Travel

I stayed at brand new Spanish resort to escape the UK winter – and enjoyed heated infinity pools & golden sandy beaches


AS I swim in a heated infinity pool, the sun beats down on the tops of my shoulders and I wonder why it’s taken me 30 years to embrace Spain’s winter sun.

It’s February, and I’m spending a weekend at the Barcelo Playa Blanca in Lanzarote, which only opened to holidaymakers last October.

Barcelo Playa Blanca in Lanzarote only opened to holidaymakers last October

4

Barcelo Playa Blanca in Lanzarote only opened to holidaymakers last OctoberCredit: Barcelo.com
The incredible infinity pool is 180 metres long

4

The incredible infinity pool is 180 metres longCredit: Barcelo.com

It’s my first time staying at a Barcelo hotel, and from the moment I step into the lobby, I’m impressed by its effortlessly chic style.

Gigantic floor-to-ceiling windows offer breathtaking views out to sea, with the hills of neighbouring island Fuerteventura visible in the distance.

According to the hotel’s architect Pep Vich, the entire complex was designed to mimic the island’s volcanic landscape.

And it does so effortlessly, from the azure blue rock pools dotted throughout the complex to the red and black volcanic gravel — the Barcelo Playa Blanca blends into the landscape.

The sprawling resort, with 720 rooms that can accommodate up to 2,000 guests, is set across two large resort complexes, with the Royal level offering an extra air of exclusivity with a private restaurant, adults-only bar and infinity pool.

As well as that incredible infinity pool and a main pool — 180 metres long — there was ample chance to enjoy a dip from the terrace of my swim-up room with direct access to a wonderful meandering pool.

While it was a little cold for a swim in February, my friend and I did dip in the water and pose for photos.

The patio area was also a great spot to watch the sunset.

Most read in Beach holidays

Inside, the decor was calm and luxurious, with neutral colours, a king-size bed and comfy sofa overlooking the terrace.

The large dressing room and separate toilet and shower were also spot on.

While I was enjoying a swim-up treat, even the standard Superior rooms at the hotel would be roomy enough for a family of four.

Tiny Spanish named one of the best in the world in Brit-favourite holiday hotspot

The main Atlantic Buffet sits at the heart of the hotel and is the main place to eat for those who are staying all-inclusive.

There’s also two a la carte restaurants at extra cost, Asian restaurant Koi with its show kitchen and colourful Mexico Lindo.

Royal-level guests can indulge in buffets at breakfast, lunch and dinner at the private Magical restaurant.

My favourite spread was the selection of seafood dishes at lunch, which included clams, prawns and a hot pan of paella.

But the best meal I had was at Mexico Lindo.

On arrival, each diner is given a glass of pink champagne and a small plate of fruit skewers.

I devoured some hearty nachos and loved my grilled octopus main course.

STUNNING SEA VIEWS

It’s also a great spot to order a spicy margarita with a guaranteed kick.

Sports fans can head to the Champs Sports Bar with live games on the huge TVs.

There are two pool bars and one bar in the lobby, each serving drinks and snacks all day, with the highlight being the dry martini.

Holidaymakers who feel like they’ve overindulged can work up a sweat in the hotel’s gym, or kiss goodbye to any toxins at the on-site spa with its lovely indoor pool offering stunning sea views.

For holidaymakers travelling with kids, there are also two separate areas dedicated to children and teenagers.

Younger guests can enjoy a heated children’s pool with a pirate ship and slides, while teens can unwind at the climbing wall.

The resort’s sports centre features a multi-purpose football and basketball court as well as a volleyball court and two paddle tennis courts.

ENJOY THE FREE BAR

While I was content relaxing at the resort, I managed to squeeze one excursion into my weekend getaway — a four-hour cruise with Lineas Romero on board the I Love Papagayo catamaran.

After you are welcomed with a marvellous mojito and a bite of tortilla, the catamaran cruises along the coast while you enjoy the free bar with beer, sangria, water and soft drinks.

The boat dropped anchor near Playa de Papagayo — a golden sandy beach.

While we weren’t able to swim to shore, there was time to kayak and dive into the water before we indulged in a delicious freshly-cooked paella.

It’s safe to say, my swims left me feeling refreshed and a stay at the Barcelo Playa Blanca is certainly guaranteed to bring sunshine into the dark days of winter.

Inside, the decor is calm and luxurious, with neutral colours, a king-size bed and comfy sofa overlooking the terrace

4

Inside, the decor is calm and luxurious, with neutral colours, a king-size bed and comfy sofa overlooking the terraceCredit: Barcelo.com
Take a dip from the terrace of the swim-up room

4

Take a dip from the terrace of the swim-up roomCredit: Barcelo.com

GO: Lanzarote

GETTING THERE: Return easyJet flights from Gatwick to Lanzarote start from £33, while British Airways return flights from Gatwick start from £69. For more info see easyjet.com and britishairways.com.

STAYING THERE: Rooms at Barcelo Active Playa Blanc start from £120 per night for two adults on a B&B basis. See barcelo.com.

OUT & ABOUT: Boat tour costs from £59pp including drinks and snacks. See lineasromero.com.





READ SOURCE