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“Deffinatley not a 5* hotel!”

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Gran Castillo Tagoro Family & Fun Playa Blanca
Ranked #12 of 37 Hotels in Playa Blanca
Certificate of Excellence
GreenLeadersSilver level
Reviewed September 25, 2010

Right where do i start?
Me and my husband stayed at the hotel for our honeymoon.
Arrived late hotel staff were friendly sorted the room quiet quickly as it was dark outside we couldnt really see much when we first got the room when we woke upin the morning we were greated by the view of a lovely brick wall! Spoke to someone on reception and i was told i could move but i hadnt paid for a seaview!! so was a bit annoyed!
The rooms themselves were very roomy and very clean.
The pools here are very clean and tidy with someone cleaning them the all day. i found there are plenty of sun loungers and they are very clean and tidy.
The resturant was great for breakfast the pancakes were lovely!! Lunch time and dinner time very much the same everyday most of the time it was only just warm with the same things repeated. The staff in the resturant are very friendly and helpful.
The reception staff at the hotel reccommended the aqua park for a day out and i can honestly say ive never been anywhere quiet like it the place ws dirty very old and should be avoided at all costs it cost for 2 ppl 30 euros to get in then when we saw just how old and un clean it was it cost us another 50 euros to get back to the hotel as we wanted to leave asap and the coach wouldnt be picking us up til 5 in the afternoon.
When we arrived back to the hotel we complained to the member of staff that reccomended it and they didnt seem to care they said they would looking into it and get back to us and we never heard anything about it again...?
Things to do near here..... NOTHING! there is a market but all there is there is cheap jewellery.
You get the use of the spa which is ok my husband cut his foot in the pool and it bleed quiet alot the staff were not very helpful and we were told we had to see the guy at the pool house for first aid! Which he needed the cut gluing but the staff didnt seen to care that there was something sharp in the pool.
The entertainment at this hotel wasterrible butlins do it better three nights in a row it was singers and they were terrible and even though i dont have kids the kids disco was awful they got to dance to about 10 songs then that was it.
Make sure when you are ordering drinks tht the locals arent around as when we were there they were using quests room numbers to order premium drinks that was then added on to the room bill!! SO YOU HAVE BEEN WARNED!

  • Stayed: September 2010, traveled as a couple
    • Value
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Thank MEGAN2007
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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3,867 - 3,873 of 5,785 reviews

Reviewed September 23, 2010

We arrived home on the 21st September after a week at the Gran Castillo. I’ve just read the more recent reviews on here and they vary quite widely between those who found the hotel excellent to those who expressed dissatisfaction.

I’m glad to say I’m not alone in expecting a 5 star hotel with 5star service, but found the service fell far short as did some elements of the furnishings, the building is though relatively new.

On arrival we were not offered a drink as others had been, in itself a minor point we were though informed our room would not be ready until 3.30, not a good start. Yes a porter did take our luggage and show us to our room, but we’ve never been to a 5 star where this hasn’t happened nor have we ever paid for the safe at a similar class hotel. At first I was a bit surprised others thought this worthy of mention, but on refection I realise it’s the very essence of why some are delighted with the Gran Castillo, while others are not. Let me expand, those who have never been to a 5 star hotel found a porter taking their luggage to their room an unexpected treat while other more travelled guests expected no less and that appears to be the divide.

The room was acceptable but lacked the wow factor others have suggested. Both the ‘his & hers’ sinks had been broken and then glued back together and the power shower flooded the bathroom when we tried to use it, needless to say we never switched it on again and the shower itself annoyingly fluctuated between hot and cold. There was a bath; ours though was minus its plug. The hair drier was small and ineffective. LCD TV’s appear not to have reached the island yet, but in any case only two channels are in English, so it might just as well not be there if you are English speaking. A/c is fitted but we never used it. There is also a mini bar, but oddly chargeable, in an all inclusive hotel, it badly needed to be defrosted. The cleaners, cleaned there’s nothing surprising about that, why have others mentioned it, did they expect them not to? What was surprising was the absence of a turn down service. However sleep quality was good as the other guests were in bed early.

Dining breakfast, lunch and evening meal is a buffet, with a one night complimentary visit to the Lancelot A la carte restaurant; it’s worth pointing out that you can pay should you choose to visit again, and receive a discount of 15 euros per person, no one tells you this. There is a dress code in the buffet, but it is not enforced, therefore you will see men wearing shorts during the evening meal, this alone puts the buffet squarely in the 2 star class.

The buffet has two sittings 7.30 & 9.30 we chose 7.30. At 7.45 on our first night the soup was stone cold, obviously it had not been heated, on discovering this I called the waitress who informed me there was a microwave. Needless to say I suggested she use it to heat the soup, which she did. Afterwards we selected our main course; everything was either barely warm or cold, meat, vegetables etc. so the reheating process via the waitress was repeated, but pointlessly as the vegetables were inedible. The vegetables were frozen and I don’t mean the temperature, I mean they were from a deep freezer, not fresh and absolutely vile. From then on we avoided them.

I’m loathe to complain about food being foreign when I’m abroad as it seems churlish but with approximately 50% of the hotels cliental being British you would expect at least a nod in our direction during breakfast, but there isn’t. Fried eggs, cold baked beans and German sausages are about as close as you’ll get. I stuck to croissants after trying a hot breakfast.

The waiter/waitress serves wine, beer or water to your table during lunch and dinner. Disappointingly there is only house wine on offer, I imagine this is because of the all inclusive. If you enjoy good wine I’m afraid you will not get it here. Lunch is the only edible meal assuming you like fish, fortunately we do. By the time we left we were getting to dread meal times and this is where the isolation of the hotel works against it as you cannot pop down the road for breakfast or fine dining as everywhere is a taxi ride away. Overall I would say the food was amongst the worse we have experienced at a Spanish hotel in over 35 years of holidaying, there was choice but the quality was equally appalling whatever we chose. Others have said they enjoyed the food; all I can say is their expectations and taste buds are different to ours. Other irritations were bizarrely given the temperature of the food, plates too hot to touch with no napkins to hold them with, and chipped/cracked crockery which is inexcusable.

There is a help yourself snack section at the pool bar, this is the only bar open during the day. Its only burger chips and hot dogs there, but that is not an issue it’s just for snacks and does its job. Being the only daytime bar, and no table service, inevitably there are queues. I’m afraid having to fetch your own drink in a 5 star hotel is a complete no, no. Spoilt? Yes that’s why we only book 5star.

The two lads serving at the bar worked tirelessly and amazingly were always smiling; it’s not their fault the management have got it so wrong.

The pools are good, with several to choose from. This is where the hotel starts to deliver. Every hotel suffers from towels on sun beds; it happened here as well, but not too much. Our balcony over looked the main pool and at 9 am only about 10% had towels on them, so it’s not a real problem. More of a problem is the beds being reserved but not used until the afternoon and nothing being done about it. Inflatables are banned, but again nothing is done about it, so at times the main pool was crammed with them. Very occasionally the pool attendant shouts ‘Inflatables impossible’ then wonders off, consequently he’s ignored.

In the evenings both the lobby and the night club bars are open. The queues at times were ridiculous as guests that had been out touring the island during the day had returned. If the food hasn’t by this time completely ruined your holiday queuing for drinks will, it’s totally unacceptable in this classification of hotel. The drinks finish at 12 in both bars. The first time we used the night club I was told the beer pump was not working and that I had to go to the lobby bar to get one. I explained I was a paying guest and suggested he fetched it instead, after realising I was going to stand my ground, he begrudgingly went, just what you need on holiday, total lack of service and confrontation.

The entertainment held in the night club consisted of the usual kids’ songs, but as only 2 or 3 children were there the staff out numbered them; however they bravely saw it through. The adult entertainment which incidentally you will miss if you have the later meal sitting was dire. The in-house animation team miming or one night the ‘Temptations’ in this case two Spaniards singing Lionel Richie songs off key in heavily accented voices, basically just horrible and weird. Fortunately it was soon over, but after they blast music at you so loudly you have no option but to leave or suffer physical damage. Choices after being driven out are stay outside and choke to death with the smokers or the lobby bar, its too early for bed so it’s the lobby bar, which is ok if you like queuing, watching queues and sitting on threadbare settees.

On our second day we were phoned by reception and asked if we had any problems. We had a few, so I mentioned them. Jacob the Deputy Manager rang me soon after and I met him later that day. He’s a delightful man. He admitted in an attempt to stay afloat the hotel had gone the all inclusive route and had cut corners to compete on price. It’s a huge shame because he said charging budget prices meant they were forced to offer sub standard service. In the long term I think they will destroy their business, they cannot market themselves as a 5 star hotel and knowingly only offer a 2 star service and food. It’s a con which will only deceive people once; those that are used to 5 star that is, those that think a ‘brand name’ instead of the local moonshine is all it takes will continue to live their lives in blissful ignorance.

When we booked we thought we had found a bargain, but all that glitters is not gold. In reality we actually paid over the odds for a 2/3 star holiday, my advice for what it’s worth is book a 3 star hotel that is at the top of its game and you’ll have a far better holiday and paying a lot less means you won’t mind queuing with quite a few hundred pounds still in the bank. Alternatively pay a bit more for the real thing, we wish we had this time.

  • Stayed: September 2010, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
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3  Thank colin_caroline
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed September 23, 2010

First of all I would like to say that the rooms are spacious and clean, in fact probably one of the best we have ever stayed in..
The food - well where can I start, repetative, mostly cold, cheap tasteless meats. Puddings looked great but were also tasteless.
When you check in you are advised that gentlemen have to wear long trousers for the evening meal. I think that is a good thing, however obviously some people didnt agree as there were many gentlemen in shorts in the restuarant at night and none of the staff said anything to them.
Next, the service at the bars was very poor, especially in the evenings. It could take 20-30 minutes to get served - still I suppose that is a good thing as far as the hotel management is concerned, because they already have your money so if they dont have to give away too much drink all the better for profits!
Enterainment was very poor, If we had wanted bingo on a friday evening we would have gone to blackpool. Still cheap entertainment is another way to save money I suppose.
To sum it up, I would say that the hotel is trying to cut costs and in doing so, they are lowering the standards of service, by reducing the staff and buying poor standard food products. There are 3 bars in the hotel, but only 1 open during the day to cope with the whole hotel and sometimes only 1 barman.

  • Stayed: September 2010, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
2  Thank jeanne01
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed September 22, 2010

this hotel is lovely we have been here twice now and it is fantasic, good food, good entertainment, lovely staff all staff are polite and very friendly, my little girl is 2 years old and loves the night time entertainment with lots of dances and shows, all the meat is cooked fesh infront of you to your likeing how ever you want it, rooms are lovely very clean and spasious, me my partner was sat on the balcony with a bottle of wine at 11oclock and there was still cleaners cleaning the outside area's, dont miss out good vaule for money, u'll love it, we are booking again for next year

  • Stayed: September 2010, traveled with family
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1  Thank mikayla_wigan
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed September 20, 2010

I think its a case of " Your cant please all of the people all of the time" as I read some of the negative reviews I wonder If these people stayed at the same hotel as I did ?

From the word go it is friendly, clean and the staff are wonderfull. I have stayed at Lanzarote Princes, Princessa Yaiza and The Vulcan in the last few years so I know a good hotel and Dream Castillo is up with the good one's.
Yes there is a problem in the Bar area it needs to be bigger and needs more staff. The food has plenty of variation for a weeks stay, it gets repatative but then so do all restaurants, the quality of food was very good and the "Ainsley Harriott" chef cooking anything you want fresh was excellent.
The pool area was lovely and the pools very clean, a bit chilly at times but you soon get used to it.

My only gripe is the towels on beds senario why do people take grubby old beach towels to a 5* hotel where towels are provided clean and fresh and changed as soon as you want them change ? Is it so they can leave them on beds all day saving them until they return late in the day ( I am 100% sure they are Brits) and one large British family even put towles on the beds located on the shallow part of the pool + 5 other beds for when they fancied a change and did not come to use them till after lunch !!!! selfish .

On the whole it is a good hotel which i cant wait to go back to again !!!

  • Stayed: September 2010, traveled with friends
    • Value
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2  Thank PATW28
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed September 19, 2010

First off, the good bits: lovely hotel, nice location. We know the area well so knew it is a bit remote and that the beach in front of the hotel is not somewhere anyone will want to spend time on, except to fish maybe. We arrived in a hire car with golf clubs, planning to play golf and drive out to the great beaches, which we did and loved it. Our room was lovely, and having sunbeds on our terrace was handy as we sometimes struggled to find a sunbed without a towel on it (more on that later). The spa was nice, a new experience for us and we enjoyed it.
Now the downsides: First to give this some context, we've been taking regular holidays in the Canaries, for the last 10 years so this is a fair comparison, not us being picky or hard to please. We've done a fair spread of self-catering and half-board hotels and tried villas with pools and private apartments. Then we found that a good quality All Inclusive makes a nice change from SC, no shopping, washing up, travelling out to eat at night every night. This is the first AI where we've gone out two nights to eat and out for lunch as well. This speaks for itself probably, the other AI holidays it's not really crossed our minds to do this.
Breakfast, really poor, poor choice, and everything is cold, stewed bacon, cold beans, cold scrambled eggs. The only choice really is to get a fresh omelette, at least that's still warm. Other AI's it's been a case of how not to eat too much because there's so much on offer. Sauces in short supply, and some of the stuff needed it.
Lunch, some good options on seafood and fish, best meal of the day. Evening meal, average at best, Lancelot restaurant only slightly better than average.
But it's not all about the food really it's about how you enjoy the dining experience. Lancelot had good service, the buffet restaurant was chaotic for all meals, takes the fun out of it. The food isn't kept warm properly, this isn't good for lots of reasons.
The bar, we like the odd drink, we don't like queueing for them though. Minibar in room great idea, but you'll have to pay as much for 2 miniatures as the full bottle from the supermarket so why do that?20 minute queue at bars in evening totally unacceptable.
The staff in general were good, there just wasn't enough of them.
Towels on sunbeds, as we had breakfast one morning we saw some guy sort out his two sunbeds and parasol with towels and books then he hoisted his rucksack on his back and set off out of the hotel complex by the rear gate with his wife who was looking a bit sheepish. If they were walking to the Marina or Playa Blanca they clearly were going to be gone at least 3 hours, back in time for lunch maybe and out to the pool in the afternoon, so why deny anyone else those beds for the whole morning?
We came for beach, sun, golf and great food and wine. We got the first 3 OK, we also got the last 2 but not at the Castillo.
In summary:
The buffet restaurant needs to be refitted with an improved layout and proper equipment to keep food hot.
Towels on sunbeds, this needs to be managed, other hotels cope, this one ignores it.
Bar staff, get some.
Mini-bar in room, make it part of the AI package.

We'll be back to Lanzarote in October SC, and will be back to the Canaries next year once or twice probably AI, but definitely not at the Castillo.

Note for followers of progress of Playa Flamingo, it is useable, it is still rocky, don't know when the sand is coming. There are some sandy bits but recommend neoprene shoes to protect your feet.

  • Stayed: September 2010, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
2  Thank Speedking
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed September 19, 2010

We had a lovely relaxing holiday here.
Good points: Lovely room, good food, helpful and friendly staff, quiet (ie no loud music by the pool), in a lovely spot on the island (very remote from any nightlife)
Bad points: None!
If you like to have loads going on around you: shops, entertainment, sightseeing - this is not the place for you.

Stayed: September 2010, traveled as a couple
Thank kika133
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

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 Green Hotel in Playa Blanca
#5 Spa Hotel in Playa Blanca
#6 Romantic Hotel in Playa Blanca
#7 Family Hotel in Playa Blanca
#8 On the Beach Hotel in Playa Blanca
#9 Luxury Hotel in Playa Blanca
Price Range: $164 - $342 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
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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