Lanzarote is the fourth largest of the Canary Islands and a firm favourite for us Brits looking to escape for some Winter Sun. The island is famed for its volcanic, moonlike landscape and its low-rise developments, thanks to architect Caser Manrique. Manrique fought hard to ensure any tourist developments would make use of traditional colours in their exterior decoration and it doesn’t go un-noticed wherever you are.
Playa Blanca in Lanzarote has a laid-back vibe and is a perfect resort a family holiday, it’s home to the luxurious 5 * Princesa Yaiza hotel which of course conforms to Manriques wishes and also happens to be the most amazing place to spend a few days with the family. Rocco and Tahlia (almost 5 and 3), are at the age when they always have to be doing something. I could see from the wide range of facilities on offer at this hotel it would be difficult for them to be bored. Princesa Yaiza boasts an impressive entertainment theatre with nightly shows, an indoor soft play area, a huge outdoor play area with activity centres, padel tennis courts, a five aside football pitch, tennis courts and a football academy run by Garry Sperry of Leicester City and Scott Nisbet of Glasgow Rangers. In addition to this there are 7 restaurants, 4 swimming pools, a children’s Jacuzzi and let’s not forget the spa. My two were surely going to be so tired each day that I would get to look forward to some late starts and a spa treatment or two.
Princesa Yaiza offers a luxury car transfer to and from the airport which is definitely worth taking advantage of. On arrival, this hotel is nothing but impressive. It very much stands apart from any of the other hotels around. The reception is beautiful, and best described as a Grand Hall with a large floral display. The site itself is vast with 385 bedrooms but the staff very quickly learn your name and the operation of this place is slick. I liked the fact it had direct access to Dorada Beach which unlike a lot of beaches on the island consists of a wide stretch of golden sand. Rocco and Tahlia absolutely loved it. We enjoyed ice creams around the pool and smoothies in a bag! It might sound odd but it was delicious and 'pool safe'.
The buffet restaurants offered an extensive choice of food with themed evenings. It was nice to see the chef making a ‘special dish’ each evening in front of you if you wanted – all in keeping with the theme of the evening. As a family, our favourite meal was in Teppenyaki restaurant. Rocco and Tahlia were in awe of the chefs as they tossed eggs in the air and cracked them on the edge of a large knife. At first, Tahlia was at a little nervous of the flames but she soon got the hang of the whole experience and kept asking to see the fire again!
The one thing that let this hotel down was the quality of the family suites. Although the rooms were spacious with a decent size bedroom and a lounge with two sofa beds, the interior itself seemed dated – not what I expected from a luxury 5* hotel. The spa was fantastic, and nice that it was in tucked away spot close to the beach.
Having stayed in a number of hotels in Playa Blanca, nothing comes close to the ultimate family experience at the Princesa Yaiza. It simply can’t be beaten. It most definitely gets 5 stars from me and it got a huge thumb’s up from Rocco and Tahlia.