I’m writing this while it’s fresh in my mind so hopefully I won’t forget the important bits. I have to say, of all the years I’ve been sharing our adventures online this has been the holiday that has received the most interest. Particularly on Snapchat. I wasn’t letting the small issue of a broken phone get in the way of me snapping our adventures. The front (selfie) camera still worked so I captured as much as I possibly could and the reaction was really positive. I’ve also vlogged the holiday and you can check that video out here.
So where did we go? Well you all know I am a creature of a habit. I have to laugh when I look at other twenty seven year olds island hopping and slumming it on trains around the world. It was never me. It kind of takes a certain amount of self confidence to be OK with that when you are in your twenties. For years I felt insecure about the fact that I was not a wanderlust. I love holidays but I also love my comforts and as it turns out I really am more than OK with visiting the same place a couple of years in a row. So that is what we’ve done for the past three years. We fell in love with Caleta De Fuste in Fuerteventura and returned year after year. We knew the resort was a ten minute taxi journey from the airport. We knew the weather was great. We knew the beach was a five minute walk and we had already sussed out the best restaurants. It meant that when we arrived for a week’s holiday we really had a full week to enjoy because we didn’t have anything to figure out as such. For me that felt like a holiday. Wandering around eating ice-cream, splashing in the sea and planning our next yummy meal.
This year was a spanner in the works. We decided to branch out and visit somewhere different because my husband found a great deal online. It was in the Costa Teguise resort in Lanzarote. We had visited Lanzarote before but only Puerto Del Carmen and we felt that was probably better when we just had ourselves to think about. A free shot out of a test tube just doesn’t have the same appeal when you’ve a toddler in the buggy belting out Paw Patrol tunes. Somewhere new sounded like a good idea. My husband has a serious skill when it comes to booking holidays. I think it’s from all those Ireland trips (as he calls them) where he went to see the ROI football team play in the randomest of countries and he would often get 2-3 flights and travel in a bizarre pattern just to make the game or be able to afford it. He’s great at finding a deal. It was about January as far as I remember. He was looking on alpharooms.com and found an amazing deal that required only a €1 deposit. Booking a holiday this early was completely alien to me but he said it was worth it so I naturally agreed. It was for the Grand Teguise Playa hotel and it was all-inclusive for €750 for the three of us for ten days. A seriously good deal, particularly for a place so well rated. He said it was 100% a mistake and was less than half price for that time of year (August) but worth the chance.
And then Alpha Rooms contacted him. It was indeed a mistake but because it was their error they honoured the price but couldn’t honour the hotel as there were no vacancies that week. And so our booking was changed to Beatriz Costa And Spa Hotel instead. Another hotel that was very highly rated and one we wouldn’t have bothered even looking at because it was so expensive. So we found ourselves with a 10 day all inclusive holiday to an amazing hotel for €1500 all in. The flights were €750. It was a serious bargain and we just ran with it.
From the moment we arrived at Beatriz Costa And Spa I knew it was somewhere we didn’t “belong” and I mean that in a light hearted way. We were made to feel so welcome and it was full of normal people like us but it wouldn’t be somewhere that we would typically even consider because of the price. It is totally worth the money at full price but would just be out of our budget. Every other day we met a person by the pool who asked us if we got a decent deal. After day 3 we started lying because people just couldn’t believe how cheap we got the holiday. We met a couple who paid £1000 for one week half board and we had gotten 10 days full board for €750. That’s an extra two meals a day and an extra three days.
What a place though! When we first arrived I was a bit put off by the walk down to the beach. We had been spoiled in Caleta De Fuste with a five minute stroll and this was a twenty five minute walk. Weirdly enough this became something we actually really enjoyed. There was something magical about being away from “it all”. When you are in a hotel like this you really don’t actually have to leave for anything. All of your meals, snacks, beers, ice-cream, juices, fruit and entertainment is on site. We could have happily stayed in the hotel every day and been very happy. The walk down to the town and the beach was a nice little routine we got in to after breakfast. It was lovely to just get a walk in. That is the thing about all-inclusive. Because your food is right in front of you, you don’t stroll around the town looking for restaurants. This was a nice excuse to get the legs moving and break up the day. We would pop Billy in the buggy and enjoy the walk in the sun. We would grab an ice-cream, bring Billy down to the trampolines (the first year he tried the ones with the harnest and he adored it) and spend an hour or two on the beach. The immediate beach was lovely but we discovered that if we walked around the coats for a further fifteen minutes there was an incredible beach with crystal clear water, tonnes of fish and most importantly… a proper functioning toilet. Very handy for a newly toilet trained three year old.
We pretty much visited that beach every single day. Sometimes we would lose track of time and end up missing lunch at our hotel but it was fine because due to the really good deal we got we didn’t mind paying €20 for a pizza or sandwich with a nice cold drink while Billy slept in the buggy. It was actually really lovely. We’d then get back to the hotel and spend the later afternoon and early evening in the swimming pool. It was a much nicer time, for us, in many ways. The pool was warmer (one of the pools is heated by the way) and quieter and we had a choice of beds (not that we were sun bathing but getting one by the baby pool was handy) and the weather was just dreamy. It was so warm but had that coming-in-to-evening freshness. It was just lovely and nicely brought us to about 6.30 when we would go to our room, shower and get ready for dinner. I loved our little holiday routine.
In terms of transfers we used First Minute Travel. We only booked it the week of the holiday and it was €40 return. We would highly recommend the service. We had our own private mini van pick up and it came equipped with a car seat already. It was one of the least stressful transfers experiences we have ever had. It also hugely helped that the resort of Costa Teguise is only twenty minutes from the airport and with children this kind of thing is worth it’s weight in gold (especially on the way back when parents are crankier due to the inevitable holiday-blues that start to creep in).
The entertainment in the hotel was one of the highlights. The animation team are just incredible. Everything from a Disney show (I was in heaven) to magicians, acrobats and Flamingo Dancing (we’ll ignore the fact that in the middle of this show Billy shouted “this is bleedin’ shite”). These guys work so hard. You see them at breakfast and they are still entertaining the crowd until midnight. I loved their ritual at the end of each evenings show. They would welcome everyone on stage and encourage everyone to join in with their coreographed dances to songs we all recognised. Everyone just loved it. They had a mini disco at 8.30pm every night and Billy adored it so we purposely planned to finish our dinner by this time so that he could enjoy it. Meanwhile Mammy and Daddy enjoyed a beer and a Malibu & Pineapple (officially my holiday drink…. gotta love all inclusive).
The food was gorgeous. There will always be people who complain or are not 100% happy but we were absolutely delighted with it. So much choice and we enjoyed every single meal. At breakfast there was everything from hot English breakfasts to every baked good under the sun, pancakes, tonnes of fresh fruit and yoghurt and then continental offerings like cheeses, meats, dates, tomatoes, salads and cereals. They were missing nothing. Dinner always had lots of choice including amazing seafood, delicious pizza, fresh salad and paella that was out of this world. They did themed nights such as Mexican, Asian & Spanish. There was always a nice buzz in the restaurant and the staff work so so hard. Big shout out to Gustavo who was Billy’s favourite. He always greeted him with a big smile and a high five. Miriam in the bar was also a pleasure to meet every day. These people work so hard and are a joy to speak to.
The animation team were also great at doing this throughout the day and it makes the kids feel really special. Billy was a little young for the kids club but I still felt as though he was very much part of that throughout our holiday.
There is a Spa in the hotel but we didn’t get a chance to visit. I heard great things about it though. On top of this the animation team constantly have activities throughout the day such as water aerobics, Kangoo Jumps, Dancing and even Yoga on paddle boards in the water in the evening which looked so relaxing.
What else can I say other than we really fell in love with Costa Teguise. On the second last day we found the most incredible pancake place. I have never tasted pancakes like this. Fluffy American style pancakes that will fill you for half the day. So so good as a treat. And the beach just made it for us. People would bring bits of bread in to the water and the fish literally jumped up and took it from their hands. It was amazing.
We flew with Ryanair and the flight was stress-free. Billy napped for a good chunk of the flight over whereas on the way back he was awake for most of it but it was still absolutely fine. Our experience of Lanzarote airport was so straight forward too. We left our hotel at 8.30am and by 9.15am we were through security and all!
Little tips I’d like to add because they might just help you
- We used Premier Parking at Quickpark in Dublin Airport which at first I thought was a waste but actually I’d highly recommend. We’ve always used Quickpark but this means you get off the shuttle bus at the first stop and you don’t have to spend an age looking for your car. It’s like a valet parking service so they take your keys and park the car right beside the bus stop. Very handy.
- Priority Boarding is a game-changer. I’ll admit I’ve rolled my eyes at people in that queue in the past but now we’ll always do it. With children it makes life so much easier and for an extra €18 it made both flights a lot calmer for us. Billy is not good at waiting for, well, anything and this meant that we could just stroll straight on the plane both times at the very last minute without having to queue up. Now I know why people do it.
- The Boots Meal Deal is the best option for food. Lets be honest, airport food is over-priced and you’re never really relaxed enough to enjoy it (with kids). We always get the Boots Meal Deal and have it on the plane. It’s only €4.75 and you get a nice sandwich, choice of crisps and a choice of drink. Three meal deals cost us what one airport breakfast would have cost and we really enjoyed it. There is tonnes of choice and plenty of healthy and child-free options. We saved ours for the actual plane journey and that worked out well. We just bought a cuppa to go with it.
- Bring the buggy. If you are on the fence just bring it. We would have been lost without it even though we don’t use it at home. My aunt who has an almost five year old was raging she didn’t bring hers this year. Little legs get tired and bigger legs get frustrated when it takes an hour to get somewhere. It’s so handy for a cat-nap on the go and it’s handy to throw the beach stuff and bags in too. We kept ours until right before we got on the plane and it was waiting for us when we got off!
And that’s a wrap. 2017 family holiday was brilliant and I’d highly recommend both the hotel and the resort. If you have any questions just ask.