Now I know the title sounds bad, but really it wasn’t as bad as all that, there was only the odd wart and I’ll come to those.

We had booked the Smartline Ficus Hotel, through Thomas Cook .

The Ficus is rated as a 3* where you can book either All Inclusive or self catering, we chose the AI as to be honest there wasn’t much between the price, and it was a really good price.

Lanzarote Oct 2014

As we were later than expected arriving, due to the bus breaking down, we were told if we wanted some food we could go straight into the restaurant to grab some lunch before they closed at 3pm,  this was about 2:45pm and we were a little peckish. We were surprised that as they were due to close they still had a full selection of food and amazingly for a buffet it was all hot, there was 6 of us that had checked in and we all commented that this was a good start to the holiday as the food seemed really nice.

During the whole week we were really pleased with the food and always found something to eat. It was always hot and there was plenty of choice. We had read prior to going that some people said it was very repetitive, ok they had chips every day and pasta of some sort, but there was always different sauces & different types of pasta, there was always a selection of different vegetables, which were really well cooked.

Everyday there was fish, about 3 different meats, including roast beef, veal, pork, duck on the carvery, there was always a chicken or turkey dish done in various way’s, soups, salads, various breads, we only had burgers and pizza once during the week. 

At breakfast there was a large choice form various breads, crusty bread, bread to toast, cereals, yoghurts, jam’s, marmalade, scrambled and fried eggs, bacon, sausages, beans, pancakes, fruit, biscuits, 2 coffee machine’s with black, white, cappuccino, latte’s and hot chocolate, 3 different fruit juices. I defy anyone to find something they didn’t like.

But there were still people who moaned about it and some even said they ate out as they didn’t like the food. Were not sure what they ate at home but we were really impressed but the choices and the freshness of the food. I went onto a holiday review site and a family we know were there when we were slated the food!

Our room was huge, it had a separate bedroom and living room area, with a large bathroom and nice big balcony.

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I managed to take plenty of pics from the balcony, but forgot to take any of the room!

WART ALERT

We did have an unwanted visitor  Ian spotted a cockroach 1 night when he went to the bathroom, but it scurried away before he could turn the light on, the next night he turned the light on 1st and it was in the bathroom again, so what did he do? He woke me up to sort it out! Cheers Ian 😛 I managed to put a plastic cup over it in the shower cubicle and then a ceramic cup over it in case it managed to ram it’s way out! We popped to reception the next morning and before we’d even finished telling him, he was already on the phone to housekeeping to sort it out, which they did and also left us a can of cockroach killer just as a precaution. Thankfully we didn’t need to use it as we never saw another.

There was plenty of daytime entertainment you could join in with if you wanted to and you weren’t put under any pressure at all, Ian and I did the daily quiz round the pool when we were there and even won it twice for getting the top score …… whoooohoooo get us brainboxes!! 😉 Kim and Liam were great and worked hard, even with some of the kids they were having to deal with, even though there wasn’t a kids club at the hotel (it was down the road but no-one seemed to bother with it) The pool at times did get a bit over run with lilo’s, it was like lilo city at some points!

Next time we will check when all the school holiday’s are as we managed to hit the Scottish half term and boy are the kids noisy! Well 1 in particular, within a few hours she’d been nicknamed “gobby” and sadly she thought she had to shout all the time and her parent’s seemed immune to it!

Our winning certificates

We went to the welcome meeting to find out what trips were available and chose the free PAL trip, we knew we were going to get a “chat” about something whilst on the trip but we weren’t sure what. It turned out it was for beds and bedding. Although it was tempting we didn’t buy a bed or the bedding. 

After the “chat” we were taken to the south of the island to Puerto Calero where we had some free time. We nipped into a lovely little cafe called Café de la Plaza, which had only been open a couple of weeks and is owned by a Londoner, where we shared a slice of gorgeous no cook chocolate cake mmmmmmmmmmmm and she had some really cute salt and pepper pots.

I will add that there was NEVER any pressure put on us to buy from PAL during the trip.

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We wanted to go to Teguise market, which is a huge local market held every Sunday. Whilst out for a walk we spotted a trip to the market for €4 each, which was half most were charging. We were picked up at 9:45am (there was another bus at 9am but Ian decided this was too early for him!) and it was only about 20mins drive to the market and we had about 3hrs there.

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The market was full of traditional and local goods, plus a lot of cough cough designer gear. 3hrs was more than enough time there. We were ready to leave after 2hrs.

The weather was lovely, warmer than we thought, but we did have a couple of cloudy day’s which were welcomed by some. Lanzarote is lovely, but there really isn’t much to look at, there are over 140 volcanoes and the landscape reflects that.

WART ALERT

In the height of the season I can imagine the hotel would feel too busy and with the lack of air con in the rooms would be totally over bearing, our room most nights was registering 25.8!! This was about as warm as we could manage with no air con so sorry it must be a wart. But we did know before we went that there no air con before we went and wouldn’t have gone there in mid season knowing that.

As I said there were a few moaners, but it was like Brits abroad, if they don’t get what they get at home then they moan, stay at home if that’s the way you feel about trying new things. Although when they turn up with their own mugs, jam, coffee and bingo dobbers you know you’re in for a Brits holiday! Lol

For the price we paid we were more than happy with our week away. Thanks Thomas Cook you did great.

 
Westin Gourmet

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