It’s not often we get to review hotels on the island, because we live here!
But last year we won a weekend stay at the Fariones as part of a swimming competition we entered, and we felt it would be a good opportunity to review Puerto del Carmen’s most famous hotel.
The Fariones was one of the first hotels in Lanzarote and it sits at the old town end of the famous “Strip.” It’s a four star establishment and it has had many famous visitors over the years – indeed we interviewed Bertie Ahern there many years ago, when he was serving as Ireland’s Prime Minister.
Parking is a problem as the area can be congested, so your car can end up a little way from the hotel itself – it’s worth stopping at the front for a moment to unload before searching out a parking space.
The first impression walking into the reception is of quiet elegance – it’s a little like stepping back in time, with marble flooring and the staff all wearing jackets. Reception was very welcoming and friendly and we were soon heading for our room.
The view was magnificent – our balcony looked straight down to the beach, and with the door open we could hear the surf. The room was spacious and comfortable and equipped with a fridge and a flat screen television. Unfortunately, there was only one English language channel on the system and no movie options, so there wasn’t really anything for us there. There also isn’t air conditioning in the rooms – not an issue for us at this time of year, but it could be a problem in the summer.
The bathroom was clean and modern and had all the usual shampoos and soaps. We were also provided with dressing gowns and slippers – a nice luxury touch.
In summary, I’d describe the actual accommodation as good, but starting to look a little tired, and I’d suggest the rooms could do with a makeover.
The outside areas of the hotel are simply stunning, though. There’s a beautiful pool area, with a large terrace and paths that meander in and out of the mature garden where you’ll find giant aviaries full of birds. The hotel’s main bar opens right out onto the terrace, and the service is very good. There’s also free wifi in this area for guests (although you have to get a password, which I can never understand!) and it’s a pleasure to enjoy a drink there while doing a little work or reading.
Our tariff was Bed, breakfast and evening meal and so we headed to the restaurant to check out our first evening meal. It’s huge, and very well designed, being sectioned off so that it creates more intimate eating areas. it also opens out onto terracing, so you can choose to eat out of doors as well. The food is all buffet style and there was a sumptuous choice of salads and starters from the cold table, with chefs working from the hot section where they cook your main course to order. On both nights there was a choice of steak, chicken or fish cooked how you like it on the griddle.
One disappointment in the restaurant was that the only local wine served was from Bodega Stratvs.It’s a good wine, but it feels wrong for one of Lanzarote’s great hotels not to be offering some of our other fantastic wines to tourists. I suspect that some kind of exclusive commercial deal has been done with Stratvs, because their products were being advertised throughout the hotel.
Breakfast followed a similar theme, being a buffet. There was a fabulous range of fruit, patisserie, meats and cheeses, and once again the chefs were on hand to cook eggs any way you wanted them.
In summary on the food, I’d say the breakfast was great and the evening meal good, although I think I’d get bored of it during a 7 night stay, and the hotel would benefit from offering a true a la carte menu as an option. I suspect many guests head out to eat to get some variety.
The Fariones has a superb sports centre just across the road, with a gym, gorgeous pool, jacuzzis and various other faciliities. I had really been looking forward to using them, but I was disappointed to find that even as a hotel resident, I still had to pay to do so, albeit with a 20% discount on the price. I can’t remember how much it was going to cost, but we decided against paying to do so as we only had a couple of hours to spare at the point we wanted a workout. It’s perhaps good value if you plan to spend a day there, but not an option for a shorter period.
This was a free visit for us, but the acid test has to be would we pay to stay there?
And the answer is yes – The Fariones offers an elegance and olde worlde charm. It is an oasis of peace and quiet good service, but it is right in the heart of Puerto del Carmen.
You can find out more and book a stay at Los Fariones via their website: Grupo Fariones