The Arrecife Gran Hotel is a landmark on the island as it is the only tall building of Lanzarote at seventeen floors. It stands out like a saw thumb and marks the capital, Arrecife. Situated right at the tip of the capital along the beach, the hotel does have a somewhat cold and hostile appearance with a smooth green glass exterior that glistens in the sunshine. This is more of a business hotel, but leisure guests do tend to stop by. The hotel restaurant, right at the top, is a good place to stop by for a spot of lunch due to the magnificent views. A good choice for holidaymakers wanting to stay somewhere near the capital and close to a beach, however not the best option if what you're looking for is bit of a holiday atmosphere.
The Arrecife Gran Hotel is located on the edge of Arrecife as you enter the capital, on the seafront. There is a car park around the hotel which is a couple minutes' walk from a long sandy beach. The hotel is hard to miss - it is the only tall building of the island.
Opened in 2004 as the Arrecife Gran Hotel, it has been largely criticised for breaking the mould that was so carefully designed by local artist, CÚsar Manrique, who revolutionised the idea of anti-mass tourism by working with the government to restrict all buildings to four floors, white walls and blue or green window and door frames. The irony is that the building actually dates back to 1969, long before the current hotel came to set up shop. Today is remains an icon, a symbol that represents a type of architecture that is not suited to Lanzarote philosophy.
The building is entered from the street side. The lobby is large and feels like entering a bank due to its cold marble floors, glass panelling and spacious interiors. There is Wi-Fi throughout the hotel and there are also a couple of computer terminals in the lobby. There used to be a bar to the right of the reception desk which has closed and is waiting to be reconverted. The rooms are found on the higher floors up until the 15th. On the next floor up you will find a dark, somewhat redundant space with a grand piano - this floor is used mainly for conferences and although guests can sit and relax here, there isn't much to look at. Upstairs you will find the rooms. The gym and spa are on the sale floor as the roof-top pool. It is a shame because the pool area looks a little barren but could be made a little more pleasant despite the passing traffic down below. Higher up you will find the buffet restaurant, the Ó la carte restaurant and bar, boasting wonderful views of the island. The spa is fairly large but is in dire need of a refurbishment as it is dark and not very appealing or relaxing. It doesn't look like many guests use this area.
There are 160 rooms in total ranging from standards to doubles and suites. For the best views, we recommend booking a room on one of the top floors. The rooms are spacious. They have hard wood floors and yellow walls, which brightens up the space. The rooms all have the usual basic mod-cons; television (old generation), mini bar and safe. The grey marble bathrooms are on the small size but all have bath tubs. There are hotel own-brand amenities. The suites are a little larger, with two rooms separated by sliding double doors for intimacy - the sofa in the living area folds out into a bed. These rooms are located at the corners of the building meaning a double window looking out onto the sea. For people with restricted movement or in a wheelchair, the hotel has four adapted rooms.
The restaurant and bar are found on the top floor, which floats above the rest of island - there is nowhere else on the island for views of Arrecife and beyond. The restaurant is open for lunch and dinner only. The space has been well-appointed; although the restaurant caters for a large number of diners, intimacy has been created by diving up the seating with platforms and glass panels. The menu is a mix of international dishes at affordable prices. Guests here have the choice between two meal plans: bed and breakfast or half-board. There is often live entertainment in the bar area in the evenings.
Beaches in Lanzarote have been kept public so no hotel has its own exclusive beach. However the Gran Arrecife is within seconds of a long wide beach which is surprisingly appealing in the sunshine despite the cars driving past. The beach is clean and sandy and a good option for a break if staying in the capital.
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