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“A great stay over Xmas and New Year”

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Gran Castillo Tagoro Family & Fun Playa Blanca
Ranked #10 of 37 Hotels in Playa Blanca
Certificate of Excellence
GreenLeadersSilver level
Dunchurch, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
20 reviews
15 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 36 helpful votes
“A great stay over Xmas and New Year”
Reviewed January 2, 2013 via mobile

We visited the hotel from 23rd Dec to 3rd January 2013 as a family with the in-laws and two young children (aged 6 and 14 months). We concur with much of the positive views given in earlier reviews regarding rooms, staff etc.
The reception staff, animation team, bar staff, waiters etc were all fantastic.
On the negative side, the pools could do with heating - they were freezing! I can't believe that they cannot install solar heating in his climate. There was a shortage of bar staff, especially in the pool bar ( we didn't personally experience any drunk ness as indicated by previous reviewers. Service was very slow.
The food was 'passable' and agree with he reviewer who said that stews etc were best choice. The cooked-to-order meat and fish from the skillets was often undercooked ( especially the fish!). However,the hotel put on a fantastic Gala Dinner on New Years Eve with a fantastic choice of fish and meats. The 'hot plates' didn't seem to keep food very warm, and where food was warm, it tended to dry up quickly so you are best advised to get in early for meals.
Great animation team - especially Alex who kept our young son busy. The restaurant waiters were excellent and very attentive. We did get a little agitated when they kept changing our table very night for the first six nights before allocating us a permanent table for dinner.
On the whole it was a fabulous holiday and we would come back here again.

Stayed December 2012, traveled with family
Helpful?
2 Thank Cymruman
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Glasgow
Level Contributor
41 reviews
29 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 46 helpful votes
Reviewed January 2, 2013

All about expectations - we thought we'd landed a great deal for a 5-star hotel. On arrival, bleary eyed from an early flight, our first impressions were indeed that this was a classy place. We were greeted with complimentary champagne & delighted, if somewhat embarrassed, as our shabby hire car was valet parked & our assorted array of luggage delivered to our room.

Our room was very large and nicely decorated but "luxurious" wouldn't really describe it. The towels, toiletries etc were more Travelodge than Raffles and despite its size, there was a bit of a shortage of cupboards and surfaces to spread things out on. Sound-deadening isn't what you'd expect either so, as well as hearing wobbly footsteps returning after the bars had closed, we became unwillingly familiar with the bowel patterns of our upstairs neighbours. We ordered a family room. These have a dividing door between the bedroom and living area, which meant that our 1-year-old could sleep in her cot in peace and quiet, but the balcony opens from the living area so you do then feel a bit stuck in a windowless bedroom. Only a very small handful of family rooms have sea views however and ours wasn't one of them so we didn't use the balcony much. Also, the pool-view rooms are all north-facing.

We had to move rooms because the plumbing leaked in the first one. The receptionists handled this OK but it would have been nice if they'd moved a bit quicker and saved us a few queues at the desk to ask what was happening.

Our experience with the food was similar to the room - all acceptable but nothing amazing. The breakfasts are really good, with a huge selection on offer, but the other meals in the main restaurant were a bit samey. The ebullient African chef doing show-cooking on the griddle cheered up every trip to the restaurant although some of his dishes would have benefited from some sauces or suchlike to liven them up. As a few other reviewers have pointed out, the restaurant seemed under-staffed and it did sometimes take a while to get plates cleared or drinks delivered. There are two other restaurants:We loved the Italian restaurant and ate there several times. We only tried the Chinese restaurant once and while the food was OK, the service was hopeless.

The complex itself is very nicely designed and although the pool area got very busy, it was still a nice place to spend time. The staff were generally very helpful and friendly and, as every other reviewer seems to agree upon, the children's entertainment was great. Our little one was enthralled and still does the moves to "Music Man" at the mention of the words "Mini disco". The kids entertainment is inside its own little indoor club so doesn't intrude on the adults' more sedate live music but other than that, be warned that this is a family-focused hotel. If you don't fancy sharing your meals with kids who're either excited, tired or both, this isn't for you. One adults-only haven is the Spa which, like the rest of the hotel, is far from five-star but still a nice place to relax in if the clouds come in.

We think you can ignore the comment on another review about the photographers - they always asked for consent and we got some fantastic snaps to take home with us.

One other comment we do agree with is the one about drunken guests taking a bit too much advantage of the all-inclusive. We encountered a few people worse-for-wear. Unfortunately, not all of them were happy drunks & we didn't enjoy seeing a table, including crockery being flung across the restaurant by a drunken Scouser on Christmas Day. The duty staff coped well but we agree there might need to be a bit more policing of this to ensure the hotel keeps it's reputation as a family-friendly one intact.

A word also on Christmas stays - the team did a great job, complete with Santa arriving on a camel. The gifts given out were impressive too.

Overall, we enjoyed our 2 weeks here and we paid a fair price for a 3-4 star hotel. We've been lucky enough to sample some five-star service over the years (usually when the work is paying!) and this wasn't it. That said, it is a really nice spot to spend a holiday if all-inclusive is your bag, We would consider returning but we would also look at other resorts too.

Incidentally, there's no need to get cabin fever in the complex as there is lots to see around the island. We particularly enjoyed El Golfo and the northern part of the island where we were able to sit in a sea-front restaurant and treat ourselves to proper Spanish fresh food.

Room Tip: Reception claim there are no family rooms with a sea view. We're not convinced...
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  • Stayed December 2012, traveled with family
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Helpful?
4 Thank Dinkyenjoyinglife
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Newport South wales
Level Contributor
6 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 6 helpful votes
Reviewed January 2, 2013

My disabled mother and I spent Christmas 2012 at this hotel for one week. We stayed from 23 to 30 th December. The room though large and suitable for wheelchair, was dirty. I found tow balls of hair under my bed the size of a tennis ball. I was offered food on chipped crockery, and dirty cutlery, not what one would expect having paid over £2500.00 for five star!

The staff worked incredibly hard and it was clear to see that in areas such as the Chinese restaurant there was insufficient staff to cope with demand, consequently guests left before having thier third course and also had to get up and get their own drinks from the bar next door.

Some areas of the hotel were not wheelchair friendly. If one is ina wheelchair sinks need to be lower for example and a wheelchair should fit under the sink so that basic hygiene can be maintained following daily grooming routine. This was not possible in our room.

The food was poor and anyone ina wheelchair had no hope of choosing thier own food like their able bodied counterparts, at mealtimes it was a free for all and so crowded like ants milling around it was not a pleasurable experience. We couldn't wait to come home.

sadly we would not recommend this hotel to anyone who seeks five star treatment. We would not recommend this hotel at all in fact. sorry!

Room Tip: Choose another hotel!
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  • Stayed December 2012, traveled with family
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Helpful?
4 Thank LadyHelen S
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Manchester
Level Contributor
21 reviews
16 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 21 helpful votes
Reviewed January 2, 2013

Not up to the standard of the (occasional!) "real 5 star properties I've used in the past. Perhaps the all-inclusive factor is dragging down standards. Still for the price this was my best option - and so (despite generally being disappointed) I won't 100% rule out for the future.

On the good side: Room was large with an ocean view (no extra charge - perhaps we were lucky); food quality was OK (in comparison to previous 4 star all-inclusive I have used). No problems getting sunbeds during our stay. SPA was nice (one free visit per room - no under 16s)

On the downside: pools were only "environmentally heated (in real terms not heated). This was especially disappointing for the impressive looking pool with slides which was pretty much unused during our stay (staff said it was 24 degrees - in any case it was unpleasantly cold).
OK - I'll probably sound like a snob (I'm not - I'm of working class stock myself) - but some of the other guests were actually a negative. Nothing personal: just some were drinking a bit too much and getting noisy and inconsiderate to staff and other guests: I guess this could be an inevitable consequence of the 'all-inclusive' factor.

  • Stayed December 2012, traveled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
4 Thank united_always_score
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Somerset, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
34 reviews
21 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 32 helpful votes
Reviewed January 2, 2013

I stayed at the hotel for Christmas 2012 and was very disapointed for the following reasons:-
The evening bar was more like a working mens club as was the entertainment area. The waiter service was extremely slow and one ended up queueing for drinks. The drink mixers (e.g.rum & coke etc) were often out of gas so they were served flat. Children were out of control, running around unsupervised as late as 10pm whilst their drunken parents showed no care what so ever. The food was acceptable but you had to queue for it at all sittings. The dining rooms lacked any sort of ambience and were like a staff canteen.While you were eating people were constantly walking between tables to get to the food queues. To get a sunbed was nearly impossible as all had towels on them by 8am even thought the hotel had a 'no reservation with towel' rule. The accommodation was large enough but the bathroom smelt of sewage. The sitting area contained a sofa bed which was so uncomfortable you ended up with backache after 20 mins. The TV channels were mainly foreign, out of the 100 channels only 5 of them were in English and 3 of these were news channels even though most of the guests were English. The price I thought would have excluded unsavoury types but it most certainly didn't as many spent the whole day in a comatose state. The entertainment was no better than what you would get from a sixth form production.I thought it may get better but the entertainers were the same for the week. In total the holiday was a massive disapointment and I would never return even if it were free. Playa Blanca is like a mini Blackpool with English pubs and takeaways everywhere.The only good thing were the staff who were doing their best.

Room Tip: Don't use this place unless you want get smashed for a week and forget your children !
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  • Stayed December 2012, traveled as a couple
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Helpful?
6 Thank rob2222187309
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Sheffield, United Kingdom
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 4 helpful votes
Reviewed January 1, 2013

Stayed in the hotel for 10 days for Christmas and New Year, and enjoyed every second of it. The rooms were wonderfully clean and tidy, and the views were nothing short of spectacular (especially at night). For the most part the food was brilliant, although sometimes a little underwhelming. The main part of what made the holiday was the staff though, particularly the animation team. Hats off to all of the hard work they do, because there was always some activity going on, and they were always happy to go out of their way to help you. Special mention to Diana on the animation team, who seemed to be endlessly working, but always smiling, friendly and lovely. I would probably agree that maybe it is not quite a 5* hotel, however thanks to the exceptional talents of their staff, we certainly had a 5* holiday.

  • Stayed December 2012, traveled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
4 Thank Chris M
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
essex
Level Contributor
355 reviews
55 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 257 helpful votes
Reviewed January 1, 2013

Stayed here as a group of 7 adults and 2 children for 9 nights till the 27th dec and what a great value hotel this is. Did the usual study the 20 or so reviews prior to booking and the same again just before departure so wasn't too sure what to expect. What we did receive was excellent throughout. 4 fabulous rooms in block 2 by the main pool. The rooms really are something special , dressing come storage room with tons of wooden hangers ,free safe and storage for all your cases. Next a huge modern bathroom with twin sinks,huge bath, chunky white towels, separate loo and bidet are and again a separate shower booth with a super powerful shower and body jacuzzi heads. Then a huge bedroom with a monster 7ft square bed ,flat screen TV in a nice cabinet into the 2nd section usual desk but also a nice 4 seater seating area and then onto the patio facing the pool and all the facilities just a few steps away , the pool ,the dining rooms,the promanade, the pool bar,what a fabulous start. The rooms were kept spotless thro out our stay.The food again was excellent with no need to dine out with plenty of options at all sittings.Have stayed in plenty of all inclusive's but the food here was possibly the best, plenty of quality meat and fish options and the service from all the staff whether in the restaurants,bars ,reception or nightclub was first rate.The Italian restaurant is worth a try but i did find the chinese menu a let down.Great service all the bars with plenty of branded items like smirnoff and barcardi, only problem i found was its always at least a treble measure ,loved the great measure of local baileys and Tia Maria in highball glasses. I can only judge the hotel on what we received for 9 nights for what we paid and it has to be a great value hotel with above excellent consistant quality of staff thro out, good quality all inclusive food and drinks and truly excellent rooms. We had absolutely no trouble any day getting sun loungers next to each other in fact we all sat at the same spot by the pool the extire stay. The bar service thro out again i never had any issues with and we never ever had to set our own table setting either.Always asked at least twice at all meal setting for drinks and made a huge fuss of one of our party on her birthday with a huge freshly made excellent quality birthday cake. Could any of us fault what we got as an all inclusive stay at a 5 star resort for what we paid ? most definitely not . All reviews do vary so you do have to read between the lines but common trends do shine thro and here it is the food is good, the rooms are good , the staff are excellent so many do say they need more. A recent reviewer said this was ok not 5 star and not as good his usual stays in the shangri las and mandarin oriental because they have coffee makers in the rooms and the waiters serve you on your sun lounger. Very true both those hotels are excellent true 5 star hotel chains with a real 1st class ambience as are their room rates. Our stay at this hotel cost us £129 a night per room all inclusive --- you can't get a bed let alone a breakfast at either hotel for that price-- and yes they do serve you at the pool as we have experinced many times and excellent they are at doing so but at nearly £10 a drink with the service charge, the drinks here are free !! all day and night and the food is as well.

  • Stayed January 2013, traveled with family
    • Value
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    • Sleep Quality
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    • Service
Helpful?
7 Thank licksmith
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Gran Castillo Tagoro Family & Fun Playa Blanca

Property: 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:
Location: Spain > Canary Islands > Lanzarote > Playa Blanca
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Beach Beverage Selection Business Center with Internet Access Fitness Center 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:
#3 Spa Hotel in Playa Blanca
#4 Green Hotel in Playa Blanca
#6 Romantic Hotel in Playa Blanca
#7 Family Hotel in Playa Blanca
#7 On the Beach Hotel in Playa Blanca
#8 Luxury Hotel in Playa Blanca
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$
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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