every guests taste. Our hotel is located in the area of Playa Blanca with some nice shops and the marina within a few minutes walking distance from our hotel. We hope you will choose our hotel again for another stay so we can assure you of our 5* quality and standard.
Best regards,
Miriam Pla

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Reviewed 13 January 2014

We stayed for Xmas All Inclusive in a standard (=superior) sea view room. The hotel is built into a hillside sloping down to the sea. There are about 350 rooms and suites spread throughout very large grounds in 9 or more separate buildings of different shapes and sizes. We believe all the rooms here are larger than average with a separate walk in wardrobe by the door and are really light and airy due to the use of pastel colour decoration and light coloured wood for doors and furniture. It’s a bit disappointing that you don’t get the option of a king size bed instead of just two singles but, from experience, we know that happens in loads of places across Spain. Our beds were very comfortable except the mattresses weren’t the best quality and they’ve starting to boing and clank as you turn over or get into or out of bed – time management thought about what clients expect from a hotel with a 5* rating and started replacing the mattresses with better ones. We think all of the rooms have sofas that can be converted into a bed, which makes this hotel particularly suitable for families. When we stayed at Xmas, the greater majority of guests appeared to be family parties of 4 or more. In fact, we don’t think we’ve ever stayed anywhere else with quite so many children, although they weren’t a problem.

The bathroom is really good with twin sinks, bath, separate shower, hairdryer, and magnifying vanity mirror, although it doesn’t have a built-in light. But bathroom lighting is better than in many places and the bathrobes were also much better than most we have had. We didn’t have a room down by the pools or coastline, which meant that it wasn’t miles away from reception like many of the rooms. Our room was just up some steps from reception and our enclosed balcony was south facing, which meant we had both sun and shade on the balcony from breakfast time until after 5pm. The white plastic rattan effect chairs on the balcony were a bit cheap and we were surprised that in a 5* hotel no cushions were provided for them.

The hotel has one large pool near to the sea and a number of smaller pools throughout the complex. But there are nowhere near enough sunbeds for the number of guests. With families occupying a high proportion of rooms, we reckon there must have been 1000 guests staying over Xmas but there are probably no more than 300 beds. The largest nationalities appeared to be English speakers, Spanish and Dutch. Apart from the day after the normal British change day, we didn’t manage to get any sunbeds before lunch, although they did become available later in the afternoons. We reckon if you want to lie out in the sun here and you don’t have a top level room with your own sunbeds, most days you’ll have to be among the early risers, but that’s not us. Lucky our balcony was sunny.

As we usually find, the breakfast buffet was really good and we thought the evening dinner buffet here was a much better standard than most hotels we have stayed at. In particular, the quality of meat you could choose for your main course meal was so much better – we usually criticise hotel buffets for the standard of their meat, which is, of course, the most expensive item on your plate. But in the end it’s still buffet food. As others have said, to accommodate the number of guests that stay here there are 2 sittings in the evening and you’re allocated a table to use all week. On All Inclusive you can only have house wine and the House Jumilla Red is pretty disgusting. The hotel would do much better to buy in a cheap Rioja. We didn’t try the white but the House Rose was drinkable. In addition to the buffet there are Chinese and Italian a la carte restaurants. We went to the Italian one night but our view is don’t bother. If you were self-catering and eating out we doubt you’d go back a second time.

As usual, evening entertainment was a bit hit and miss, but you expect that. But for some reason, the hotel’s booked an obviously very proficient saxophonist to play outside the Sports bar who plays some really weird and often tuneless jazz stuff. If he can’t play run of the mill melody lines, for god’s sake, book someone else. There’s a coastal promenade in front of the hotel that goes into town. It takes a good 20 minutes plus to walk along the coast to the Marina Rubicon. We didn’t go any further ourselves.

This is a really nice hotel and it should be for 5 stars, but our suggestion is, unless you’re a family, don’t book this hotel during school holidays.

Room Tip: Pay for a sea view
  • Stayed: December 2013, travelled as a couple
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3  Thank MandH-eurotrippers
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
DreamplaceHotels, Director de Relaciones con Clientes at Gran Castillo Tagoro Family & Fun Playa Blanca, responded to this reviewResponded 17 January 2014

Dear MandH-eurotrippers
Dream Gran Castillo Resort 5* would like to thank you for writing a comment about our Hotel on Tripadvisor.
We are sorry that you thought that the mattresses were a little uncomfortable after a while and that you did not have a king size bed, but we are very happy that you liked you room and especially the decoration and the colors so much. As you mentioned our rooms are all very spacious and offer everything our guests need from walk in closet up to fully equipped bathroom. Our hotel in general is very spacious, so even when there are many people in our hotel, our guests can still find a quiet place to enjoy the holiday. From the balconies of our rooms our guests can enjoy the fantastic views and we are sorry that you did not have any cushions for the chairs, if any problems occur during your stay, please contact our reception and they will be able to help you. We have a special sun bed policy which states that the pool man is allowed to remove towels from sun beds, which are not being used for a longer time, so please contact our pool man and he will help you find a sun bed at one of our 11 pools. We would like to apologize for the inconveniences during your dinner and that you didn’t like our Italian restaurant so much. Like you said we offer a great quality food to our guests in either one of our three restaurants. Every night our guests can enjoy the entertainment organized by our animation team. We are sorry that you did not like the saxophonist so much and we appreciate you mentioning the matter to us, so we can take care of it. The location of our hotel is perfect as it is quiet, but also close to the marina and the shops in the surrounding area. We hope you will choose our hotel again for another holiday. We offer a special 5% discount to loyal guests, who book their next stay directly with us.
Best regards,
Miriam Pla

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Reviewed 12 January 2014

We have just returned from 2 weeks in the Gran Castillo and we loved it. It was our second time there and we were reluctant to return to the same place as it never lives up to your memories, but this did and in fact the hotel has improved since our first stay in New Years 2012/2013. The rooms are as fabulous and spacious as ever, kept immaculately clean every day, but what has got better is the service. From the constantly cheery bar and restaurant staff to the animation team, each one made our holiday. I'd like to particularly mention Mandy, Tamara and Matteo who were exceptionally kind to our children and made them feel very special, every day. Little touches and genuine care for the guests makes the difference and for me what makes this hotel somewhere you return to again and again.
My one gripe about this hotel is the food is still not 5 star standard. It is 4 star food. At times, it can be great, but it can also be extremely bland with produce that always looks good, but often tastes of nothing. All going well in 2014, we hope to definitely return to this hotel because when you have 2 young children, if they are happy, it is a real holiday for the parents also. Rachel, John, Leo and Abby.

  • Stayed: December 2013, travelled with family
    • Value
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2  Thank raykelly
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
DreamplaceHotels, Director de Relaciones con Clientes at Gran Castillo Tagoro Family & Fun Playa Blanca, responded to this reviewResponded 13 January 2014

Dear Rachel, John, Leo and Abby,
Dream Gran Castillo Resort 5* would like to thank you for sharing your experience with us on Tripadvisor.
We are very happy to hear that you thought our hotel has improved since the last time you were there. Like you said our rooms are very spacious and offer everything our guests need during their stay. We always make sure our entire hotel is very clean and we appreciate that you mention it in your comment. In the three restaurants of our hotel our guests can choose many meals from different parts of the world each night. We are sorry that it wasn’t your taste, but we can assure you that it is of a 5* quality. All our staff is working really hard so our guests can spend the relaxing holiday they deserve. Our animation team offers many different activities during the day and at night they put on a great show, so our guest have plenty to do during their holiday. We are looking forward to having you as our guests again in the near future. Loyal guests, who book their next stay directly with us, receive a special 5% discount on their booking.
Best regards,
Miriam Pla

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Reviewed 12 January 2014

We stayed from 20/12/13 to 1/1/14 in a Junior Suite. The standard rooms at this hotel are very large and the Junior suites with their extensive patio areas are fantastic.
The new pool bar and sports bar have made a big difference in being able to get drinks, but they are still under staffed. Waiting 10 minutes to get served soon gets tiresome.
The choice and quality of food in the main restaurant is still good, we had the second dinner sitting (to try to avoid the screaming children) but the level of noise in the restaurant reminded me of a school canteen. With kids running around, screaming, and on one occasion playing football at dinner time is probably one of the main reasons I will not book again.

The cleanliness of the hotel seems to have taken a turn for the worst as well. We squashed a Cockroach in the bathroom and the body was discovered for three days by the maid (right next to the bath).
New Years Eve Fiasco
With what they call the Gala Evening, you are treated to:
Cocktails (1hour late)
Three Tenors (also Late),
Gala dinner (no good if you don't like sea food or lobster), and still the school canteen atmosphere,
Fireworks (that were set off whilst we were at dinner so couldn't see them),
The Gala party was a complete let down, you pre book your table and purchase a bottle of Champagne or Cava for the table. After queuing for an hour (with a disabled wife) we eventually got to our table at 11:40 to a warm bottle of Cava with no ice bucket. And to top it all off the BAR WAS CLOSED. My wife doesn't drink alcohol and with the bar closed we saw in the new year very sober and disappointed.

We checked out of the Gran Castillo on the 1/1/14 and into the Costa Calero for three nights, I then got my relaxing break I was looking for.

  • Stayed: December 2013, travelled as a couple
    • Value
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6  Thank Neil S
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
DreamplaceHotels, Director de Relaciones con Clientes at Gran Castillo Tagoro Family & Fun Playa Blanca, responded to this reviewResponded 13 January 2014

Dear Neil S,
Thank you very much for writing a comment about our Dream Gran Castillo Resort 5* on Tripadvisor.
We are very sorry for the inconveniences during your stay, if any problems occur, please do not hesitate to contact our reception and they will be able to help you. Due to the warm climate throughout the entire year, it may happen that cockroaches are in the hotel, but we perform regular fumigations to prevent them from crawling around. We apologize for the New Years Eve Dinner, our animation team worked really hard to create something special, but unfortunately it is hard to meet every guests taste. We appreciate you mentioning those matters to us, so we can take care of them. Our guests can eat in three different restaurants and enjoy the different plates. At night our guests can spend a relaxing end of the day in one of our three different bars. It is great for us to hear that you loved the size of your room so much. We hope you will choose our hotel again for another visit so we can assure you of our 5* rating.
Best regards,
Miriam Pla

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Reviewed 11 January 2014

We spent last Christmas at the Gran Castillo and were very pleased with the accommodation, food and staff.As our first room was over a noisy air conditioning unit, we asked to be moved and we got a super room overlooking one of the pools.The bedrooms must be some of the largest we have stayed in. Hotel and pool areas kept clean and we were pleased to see that the rule about not reserving sun beds was strictly adhered to.A short walk to the Marina which is very pleasant and the town not too far away

Room Tip: Make sure you have a room near the main restaurant as it is quite a walk from some of the rooms.
  • Stayed: December 2013, travelled as a couple
    • Value
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    • Cleanliness
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5  Thank 605Chrish
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
DreamplaceHotels, Director de Relaciones con Clientes at Gran Castillo Tagoro Family & Fun Playa Blanca, responded to this reviewResponded 13 January 2014

Dear 605Chrish,
We at Dream Gran Castillo Resort 5* would like to thank you for sharing your experience with us on Tripadvisor.
We are glad that everything went perfectly during your stay and for commenting the problem with the first room to our reception. As you mentioned our rooms are very spacious and have great views. Our hotel is always kept very clean, since we want our guests to be able to enjoy their stay as much as possible. There is a special sun bed policy in our hotel, which states that the pool man removes between 9am and 10am from sun beds, which are not being used for a longer time. Our entire team is doing their absolute best and we appreciate you mentioning the fact. There are three different restaurants, where our guests can enjoy the freshly cooked meals each night. The location of our Dream Gran Castillo Resort 5* is perfect, within a few minutes walking you can reach the marina and the nice shops, where our guests can buy some souvenirs. We hope to have you as our guests again in the near future. Loyal guests receive a special 5% discount, if they book directly with us.
Best regards,
Miriam Pla

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Reviewed 11 January 2014

This was our 1st visit to the Dream Gran Castillo from 26th December 2013 until 9th January 2014.

Having stayed at the H10 Lanzarote Princess for many, many years and seeing it decline over the past two, we thought long and hard about finding an alternative hotel in the Playa Blanca area which we love so much. So it was not an easy decision, but as so many other reviewers have said so much about this hotel, we decided to give it a try!

I will keep my review short, as again, most of what we experienced has already been told by others, but I can say that this is a very, very good hotel.

The rooms are spacious and extremely well appointed; the food in the buffet restaurant (and the separate Chinese and Italian restaurants) is excellent in both variety and quality.

The pool areas are well maintained and even in the busiest periods it was fairly easy to find sunbeds. The childrens pools (which are deep enough to be used by adults) are also heated - which can't be said for many hotels in Lanzarote.

The animation team worked hard and kept the children (and adults) engaged in activities through out the day - and the evening shows were, overall, of better quality than others on the island.

So all in all this hotel deserves a 5 star trip adviser rating!

BUT
We stayed on New Years Eve (and having read some previous reviewers comments), I, too, empathize with these.
Despite being entertained by 3 Tenors on the balcony early in the evening; the rest of New Years Eve was completely disorganised. To reserve a table on the terrace or in the entertainment room you had to buy a bottle of cava or champagne at vastly exorbitant prices. These tables were then cordoned off but you were only allowed to sit at your table after 11pm.

The fireworks were let off at 10 pm (whilst half of the guests - including us - were still in the restaurant). So we missed them - and at 12 o clock - well nothing really - it just fizzled out! Oh and the bars closed dead on 12 o clock - even on New Years Eve!

Even though we are not 'party animals' New Years Eve was not so much a celebration, but a formal, disorganised evening which died way too early!

So:

5 out of 5 for the Hotel in general and our overall holiday
3 out of 5 for New Years Eve

Hence my 4 star review (I would have given 4 1/2 stars if I could) for the Gran Castillo which I personally feel is one of the best hotels in Lanzarote.

  • Stayed: December 2013, travelled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
2  Thank Clive W
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
DreamplaceHotels, Director de Relaciones con Clientes at Gran Castillo Tagoro Family & Fun Playa Blanca, responded to this reviewResponded 13 January 2014

Dear RackRambler60,
From the entire team at Dream Gran Castillo Resort 5* we would like to thank you for your comment on Tripadvisor.
We would like to apologize for the inconveniences on New Years Eve our animation team worked really hard to plan something special for the night and we are sorry that you didn’t like it so much. We are very sorry that you missed the fireworks and that the bottle of champagne was warm when you arrived at your table. We are very happy to hear that you liked our hotel and especially the restaurants variety and quality so much. There are 11 different pools and some of them are heated so our guests can go for a swim in the winter months. Like you said our animation team works really hard and offers many different activities so our guests can have some fun during their holiday. We hope you will return to our hotel again so we can assure you of our great parties on special occasions.
Best regards,
Miriam Pla

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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 11 January 2014

We had a fantastic holiday at this hotel, gorgeous sea views from our large room (probably bigger than our flat at home!), food choice was amazing which even managed to statisfy my permanantly hungry partner (try the creme brulee's). Lots of swimming pools and things to do, especially if you have young children. Enjoyed walking around the coast and to the marina which has a local market twice a week which is full of traditional items to buy. The only disappointment of this hotel was the gym which I appreciate not everyone likes to visit on holiday but we do enjoy our training. Unfortunately there was hardly any equipment and it was all very old and rusty. I do think the gym is going to be modernised soon. The spa however was fantastic and I can definately vouch for the relaxing massage. Overall, if you want a week in the sun to relax, chill out and be comfortable in your surroundings you cannot go wrong here.

Room Tip: Ask for a sea view near the castle
  • Stayed: November 2013, travelled as a couple
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1  Thank Sarah H
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
DreamplaceHotels, Director de Relaciones con Clientes at Gran Castillo Tagoro Family & Fun Playa Blanca, responded to this reviewResponded 13 January 2014

Dear Sarah H,
Thank you very much for sharing your experience about our Dream Gran Castillo Resort 5* with us on Tripadvisor.
We are sorry that you didn’t like our Gym so much, but we appreciate you mentioning the matter to us, so we can take care of it. In our Spa Vitanova our guests can enjoy a relaxing massage or they can just use the special thermal circuit. It is fantastic for us to hear you had an amazing holiday with the gorgeous sea view from your large room. There is a wide variety of different meals for our guests to choose from each night in one of our three restaurants. So it does not get boring during your holiday, our animation team offers plenty of activities during the day and at night they put on fantastic shows. There are 11 pools in our hotel, so even if there are many guests in our hotel, there is plenty of choice to go for a swim. Our hotel is located in the area of Playa Blanca with nice shops and the marina within a few minutes walking distance. We hope you will choose our hotel again soon for another holiday. We offer a special 5% discount to loyal guests, who book their next stay directly with us.
Best regards,
Miriam Pla

Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about Gran Castillo Tagoro Family & Fun Playa Blanca

Address: Calle la Hoya de Afre 2, 35580 Playa Blanca, Lanzarote, Spain (Formerly Dream Gran Castillo Resort)
Phone Number:
Region: Spain > Canary Islands > Lanzarote > Playa Blanca
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Beach Beverage Selection Business Centre with Internet Access Fitness Centre with Gym / Workout Room Free Parking Children Activities (Kid / Family Friendly) Kitchenette Restaurant Shuttle Bus service Spa Suites Swimming Pool Wheelchair access Airport Transportation
Hotel Style:
#4 Green Hotel in Playa Blanca
#5 Spa Hotel in Playa Blanca
#6 Romantic Hotel in Playa Blanca
#7 Family Hotel in Playa Blanca
#8 On the Beach Hotel in Playa Blanca
#10 Luxury Hotel in Playa Blanca
Price Range: £119 - £253 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Hotel Class:5 star — Gran Castillo Tagoro Family & Fun Playa Blanca 5*
Number of rooms: 327
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Like a grand castle which majestically dominates the seascape of the AtlanticOcean and its islands, the magnificent GRAN CASTILLO TAGORO is erected in the charming area of Playa Blanca, in the south of the volcanic isle par excellence: Lanzarote. With the conviction that elegance and comfort should come naturally, this Hotel is a tribute to 16th century Canary history and colonial architecture, inspired by the "Castle of San José" and the typical landscape of the island, blending in with the environment. The building is divided into different zones which maintain their colonial style, where the white facades and volcanic stone contrast with the backdrop of the deep blue ocean. A charming interior courtyard of Arab inspiration bathes the reception area with light, and the contemporary décor and pale colours create a warm and very elegant atmosphere. GRAN CASTILLO TAGORO pampers every detail of the rooms and suites, which have breathtaking views of the sea and surrounding scenery. They are decorated in a contemporary style, with marine touches, light-coloured wood and pale colours, creating a pleasant atmosphere full of light. The discerning selection of restaurants and cuisines serve Canary, national and international specialities. There are conference rooms featuring spearhead technology, and various outdoor zones for events of different kinds. The "Vitanova SPA" thalassotherapy centre provides the benefits of thermal seawater, and specific treatments for the body and soul. The Hotel features a wide range of facilities and services. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Dream Gran Castillo Hotel Playa Blanca
Dream Castillo Papagayo Lanzarote
Gran Castillo Tagoro Family & Fun Playa Blanca Lanzarote

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