Lanzarote and Playa Blanca in particular is a great holiday destination. Having said that, those aspects then need to be parked and the specific strengths and weaknesses of this specific hotel need to be reviewed here.
The fundamental problem is that during the conversion from self-catering apartments to a "Boutique" hotel, either too many rooms have been retained for the hotel facilities provided or more facilities should have been provided for the number of guests.
The Reception desk and lobby is minute compared to other H10s. During busy check in periods, having 3 staff trying to serve new arrivals in parallel, results in such a noise level that it is hard to hear what is being said to you.
As described elsewhere, queues rapidly develop at breakfast and dinner. Not only that, once you have gained access to the restaurant, you find yourself queuing for the coffee machine, queuing for eggs and bacon, etc. etc. It is more like a motorway service station than a Boutique Hotel. However, Lunch is excellent. With the majority of folk being on half board, the all-inclusive guest can easily get seated at their choice of time within the allowed lunchtime period and you are treated to food cooked to your order and brought to your table. The only issue with lunch is that the Hotel will not provide a packed lunch; I don't understand why as it would be simple to achieve given the sliced meats, bread rolls, fruit and cakes available. This leads to folk surreptitiously (or not) making their own sandwiches during breakfast.
There are no alternative or themed restaurants available which could take the pressure off the current facility. Perhaps the management should consider allowing guests to use other H10 hotels for meals.
As has been said elsewhere, there are simply not enough sunbeds provided for the number of guests. This creates a Catch 22. If folk go for an after breakfast stroll they return to find all the sunbeds taken. Having experienced this, the natural response is to seek to reserve a bed... which simply makes the problem worse. The hotel does NOT adequately manage this by politely removing possessions from beds that have been unused for 1 or two hours. Instead, they let the problem escalate to an epidemic and then mount a draconian operation to remove all personal possessions unattended for 20 minutes. This prevents you from going to lunch, for example, and expecting to still have a bed on your return. This heavy handedness resulted in significant frustration and groups of couples banding together to preserve their joint use of beds.
The cramped layout around the pool is exacerbated by reserved areas that can only be used if you pay a premium (something like 100E) to have a Champagne and Flowers experience. During the 2 weeks we were there, these areas were massively underutilised and frustrated sunbathers by the space they took up and the shadows they cast.
The Location is very convenient for walking to the beach, the marina and into the town itself. Unfortunately, because adjacent lots are unbuilt, and the hotel being a collection of relatively small units, the wind can whistle through the pool area, leaving folk huddling under towels. On one particularly windy day we checked out the poolside conditions at the adjacent H10 Lanzarote Princess. The hotel body shielded sun bathers almost completely and gave a much more pleasant experience. It also seemed to have plenty of unused sun beds!!
The Hotel has roads on two sides and both of these are significant routes (by Playa Blanca standards). Coaches travel past from the early hours of the morning. Rooms with low numbers (such as 100-109 and 200-209) also have the opportunity to be awakened by the dustbin lorries and recycling vehicles collecting material during the very early hours of the morning. Tipping a large dumpster full of empty bottles into a lorry is never going to be a quiet operation but the disturbance is increased by the lorry being left ticking over while the crew has a refreshment.
The Wi-Fi is patchy. During our first week it was limited to the small lobby and the pool bar. The system was made even more difficult by issuing usernames and passwords unique to each guest. Each time you re-entered the Wi-Fi zone, you had to re-log in to join the system. On occasion the system would think that you already had an active session and would block you login in again. The only way I found to recover from this was a complete power down and restart. During the second week, the coverage seemed to have been expanded to some parts of the pool side terrace. As said many times before, this is disappointing for a Hotel which claims it's free Wi-Fi access as a key feature on its website.
You cannot lock the patio door from the outside. Hence rooms such as 100-110 whose patio faces directly onto the pool, either have to be left unlocked, or you have to undergo a lengthy walk past your room and "round the back" past the utility areas to get to your lockable door. Rooms on the west have the disadvantage of facing away from the pool but you can walk directly and quickly to your lockable entrance. The distances are not huge, and on day one it seems a non-issue, but by the 6th time of doing the round trip on day 12 of your holiday the experience wears a bit thin!
Overall, the Hotel was Ok, but could have been great. I sense that it has enjoyed a large number of loyal customers during its days as a self-catering facility. It has looked at the age profile of these customers and decided to try and attract a younger element by trying to become more "trendy". If it is not careful, the changes could alienate its current customers, while the failure to deliver the "boutique" experience promised could easily result in an inability to attract the loyalty of younger folk.
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- SENTIDO H10 White Suites on Lanzarote is a boutique hotel for couples 16 years and above. The hotel is built in the typical architectural style of the Canary Islands and is located close to a sandy beach. The hotel offers a wide range of sporting activities. If you are looking forward to a more relaxing holiday, you can enjoy a relaxing break in the Despacio Beauty Center, where you can pamper yourself with one of several massages or beauty treatments that the hotel offers. Regardless if you want to just chill out by the pool or activate yourself, SENTIDO H10 White Suites has something for everyone. The hotel offers an elegant and modern interior furnishing while preserving the traditional Canary Islands architectural style. The suites have a separate bedroom and living room. The suites are fitted with satellite TV (with USB connection), as well as an iPod/iPhone docking station and a Nespresso coffee machine. The suites feature a terrace with garden or pool view. The hotel houses a total of 195 suites. ... more less
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- Also Known As:
- h10 Bahia Blanca Rock Hotel Playa Blanca
- h10 Bahia Blanca Rock Playa
- Bahia Blanca Rock
- SENTIDO H10 White Suites Lanzarote/Playa Blanca