My wife and I stayed at the Gran Castillo for 10 nights, from the 6th-16th September 2013. We arrived at the hotel just after 10pm and our first impression of the hotel was good. The reception area was very nice and we were greeted by very pleasant staff who offered us a glass of cava whilst promptly checking us in to our rooms.
We stayed in a junior suite (room 3253) which was large, very nicely furnished, had a sea view and a pleasant patio area with a marbled mosaic table and sturdy metal chairs. The safe was free of charge and the fridge was initially stocked with a large bottle of water and soft drinks. The hotel policy is that you once you have consumed the water you have to refill the bottle yourself, which we did by the pool bar.
The hotel is set out like a small village, the gardens are lovely and the grounds are well maintained. We were given a map to familiarise ourselves with the hotel layout and enable us to find amenities such as the restaurants, bars and pool areas. There is a well equipped gymnasium and the hotel provides a free day pass for you to try the spa, sauna and wellness centre.
The hotel food is of a very good standard, the choice plentiful with offerings of steak, fish, lamb, a variety of roast meats for lunch and dinner, and fresh fruit, crepes, omelettes and English style sausages for breakfast. There are also 2 “speciality” restaurants - Italian and Chinese, which have to be pre-booked 24 hrs in advance and not limited to 1 visit each per stay. Each have a relaxed atmosphere, are quieter and less busy than the main restaurant and should be visited whilst there. I was looking forward to having garlic bread at the Italian, but was very surprised when it wasn’t even on the menu!
The main pool bar menu was a let down and very limited, with hot dogs, hamburgers, ham toasties and chips as the usual fare. Getting a drink at the pool bar was a problem occasionally as there was only 1 person serving behind the bar at times.
All inclusive drinks are served until midnight (including some branded spirits which you must specifically ask for) and there are a choice of cocktails. The drinks menu identifies any additional costs you might incur depending on your requirements.
The entertainment was provided by the animation team, who also performed most of the evening entertainment, which for me personally was a let down – and I’m not criticising the animation team. They worked their socks off night and day to keep people amused, but in my opinion the hotel should have brought in better variety acts, especially for the hotel rating given.
There are several pools and children’s areas, and towels can be hired (which saves on luggage weight) for 25 euro’s, which is a credit card agreement with the hotel. No transactions are done unless you fail to return or lose the towels, as they are your responsibility to look after them.
The main pool area leads directly onto the sea front and can be accessed by the leaving at the rear gate. Outside is a small bay which hardly has any sand, and not really fit for sunbathing, but has lots of rock pools and opportunities for children to net small fish.
Papayago beach can be found by leaving the front of the hotel, turning right and strolling for about 20 minutes, but I wouldn’t recommend the walk to anyone with mobility problems due to the hills and terrain encountered. The beach is lovely and has a few nice coves which can be accessed by walking around the edge of the sea, or by the cliff tops.
Rubicon Marina is 1km away and Playa Blanca town 3km away. Both can be reached by leaving from the rear entry of the hotel, turning right and walking along the promenade. There is a steep hill to contend with as you begin the walk but after that it is pretty much flat. A taxi into Playa Blanca town costs around 3 euro's so it isn’t worthwhile waiting for a bus.
The marina has an array of yachts and boats, is well maintained, very clean looking and modern with a few nice shops and restaurants. Market days by the marina are on Wednesday and Saturday whilst Playa Blanca town is busy, vibrant, and has many shops bars and restaurants.
Overall the hotel was very nice, the staff were kind and polite and our holiday was great. We came as guests, met some great people (especially John and Doris) and left as friends.
- 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