I stayed at the Sandos Papagayo beach resort (aka Papagayo Arena) for 1 week all inclusive on 31st March with my boyfriend. This was our first holiday without my 7 yr old since we'd met 5 yrs ago. We wanted somewhere with plenty to do and see but also somewhere with good food and hygiene. We landed early after a good flight and arrived around 9.15pm. We'd been pretty excited about the holiday particularly as Bookableholidays.com had put an upgrade request in for us! We hadn't opted to pay the extra for the Elite package as we were trying to save money. However, upon arrival we were greeted by a rather grumpy and abrupt receptionist who continued her conversation for some time before checking us in. She never cracked a smile! Despite this we drew her attention to the upgrade request but were told quite bluntly that "if you want upgrade ... you pay!"
I have to say although we knew we weren't guaranteed an upgrade we were obviously disappointed.
When we arrived at our room (1007 block h) we were pretty shocked. It was very dated and although it was reasonably clean it was nothing like any of the brochure photos (or trip advisor customers photos for that matter!) The bath had rust around the plug, tiles had filthy grout in some areas etc. The tv was older than me! The shower was pretty feeble and very old. It was far from the luxury we'd hoped for.
We had a bottle of water left on the floor in front of the door and the towels were like sandpaper! The "view" was non existant ... our balcony was overlooking the back of the hotel and had a footpath not too far away so people walking past could see in, it also had a wall with a large security fence. Not impressed. All this did not bode well for the relaxing break we needed. We decided against complaining (which in hindsight I wish we had) as we had not paid for a sea view etc so didn't feel it fair to the hotel.
The "Elite" package included quite a few extras ... some of which I feel should be offered all guests at a hotel of this quality such as water in room being replenished. When we asked where we could get bottled water we were told we had to refill the original bottle or buy from vending machines.
It may just have been me but I got the feeling if your wristband wasn't Gold Elite ("normal guests wear blue") then they weren't overly bothered about making your holiday special. We did come across a couple of staff that were polite and happy to chat, in particular Viktor in the main bar. Always had a smile and asked how people were.
When all inclusive I have to say my main request is that food is good and surfaces etc clean. The papagayo scored well on both counts with this. There was an endless team of staff constantly cleaning the hotel, whether it be floors or the gigantic windows. The food was of a good standard for all inclusive however not always hot (a problem I've found with all AI I've stayed in). At breakfast there was always a choice of bacon (although very fatty you could usually find some that was well cooked) beans, tomatoes, eggs (cooked fresh). There was occasionally sausages, but not quite cooked enough for my liking, tomatoes, cold meats, cheeses, toast, salads, fresh olives and dried fruit, yoghurt etc. They also did delicious pancakes (again ... cooked fresh). There was plenty of tea, coffee, fruit juices and fresh fruit too.
Lunch time and dinner time usually had very similar menus. We had everything from seafood paella to lasagna to roast dinners to shark loin! The main buffet restaurant was a bit canteen-like so we walked through and sat in the Italian area every day. It has to be said that the Italian bit with its fresh pasta and pizzas was fantastic and the staff on there were extremely friendly and helpful.
There was also cava and orange juice available throughout the day in reception and some nice seating areas.
We tried the Mexican restaurant but we were unfortunately very disappointed. The food was not very "Mexican" and the bits that were, was not particularly nice. We also went to the Chinese which I thought was better but still not great.
The location of the hotel is good but at the very end of a promenade which takes you to the marina and then further on to playa blanca. It's a pleasant walk, about 15 minutes to the marina and about 1 hr leisurely walk to playa along the beautiful coastline.
We played tennis which was just €5 refundable deposit. This was really good. We also had a safe which you paid €\£20 deposit for and €3 per day to use. We used the spa which was included for sauna, steam room and jacuzzi. The sauna was ok but the steam room wasn't very hot and neither was any of the 3 Jacuzzis. I had a pedicure on my penultimate day and this was lovely but the lady who did it did not speak English and my Spanish is not great so it was a silent 40 minutes! Must learn more Spanish! You could also get pool towels free of charge but along with the safe deposit box and water we weren't told about this on our arrival and found out through other guests!
On our departure day we booked a courtesy room free of charge for 3.30. You only get half an hour so it was a bit of a rush to get two of us showered and changed especially as the room was quite far from reception. However, we appreciated this extra as other hotels I've been to charge for this.
All in all, despite being disappointed with our room we would still recommend and return ourselves. I think I would look in to upgrading although I am in two minds as we really did feel second rate customers which I don't think was the intention but unfortunately how I felt and I don't think we should have had to pay extra to be smiled at more!
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- Sandos Papagayo Beach Resort All Inclusive is placed seafront in Playa Blanca, Lanzarote. It is also near to beaches of the Papagayo Natural Park (600m). The Timanfaya National Park is 20 km away. The rooms are spacious and bright, with a balcony with views, bathroom with hairdresser, satellite TV with international channels. They also have safe with extra charge. The complex has three outside pools, gym, minigolf and sports center, plus spa, sauna and steam bath. It also has five bars, a disco and a snack bar, as well as a few restaurants: international buffet, pizzeria, Asian restaurant and a French brasserie. The front desk is 24 hour open and has tourist information with car rental and tours services. The hotel has free WiFi in public areas. ... more less
- Reservation Options:
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- Also Known As:
- Sandos Papagayo Arena Beach Hotel
- Papagayo Arena Lanzarote
- Papagayo Arena Resort
- Hotel Papagayo Arena
- Papagayo Arena Hotel Lanzarote
- Sandos Papagayo Beach Resort Lanzarote/Playa Blanca