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Opinions, questions and advice about accommodation, tourism, leisure and anything you may need in Lanzarote. 
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rip-off lanzarote
Posted by: rachel ()
Date: December 28, 2003 09:03PM

Have just returned from two week's in Lanzarote. Stayed at Lanzarote Pardise Club apartments. Supposed to be self catering - what a lie! two electric rings and a poxy microwave. the fridge had no freezer compartment lid and was iced up to about 6 inches. when approached, the reception staff said they would fix things, oh yes, they just chipped the ice away and left us to it. The cleaning staff had a job description which did not include moving the furniture, you should have seen the filth under the sofa left from previous tenants (god knows how many), and on returning to the apartments one afternoon, we found the cleaning staff had been in and left their calling card - stink of cigarettes and cigarette ash all over the bedroom floor.
Depending on your lifestyle, if you like holidaying with Rab C. Nesbitt clones, this is the place for you! We did not have a decent night's sleep and had to abandon the sunbeds around the pool because Rab's kids used the pool area as their own personal football ground. None of the staff exercised any discipline whatever to create a comfortable time for all the holidaymakers. The holiday rep for the apartments was appallingly unprofessional - denied any knowledge of local buses because he wanted to push the overpriced coach trips via Sunset Holidays. He was only interested in bragging about how drunk he wanted to be on the "Down in One" evening.
The weather was fine for the time of the year. However, we found Lanzarote very expensive. We were told by locals that compared with the other islands, it was at least 15% more expensive. When buying good, I found one red pepper cost £1.10 compared with 69p at Sainsbugs (at time of eating). Brandy is good value, but had no effect on me at all!!! Bread is disgusting. The best supermarket in Costa Teguise is the Spar (Supermercado Marial). They do have fresh meat! There are plenty of places to eat but they cater for the british working class, ie. spam, spam chips and spam!!! However, if you check out behind the town you can find some lovely Italian restaurants and genuine Spanish Tapas Bars.
Tips: Teguise market - go by public bus for 2 euros (c/w 8 for some trips and 12 with sunset holiday rep recommendation); watch out, it is a nice atmosphere but the prices are cheaper in town and there is an awful lot of tat about.
The guide books say you can get anywhere by bus, but we did not find this to be true from Costa Teguise. Only Arreceife and Puerta del Carmen were accessible. Arreceife is a nice town, but Puerta del Carmen is Los Christianos in miniature and a heaven for tat and English junk food (spam, spam, chips and spam). There is little which is truly Spanish here and in truth the island is featureless, apart from the lovely cacti in the gardens of the villas of the residents. Beaches: generally ok but stay away from Playa Bastian there is oil on the beach here - probably from the port and petrochemical works just a short distance along the coast. We would not return to this island, but each to their own.

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Re: rip-off lanzarote
Posted by: rachel ()
Date: December 29, 2003 09:51PM

Hi Simon, I am not looking for compensation, heaven forbid. it is my way of letting off a bit of steam about general expectations not being met, especially my expectation of being able to cook proper meals ( I even took some recipes to do our winter solstice celebration meal). I suppose that the accommodation failed to set up proper facilities to encourage people to eat at the scabby onsite bar/restaurant, offering, yes, you guessed right, spam, spam, chips and spam. being a organic, wholefood person myself, I am the odd one out when it comes to the staple diet of junk food which the majority seem to eat and be content with. Oh well, I shall choose another destination next time. Perhaps going back to Cyprus will be a good idea, loved the island and the food, and the sea is warm and full of lovely creatures to view whilst snorkelling. Bye, rachel

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Re: rip-off lanzarote
Posted by: paul ()
Date: January 06, 2004 02:21PM

I am wondering how many self catering holidays you have been on ,if you want 5 star service you have to pay 5 star money ,you can rent a lovely villa for about 90 euros a day with your own swiming pool if you just look for yourself instead of sitting back and let the tour operators do it for you and take your money I have just come back from pdc having spent christmas with my family 50 euros a night for a 2 bed app ,100 euros return flight they are all there you just have to look Also there are tacky english and irish bars there as well as very good local restaurants as well you don't have to go in the tacky ones do you good luck with your next holiday

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Re: rip-off lanzarote
Date: January 08, 2004 01:37PM

I was sorry to read that you found Lanzarote not worth a second visit. We have been visiting on and off for about 12 years and stay in Puerto del Carmen. We find that springtime is the best time to visit - no lager louts or rowdy children. Our own resort of Las Calas does not allow football, music or unruly children on-site, which suits us perfectly. Whilst I agree that Puerto del Carmen's main drag is typical of "Spain for the Brits" mentality, the harbour is a delight - wonderful Italian and tapas restaurants with freshly caught fish a speciality. This is where we tend to head for a night out.

I have to agree with you on the cost of food on the island - the cost of most things has rocketed since the introduction of the Euro and we found last year that things cost around 30-40% more than they had 2 years previous.

If you every decide to go back and would like a totaly unspoilt, white sand beach, head up to Orzola. Beautiful little bays just off the road before entering the village where you can snorkel and swim in warm sheltered waters - our very favourite place.

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Re: rip-off lanzarote
Posted by: Jackie ()
Date: January 09, 2004 04:59PM

I would be very interested to know where you got return flights for 100e from-especially over the Christmas period.I always book independently but have never managed them that cheap!

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Re: rip-off lanzarote
Posted by: Sapphire ()
Date: January 09, 2004 05:10PM

Hi Paul (possibly Simon too !)

Would love to know which apartments you have stayed and and do you ave contact details ?

I've just booked flights today for 1 week in February 26th.
I'm struggling to find anywhere decent as we have never been to PDC before and have no idea of the area except for old town and new.

Any suggestions for apartments would be really gratefully received.

Thanks in advance.

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Re: rip-off lanzarote
Posted by: Stephen Kernohan ()
Date: January 10, 2004 01:51AM

Has anyone ever stayed at the Atlantis/Las Lomas Apartments?
Comments welcome as I have booked in these appartments for July 2004.

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Re: rip-off lanzarote
Posted by: deb ()
Date: January 14, 2004 01:30PM

I live in lanzarote and have yet to find spam!!
Yes there are many British bars catering for the average working to middle class tourists who come here for sun, sea, relaxation but want British style food and drinks. Mostly families and couples - very very few 'lager lout' types, as in the brochures Lanzarote is promoted as a family resort. What is wrong with resorts catering to the working class? Are they not entitled to a holiday?

We eat out often and rarely eat at British places as we can eat British food at home, but there are numerous Spanish and Italian restaurants offering great food at low prices - we pay on average 15€ each for 2 courses with a couple of drinks each but can get 2 courses each with a bottle of wine for 20€. In British places you can things like delicious southern fried chicken and chips with a drink for 5€. Or you can go up-market and pay 30€ a head for a course meal at a posh place. Overall eating out is slightly cheaper than UK.

In the 4 years we've been here we've only seen slight price increases, around 5%, in fact we can still buy drinks in bars for the same price as 1999! Obviously some things are dearer than UK but this is offset by cheaper things: for example cigarettes only 2€ a pack, our total electric and water bills all year round (the only bills we have here!) work out to just 15€ a week - that's a tenner! Bus travel is ridiciously cheap too. Most tourists think it's expensive because they now get less euros to the pound, it's not because prices are higher!

You get what you pay for - as someone mentioned if you want 5* luxury you won't get it on cheapy deal.

Lanzarote is far from featureless: The volcano tour is amazing with views you'll never see anywhere else, there are the pretty cactus gardens, wine tasting, caves, lovely secluded sandy bays and beaches and old buildings and museums. Remember it's a tiny Island so you cannot expect the diversity of mainland Spain.

Most people come here for family holidays where a: they are pretty much guaranteed sunshine all-year round, b: Their children can get sausages and fish-fingers and chips, b: The people are friendly, c: The beaches are clean and sandy, d:99% of the accomodation is new and clean, e: Prices are lower than at home. And this is what they get. If you want culture you go to European Cities, if you want mega-cheap you go to Turkey, if you want 18-30's you go to Ibiza, if you want exotic you go to India,- Lanzarote caters for a certain type of person and does it well.

We have a Scottish bar in Costa Teguise and have many repeat visitors, we have factory workers, cleaners, unemployed, teachers, nurses, accountants, footballers, hotel owners, doctors, lawyers, journalists, taxi-drivers etc etc. Okay so they probably want different things from their holidays but the main thing is they all have a good time and 20% come back to Lanzarote for 2 or more visits.

Rip-off Lanzarote? I don't think so, certainly no more than any other holiday resort in the world. We've been ripped off more in France, mainland Spain, Cornwall and Blackpool than we ever have here.

For those of you reading this who haven't visited Lanzarote yet heres a quickie resort guide: Puerto del Carmen is lively, bright, a little tacky in parts but with a multitude of eateries for all tastes and pockets with a huge sandy beach, McDonalds and a Casino. Costa Teguise is smaller, more laid back, 5 lovely beaches, safe for kids with a golf course and water park, good mix of Spanish and British. Playa Blanca is smaller again, more Spanish, only 3 very small beaches. The whole Island is only 29 miles long. Buses, taxi's and car hire are cheap. Best weather june July august october, very hot september, can rain and be cloudy dec to may but never for long.

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Re: rip-off lanzarote
Posted by: Judi ()
Date: January 19, 2004 12:18AM

Re: Rachel..... it sounds like you got a bum deal with your holiday.... but i dont think this is particular to Lanzarote. I have not been there yet.. going in April... but i know the kind of experience you are describing. I had one of those in Argassi, on Zante. It was rubbish! I think a lot of people not as nice as us, go on holiday, and dont think of others. The noisy crowd in the appartment above, the people who smoke in non smoking rooms... the folk who let their kids run riot...... its everywhere, and unfortunately, not much you can do about it. Best to just try to not let it spoil your holiday. Not easy, i know! Im looking forward to going.... we are heading to a villa in Puerto Calero near PDC, so hope its good. Bit concerned to hear its expensive, but i guess i'll just wait and see... and take some spare cash!!!! Hope your next holiday is a bit better! Judi

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Re: rip-off lanzarote
Posted by: Allan ()
Date: January 20, 2004 08:48AM

I read with interest the replies posted to my friend Rachels comments.

These are my observations.

The locals have stated that that inflation has soared since the Euro introduction, ask them yourselves.

The bus service only operates between Costa Teguise-Arricife-Peurto Del Carmen. Ther are no regular buses to anywhere else. To explore the island you have hire a car or take an expensive coach excursion. ( I work for a coach holiday/excursion company-UK prices for similar daily excursions £10~£15) Excursion cost on Lanzarote average £35.......

Ther are no timetables at the bus how do find out, the holiday reps will not help as they want the commision on selling over priced excursions. Hotel receptions are the best bet, but they tell you... you can only get a bus to Arricife or Peurto del Carmen.?

All the shops are not spam, spam.....they are Pizza, fried chicken, hamburges, mexican steak houses or chinese. Yes we did find an excellent Tapas bar restuarant. But one swallow(no pun intended) does no make a spring.

The residential areas are nice with Cactus growing in all shapes.

Was Cesar Manriques dream though to build lanzarote into a "brits abroad" holiday destination. I don't think so!

Places to visit..Ma Bakers English Bar......Original Tex Mex steak houses...
Whatever happened to spanish culture. We must be forgiven for robbing them of any culture or custom they had. Sleep well Cesar

Adios Lanzarote


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Re: rip-off lanzarote
Posted by: Derek ()
Date: January 21, 2004 04:23AM

Hell's bells!! You lot are scaring me to death! I've only ever been abroad once (to Portugal) & it was fabulous. This year we've booked 2 weeks in Lanzarote at the club Tahiti in Costa Teguise. We're going the last 2 weeks in March. Are we destined to spend a fortnight on the beach whilst making sure we save enough money for sixpen'orth of chips every night? Surely to God it can't be as bad as your trying to make out! Can it? I thought transport i.e. taxis & buses were cheap overseas & we found in Portugal that if you went with the swing with the locals they were very helpful about everything. Pointing to the 'right' excursions. taxi companies, bars, restaraunts etc. If it's as bad as you say then I think I'll shoot the wife on March 12th get my money back on 13th & go to Rhyl for 2 weeks instead!!

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Re: rip-off lanzarote
Posted by: Val ()
Date: January 21, 2004 01:27PM

Hi Derek,

Its not that bad atall. You have to remember this is one mail compared to the hundreds of others on this site complementing Lanzarote. I have been twice and both times loved it. I have been to many places abroad and found this to be one of the more laid back, quieter resorts. Unlike other places, It actually has some lovely shopping malls where a great amount of retail therapy can be done without breaking the bank. I thought the restaurants where great. Afterall its you who chooses to go in so read the menu before going in to avaoid any of the "Spam" issues of above.

If you are looking for culture and heritage etc then you won't get that staying in a tourist resort, Thats exactly what they are 'Tourist Resorts'. I reckon you will have an absolute ball over there and there are lots of things to do and places to see that would be of interest. If you are looking for good nite life then there is a great selection dotted out all over the place. The main being Puerto Del Carmen! I found something for everyone over there and found it to be a more classsier resort than some i've been to.

Hope you have a great holiday and keep me posted on your view,


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Re: rip-off lanzarote
Posted by: Jen ()
Date: January 21, 2004 11:34PM

we have booked to go to costa Teguise on the 11th Feb for 2wks. We are staying at the OasisLanz club? Anyone got any Info?
We have been going to Gran Canaria for the last 4 yrs and we have found that the Euro has made things more expensive. There is tack in Purto Rico (G.can) and there are nice parts. I am going open minded to Lanzarote after all the holiday is what you make it. Like some one else has mentioned Its not Long haul its 4 hrs away to a man made resort. My husband and I just want to escape this awful U.K weather. The kids just want the beach and water park.
Will we need warm clothes for evening?
Any good Spanish restaurants?


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Re: rip-off lanzarote
Posted by: sharon ()
Date: January 22, 2004 01:06AM

hi derek i also am starting to worry as my husband and r going also in march a late booking im starting to wonder if we should go to portugal our normal destination. what have we done..

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Re: rip-off lanzarote
Posted by: Derek ()
Date: January 22, 2004 02:53AM

Hi Sharon,
According to most of the other mails it isn't that bad. So we'll have to see. If all else fails we could always start a riot or maybe streak through town, to give the locals summat to laugh at!! I'll think of something to do, to make sure we enjoy it; no doubt!

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Re: rip-off lanzarote
Posted by: Rachel ()
Date: January 22, 2004 08:26PM

Now, look folks, this is getting silly. this is Rachel, the dark destroyer of holidays!!!! the originator of the Spam spam chips and spam stuff. Lanzarote is NOT a bad island, it is hot, relaxed and just the place to chill out and eat spam (no just joking). Do not worry,your holiday will probably be just what you expect. My expectations, being a pernickety old spam witch, are high because I like to cook (and found I could not because the accomodation kitchen was poor), and because I like to be around people who like to have fun but who know when to cool it (like 3am in the morning) - after all a gal needs her beauty sleep, and if you a pernickety old spam witch, you need all the help you can get, I can tell you! I don't like being ripped off, which the coach tours certainly do, (oh, I have put a spam spell on them so beware of unexpected flat tyres). Other than that, you WILL have a lovely time - promise. One warning, do take a bit more spending money for food if you are self catering, it will cost you more.
However, the brandy is cheap and cheerful, we went thru 3 bottles in a fortnight (my poor liver) and I fell over my broomstick more than once I can tell you!. Come to think of it, Lanzarote felt a bit like Discworld, I almost fell off it.
So, adios amigos, enjoy yourselves and stop being anxious.
with best wishes from the spam witch, rachel xxxxxxxxxxxx

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Re: rip-off lanzarote
Posted by: Dave ()
Date: January 24, 2004 11:46PM

Who wants to self cater when eating out at high standards is so inexpensive ? We always find the steaks & fish are far superior to what we get in the UK. - (we generally eat in Spanish bars)
I've hollidayed in lots of different places & Lanza is def the best.

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Re: christmas in costa teguise
Posted by: daryl ()
Date: January 26, 2004 10:40PM

just booked up for christmas 2004,anyone tried it ?sick of English weather ,chritmas shopping will we be dissapointed? p.s none of us like spam!

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Re: rip-off lanzarote
Posted by: Allan ()
Date: January 28, 2004 09:08PM

Hi daryl

My friend Rachel the "Spam Witch" and I Having spent Chistmas 2003 at Cost Teguise have the following information for you (or read original posting).

Costa Teguise is fairly laid back. we experienced mostly sunny days, a bit coolish when the clouds came over and a bit breezy as well.

Plenty of bars for a cold beer or coffee. Prices vary some what. less pricy when not on the beach frontage.

hope you have accomodation near the town as the hotels further out do not have alternative bars that you can stroll to . The Paradise club was a 2 kilometres to the nearest watering hole(and 2 km back, up hill).

For retail therapy of the electronic kind (watches , cameras, cam corders etc)you will have plenty of choice. If you are considering buying any of these do you homework first (take a copy of Comet or Argos with you as the traders will try to bamboozle you with deals. Stick to your guns and don't pay more than you would in the UK. As they tell you they don't have vat you should get a deal at least 17.5% lower than say the Argos or Comet price. You can alway check the product and then visit an Internet Cafe, check the UK price and go back and if the trader wants more, go somewhere else. It is all part of the therapy for you

Ther are plenty of spam eateries(hamburger clones, Fried Chicken clones etc, if that is what you want, that is your choice... We found typical Spanish restaurants hard to find and they do need seeking out, and are enjoyable having found them.

Watch out for a coach excursion leaflet offering really cheap deals only for British and Irish. Apparently they take you to a presentation to market really expensive beds for about £2000 . and no one leaves until someone has signed up for one!

The promenades are wide and with all sorts of watering holes conveniently placed.

Near Playa Bastian there is a Restaurant perched on a rocky outcrop overlooking the Atlantic and the Petro Chemical works in Arriceife 3 miles down the road. Restaurant is very nice surrounded by the Sea.

If you are on half board you will be ok. If you Self Catering and eat "proper food"(ie healthy ) allow at least £75.00 a week over what you expected to take. The alternative is take a your heart and arteries on High Cholesteral holiday at the "Spam" diners.....

The beaches are Rocky and Sandy. Quite cold you as you would expect in December.

The hotel receptions will book you on an excursion at a lower cost than the Tour reps. They speak good english and are usually helpfull.

Go to Lanzarote and enjoy your christmas

Regards Allan

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Re: rip-off lanzarote
Posted by: rog and val ()
Date: January 29, 2004 02:14AM

Hi Derek,
Dont be put off by those exponents of the term lanzagrotty! Val and I have just returned having enjoyed 2 weeks of lovely sun and gorgeous warm fresh air from the 8th to 22nd of jan. To get away from the worst of the Brits who insist on continuing their U.K. lifestyle - gorging on chips, fizzy larger and The Sun - get a hired car and see the real treasures of Lanzarote.
We stayed at Costa Teguise and although the hotel food was fairly poor we found some great resturants offering beautifully cooked food and at half the price you would pay back home. Best places to visit are the beaches around Orzola, where again you can get delicious fish and no spam in resturants. Spectacular too are the creations of Caesar Manriquez, staggering use of volcanic landscapes both above and below the ground to give the public visual stimulation from way-out locations - try the amazing viewpoint at Mirador del rio at least.
If you like water sports you can pay just 60 euros for a half day scuba diving course without all the hastle of a 2 or 3 day PADI one - great fun and perfectly safe. Windsurfing is ideal here as is surfing in general.
The locals are really friendly and we can recommend a modest but entertaining little cocktail bar next to the El Trebor hotel. Your hosts Juan and Juanni will make you laugh till the early hours at no great cost either.
We are both in our 60's and will break our habit of never returning to the same place twice I'm sure - dam sight better than Rhyl, and we live in Rhos-on-sea just down the road from that "resort"!
So have faith and enjoy what Lanzarote has to offer - its just up to you to discover it.
rog 'n val.

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