2 years ago we went to Majorca in the Balearic islands for an Easter break and although we have a great time, we wanted something a little warmer this time around.
After searching around, the Canary Islands, off the coast of Africa, seemed the best, and most cost effective option. We started to look around for different options and Lanzarote seemed to stand out. Not only did it come across as a great place to go on holiday, many friends and family had also recommended it to us.
Jet2 not TUI
We are normally loyal TUI customers when it comes to booking a package holiday. We have always found the process to be very straight forward and easy to understand and the staff always very helpful and polite. Coupled with some great hotels we looked again for a TUI break.
However, when searching it was clear that other options were going to be a lot cheaper.
We had set of the H10 Rubicon Palace hotel in Playa Blanca on the southern coast of Lanzarote, and the exact same holiday which Jet2 holidays worked out around £700 cheaper. This was something that we could not ignore and therefore opted to give Jet2 a go.
The flights were excellent in what seemed like brand new airplanes. Me being over 6ft tall always struggle for leg room and with the planes being 3 seats, isle and then 3 seats, and with the boys both wanting a window seat, I never manage to get an isle seat.
However I had more than enough leg room on what was a longer than usual flight at just over 4 hours flight time.
We particular liked the fact that you can check-in your luggage from your hotel (this is hotel specific) and then you can go straight through security (printed boarding passes allow this of course) without bag check-in at the airport. The next time you see your luggage is in Manchester when they are collected off the luggage belts.
H10 Rubicon Palace
This hotel is a 5-star hotel. In Majorca, we always stay at the 4-star Bonaire hotel in Cala Bona. To be perfectly honest I am not sure what the difference is, apart from the fact that there is no self-catering in the Rubicon Palace. We were half-board, which for us, is not as good as being self-catering. If we had a choice, it would be the 4-star Bonaire hotel that would be our favourite.
We found things a little confusing and although the staff are polite, pleasant, well mannered and speak immaculate English, we found some of their answers confusing.
I guess this all started when we arrived and asked reception where the nearest place was where we could go and buy some water and provisions, such as milk etc. We were told the nearest place was Playa Blanca, some 45 minutes walk or around a 6 euro Taxi trip there and back.
We were not convinced about this and therefore actually went and asked the only rep we could find, which happened to be the TUI rep. She indicated there was a small supermarket a couple of hundred metres down the coastal path. We found this and it was perfect.
Being half-board meant that we had the opportunity of using the restaurants on site for 3 of the 7 evening meals throughout our holiday. The other meals we could use the buffet restaurant.
At check-in we were advised to book these asap and therefore once we have dropped things off in the room, we headed down to the touch screens to do just that.
At first we (and I am quite techy) could not get them to work. It wouldn’t allow us to enter the right number of people. Additionally it seemed that throughout the entire week of our stay, we could only manage to find 2 slots in 2 restaurants after 21:00. Not much good to us with kids of course.
This was not a good experience, having to use touch screens to book that didn’t work well (I noticed later in the week, they both displayed the Windows blue screen of death on a number of occasions) and worse still not being able to dine in the restaurants. We spoke to the Jet2 rep at the welcome meeting and she obviously had words. We returned to our room that evening with 3 bookings slipped under the door.
The buffet restaurant
The food was OK in this restaurant, it is just a shame that we never end up spending time eating together as a family here. This is because one person remains at the table, to order drinks etc. and keep an eye on valuables whilst others get their food. When they return you go and get your food. Therefore you are never really sat at the table together to eat.
It is also a bit of a mad scramble to get food and a bit of a free-for all. We did have some nice food though. There was some lovely Pasta dishes as well as excellent pizza.
We spent one evening at the rather bizarre Oh Dinner! event. A performance (mimed in Spanish and English) is given before you and you eat dinner at the same time.
The food was not great for this, except the pudding which was lovely and it was hard to follow the story in the show – Beauty and the Beast.
The Steak House
This was our favourite meals of the week. We got a lovely 3-course meal. I had crispy cod fritters with tartar sauce for starters, followed by steak (obviously!) and a cheesecake for pudding. The restaurant is set on the waters edge of the main pool and you get lovely views.
La Dolce Vita – Italian
On our final night it was an Italian at La Dolce Vita restaurant. Italian is a family favourite and the food was excellent here. I had a Mozzarella salad to start, following by chicken with mushroom risotto and profiteroles to finish. All washed down with a beer and some red wine which was also lovely.
I think this, along with the Steak House earlier in the week was my favourite restaurants.
Throughout the week we only really needed a light lunch to eat during the day after a good breakfast every morning. So, top tip if you are on a similar half-board holiday, opt for the
The football cage
Throughout the week, we made frequent use of the hotels multi-sports court, or as it became known, the football cage!
James spent most of the last 3 days there with me watching, playing with other children at the hotel as well as getting involved in a late-night game on Sunday evening organised by the hotel entertainment staff. He was the youngest by far in the game and did really well.
Walks and runs to Playa Blanca and back
We had plenty of walks along the front, sometimes into Playa Blanca and sometimes a little closer. Often this would be at lunchtime in order to find a restaurant for some dinner.
I did have a couple of runs to Playa Blanca and back. It takes so much more out of you in the heat and therefore my times were pretty poor!
Messing by the pool
With it being the Easter holidays the temperatures, although pretty warm were not particularly hot and therefore this meant that the pools were a little on the nippy side.
The hotel does have one heated pool and this took some courage getting into but once in it was fine.
Harry spend much of the afternoons in the pool splashing around and meeting new friends to play with.
I can imagine that in the summer the pools here would be amazing. The largest in the hotel, a salt-water pool was almost empty as it was too cold. They are beautiful pools though.
Missing self catering
This holiday was half-board and if truth be told I would definitely prefer self-catering. Eating out for every meal not only ends up costing more but you just yearn for something more simply by the end of the week.
The Island of Lanzarote
The island is very unique but equally interesting and amazing at the same time. Well worth a visit if you get the chance.