When I think of Lanzarote I think of childhood memories spent by the beach with my Nanna and Grandpa in Playa Blanca and family days spent by the pool. As an adult however, I like a little more from a holiday, and a certain sense of luxury. With countless hotels and resorts in Lanzarote it’s hard to find something more unique with a bit of history, but I found just that, along with peace and quiet and wonderful service, at Hotel Emblemático La Casa de los Naranjos.
The hotel, which gets its name because of the 30 orange trees that adorn the front of the house, is a 200-year-old manor-style property that had been in the same family for 200 years until it was recently acquired by new owner Jose Antonio. The building, listed as monumental in the Heritage Register of the Cabildo of Lanzarote, was in a state of ruin but despite the deterioration, the beauty of the building was evident so works got underway to not only restore the building, but to turn it into a hotel. Special care was taken to maintain much of the original features and charm of the house as well as creating suites in keeping with the desires of modern travellers. As a result of this process, the hotel has the official qualification of the Government of the Canary Islands as an “Emblematic Hotel” and really is something special to behold.
My sister and I arrived in Lanzarote in the early evening and rented a car at the airport. Although there are buses and taxis to the village of Hariá where we’d be staying, we also wanted to explore the island so opted for the easiest option. Hariá itself is a beautiful place, known as the village of a thousand palm trees. Every time a girl was born in the village a palm tree was planted, and every time a boy was born, 2 palm trees were planted. So that gives you some indication of the population of the town. Through the winding streets and palm trees you notice how green the area is compared to the rest of the barren landscape of Lanzarote, it’s like an oasis up in the hills away from the dry, noisy resorts. As we pulled up outside Hotel Emblemático La Casa de los Naranjos, which was easily identifiable due to all the orange trees outside, we were immediately taken a back as the building is so beautiful and grand in comparison to the other village buildings.
Not struggling with our cases for a moment, Jose himself greets us at the door to welcome us inside. His warmth and enthusiasm is infectious. We sit and chat with the lovely Iratxe who gives us all the information we need during our stay as well as personal recommendations of local places to eat. She then gave us a tour of the hotel, all the while pointing out interesting features such as some 200 year old wall paintings that managed to survive and the fascinating library on the top floor with hundreds of 19th century books left almost undisturbed. The hotel itself is centred around a sun-soaked courtyard with a living room/dining area for guests and a small dining room inside. The bedrooms are then spread around the courtyard.
Our room was simply breathtaking. The first thing that hits you as you enter is the wonderful smell of wood polish and fresh flowers. A huge white bed dominates the first room along with a crystal chandelier hanging from the high ceiling. Beautiful green shutters hide the wardrobe and storage space and a desk and chair sits by the open window as the warm evening breeze rolls in. Through a pair of double doors is the absolutely stunning bathroom, almost the same size as the bedroom. It has a glass shower screen separating the floor level walk in shower as well as a beautiful freestanding bath tub, the toilet is an old style throne with a chain and yet the room still has modern touches such as two sinks and room for toiletries and a huge palm tree in the corner bringing some welcome greenery to the room. Up a wooden staircase there is an area with 2 single beds making the suite absolutely perfect for families.
After a peaceful night’s sleep we had breakfast in the dining room overlooking the orange gardens outside. The wonderful Javier brought us fresh fruit of melon, papaya and strawberries and fresh yoghurt with cranberries and seeds. Of course fresh orange juice is served along with hot drinks to start the day and the breakfast menu consists of local breakfast items such as cheese and ham sandwiches, eggs on sourdough toast with avocado and my personal favourite of toast with a selection of jams and marmalades. One morning we had to leave early to meet a tour group and Javier came in early to prepare us a breakfast we could take with us of warm sandwiches, fruit and a fresh chocolate brownie! We were so touched by this gesture and it showed the impeccable level of service of the hotel.
Of an evening we wandered into the town of Hariá, once home to the Island’s most famous artist César Manrique whose residence is now a museum. The pretty streets are filled with a handful of tourists but mostly local people, gathered outside the restaurants and bars. Our favourite place to eat was La Puerta Verde, serving traditional dishes of the region alongside other Mediterranean favourites. The food was sensational and if we were staying longer we definitely would have gone back to eat there again.
Hariá is very close to some of Lanzarote’s best attractions such as Mirador del Río, an incredible viewpoint over the neighbouring islands and Jameos del Agua, but do arrive early to these as they can get very busy at peak season. As we had a car we were able to visit many beaches such as Playa del Jablillo which was fantastic for snorkelling and Playa de las Cucharas with its many beach bars and sunbeds but you can also access the lesser known beaches at Famara from Hariá or just admire them from the top of the hills nearby.
When you’ve spent the day in salty water, covered in sand, or walking through the lava fields and tourist attractions, there’s nothing better than coming home to true tranquillity, and that’s what Hotel Emblemático La Casa de los Naranjos was. A beautifully restored building, run by a wonderful family and staff in a stunning location. I really couldn’t fault it and wholeheartedly recommend you stay a night or two yourself when visiting Lanzarote.
Hotel Emblemático La Casa de los Naranjos
Rincón de Aganada