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Hotel Sandos Papagayo Beach Resort Hotel 4 star
Easyexperts
Las Acacias 6 Playa Blanca, Spain -
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Amy Adejokun Section editor

The Sandos Papagayo Arena is the largest hotels on the island with 488 rooms, situated between Playa Blanca and Papagayo. It is a labyrinth of concrete buildings and pools that can get extremely busy and animated in the high season (June-August). The large resort is right on the coast and is ideal for families looking for a holiday where absolutely everything is included without accommodation, peace and quiet or authenticity of the island being a priority. Most tourists here tend to spend their time basking in the sun after downing a couple of pints and a stack of pancakes at the second breakfast offered at the pool bar. The resort doesn't quite do justice to the island's focus on nature, which is a shame and the décor is nothing to write home about.

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    • Hotel Sandos Papagayo Beach Resort

      Sandos Papagayo Beach Resort   -   © Loïc Lautard / EasyVoyage

    • Hotel Sandos Papagayo Beach Resort

      Sandos Papagayo Beach Resort   -   © Loïc Lautard / EasyVoyage

       
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    Location 7.0 /10

    The hotel is situated between the animated tourist hotspot of Playa Blanca, the furthest spot found south west of the island after Puerto del Carmen, another popular tourist hang out blessed with restaurants and bars stripped of all Lanzarote authenticity, and Papagayo, a nature reserve. The advantage is that Papagayo and its various coves and beaches are only a short drive away. For any sightseeing tourists must head further north of the island, or west to the volcano park of Timanfaya.

    Accommodation 7.45 /10

    This huge resort has a whopping 488 rooms, giving the establishment a crowded feel during high season. The rooms are extremely basic but do the trick for holidaymakers looking to spend most of their time outdoors sunbathing by the pool. The cheap melamine furniture is rather garish, but the soft furnishings have recently been changed for plain bright green and flowery patterns, which add a fresh bright look to the otherwise non-characteristic room. The rooms look a lot more attractive than at most hotels we have seen in these types of resorts on the island. The rooms are fairly spacious with balconies looking out to the sea. All rooms have twin beds pushed together, an old generation television, a dresser and tea and coffee making facilities. An effort has been made to add a wooden screen detail as an attempt to create a separation between the seating area and sleeping area. Also the terracotta coloured rattan furniture hasn't quite reached the garish level that left us disturbed at some of the other resorts. The detail on the furniture almost gives it charm which is set off by the art work on the cheerful yellow walls.

    Upon arrival guests will usually be welcomed by a skilful arrangement of towel origami ? towels folded in the shape of elaborate swans or elephants on the beds will greet guests. There is also plenty of storage in the rooms for guests to unpack their suitcases. The larger rooms have a sofa bed for young children.

    The bathrooms all have bathtubs. They are on the smaller side and are a bit dark and drab. Larger rooms have double sinks. The bathroom amenities are packet products, so do bring your own if you like your toiletries.

    Overview 7.45 /10

    With a maximum capacity if 2000 guests in high season, the Sandos is the largest resort on the island. It is found on a slight hill and seems to tower above the surrounding area. Upon entering the large non-descript shopping-centre-like lobby, the atmosphere is cold and slightly daunting due to the size of the interior and the lack of its utilisation. Further to the right, down the long lobby, you will notice that it takes on a rather odd rounded tower-like structure that we found difficult to size up. It is hard to see what lurks on the top floor of the structure, but on the ground floor, tourists will find a café and water feature in an attempt to render the area more interesting. The area then leads on to the exterior space of the resort. On the first floor, a games area (pool, ping pong...) is visible. The reception is thus on the second floor.

    The resort is located right on the seafront, but the beach, Las Coloradas, isn't one of the best in the area as the sand is fairly gritty and pebbly and the water doesn't have the transparent turquoise qualities you would find in Playa Blanca or Papagayo.

    The outdoor areas of the hotel comprise mainly of the large glass fronted buildings and severely lack vegetation. The exterior areas are arranged over two levels, with a pool on each. The pools are large and look appealing after spending hours sunbathing under the hot Spanish sun, however the area gets very crowded and noisy.

    The resort also has a somewhat unruly spa with indoor pool, gym and mountain-facing tennis courts. In the evenings, there are animation shows in the lounge bar.

    Food and drink 7.45 /10

    The resort has four restaurants in total: Pizzeria Veneto, Pon Hai Tau (serving oriental food - reservation necessary), Maison Jaune (French à la carte restaurant) and the main restaurant offering a buffet at all three meals. There is also a snack bar situated between the two main pools. Breakfast from 8:00am to 10:30am. Lunch from 1:00pm-3:15pm. Dinner from 7:00pm to 9:45pm. Fast food: Hot and cold snacks, ice-cream, water, soft drinks, wine and beer are available 24 hours. Evenings meals: men are required to wear long trousers and swimwear is not allowed in any of the restaurants. Most guests that stay here choose the all-inclusive meal plan. A word of warning: as the restaurants, especially the main buffet restaurant, cater for a large number of guests (up to 2000 people in high season), meal times are not always relaxing affairs with crowds, queues and whining children, so do take bags of patience with you! The dining rooms tend to be extremely large and impersonal too, rendering the atmosphere canteen-like. You can also opt to eat at the other restaurants at the resort but this would be more expensive, especially for a family. If you plan on renting a car and are prepared to spend a little more on meals than you would if you chose the all-inclusive plan, then explore the island, which has some good and reasonably-priced eateries.

    Beach 7.20 /10

    The resort is situated right on the seafront on the Las Coloradas beach, which isn't one of the island's most beautiful beaches, but it is more wild than those covered in tourist bodies basking in the sun on Playa Dorada in Playa Blanca or Playa Pocillos in Puerto del Carmen. However, the more intimate nooks and crannies of Papagayo are only a short drive away.

    To know

    Since it opened in 2003, there has been a lot of controversy surrounding the construction of this resort, which has been deemed illegal according to the island's current laws, which date back to local artist, César Manrique's implication in the preservation of Lanzarote's natural assets from mass tourism. At the time, the government and Manrique's were on par with regards to a tourism philosophy. However, today structures like the Sandos Papagayo have been authorised by the authorities despite the plans not respecting the law. For example the hotel is right on the coastline, which is not allowed, and exceeds the four floors limit.

    Otherwise, Sandos is a Spanish hotel chain with properties in Cancùn, the Riviera Maya, the Dominican Republic and Costa Blanca as well as Lanzarote.

    Equipment

    • Shuttle bus
    • Car park
    • Handicap access
    • Restaurant
    • Internet access
    • Air conditioning
    • Spa

      massage, beauty salon, sauna, hammam, keep fit, spa, Turkish bath, wellness

    • Swimming pool
    • Sports equipment

      tennis, gym, aqua gym, aerobics, volleyball, basketball, golf, mountain bike, archery, water-polo, fitness, sports

    • Animals allowed
    • Hairdresser
    • Whirlpool bath
    • Safe
    • Non-smoking rooms
    • Solarium

    advantage

    • Situated in a quieter location than most hotels.
    • A variety of restaurants on offer.
    • Good value for families on a budget.
    • The rooms being averagely attractive in comparison to other hotels of this type on the island.
    • The views out to Fuerteventura, the neighbouring island.
    • The mountain-facing tennis courts up on the roof of the resort.

    disadvantages

    • The largely concrete structure.
    • The large size of the resort - with 488 rooms, it is the largest resort on the island.
    • The drab décor throughout the hotel.

    Traveller Reviews

    • Overall Score nc/10
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