Great Britain

Harassed parents can finally relax at this luxury resort in Lanzarote

WHEN you have small children, much as you adore them, there are pleasures in life that inevitably fall by the wayside.

Weekend lie-ins, quiet car journeys. And, I presumed, holidays in smart hotels.

But then we discovered the glorious Princesa Yaiza Suite Hotel resort in pretty Playa Blanca, Lanzarote.

The Canary island is known to most as an easy-on-the-wallet, family-friendly package destination.

We went in the school holidays with my sons Henry, six, and Nicholas, two.

But if you have toddlers, go out of season — you could enjoy 5-star luxury for the same price as 3-star in peak season.

From the moment you are greeted — with a glass of bubbly — at this huge hacienda of a hotel, you know it isn’t just the kids who will be spoilt.

It is designed in authentic Canarian architectural style — all wooden shutters and tiled floors in whitewashed buildings, including one just for families.

My kids loved the indoor waterfall and pools with koi carp in the lobby and couldn’t wait to go outside and explore the six pools.

There are family-friendly rooms and suites complete with fridge, microwave and kettle, and there is a gym on site, a thalasso-therapy spa and tennis courts. It is little effort to stroll out of the hotel’s back gate and over to the sandy beach opposite.

But the good news for parents is that you actually can let your bum hit a sun lounger for more than five seconds thanks to the hotel’s Kikoland kids’ club.

The vast area includes football pitches, basketball courts and clubhouses, with playgrounds for all ages from tots to teens.

STOP AND GAZE

Children three and over can go all day from 10am until 5pm, with a full roster of activities ranging from crafts to water fights and mini-discos.

For an extra charge, there is also a creche with nannies for under-threes. But you do not have to leave your children if you don’t want to.

The large pools meant our kids could splash about as we relaxed and the supervised soft-play area with air-con in the main hotel gave them a chance to escape the heat but still let off steam.

Kids’ discos are organised each evening by the talented entertainment team.

GO: LANZAROTE

GETTING/STAYING THERE: Seven nights’ B&B at the 5-star Princesa Yaiza Suite Hotel Resort is from £603pp including return flights from UK airports. Book at kenwoodtravel.co.uk or call 0207 749 7216.

MORE INFO: For hotel details, see princesayaiza.com or call 0034 928 519 300.

A spectacular pirate show is staged every Saturday night in the hotel’s impressive theatre.

But my toddler’s favourite viewing spectacle by far was the huge wall of fish tanks that run along the corridor between the family block and the main hotel, boasting an array of colourful fish.

It was very difficult to get anywhere quickly as he always wanted to stop and gaze. Still, we were on holiday, so what was the rush?
There are lots of dining options, with several buffets which are included in the price if you go half-board.

There is a good choice, including meat and fish grilled in front of you.

Breakfasts were plentiful and the kids’ club characters do the rounds to say hello.

We also loved à la carte Italian restaurant Don Giovanni for dinner.

Other options include Kampai, a Teppanyaki-style restaurant where you sit at high tables and watch chefs theatrically whip up your dinner, and a traditional Spanish tapas option.

Kids are welcome in all restaurants, although we booked a babysitter the night we sampled the exclusive gourmet restaurant Isla de Lobos. With a reputation as one of the best places to eat on the island, we enjoyed a tasting menu of Canarian specialities with accompanying wines.

While there was plenty to keep everyone occupied on site, it is a waste not to experience a little of what Lanzarote has to offer outside of the hotel’s walls.

CAMEL TREK

With its dramatic volcanic landscapes and geological wonders, the island has an ethereal, almost extraterrestrial feel.

A must is a visit to the Timanfaya national park, the rugged landscape that covers a quarter of the island.

Watch as guides pour buckets of water down holes in the land and then stand back as a column of steam shoots up. Kids will get a kick out of seeing chicken cooked over the active heat of the volcano — and then eating it for lunch.

A bus trip takes you around the landscape and it is easy to see why Apollo astronauts used it for practice for moon missions.
Older kids might prefer to board a camel for a trek across the landscape.

And on your way home, don’t forget to stop off at the viewpoint near “El Golfo” or the “Green Lagoon”, where sea water has become trapped and turned a dramatic shade of acid green by algae.

Following the dizzying heights of a volcanic mountain range, my six-year-old son Henry and I plunged into the depths of the sea when we took a submarine ride from Puerto Calero.

He is too young to snorkel so it was a great way for him to admire the marine life and shipwrecks.

The Cueva de los Verdes are also worth a visit. Located on the other side of the island and created by lava flows around 3,000 years ago, the cave system is a joy to explore and illuminated by coloured lights . . . with a surprising ending.

If you are looking for a holiday with plenty to do, plus kiddie and grown-up comforts, you can’t go far wrong with Lanzarote and one of its crown-jewel hotels.

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