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“Great holiday but manage your expectations!!”

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Gran Castillo Tagoro Family & Fun Playa Blanca
Ranked #11 of 37 Hotels in Playa Blanca
Certificate of Excellence
GreenLeadersSilver level
UK
Level 3 Contributor
15 reviews
9 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 18 helpful votes
“Great holiday but manage your expectations!!”
Reviewed September 6, 2013

We just spent 11 nights here as a group of 4 adults and 2 children (12 & 15). The hotel is lovely, very pleasing to the eye, lovely location close to the Rubicon marina, superb rooms, a choice of pool areas, good food and very hard working staff.

I won't repeat what everyone else has said but I will say that you really have to manage your expectations. Having travelled extensively and been a travel agent for 20 years in my opinion it is a very tall order for any all inclusive hotel to reach 5 star standards especially in the school holidays when they really are pushed to the limit. Very simply if you haven't paid true 5 star prices then you are not going to get a true 5 star holiday, it shouldn't be a suprise that you generally get what you pay for and we certainly did with this hotel. If you want proper 5 star then pay the higher price and book into the Volcan or the Princessa Yaiza.

The rooms are of the best we have had, we booked 2 rooms as our children are 12 & 15, I emailed to ask for interconnecting rooms and Javier the front office manager very kindly organised this for us which was much appreciated.

We ate in the main restaurant for breakfast and lunch which was great, a huge choice of good quality food, yes it is busy if you arrive 30 mins before the end of breakfast or lunch (particularly in the school holidays) you may have to wait for a table to be re-laid for you but the staff are so hard working it is very hard to criticise them, that said hotel could perhaps do with a few more waiters in this restaurant. We ate outside on the verandah when we could which was lovely. We prefer not to eat in a buffet restaurant in the evening so mainly used the Italian and Chinese restaurants which were both fantastic, they had such a great choice that we didn't manage to try everything that we wanted to. We also ate out 2 nights out of the 11 once at the maina and once in Playa Blanca in the harbour, purely because we like to experience the local area and have a change of scenery.

The walk along the coastal path is beautiful with views to Fuereventura and the Papagayo beaches, 5 minutes walk along the path towards the marina there are steps down to a pontoon (owned by the Iberostar Papagayo) where you can easily enter the sea to snorkle in the lovely crystal clear water so take your snorkle's although you can buy them from the hotel shop or in the shops next to the hotel. We took a couple of banana's from breakfast to feed the fish which the children loved.

As everyone has said the marina is lovely and especially worth a visit on a Wed and Sat for the market, we ate in the steakhouse there which was great. Playa Blanca is also lovely for a wander round, for shopping or to eat in one of the lovely harbourside restaurants, we took a taxi in and back which cost around €4 - €5 each way. We also got a taxi to the Playa Dorada beach in front of the Princessa Yaiza hotel which is a lovely beach, again cyrstal clear water although it does shelve quite steeply in places which is important to be aware of with children. Lanzarote as an island is a bit like being on the moon, very rocky and baron but Playa Blanca is lovely and the more upmarket of the resorts.

Lastly, one small niggle and I hate to name and shame but Israel the poolside fun police was a real pain. I appreciate he was only doing his job but he continually scolded and lectured adults and children alike after hiding behind bushes like MI5 trying to catch people who were breaking the pool rules such as balls, inflatables, diving and eating around the pool. We understand the no inflatables rule as the pools individually are not that large but no balls in the pool was rediculous so much so my husband spoke to the manager who agreed to compromise and allowed us to play with a small ball in the colder pool with the large shallow shelf as long as the pool wasn't overly busy, Israel was clearly livid that the manager had the sense the relax this rule. This is the main point that I feel needs addressing, Israel's manner was not condusive to good customer service, he remained sullen and surley unless of course he was pouncing on the holiday makers trying to have fun.

Overall we had a lovely holiday, it really is a great hotel and we would have no hesitation in returning.

  • Stayed August 2013, traveled with family
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7 Thank Suzianna
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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London, United Kingdom
Level 2 Contributor
7 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 6 helpful votes
Reviewed September 2, 2013

This hotel is lovely but unfortunatly it was so busy standards were dropped.

Good points
Staff are fantastic. Room was cleaned daily and staff round pool work very hard. Pool aerobics was great fun and always something to do with the animation staff if you want to. Always found a sunbed without problems.
Food amazing always fresh. Good variety something for everyone. Two other places available to eat chinese and Italian but menu limited however food was very tasty.
Rooms we had were SV and were spectacular. Air con was so welcome.


Things to improve
"Hunt the teaspoon". Never a teaspoon in the morning drove us nuts! Check in took 4 hours until our room was ready with no updates when queried with reception. Was not happy with receptionist informing the porter by phone to "come and collect the suitcases from the angry (i was very polite) woman in reception!" little did she know i spoke spanish. Not enough waiters in the evening outside sports bar. Gave head waiter order and 20 mins later queried where it was and he replied who took it we said "you did!". We left. Went into enteratinment bar waited in queue 3 people deep to be told they had run out of beer and go back to sports bar to order. Bar staff were overwelmed. Towards the end of our stay we did see more staff in place but our holiday was almost over then. Beds were turned down 4 nights out of the 10 night stay.

I genreally believe that due to us holidaying in peak season and the hotel being full that things were streched the the limit. This was unfortunate as other clients stated the same who had been here year after year but had come earier in the season. I have also stayed at there sister Hotel in Tenerife the Gran Tacande which really did give us the 5 star treatment cava in the room, fruit bowl, coffee delivered to your breakfast table, call button on umbrella round the pool to order drinks. This is what we were hoping for here however i would give DGC another chance just not in peak season.





When we checked in we had to wait 4 hours for our room and when i politely asked for updates at reception was told "soon". Did not help when i finally got our room receptionist rang porter and said in spanish "Can you come and take this angry woman's suitcases to her room" unfortunately for her i spoke spanish!

Room Tip: Seventh floor SV amazing view very quiet
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  • Stayed August 2013, traveled with family
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Helpful?
1 Thank Kazten
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Gloucester, United Kingdom
Level 5 Contributor
62 reviews
43 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 79 helpful votes
Reviewed September 2, 2013

We travelled to this hotel as a family of 7, 4 adults 3 kids aged 14,13 & 11. I always read tripadvisor before booking & travelling & went expecting good rooms & sun bed wars!!

CHECK IN went very smoothly no lists of rules as others have put. They were very welcoming with a glass of cava for the adults & juice for the kids. The receptionist showed us a map of the resort and where the bars & restauarants were located & where to get pool towels. The bellboy took us to our rooms located by the Italian & kids pool & again pointed out pools, spa etc en route.

ROOMS this was huge & the best room we've ever had. Very clean, all the toiletries you could need & a bottle of Cava to celebrate our anniversary. My daughters (aged 14) sofa bed was comfy. Great to have a free safe. Cleaned well daily with fresh towels when we wanted & a turn down service & chocs at night.

POOLS are clean & the pool attendants work all day keeping guests happy. I'd read about lack of shade & sunbeds but didn't encounter any issues. On arrival we found 7 sunbeds close together at 3pm! This was at the small pool by the snack bar under the Italian. We got a towel easily no queuing. Every day after this we sat by the Spa pool. Mainly because the pool depth was ideal & it was quieter, however familys with kids of all ages used it not just adults as others have suggested. We manged to get sunbeds together every day. This is because we had breakfast first & then sat on our sunbeds by 9.30 & stayed there all day until 6. We made the mistake of reserving beds before breakfast on day 1 & returned to find all the beds free but our towels with Alberto the pool man. He POLITELY explained the no reserve before 10am rule ( its simple before 10 you can expect your towel & belongings to be removed after 10 its ok) and so from day 2 onwards we observed this rule. So did most people until the middle of last week when towels started getting left very early & beds not used until 11.30 onwards (selfish!) much to our annoyance the pool people were allowing this. So I asked reception if there had been a change of policy & next day every unattended towel was removed prior to 10am. Most people accepted this & still had sunbeds however we were amused by one lady who had a huge row in Spanish with Alberto & his colleague as she had returned at 12 & found her towels removed (the beds were still free even then) so she bagged her beds again sat on them for 1 hour & left, we left the pool at 5 & she still had her towels on & wasn't back. The towel rule is great as it means you dont need to rush for a sunbed & even if you arrive later in the day ask Alberto he'll get you a bed from another pool. The bar at this pool opens at 1pm Jorges the barman is very friendly & loves making his signature San fransisco cocktails & brings them to everyone around the pool, he also brings around Cava, shandy,beer & water this is definately 5* service he's great.

MEALS are 5* quality. anyone who cannot find something they like at any meal must be very fussy. The choice at all meals is great. we ate breakfast in the Italian which had a great cold buffet inc smoked salmon & cavier. Then all the usual continental & hot choice, they cooked fried eggs, omeletes & pancakes to order. lunch we varied between the Italian & main restaurant again a good choice with fresh cooked fish & meat plus pasta, salads etc. Dinner again had a great choice & the meat was so tender it was lovely. You are allocated a table & slot for dinner on arrival we didnt like our table & after finishing dinner at 10.15 decided it was too late so we asked for an early slot instead & a table outside. They changed us without any problem although we had to sit at different tables for a couple of nights until they could allocate a table for the rest of our stay. We ate at both the Italian & Oriental both excellent. Drinks at meals were good & wine bottles left even if just one person was drinking wine, the waiters always asked if you wanted another drink in fact sometimes they brought them without asking.

The staff are very hard working especially in the bar at night. Drinks service is slow but only because they have so few waiters. However they are all so friendly which makes it not such an issue.Drinks were good & Anyway its your holiday so just relax & ask for a drink in a Spanish glass they're huge!!


The only minor niggles we had were not hotel but guest related. Kids run around the sports bar at night playing tag. They seem to congregate on the flat roof & dome at the end of the bar which has no fence at the end & a drop down of several feet but parents just seem happy to let this go on. Would they let them play on some thing similar at home? The number of young kids (under 6) that are allowed to help themselves unsupervised from the hot buffet is daft, no way would they be encouraged to help themselves from the oven or hob at home so why here? It resulted just in dropping plates, food etc & luckily no burns. it was just amazing that the parents allowed them to do it.
Crockery was sometimes dirty as was cutlery almost as if it had been too close together in the dishwasher. Couple of bits of bread was mouldy one morning in the Italian but as soon as we showed the waitress she removed the whole bread basket.

We asked at reception for a price for a return visit next year & it really came across as too much trouble. Also on check out we weren't asked if we had a good stay. Shame because we did & it would have been nice to let them know.

  • Stayed August 2013, traveled with family
    • Value
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Helpful?
6 Thank mum2em1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
United Kingdom
Level 3 Contributor
24 reviews
13 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 33 helpful votes
Reviewed September 1, 2013

We had the most amazing time during the 10d in this hotel.
Mild and beautiful sun during April.
Delicious food.
Very friendly staff.
Professional reception members.
Despite the rocky beach the surrounding is superb.
Nice walks along the beach into the Marina for families recommended.
Gorgeous sandy beach only 25min walk or a short taxi drive away.

Room Tip: We had a Family suite and it worked very well for us and our two children.
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  • Stayed April 2013, traveled with family
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Helpful?
3 Thank NasMaj
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
swansea
Level 2 Contributor
7 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 15 helpful votes
Reviewed August 31, 2013

Last Christmas my Husband and his Mum and I had the most fantastic experience of all time. The Hotel is out of this world. The food is excellent with plenty to choose from for all tastes. They have a show chef who we called Ainsley who is quite a character, everything he cooks he lovingly puts on your plate, with the greeting "ENJOY". Christmas morning Father Christmas came in on a camel to the delight of all the children and parents alike. to say a good time was had by all is an under-statement. My mum-in-law celebrated her 80th Birthday while we were there and the manager David Alaiah and all of his staff really made it a day to remember. Outside of the Hotel you only have to go over the walkway to get on to the beach, or you could walk on the path to Playa Blanca. We will be there on our next holiday. It 's the best!

Room Tip: corner suites are large and sunny, but there is plenty to choose from
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  • Stayed December 2012, traveled with family
    • Value
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Helpful?
1 Thank margaret elizab... b
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Belfast, United Kingdom
Level 3 Contributor
14 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 19 helpful votes
Reviewed August 30, 2013

Where do I start?!

I stayed at this hotel along with my husband and two children (13 + 10) during August. Our second visit to Playa Blanca, but first time at this relaxing hotel (and it will certainly not be our last!)

ARRIVAL:-
Impressive lobby, light, spacious with water feature. We were greeted by friendly and fluently speaking staff, we adults were presented with a glass of Cava, and orange for the kids. All our luggage was taken from us and we were shown to our room...

ROOM:-
As shown in many photos on this review site. Walk-in wardrobe, safe (free of charge) Large bathroom, with triple jet shower, full sized bath, twin sinks and enclosed toilet and bidet. Hanging up were two bathrobes along with bedroom slippers. Between the sinks stood a fresh rose. Beautifully decorate bathroom and clean. The main bedroom had large flat screen TV place discretely inside a modern unit. Two large beds and a sofa bed. Our room was 3305, and had a patio looking over towards the Spa and what I would describe as an adult pool. Overall a lovely spacious room, although the sofa bed wasn't the most comfortable.

POOLS:-
There were around 6 pools.
1) Main Pool, located beside main restaurant and snack bar. One side of this pool has a very large (and gentle) slope into it which is great for smaller children. The deepest end of the pool is approximately 5ft. This pool has Aqua Aerobics every morning at 11.30am (apart from Sunday). This is taken by Hector.. who I will mention later, but the Aqua Aerobics class was very popular and actually very good (I was dubious until I give it a try)
2) This pool runs under the outdoor seating area of the restaurant, which is a lovely feature. Again the deepest part of the pool is around 5ft. At the stepped entrance of the pool they had a rock feature which was lovely.
3) My favourite...This pool is beside pool 3, and it was a little colder than then main pool, thus a little quieter, which was bliss. It has has a waterfall running directly into the pool and two wooden bridges to swim under. This pool also runs under a part of the seated area of the restaurant. It also has a flat area, about ankle depth, however no slope.
4) This is situated outside the spa. I would class it as an adults pool, although there were older children there from time to time, but it remained relatively quiet as families stayed at either the main pool or at the kids club and slide pool. The bar here also only opened from 1pm-6pm.
5) Slides Pool. As expected- younger families, and noisy. It is situated beside the Italian Restaurant.
6) Pool situated beside Kids club. Again younger families. I can't comment on this pool as I didn't use it nor much time here as it was too noisy for us.

There was also a small round pool near pools 1-3 for toddlers, Jacuzzis near the main pool and kids club.

RESTAURANTS:-
1) Main Restaurant. Fantastic range of food.

*I'll point out, once seated in the restaurant the designated waiter / waitress will offer you drinks, you really don't have to wait long.. sometimes I think people writing reviews are so impatient- relax your on holiday. Whats the rush. Also from time to time there is a queue, but these are fast moving and you never have to wait too long.

BREAKFAST - Boiled eggs, potato, mushrooms, beans, tomatoes, bacon, sausage. Selection of breads and rolls, Selection of Salads, selection of fruits, both fresh and some tinned, selection of buns, cakes, pastries, croissants, jams, creams. Salmon, caviar, crackers, rice cakes... THEN there were chefs waiting to cook you pancakes, omelettes (choice of fillings- cheese, mushrooms, ham etc), toasted sandwiches and fried eggs. Also sauces and syrups to top off the pancakes. Oh and an abundance of fresh orange juice, water, fruit smoothies, teas, coffee and cava....I LOVED BREAKFAST!

LUNCH and DINNER
There is simply not enough time for me to list everything because it did vary, but you had salads, pastas, choice of cold soups, choice of hot soups, fresh bread and rolls, choice of fruit. Freshly cooked veg, choice of chicken, turkey, various types of fish, beef, pork etc etc all cooked in front of you. Vegetarian options. Lots to choose from.

Can't comment on dessert, as I was always too full up! Kids usually had their ice cream.

ITALIAN
In the evening you are seated and your drinks order taken, you are then provided with menu for your main course and once that is taken you go up and lift whichever starter you wished. The starter and dessert selection was limited, but adequate. The main course was very good, again they cook in full view. The Beef was lovely, although a little pink, but very flavoursome. The carbonara was very good as were the freshly made pizzas. (Although I would have like garlic bread- minor detail) The waiters were willing to leave the bottle if 2 or more were having wine, and refilled as and when required.

CHINESE - Table service restaurant. Again selection limited, but very tasty. The spring rolls are very nice, and also the ribs Main course, I enjoyed the chicken and black bean, while my husband enjoyed the green curry. My children do not eat onions, and theirs were cooked without onions, with no issues.

SNACK BARS - The main snack area is the most inviting. Toasted sandwiches, nuggets, pizza portions, burgers, chips, salad, pastries etc. The lady that works here is rushed off her feet and I did worry that the burgers were not being cooked long enough as she struggled to cope with queue of children... but can';t comment too much as I didn't eat from it and my kids loved to get toasted sandwiches from this snack bar. The area was kept clean enough unless bar was very busy.

The second snack bar, was not as inviting. Its situated near kids club, in a noisier area. Its self service, and the bar lady is a little on the grumpy side. This area is not as clean as it was usually swamped with youths. There is a table tennis table in this area where the kids seemed to accumulate, and also a slush puppy machine.

BARS:-
Main Pool / Snack bar. Pleasant staff (Denise, Adrain, Paco) always happy to serve. When it was busy you maybe had to wait a few minutes to be served, but this did not appear to be quick enough for a few ill mannered customers. The drinks were very good, and the staff always asked whether you were drinking at bar area or pool, and gave you a glass or plastic cup accordingly. You can get a range of cocktails and coffees here also.

Sports bar - Aw these guys are a little under staffed and work very hard. I especially Liked the bald / shaven waiter who I forgot his name.. but he was very friendly and good at his job, but then they all are.

Entertainment bar - They had a problem with beer pump a couple of nights. This wouldn't be the bar of choice.

I didn't visit the other bars.

SPA and GYM. I visited gym 4-5 times. It officially opens at noon via main spa area. However if you are up in morning you sign key out at reception and use side door. The controls for air conditioning and lights are on the wall near the spa side of room. Gym consists of 3 bikes, a rowing machine, seated leg extension and leg curl. Free weights, weights bench etc. There is also a water cooler and cups.

GROUNDS -
The pools are set out across a large area, there are various tress and flowers. The beds are keep so well. As were all the grounds and wood work.

AREA-
As advertised there is a walk to the marina, and a further walk to Playa Blanca. Not sure why people complain about this, unless they did not research where they were going. The pavements are so well looked after. Lovely clean area and the walk to both Marina and Playa Blanca are pleasant and refreshing. Taxi ranges between 4 + 4.50 Euro to Playa Blanca. There are trips that you can book, if you wish. We went to Go Karting Lanzarote in San Bartolome which was a great day. Kids loved it.Playa Blanca markets are also worth a visit.

STAFF:-
Last but not least the staff in this hotel area just amazing, so eager to please. The entertainment team, in particular- Hector, is so good at his job. Hector takes exercise classes, Aqua Aerobics, cocktail demonstrations, quizzes, acts in the shows and in general make people laugh. Don't get me wrong the entertainment team do not bother those people who want to sit back and relax.. but if you engage with them, they will make the experience more enjoyable. ALL the kids loved Hector and they were ALWAYS running about annoying him, but he was great with them and always professional. He also makes thee best cocktails in the work (ever if I do question his alcohol content!! lol)

All the staff in this hotel are great. Alberto in reception, the cleaners and even the pool supervisor who tends to scold children for doing dangerous stunts in the pool, I felt so sorry for him as he had to put up with annoyed parents taking it out on him for simply doing his job (speak with the manager if there are issues with the pool rules, not the enforcer!)

There are also girls who take photos (no obligation to buy) of the children, or families. 8 Euro a photo (less if you buy more)

I would definitely go back to this hotel. We all thoroughly loved it :-D

  • Stayed August 2013, traveled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
15 Thank Sheltlea
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Sligo, Ireland
Level 3 Contributor
15 reviews
12 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 25 helpful votes
Reviewed August 30, 2013

What a holiday we had at this fantastic hotel!!.
I have never seen my son get so depressed coming home from holidays; our 3 kids had a ball and so did mum and dad.
The animation team work really hard to keep all the kids involved and our two boys were kept entertained for the week, while we had time to chill,relax and read by the pool.
In the early evening we all met up and snorkelled in the sea together, or swam to build up an appetite for dinner.I loved the relaxed atmosphere of the place. You cannot beat being beside the sea.
The staff are very pleasant even under pressure and they work hard. Top marks guys. I had no issues with the food, you could be very picky and moan that this is not as luxurious as some 5 star places and while this may be true, I think they have the balance right here.
I loved having an espresso after lunch at the pool bar, a drink at the chill out bar after a relaxing afternoon and a gin and tonic before dinner,while sitting on the terrace taking in the atmosphere.
I will be back, my wife and kids will make sure of that!!

  • Stayed June 2013, traveled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
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    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
2 Thank Gucks26
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:
#4 Spa Hotel in Playa Blanca
#4 Green Hotel in Playa Blanca
#6 Romantic Hotel in Playa Blanca
#7 Family Hotel in Playa Blanca
#8 Luxury Hotel in Playa Blanca
#8 On the Beach 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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