Lanzarote has been a popular holiday destination for more than forty years and this year has been no different, with visits from the British Prime Minister, David Cameron and his family and the TV presenter Alex Polizzi, best known for her appraisal of struggling hotels in the UK.
However, whilst the Cameron family chose to stay in a rural retreat and visited plenty of the more authentic and unspoiled parts of the island, Ms Polizzi and her family decided to visit the five star Princesa Yaiza hotel and didn’t venture beyond the resort of Playa Blanca. As a result, her appraisal of the island was very lacklustre and she confessed that it didn’t ‘capture her imagination’ the way St Lucia had.
She even went further to say: “There is nothing architecturally stimulating and the landscape is as barren as the moon.” But as she didn’t visit any of the Manrique attractions, nor the northern half of the island, she was hardly in a position to appreciate what aesthetic riches there are.
Which only goes to prove that it is possible to visit this lovely volcanic island and not come away with a very positive impression. Whilst her praise of the hotel in which she stayed was fulsome, the decision to stay solely within the confines of the grounds and explore only the seafront promenade was a mistake.
Many holiday makers who choose all inclusive deals will find themselves in a similar position, especially as most of the hotels offering this kind of package don’t come anywhere near the excellent facilities offered by the Princesa Yaiza. Yet tourists of this kind complain that their experience of Lanzarote has been less than amazing and they probably wouldn’t come back.
In contrast, the Camerons were reported as having thoroughly enjoyed the holiday and Samantha Cameron in particular was quite taken with the island. Despite the fact that they came with a security team and other adjutants, they were able to get out and see precisely how unique Lanzarote is.
Apart from a morning in Teguise, learning to surf at Famara and a visit to the Jameos del Agua, they also drove around much of the island, getting a feel for the extraordinary landscapes and the incredible marriage of nature with design that Manrique was able to incorporate into each of the seven attractions he created to distinguish Lanzarote’s tourist industry from that found in most other Spanish resorts.
However, the good thing is that Ms Polizzi intends to come back at Christmas and hopefully this time, she and her family will actually see a bit more of the island than during their first visit.