Sunshine, space to breathe and an easy flight from the UK: escape the winter blues with a trip to Lanzarote. Supreme Spy found that with eco-villages, wide beaches and hipster bars, the volcanic island is far away from its dated reputation.
Dramatic black and orange sands contrast with pockets of lush green plants and turquoise ocean. In 1993, the whole of Lanzarote was declared a biosphere reserve by UNESCO and from touching down on the plane, through our 45-minute transfer to Princesa Yaiza Resort, all was calm and peaceful.
The large resort – there are 385 rooms – has a welcoming energy. One side opens onto Dorada beach in Playa Blanca, giving grand sea views towards the neighbouring Fuerteventura. Behind, it’s ringed with dark volcanic hills.
The resort centres on the pools and beach front, with a large courtyard of rooms protecting the facilities from the wind and creating a suntrap. There’s shopping, eight restaurants, six pools, a huge kids' activity area and, of course, the spa.
If you visit en famille, the kids' club has an extensive programme and a 10,000 square metre play area including two pools, a football pitch, a climbing wall and a volleyball court. They take children from three to 16, and there’s an area for under-threes to play under adult supervision.
For the spa-addict, take a dip in the six pools – we loved the heated sea water pool with a view of the beach – then meander your way to the Thalasso and Spa Centre. The sea-front spa has a generous treatment menu using popular brands Aromatherapy Associates and Carita, as well as magnesium body treatments which focus on weight loss, detoxing and revitalising the body. If that’s your aim, there’s also a gym and Pilates classes.
The spa is deceptively large. We stepped into the small reception and were given a spa bag filled with a robe, towel and slippers. We changed into our robes and explored…
The facilities are relatively petit compared to some UK spas – when you have sunshine on tap spending time in a sauna and steam may be less tempting. We loved the salt-water hydro pool which has six different types of jets; all powerful enough to relax your muscles before a treatment.
The sauna and steam rooms are in the single-sex changing rooms. The ladies’ steam room has a touch of glamour with polished red tiles and a lion head water feature. The sauna is very traditional with wooden cladding and two benches.
The spa is clean and well kept, with pale floors and white walls giving a sense of space and light. At night the area is lit with candles so you can drift in the warm water and gaze at the twinkling lights on the hydro pool ceiling.
Tell us about your treatments
We tried the Magnesium Wrap.
My therapist, Laura, instantly put me at ease with her professional and reassuring manner. I stepped into a ‘wet’ treatment room and, at Laura’s behest, changed into disposable underwear. She applied a warm, magnesium-rich mud to my skin and asked me to lay on a hard mattress in a solid white machine – it felt more sci-fi than luxe-spa. My head stuck out of the machine while my body was steamed. Laura massaged my head and, after twenty minutes, pressed a button; warm water gushed out of the top of the machine to wash away the mud.
This was a wonderfully enriching wrap that made me feel very fresh.
Next up was a tailored massage using magnesium oil which Laura sprayed onto my skin. She used deep pressure, stretching my muscles and rotating my joints to deliver a thoughtful, elegant treatment. I felt restored and re-invigorated.
Princesa Yaiza is a foodie’s heaven with nine restaurants including Indian, Mexican, Spanish and Japanese. Choose from a relaxed, informal meal or a fine dining experience overlooking the beach. We started our evenings with a drink in the piano bar; the hotel has an extensive wine list including some local wines to try. Sit back and enjoy each other’s company with a glass of your favourite tipple.
The teppanyaki table at Kampai had us in fits of giggles, the chef had willing participants to catch food in their mouths, leaving the rest of us stunned by his skills. The fresh sushi was delicious, and the grilled salmon was melt-in-the-mouth good.
Breakfast also rapidly became one of our favourite meals. There are three buffet restaurants with a la carte stations: we loved the pancakes and freshly-made smoothies.
We loved / we didn’t love
The hydro pool: Blissfully hot and with powerful jets, it was pretty damn perfect in our books.
The garden and sea views: There’s something so enchanting about watching the waves roll in when you’re spa-content.
We didn’t love
The absence of local produce in the spa: Adding a burst of a fresh, locally-grown Canarian orange scent to products would place the spa on the map.
Who do you think would like it?
Princesa Yaiza would make a fantastic family holiday. There’s so much on offer to keep the little ones entertained; you won’t feel guilty sneaking off to the beach, pools and spa.
Foodies will love the resort, too. Work your way around the five a la carte or three buffet restaurants, then circle back to your favourite.
A visit to Timanfaya National Park. We hiked up to the highest point on the island and enjoyed the views over auburn mountain tops with tall geysers shooting steamy water into the air. A great way to work up an appetite before heading back to the hotel for a traditional tapas lunch.