Home TravelEurope Promising Family Favourites in Lanzarote

Promising Family Favourites in Lanzarote

by Petra Shepherd

Lanzarote, one of the Canary Islands, has something different that goes beyond what an everyday sun and beach destination can offer, including some rather unusual accommodation choices. I’m not one to camp but when offered the opportunity to stay a few nights in a ginormous luxurious yurt, I couldn’t say no. 

PJS

Eco-Conscious Accommodation in Lanzarote

Owned by Tila and Michelle Braddock, Lanzarote Retreats incorporates a collection of hand-picked, stylish properties. The founding ethos is simple: Guests don’t have to forsake modern facilities, rich comforts and concepts of luxury to have a responsible and sustainable holiday experience. Their flagship is Finca de Arrieta eco-village in the northeast of the island with seventeen yurts, villas and cottages. Set on the edge of a tranquil village close to the pretty beach of La Garita, Finca de Arrieta has spectacular sea and mountain views, a solar-powered pool and chill-out areas, a veg patch, chickens for fresh eggs and even resident donkeys.

The land at Finca de Arrieta was part of working farmland for many years. Tila and Michelle (originally from the UK but Lanzarote residents since the 1990s) acquired the site in 2005, with a vision to purchase the land and create a utopia where their family could live off-grid and in the most sustainable way possible. The restoration project began with what is now the Eco-Luxury Villa, which was completed in 2006. One of the guests enquiring about the Villa requested a third bedroom and Tila had the idea of installing a yurt. From this, the yurt kitchen and shower room were added along with a fenced garden. Creating the first yurt holiday home.

LR Eco Luxury Yurt

My home, Eco Yurt Royal proudly holds the title of the largest yurt on the Finca, too big for one person but often booked by couples who like a lot of private space. It was meticulously crafted to an exceptional standard, very boho chic with Moroccan and Indonesian furnishings and featured a private walled terrace, garden and raised gazebo. The latter is an ideal setting for alfresco dining. There was no shortage of organised activities: from on-site yoga, Pilates and massages, to paella nights and day trips to nearby attractions

LR pool and chillout area

However, it’s always going to be the swimming pool that I’m most interested in (I often choose accommodation purely based on the pool) and it was the Finca’s white washed lagoon style pool inspired by local legend Cesar Manrique that got the biggest thumbs up. Admittedly not very big but the aesthetics made it stand out from the crowd and reminded me of the pools at The Cesar Manrique Foundation (Manrique’s former home) and Jameos del Agua.

What to see and do in Lanzarote

Jameos de Algua was the first Centre for Art, Culture and Tourism created by César Manrique and one of the clearest examples of harmony between art and nature. The artist used the inside of a volcanic tunnel to create a natural auditorium, next to it, there’s a garden of palm trees with an artificial lake. Manrique’s jaw-dropping home/studio in Las Palmas is built into an old lava flow, with five underground cavern rooms in natural volcanic bubbles, interconnected with tunnels. Mirador del Rio, a magnificent viewpoint over the small island of La Graciosa was also designed by the island’s favourite son. Mirador del Dio and Jameos del Agua are both easily accessible from Finca de Arrieta.

Lanzaorote volcanic landscape PJS

Forest greens and sky blues are the colours of door and window frames everywhere, another of the late Cesar Manrique’s influences. Along with everything Cesar Manrique the Island’s other must-see is the almost unreal lunar-like landscape of Timanfaya National Park. The Fire Mountain, with its steaming geysers, is the star attraction. Along with a tour of the island’s main highlights, I also experienced the island’s finest volcanic vineyards on a tour with Wine Tours Lanzarote.

Against a backdrop of black ash soil with grapes grown in thousands of pits shielded by semi-circular stone walls, built around a single vine, these are like no other vineyards I’ve ever seen. This cultivation technique protects the vines from the wind and keeps the humidity consistent.  At Bodega Los Bermejos I tasted some fine wines from malvasía, muscatel and listán grapes. When the vineyard first started, they had to compete with many other wines on the market so differentiated with a special bottle design.

Bodega Vulcano 3

Bodeguita Vega Volcan a tiny artisan winery was my favourite, with Bodega Vulcano Lanzarote also having a selection of excellent wines. As tastings go, this wasn’t a just sip-and-spit wine tour but at each winery at least 3 to 4 generous servings of wine were offered, accompanied by some distinctive Canarian cheeses.  After the morning tour an afternoon snooze on a sunbed was definitely called for and at Seaside Los Jameos I had the perfect poolside view to sleep off the excess.

Family Friendly Accommodation in Lanzarote

Seaside Los Jameos is another luxurious family favourite and made for a nice contrast with Finca de Arrieta. Seaside Los Jameos is located on a small, beach-lined promontory at the edge of the Playa de los Pocillos resort. It’s a quiet spot, within easy reach of Puerto Del Carmen’s lively old town (about a 45-minute walk away), shopping area, restaurants, and nightlife and just a five-minute drive from the airport.

Lanzarote

Launched in the 1990s with 530 rooms designed in the signature style of the island by pupils of Cesar Manrique and recently refreshed by London-based Muza Lab. It’s very family-friendly with a kid’s club, kiddies pool, spa and wellness centre and home to the Peter Burwash International tennis school. A perfect location for the annual ironman Lanzarote and Lanzarote Wine Run, two events you are never going to see me at! Also close to several bodegas, so a good base for my wine tour. The Cesar Manrique Foundation and The Timanfaya National Park are also easily accessible within 20 minutes.

Seaside Jameos Suite 1 Bedroom Room 3036 0908

Nothing beats a welcome than a refreshing glass of bubbly cava and a light, airy room, all high ceilings and clean blue and white colours with a balcony looking over a sparkling lagoon-style, palm fringed pool. The signature yellow striped umbrellas add a touch of Californian style and the subtropical plants and ruby bougainvillea a splash of colour. L’Occitane bath products, bathrobes and slippers are always appreciated but more so a kettle. It didn’t take long to find my Yorkshire tea bags and enjoy the calming view from the balcony.

Although minutes away, the hotel is a world away from some of the more cheap and cheerful resorts on the Puerta del Carmen strip, the latter is after all one of the most popular resorts in Lanzarote. I’ve stayed at dozens of all-inclusive but Los Jameos stood out for the quality, quantity and variety of the food served. At both lunch and dinner, there was a very impressive buffet, with chefs grilling fresh local seafood (and yes, I did return several times for the giant langoustines), steaks, a salad bar that seemed to stretch to several tables and then when I thought I’d had my fill, I’d discover another section offering some kind of themed cuisine, Mexican and Italian during my stay.

Seaside Jameos Showcooking Pasta 0472

The hotel is enormously popular with many repeat guests, and although tables were sometimes difficult to find, there was never a queue at the buffet. Once I’d had more than my fill, it was time for my lengths in one of the two lagoon pools and I was thankful that one of them was heated, a big plus during the cooler months.

With these two different options Lanzarote could be the perfect family retreat, whether you are looking for something more eco-conscious or a resort built for families. Finca de Arrieta is a great example of rural Eco-Tourism on Lanzarote, a Bohemian retreat where you can feel comfortable but still connected to nature. In the less explored north, if you’re looking for a top-notch all-inclusive oozing style and character, then I can highly recommend Seaside Los Jameos. It’s already a firm favourite with families who return year after year, combine with a couple of nights at Finca de Arrieta and you have a perfect pair.

To book Finca de Arrieta or Seaside Los Jameos see online. For more information on Lanzarote visit the online Tourism Office.

Author

  • Petra Shepherd

    Petra is a freelance travel writer with over 30 years of experience in television. Petra has visited over 120 countries and loves an adventure-fueled trip with markets, mountains, local culture, festivals, skiing and swimming. She has swum between St Kitts and Nevis, been the honoured guest at an Andean wedding and in a previous life, as a celebrity booker, has met everyone from Dame Edna Everage to Donald Trump! When not travelling Petra divides her time between London and visiting her 12 Godchildren around the UK.

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