Situated on Lanzarote’s picturesque south coast, just a stone’s throw from Dorada beach’s sandy shores, Princesa Yaiza Suite Hotel Resort is arguably the swankiest hotel in popular Playa Blanca. Its impressive kids’ clubs and eight swimming pools make it number one for families after fun in the sun, while its Thalasso spa, countless restaurants and endless views of the Atlantic make it the obvious choice for those seeking a little R&R.
With 385 suites, this resort is best suited to travellers that appreciate the endless facilities that a big resort can offer. From Pilates classes and yoga to tennis lessons and fine dining, this five star hotel has all basis covered.
The sprawling property displays colonial-style flair and the spacious suites are well-equipped with views of the gardens, pools or ocean from their private terraces and balconies.
Frankly my darlings, you are spoilt for choice. Princesa Yaiza itself has eight restaurants to choose from, varying from casual tapas and Italian to formal Japanese or Isla de Lobos, the hotel’s fine dining option. For a special occasion I recommend Isla de Lobos—it has a dreamy position overlooking the ocean and the neighbouring island, from which it takes its name.
Playa Blanca itself also has lots of restaurants to choose from, however to experience a real taste of local life we suggest venturing away from the resort to the smaller neighbouring villages. A short drive inland will take you to the picturesque town of Yaiza, famed for escaping the area’s devastating eruptions. Here you will find various cafes and tapas bars that value flavour over furnishings.
Twenty minutes’ drive up the west coast, next, you will find dozy El Golfo, known for its volcanic shores and emerald lagoon. It has a small string of independent restaurants and cafes fringing the ocean—with many tables right on the water’s edge it is the perfect spot for a seafood lunch with a view.
Twenty minutes’ drive up the east coast, meanwhile, you will find the sleepy fishing village of Playa Quemada, which has a similar set-up to El Golfo, with three seafront restaurants offering fresh fish and wonderful paellas. A few minutes’ further up the coastline takes you to the swanky port of Puerto Calero. Here you will find Amura—the perfect restaurant for a sundowner and dinner overlooking the marina with the yachtie gang.
Who goes there?
Weary parents seeking sun, sea, sand and sleep! Dominating 10,000 sq.m, Kikoland kids’ club caters for children from 0–16, with a plethora of activities and leisure and sports facilities, leaving you to relax by the pool or indulge in the spa.
On-call babysitters are also on hand to enable you to enjoy a date night or two at the hotel’s many restaurants—but book a table before you arrive, the fancier ones get booked up!
Out and about:
This place is vast and you could easily spend all of your holiday within its grounds, if you were that way inclined. Alternatively, for those wanting to swap touristy Playa Blanca for a taste of local life, drive to pretty Yaiza for a hike and a spot of tapas, or book El Golfo’s Restaurante Bogavante to enjoy the day’s catch overlooking the Atlantic as it pounds the village’s volcanic shores.
The hotel is well positioned for visiting some of island’s most photogenic beaches, the most famous of which is Papagayo. It is only accessible by foot or boat, but has a wonderful sheltered sandy bay with a safe area for children to swim and paddle. If you prefer sandcastles to swimming, head to the bigger, emptier bays either side—FYI, they are very popular with nudists enjoying the breeze.
Alternatively, to teach the little ones a thing or two, head to Timanfaya National Park, an area devastated by the island’s infamous eruptions. Here you can get the obligatory camel selfie while learning about the strange, almost Martian, landscape left behind from the eruptions. You can experience the intense heat of the burning earth by watching tour guides throw water into holes, only to have it spurt out as a mini geyser seconds later, or see shrubbery thrown in catch fire in an instant.
Arty types should venture to the north of the island to check out the home of Lanzarote’s late artist (and hero) César Manrique. The quirky property is built within a sea of lava. The lower storey is set around five natural volcanic bubbles, interconnected by lava tunnels. The house also features an exhibition, which includes works by Picasso and Saura, as well as what has to be one of my favourite swimming pools in the world.
After a long day of sightseeing head to the hotel’s Thalasso spa to unwind before dinner—tired mums should check out their fatigue-and-stress-fighting magnesium cure.
The worst thing:
We found the constant music at the hotel’s various bars, lobbies and restaurants a little irritating after a while. We also didn’t realise that we would need to pre-book the best restaurants, so we ended up having to take the remaining slots.
The best thing:
The breakfast! Admittedly I am normally a bit of a buffet snob; however, this place knows how to put on an impressive spread. Taking place in various restaurants throughout the hotel, you are welcomed to table upon table of culinary delights—think towers of Iberian and Serrano ham, delicate curls of freshly smoked salmon, platters of local cheese, eggs cooked to order… I could go on.
Unfortunately spreads like this release my inner child and before I know it I have a plate of steaming omelette and various exotic berries soggying my pastries with a side of creamy scrambled eggs and chorizo for good measure. No bikinis here then.
Rates for a Basic Superior Room at Princesa Yaiza start from €195 (£173*) per night including a buffet breakfast, based on two people sharing.
*Prices in pound sterling accurate on date of publication.
Princesa Yaiza Suite Hotel Resort, Av. de Papagayo, 22, 35580 Playa Blanca, Las Palmas, Spain; www.princesayaiza.com; 0034 928 519 300