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LUXURY HOTELS: Hotel Hesperia Lanzarote

Style: Laid-back luxury
Scene: Relaxed on the beach
Seen in the Lobby: Families escaping for a little fun in the sun

Hesperia Lanzarote has just been awarded "Best Spa in a Family Resort" at the SENSES Wellness Awards ceremony in Dubai. This is of course is great news for those with little luxies but don't let this achievement put couples or those with older children off. As The Luxury Travel Bible found out there is plenty to entertain all generations.

When I heard how big Hesperia Lanzarote is (335 rooms, including 46 suites) there is a fear that it would have little character and be overcrowded. However due to the sprawling layout it is surprisingly personal and, while I did see other guests, there is more than enough space around the pool, on the beach and in the dining areas to go around for everyone.

beach club

Throughout the five star hotel the large open spaces, subdued decor and large windows present a relaxed, peaceful  feel which is even further enhanced by the friendly staff, sublime spa, a dip in one of the four outdoor pools (one of which has been designed exclusively for children) and the relaxed dining facilities.

The layout of the hotel is quirky and for me was confusing at first. Laid out over the hill the design allows for this large hotel to not venture into 'high-rise' territory which is prohibited by Lanzarote law (a legacy of famed architect César Manrique who was born on the island in 1919). For breakfast one morning I somehow got in the elevator went down, needed to go up and found the restaurant via the outdoors pool - and this was before a couple of holiday cocktails in the bar.  Eventually I worked it out, although don't make me explain it - you'll work it out yourself, probably quicker than I did. Maybe I was so chilled out here I just couldn't comprehend how to work out which floor to get off at.

My room was large and airy which was increased by throwing open the doors to the large balcony and the vast views that lay ahead and onto the horizon. Many an hour can be passed gazing out over the blue, still ocean with only the occasional fishing boat passing by. The dividers between each of the balconies mean that all you can see from the balcony is the sea and not the next door neighbours on their balcony probably doing the extract same thing. Be sure to book a room with an ocean view.

Admittedly the bathroom was on the smaller side, but it did the job and the large 'dressing area' outside of the bathroom more than made up for this. The double sink will work for any vacationing couple or if like me you pack too many toiletries and clothes and wish to spread your possessions all over the place.
The star of the show is undoubtedly the Spa; its recent award confirms this...

The star of the show is undoubtedly the Spa; its recent award confirms this. The massage jets are strong enough to pummel any knots out of weary bodies following a round on the golf course or long flight. As well as rainforest showers, icy showers, steam rooms and saunas there are also circulation pools to boost circulation. Perfect for Jet Lag or you could always do what one gentleman did and forgo the ice cold pool and just lay in the warm bath instead - it clearly caught on as once he left I spotted a lady do the exact same thing.

Fresh fruit kebabs and cold drinks are on offer which is a nice treat after a treatment or session in the steam.

As well as the usual facials and massages found at most hotels this spa also offers more 'alternative' therapies such as acupuncture, Tibetan Bowl therapy and crystal healing.

TLTB settled on the essential oils massage from the menu but the Aloe Vera massage would be the obvious choice after a day of topping up the tan by the pool.  Aloe Vera is a local product which can be spotted growing along the sides of the roads in Lanzarote. Products made from the prized cooling gel are available in all the local shops.

Unfortunately my treat of cereal bar and herbal tea at the end of the treatment paled into insignificance in comparison to my fellow spa-goer's treat of chocolate truffle and cactus liqueur after their Aloe Vera treatment. But I did not let this prejudice the great feeling of wellbeing I enjoyed after the massage.

Dining is a relaxed affair at the hotel and offers a good range.  Restaurant Botavara is the higher end dining option of international cuisine. The more relaxed dining venue, El Risco offers Italian food. This restaurant also serves breakfast which widely ranges from Continental to English to American breakfasts - bring lots of will power if you plan to stick to a strict diet. Cooling cocktails and drinks are available at the Pool Bar and TLTB can say that the Paella served here is delicious.

The bar is set within the grand lobby yet once the pianist started tinkling on the ivories it felt like an intimate piano bar. One benefit of course is that it's just a quick dash over to the reception if you wish to change your wake-up call and prolong your lie in as the night draws on.

Be sure to head to the hotel's secluded private beach area. Loungers, palm trees, a delicious barbeque of fresh seafood, a cold glass of Champagne, sea and sand were enough to tempt the most hardcore golfers in our group away from a game.

Should you wish to venture off-campus for a spot of shopping or dining head along a short hillside walk from the hotel to the local marina. Not only does it house designer boutiques and some beautiful yachts it also provides a perfect sun-set viewing point.

Just as TLTB was at home at the spa little luxies will feel right at home at this hotel.  As well as child-friendly facilities the hotel also has a Kids Club (complete with a dancing Hippo mascot).

Not often can TLTB state that children will be kept entertained by the GM. Yet at Hesperia Josep will do just that. A lifelong magic fan and a member of the magic circle he will perform a trick when asked nicely (and of course when not doing the day job of running the hotel). Our party was very entertained with a magically appearing bottle of Champagne. How did he do it? Ah, that would be telling and he certainly wasn't. If only we could have learnt that luxe trick and brought it back to share with our readers.
How to get there:
Monarch airline flies to Lanzarote from London Luton, and Manchester airports. The Luxury Travel Bible was impressed with Monarch's friendly, efficient service and the extra-legroom seats (which offer up to six inches of extra space). For more information or to book flights, www.monarch.co.uk 
Check in: Urb. Cortijo Viejo (Puerto Calero). 35570 Lanzarote
Ultimate Luxury:  An Aloe Vera massage after a day of sunbathing by the pool - followed by a chocolate truffle and shot of cactus liqueur (purely for medicinal reasons of course!)
Most Indulgent Moment: A beach side barbeque in the private beach club - with an extremely fresh seafood buffet and the odd glass of bubbles.
Insider Secrets: A short walk to the Marina is the perfect way to spend an evening . Duty Free Tax shopping in the designer boutiques is a nice bonus.
Junior Luxies: Welcomed with open arms by Kids Club mascot Hesperia the Hippo. Kids will no doubt also be amused by hotel manager Josep's magic tricks.
Dress code:  Beach Chic - smart casual for evenings.
Dent in the platinum:
Luxury Hotels Links: www.hesperia.com/ www.nh-hotels.com
Sarah Bryans 7/6/11
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