Things to consider before booking
Lanzarote may not have the sheer quantity of accommodation that you can find in many other Spanish resorts, and only a few large chains have a presence on the small island. However, it does have the complete range of quality options, from budget beachfront to extravagant five star, with the occasional stylish boutique and a hell of a lot in between.
• In terms of choosing where to stay, I really would recommend either opting for off the beaten track (there are some very special places in this category), or bang-on-the-beachfront. Of course, if you are really saving the pennies (although you won’t save that many), go a block or two back from the beach.
• Lanzarote is small – it takes about an hour to drive end to end – so wherever you decide to base yourself, you won’t have a long way to travel should you want to explore the whole island.
• One of the many wonderful aspects of Lanzarote is the vast majority of buildings that are no higher than two storeys – a fact reflected by probably about 90 percent of my accommodation choices. The island has mercifully been saved from the horrors of the rash of new builds that have blighted so many parts of Spain in the last 30 years or so.
• Many accommodation options, even those in the upper price bracket, do not have air conditioning in the bedrooms. Of course, this is a plus from the point of view of the planet, but temperatures do soar in the summer and even leaving the balcony doors open is sometimes not enough. Often hotels will rent you a fan for an extra fee, which obviously cancels out any eco points, but also often fails to really reduce the heat. If cool temperatures are important to you, check that your hotel has air conditioning throughout, or seriously consider travelling in the European winter months.
• Lanzarote hotels often have saltwater swimming pools. Now, on an island where even the drinking water is desalinated salt water, that shouldn’t be surprising. And again, it is a plus for the environment. It may mean you have to shower after swimming, but it’s hardly a terrible hardship, and all that salinity helps you float. That said, I have tried to point out salty swimming pool water in my choices of accommodation.
• Parking can be a bit of a pain, particularly in the sprawling resort of Puerto del Carmen, where dedicated hotel parking is a rarity.
• Internet use is usually charged extra in Lanzarote hotels, which really does seems petty and outdated, especially when the connection is often so bad and so many people, from teenagers to business people, regard it as a lifeline.
• Buffets are big in Lanzarote hotels, both for breakfast and dinner, and there are some staggeringly good value all-inclusive deals to be had, which you would be mad to turn your nose up at. Dismiss all thoughts you have harboured about all-inclusive meaning naff, poor quality food and service. It is no exaggeration to say that some of the best hotel food – in fact some of the best food, period – I have had in Lanzarote has been on all-inclusive deals, which is some statement, I admit.