Arrived at about 11pm and only one member of staff on the desk to check several families in. They were very friendly and, like all the staff in the complex, spoke exceptionally good English. They had already noted our booking request of a high floor quiet room which it certainly was. Even though dinner finished at 10pm they allowed for late arrivals by providing a cold buffet until midnight. Although not a massive selection it was more than enough to see us and the children through until breakfast.
Don't forget to keep cash handy for deposits if you want them at check-in;
Pool Towels - E10 each deposit only
Safety deposit box - E10 deposit plus E16 per week for use
Aircon remote - E10 deposit only
TV remote - E10 deposit only - didn't bother.
No problem getting any back as long as you have your receipt, and you can change your pool towels every other day at reception.
Very pleased with our room. Very clean and spacious compared to other so called "family rooms" we have had at other resorts. Main bedroom had queen sized bed, double fitted wardrobe and balcony. Living room / dining / kitchen area had two single sofa beds which were both made up on arrival for us. Balcony to the front had great view over the sea to Fuerteventura. Good job we were all inclusive as kitchen area probably would have struggled to cook for a family on but pretty sure these are simply left over from a previous life! Had kettle, cups and working fridge so all good. Bathroom clean and well kept with bath and shower over.
Cleaned and beds made up almost every day. Towels and bedding changed regularly.
Word of warning - patio doors are latch only. if you close them when you are outside you can not get back in. You have been warned!!!
Main restaurant does get busy but there was always seating available and if you sat in the chinese restaurant area it is much quieter but you can still get food from main buffet with no problem. Sometimes you have to queue for the main cooked meat and ice-cream but other than that always found the buffet food hot or cold depending on how it should be served and replenished regularly. Staff were always friendly and welcoming and tables cleared of used plates etc very promptly. One word of advice - don't sit at the tables near the ice-cream as you will find a queue of people standing at along side your table half way through your meal! Never failed to find something to eat but there were occasions when the main meal didn't suit our tastes. Chinese was always good. Didn't use the Italian as had plenty of pasta and pizza options throughout the week in the main buffett. Plenty of fresh salad and fruit as well as chips and chocolate, every meal! Simply put we ate far too much and no-one was ill so all good!
Lunch at pool bar same every day from what we saw - burgers, chips, pizza etc. afternoon tea was bread, cheese, ham and cakes. Not sure why people saw the need to buy icecreams as it was readily available from 12:30 - 3pm with lunch and then at the pool bar after lunch and then again at dinner!
Drinks were widely available, cold and varied. There are plenty of self service water coolers around so only bottled water we bought was for our room (E2.60 for 8 litres from the shop).
Limited on what cocktails and spirits were in the all inclusive but can highly recommend trying the honey rum which is included!
Again bar staff were always happy to help and even when flat out always greeted you with a smile.
Only down side is that we were expecting a snack bar area in the water park as advertised but didn't appear to be open. Drinks stations were but given it takes about 2 minutes to walk to the pool bar and main restaurant this is really only a very minor point.
The aged old problem of sunbeds is apparent round the pool area and they should enforce what they display round the pool that towels will be removed if unattended for more than 45 mins. I have never been somewhere where people get up before dawn to put out towels, no really they do, (I know this having been up at that time to go running), and don't appear until after lunch to sit on them. As a result of this we only used the pool 3 times in 2 weeks. The water park, however, doesn't open until 10 and never did we fail to get 4 sunbeds together even after lunch!
The water park is fantastic and the lifeguards are exceptional and felt safe letting our 9 & 12 yr olds use the facilities while we sat back and relaxed.
The water in both the pool and waterpark is clean, but cloudy, and a little chilly!
Hotel has a gym and massage spa. The gym is well equipped and the massages very good.
Only place with free wifi - however - if there are more than 4 other people in the bar you will struggle to get any speed of service and over about a dozen you may not get connected at all. Again staff fantastic and drinks served in glasses not plastic cups!
Pool bar / entertainment area:
Pool bar is adequate but entertainment area is very small for size of the hotel. The area suffers with sticky floors but this appeared to be more down to a lack of respect of people using it and simply not clearing up spilt drinks or informing staff so they could. It is very windy down there so not surprising that plastic cups get blown over regularly, but this is better than broken glass, hence no glass rule.
If you want to go to the entertainment area and see the stage get there before 8pm. This is when the childrens fun time / disco is on but adult entertainment, which starts with a music quiz and then bingo doesn't start until about 8:45pm.
The Thomas Cook entertainment team work tirelessly in less than ideal conditions to make the evenings fun for children and adults alike. It is a shame that there aren't more formal acts put on and better staging area. The only formal act we saw was the reptile act which was 10 minutes followed by asking if anyone would like to hold the snakes, which the children obviously did, only to get to the stage to be told "if you want to hold the snake you must pay E10 for the photo we take. No photo, no holding of the animals".
Didn't use the childrens clubs but appeared better staffed than the last Thomas Cook holiday we did which we did use.
Thomas Cook staff:
Danielle was present at the hotel quite a lot and always had details of when she would be about displayed at her desk, was always happy to help and had a good knowledge of the area. As mentioned before the entertainment staff (Katie, Jordan, Lauren and Chelsea) were great with the children and despite working long hours and having to cope with a major technical breakdown of the sound equipment continued on, mainly thanks to Katie's ability to project her voice rather well!
Although all of the staff were fantastic we have to mention Victoria on reception as she went out of her way to help with all our questions and requests. We had a broken bed in our room and it was sorted out within hours, before we even got back to the room with the extra pillows we had requested, she sorted out confirming bookings we had made with the submarine safari directly as well as confirming all the details of our late checkout room (which you will need to prebook directly with Thomas Cook on the phone before you go. £22 and we kept the room until our pickup time of 6:15pm rather than having to be out at 12pm).
We are a relatively active family and the walk to Playa Blanca beach and resort takes about 20 mins (taking the short cut down the side of the water park and across the open area down to the main road then track down to resort). There is a free bus service to Playa Dorada from the hotel but the times on the return never suited us so only ever caught it down not up!
Plenty of shops and the beach is lovely and clean. Did the banana boat with friends at E10 per person. Well worth it in our opinion as you go quite a way out and along the sea front before getting bought back to shore and thrown off!
Booked the submarine Safari direct on their website before we went and saved 15%. Have to book 7 days in advance and reconfirm 24 hours before. Same tour as offered by the rep as run with the submarine company just cheaper! You pay at the submarine office on the day of the dive. Highly recommend it. Puerto Calero had market stalls around but subsequently found these are quite highly priced compared to other markets we found later in the holiday!
Public Bus to Puerto del Carmen, again helped out by Victoria, cost E10.80 each way for 4 people, no return tickets and no child price. Nice to go even if just for the sight seeing on the way but much of a muchness to Playa Blanca just bigger in our opinion.
Timanfaya - Booked with rep. Good trip and glad we did it. We found it very rushed throughout. over E130 for 4 of us and then camel rides E24 on top and then they wanted E5 per photo they took of you on the camel and wonder why not many people bought them, might also have something to do with the fact that the camel guide will use your camera to take your picture if you ask during the ride anyway! Would have preferred the trip to have not had the wine tasting and aloe vera stops as these are clearly just a further way for the tour operator to make money and not enjoyable in the sausage factory manor they were conducted. Pretty sure if you don't go by coach you can't actually drive round the national park and can only go to the top. If it wasn't for this we would have probably been asking for money back! having said all this the guide, Carlos, was very good and very knowledgeable and also seemed very put out by how rushed it all was that day! So it may just have been a bad day, who knows.
Well worth walking up the volcano opposite the hotel. Views are spectacular and you can easily waste a couple of hours on a cloudy morning writing your name in stones in the crater.
Having read all the negatives before we went we were very worried about what we would find. We needn't have been. Any fault we could find are minor and the hotel is clearly in the process of upgrading and updating throughout. Very pleased with everything we experienced and in our opinion was a good value for money holiday which we all enjoyed. We wouldn't hesitate in recommending this hotel based on the holiday we experienced. There are always people who expect far more than they are paying for, drink more than they should and treat hospitality staff and facilities with a lack of respect but these were thankfully in the minority and didn't detract from our holiday.
This wasn't 5 star luxury, it never claimed to be, but we felt we got what we paid for and possibly more.
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- The hotel is situated in a slightly elevated location at the edge of the village Playa Blanca, approx. 1500 mtrs from the beach and approx. 2000 mtrs from the village centre with it’s bars, restaurants and shops. A free bus shuttle service to the Playa Dorada beach is arranged several times a day. The hotel consists of 290 modern apartments (renovated 2015/16) which are allocated in two story apartments. The main building offers a lobby with reception, bar and TV corner. It also offers three restaurants - an international, an Asian and an Italian one. The facilities includes as well a mini market, a pool bar, a gym and a disco. In the well kept gardens you will find 4 swimming pools (one of them heated 01/11-30/04) and a sun terrace with sun beds and umbrellas (free of charge). Pool towels will be provided against a small deposit. The water park “Dino Park”, which is opened daily, is attached to the hotel. ... more less
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- Also Known As:
- Aparthotel Paradise Island Hotel Playa Blanca
- Paradise Island Lanzarote
- Aparthotel Paradise Island Playa Blanca
- Paradise Island Playa Blanca
- HL Paradise Island Lanzarote/Playa Blanca