So I am 2 weeks back from our lovely holiday in Puerto Del Carmen, Lanzarote with my hubby.
This holiday was quite a last minute booking for us, and our aim with this holiday was pure and utter relaxation! Boy did it fit the bill perfectly! I have barely any photos as it was just the type of holiday where the phones were put away and we just wanted quality time together.
We flew from Knock Airport which was even more of a pull for us as it is less than a 45 minute journey from home. We flew Saturday to Saturday with Ryanair and the flight times were pretty reasonable, a late flight out and a mid-day flight home. The flight in total was four hours, so make sure you bring a book or something to pass the time unless you’re like my husband and can sleep, unfortunately I wasn’t blessed with the gift of sleeping on public transport! I was sitting beside a sweet little girl called Danielle who was just around 6 years old and she was showing me how to play her Disney frozen game on her ipad (hello to her mummy if you’re reading this as she said she follows me on facebook) so we had great fun passing the time! This flight was also my first time to book the airport transfers through Ryanair and I must say it was very easy, no fuss and all worked seamlessly, the bus was clean, modern and air conditioning was on full blast. I think it worked out at €20 return journey per person. The shared bus journey took approx. 30 minutes, had we have went private it would have been 8 minutes.
La Isla Y El Mar
I don’t know where to start with praising this hotel enough, this hotel was the perfect destination for our choice of holiday. An adult only boutique hotel situated in the Old Town of Puerto Del Carmen.
The staff members were so accommodating, polite and friendly. They couldn’t do enough for us, even booked a reservation at an outside restaurant for me as I was a bit nervous ringing myself.
The hotel is only a short distance away from restaurants, pubs, cocktail bars and from the main marina in the Old Town. It would take 5 minutes to walk to the main square in the Old Town.
We booked a Suite with Balcony for our stay which worked out only €200 extra than a suite without. This wasn’t a game changer for our stay, but it was lovely to wake up to the beautiful views each morning.
Here were some of the facilities available in the suite.
- Free Wifi Access All Day - No pesky registrations etc
- Nespresso coffee machine with four complimentary coffee pods (we didn’t use these
- Minibar – items were quite expensive in the minibar. There is a Dino Market only a stones throw away if you want to buy nibbles for much cheaper and a wider variety.
- Sound Docking Station which connected to your phone.
- Bathrobe and slippers
- Two Plasma Screen TV’s – One Smart TV which connects to the Internet
- Safe-deposit box
- Air conditioning system
- Bathroom with rain jet shower and the shower gels/shampoos were fab!
- Professional hairdryer – this hairdryer was amazing! Came in so handy as I forgot to bring a European plug!
- No end of mirrors – (for all the ladies)
- Plugs beside the bed with USB Connectors – So handy as again I forgot my EU Plug
One gripe of ours which we had was that there were no in-room ironing facilities, we found this out on the first night just before we were ready to head out for dinner, there is a laundry service that you need to pay per item, and it worked out €3 per shirt for Micheál. We were slightly annoyed at this but got all the items ironed on the first evening which took 45 minutes.
The hotel itself was modern and we spent the majority of our holiday in the Hotel itself, they have a huge chill out area separated from the Pool Area, and they have sun loungers and areas next to the pool also. There was two pools, one main large pool and a smaller jacuzzi pool with sun loungers in the pool...yes you read correct, sun loungers in the pool with jacuzzis underneath them! Most of the sun loungers had umbrellas. The views from the top level chill out area were stunning, you could have sat there all day (and we did). The staff give you a buzzer which you can use to call a member of staff to order drinks and food (I am such a weirdo though I still always walk to the bar lol) There are public toilet facilities which are handy so you don’t need to walk back to your room all of the time. My favourite part of the hotel was the landscaping (weird I know) but the hotel had the areas decorated so beautifully, lots of photo ops ladies!! The maintenance staff were always on hand weeding, watering flowers and I never saw one thing out of place for our whole stay, (not that I was looking for any). It was my own memory to be honest of the whole of Lanzarote about how clean and pretty it was everything was so white and clean and there were flowers and trees everywhere!
The hotel is 5* and in my eyes I give it 5 out of 5, if you are looking for a relaxing stay or just to stay in luxury in Europe, La Isla Yel Mar is a perfect choice in my opinion!
I must say a massive thank you to all the amazing women who sent me snapchats and facebook messages with suggestions on eating out, I only wish we had have been there longer to visit them all but here were our choices and my review.
La Bodega / La Cascada Puerto
Sister restaurants located next door to one aother but both very different indoor vibes.
La Bodega is the smaller side, with much cosier rooms. A very country and western vibe to it with dark panelled wood and barrels as decoration. I wasn’t overally mad about the food the first night I ate here, I ordered chicken in a peppercorn sauce with mash potato and vegetables as a main course. The mash potato in my opinion resembled Smash, wasn’t to my taste at all, the peppercorn sauce was quite perfumed and to me was a watery gravy with peppercorns added, I personally didn’t enjoy my meal, my husband had Steak and he enjoyed his meal (apart from the smash potato)
We ate in La Cascada a few nights later based on a multitude of recommendations, the menu was the same as La Bodega but the atmosphere was much busier and louder with open views of the street. This evening I ordered the Mexican Chicken Fajita and it was delicious. One of my top meals of the holiday. The staff in this restaurant were very friendly and helpful. Service was a little slow on both occasions but it was busy and we were in no rush, but they tend to forget about you once your main course has arrived.
*** 3/5 Rating
El Cangrejo Rojo
On the second evening it was my birthday, and based on a few recommendations we booked a table at El Cangrejo Rojo restaurant, the views from the hotel were beautiful, lovely sunset views and you are located right in the center of the old town so right next to pubs if you fancy a drink afterwards. The had a large menu which a lot consisted of seafood, I ordered Garlic Bread as a starter (pretty basic) but such a massive portion. Micheal ordered Scallops, the presentation was amazing and they tasted delicious. I ordered a vegetable Paella and it was my first time to try Spanish Paella and it was delicious, if I am honest the portion was enough for two people and half of it wasn’t eaten, but it was delicious. We both enjoyed our meal here.
**** 4/5 Rating
The Purple Turtle
Only a stones throw away from our hotel and at the top of the hill away from Old Town Center, this is a hidden gem. We ate here for lunch half way through the week. It is a british themed restaurant with british owners, the menu was perfect for us on day three when I was feeling slightly underwhelmed by the food choices and just wanted my normal food if that makes sense lol! I have never tasted a roast chicken sandwich like it in all my days! Perhaps it was all in my head but honestly it was delicious! Micheal ordered a burger and he really enjoyed it! The staff were slightly hungover (I overheard a conversation) so didn’t really make much chat, but we weren’t too bothered by this either. I heard from others that the breakfast is supposed to be amazing here. We didn’t avail of this though. Prices were so reasonable.
**** 4/5 Rating
We decided to go for an Asian dinner on one evening, and although we had been recommended a different Asian restaurant by others, this one was close to our hotel and it was busy so looked like a good spot. Our starters came I ordered vegetable spring rolls and micheal ordered duck spring rolls and all I can say is I could have cooked the starters again with the amount of oil that was dripping from it. I couldn’t finish the starter. I ordered a Vegetable Thai Green Curry with Noodles as a main course and it was very tasty. Micheal ordered a Sweet and Sour Chicken and he enjoyed his meal. We didn’t order dessert as the staff took our main courses away and we waited 30 minutes for a staff member to come with a bill, which we had to request. They were very understaffed and you could tell they were under pressure, there was a man outside the restaurant coaxing passer by’s in to the restaurant, all I could think of was if he spent half as much time on the customers actually inside…
** 2/5 Rating
La Isla Yel Mar Restaurant
On one of our final evenings, we decided to eat in the A la Carte Restaurant of our hotel. There are two available – Buffet and A la Carte. If I am honest the food in this restaurant was Michelin Star Worthy, but it was a little too fancy for us. Note – Fish Cakes in Lanzarote are all served cold and like a fish mousse – just incase you think they are the same as at home. We both ordered fish cakes and both couldn’t eat it and I wouldn’t be that fussy when it comes to food I can usually stomach most things, the main courses were both steak, I requested mine medium/well and it arrived rare, I am so put off by this on any occasion but had to ask for it to be cooked more thoroughly which it was but it took 15 minutes, so Micheal had finished his meal before mine arrived. My overall review on this restauarant was pretty low but that was just purely down to my own lack of research. The prices were also very expensive as you can imagine from a 5* restaurant. We both agreed afterwards we probably should have eaten in the Buffet Restaurant which had a much larger menu and lower prices. The staff were so incredibly nice and friendly in the hotel and even offered us alternative starters but we refused as we were both a little embarrassed. Lol!
Café Ola Restaurant
On the last evening it was the hubby’s birthday so I booked us a reservation at Café Ola, which was so highly recommended to us all throughout the week. This has to have been our favourite experience so far. The views, the food, the service, everything, it was top class! I ordered the Canarian Potatoes as a starter, large portion which I couldn’t finish, but were delicious, and micheal ordered Garlic Sizzling Prawns which were delicious. I ordered a pasta carabonara as a main course and it has to have been one of the nicest I have ever tasted, micheal ordered Salmon in an Orange Sauce and he loved every bite. Of course the dessert was a surprise treat for the birthday boy himself! A dark chocolate cage with different flavoured icecreams and fruit. The views from this restaurant are spectacular, the menu choice was huge and just note there are three different restaurants on different levels here so just to ensure you book the correct one. I emailed and messaged the restaurant on two occasions with no reply so ended up getting the hotel to book my reservation just an FYI. This restaurant was also a 15 minute taxi journey (would have been a 30 minute walk)
***** 5/5 Rating
Echoes Cocktail Bar
Owned by one of my school friends Darryl Walker, Darryl runs a fab little restaurant and cocktail bar in the Old Town of Puerto del Carmen, really competitive prices, steak nights special offers and the place was booming every evening. Darryl himself was on holidays so we completely missed one another but it’s well worth a visit!
The Island Bar
We were recommended to come here as apparently the owner and entertainer Rory Gallagher who is from Dongeal was supposed to put on a great show! It was one of the best nights entertainment we have had in a long time. The music was great, the atmosphere was electric and even country/western singer Derek Ryan who was on holidays made an appearance and sang a few tunes, much to some of the ladies enjoyment! Well worth a visit and the staff are great, they come around to the tables very often and take your drinks order and you pay at your seat. TIP: Music starts with Rory at 10pm, get in earlyish to get a good seat or location, it will be very quiet when you arrive but 10pm and its jam packed.
Things to Do
As this was a relaxation holiday for us, we didn’t avail of any tours or activities during our stay. There was a small number of activities including Texas Ranchero which seemed popular especially for families, quad biking, bowling alley, water sports on the beach (parasailing, jet ski’s, paddle boats). The height of what we got up to was one afternoon we visited the Biosphera Shopping Center, approx. 15 minutes walk from our hotel, there was Zara, Mango, ONLY, lots of pharmacies and perfumeries and boutique clothing stores and souvenir shops. We also visited the Friday Market on the Old Town Marina, it wasn’t great to be honest, just the typical markets you see everywhere, we availed of the in-hotel spa facilities on Micheál’s birthday as a birthday treat and we had private use of the spa for 1.5 hours which included Sauna, Steam, Jacuzzi and then we both had 1 hour treatments.
The Beach and the New Town part of Puerto del carmen which would generally be busier than old town was approx. 20-25 minutes and the strip is about a mile long.
Overall our holiday to Lanzarote was amazing, I think the first time you ever visit a place it takes a couple of days to find your way around, we only discovered the new town strip on the last day, and we loved it, we walked along the beach and just people watched which was so lovely. There was night time entertainment happening along the walk. The views and setting was beautiful. We will most definitely be back to Lanzarote and we will be more familiar with eateries and locations next time, but as we were needing this holiday for pure relax, sunshine and quality time together we were absolutely thrilled with our stay.
I hope this gives you some information into the holiday, we experienced it as a couple so perhaps my recommendations would be different to a family experience, there was lots of families in Lanzarote so I assume it’s a fabulous spot for families and kids. There was such a mix of age groups which was nice to see!
Now where to next……???