The Hesperia Lanzarote offers all the luxury you would expect of a five-star hotel without the snooty, superior attitude often associated with a hotel of this calibre.
It is predominantly a family hotel, but the Hesperia has a knack of looking after its junior guests so well that those on a romantic break are not disturbed.
All rooms have terraces, most of which have stunning sea views, and there are four pools to choose from.
There is an all-inclusive option and so there is no need to leave the Hesperia’s relaxing grounds unless you so choose.
Luxury touches include a private volcanic beach and an excellent spa and thalassotherapy centre, and the hotel lays on live music in the lobby bar most evenings.
It seems as if the staff have been hand-picked for their charm and attitude, making a stay here all the more indulgent.
The Hesperia is ideal for young families or couples of all ages. Its location in the chilled-out but exclusive-feeling Puerto Calero is perfect for a relaxing few days. Not a good choice for party animals, this elegant yet low-key hotel is all about unwinding and being pampered in style.
A major pull for many guests is the hotel’s excellent reputation as a wedding venue – so much so that it featured in a Channel 4 documentary shown in the UK just days after my return.
When to go
Lanzarote doesn’t have a winter and temperatures fluctuate very little, so it is a great holiday destination at any time of year. A constant breeze means that even in hotter months, it’s never too stifling. Head there in April or October for some out-of-season sunshine. If you want the cheapest flights go off-peak and during school term time.
There are around 250 standard rooms, with terraces and breathtaking views of the Atlantic. Rooms are airy and spacious with bright, modern décor and large, comfy beds, expansive bathrooms, satellite TV and minibar.
There are 42 suites, located in a separate part of the hotel complex, whose 60 square metres include a large living area with stylish furnishings and a private terrace or garden, complete with hammock and an array of the exotic plants typical of the island. The bathroom has a hydro-massage bathtub and there is a walk-in dressing room.
One interesting aspect for families is the option of a “Kids’ Room”. These are family rooms with a difference – a double bed along with bunkbeds or a single bed. Designed specifically with the child in mind, the décor is bright and kid-friendly with stuffed animals and toys, including a tent in the centre of the room, and complete with children’s movies, as well as popcorn in the minibar.
Food & drink
The hotel has four restaurants; El Risco and El Drago open seasonally and La Caleta is used predominantly by wedding guests.
The main hotel buffet, The Botavara Restaurant, is located next to the lobby and has an outdoor terrace as well as the interior seating area. While friendly staff are on hand to help with your every need, this is essentially a self-service restaurant.
There is a vast selection of top local produce, from plump, juicy mussels, oysters and paella to fillet steak cooked to order before your eyes. If you have room, there are great local home-made desserts, something that is often lacking on Spanish menus.
There are separate kids’ meals, and a huge range of healthy salads, if you have the willpower.
Although you might vow to never eat again after your evening buffet, when breakfast comes around, you may change your mind – everything from the usual morning staples to omelettes, waffles and pancakes with cactus jam and fresh cream beckon.
The Spa offers a several beauty treatments designed to provide relaxation and wellbeing, including Jacuzzi, massage services, sauna, solarium and steam room.
The high-powered water jets, volcanic hot stones (sourced from local lava fields) and salt-scrub bath are particularly invigorating. There is also a small but fully-equipped gym for guests.
There are four outdoor pools of varying sizes. Two are heated and one is designed especially for children.
The Hesperia is committed to children’s entertainment. The Kids’ Club activities, ranging from dance classes to swimming lessons, change daily.
For business travellers the hotel has ten meeting rooms that can cater for groups from six to 500 people, all equipped with the latest in audio-visual conference technology. They range from a large auditorium to less formal outdoor spaces.
Located next to the small but elegant Puerto Calero harbour, the Hesperia is a short coastal stroll from a parade of designer boutiques and top-quality restaurants. Even the Irish pub here has a sophisticated air.
In the port itself you can experience the island’s only submarine safari, a one-hour underwater experience that you will never forget. Prices are around 45€ per adult.
Lanzarote is small, just 60km from north to south, so all the sights are close at hand. With over 100 inactive volcanoes, much of the island is UNESCO protected, and this means that the high-rise developments often associated with Spanish tourism are surprisingly absent.
Local laws limit developments to just two storeys, and everywhere you will see pretty whitewashed cottages, championed by Lanzarote’s local hero César Manrique.
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Don’t miss the volcanic, lunar-like landscape of the Timanfaya National Park and visit the wineries of La Geria to see the uniquely constructed vineyards – a series of stone-built terraces and wells in the black, volcanic soil.
Try taking a day trip to one of the many secluded coves on the island – the hotel provides a selection of reasonably priced picnic hampers perfect for a day out.
Papagayo beach is a must-see, despite the entry charge of 3 euros and the dubious dirt track that takes you there, especially if you fancy a cocktail on the terraces at the clifftop bar as the sun sets. It has the laid-back but sophisticated air of an Ibiza joint, and puts paid to the unfair slur that Lanzarote is all package holidays and waterparks. If you want a local tip, the entry barrier is unattended after 6pm, meaning free entry to all the beautiful people of the island who head here to see and to be seen.
Wi Fi available
Yes – complimentary throughout the hotel.
Per room (7% tax included):
- Double Standard Room with Bed & Breakfast 86€
- Double Standard Room with Half Board 136€
- Double Standard Room with All-Inclusive 150€
- Suite with Bed & Breakfast 172€
- Suite All-Inclusive: 213.00€
Value for money
Rates are competitive for a five star hotel, and the all-inclusive option is an incredible deal.
There is a bus service but it is not particularly reliable.
By far your best bet for getting around is a hire car.
Lanzarote is served by Arrecife Airport. Many budget airlines fly there, and you can also find a last-minute bargain with charter airlines, especially if you are flexible on dates.