On Sunday afternoon our family of 4 (Emma, Paul, Sam (4) and Harry (22 months)) flew home from an amazing holiday we will remember forever. From the moment we arrived at the Flamingo in Lanzarote (a perfect 26 degrees with a lovely breeze and no time change!) we were presented with canapés and drinks and made to feel so special. It was absolute paradise for kids, and lots of our enjoyment came from seeing them so happy. Here’s why we love, love loved it!
The most amazing crèche and kids club EVER!
I’m going to start with telling you about the crèche for 0-35 month olds. I was nervous about the crèche. Harry is with me all the time at home, and I didn’t know how he would take to it, but he loved it immediately. The girls were so wonderful with him, and due to the time of year (peak season for big kids but not for babies) he often had at least one nanny all to himself (the ratio is never higher than one to three). He went for two hours every day in the end, and every day I collected a giggling toddler face-painted as a pirate or painting with his hands and feet, and sometimes he was pushed around the complex in a little car, which he adored. The girls really loved Harry, and we all shed a tear when we had to say goodbye! I paid about £7.50 per 2 hour session, and Harry had a great learning experience and came home with new skills and words, which is amazing! More importantly, we got some Emma and Paul time, just to sunbathe, which is so rare, and was so wonderful.
The crèche also ran stay and play sessions for mummies and daddies to take their little ones two, and this is included in your price.
You never know how your kids will feel about going to kids club, but Sam went to little stars for 3-5 year olds 21 times during our stay, all at his request! The sessions were fabulous, he had various play and learn sessions, learning about volcanos and dinosaurs, and pirates…there was a lot of face paint involved! He also enjoyed football sessions with FA qualified coaches and art and music sessions too. The leaders were absolutely fantastic, and had so much energy for the kids. There were a total of 6 sessions a day on offer, including evening sessions. Some of the sessions are combined with the older age group so that brothers and sisters can play together. Kids clubs are free from 3-11 years.
The hotel facilities:
First and foremost I must mention how good the hotel was for helping people with little ones to get around. There were buggy ramps everywhere, and several kids there in wheelchairs, and I loved the fact that the resort was so inclusive of everybody, and so accommodating. I was never short of offers for help, ever!
Your kids could never be bored here…there was an amazing splash park, a mickey mouse little ones pool, and various other pools too. There was entertainment and games pretty much all day long, with pool parties, quizzes, skittles, painting, and songs, and on top of that you could join Stage, football or swim academy (charged locally) if you were over six. One day Paul and I had a go on the aerial assault course, which was included too, and great fun, and the boys enjoyed the widgets workshop (mini disco) in the evenings. The widgets are puppets, much like Sesame Street characters who appear at the disco and around the pool, and the kids just adore them. The also love the “Chocolate” song, which is one of HV “party dance” songs. All of this said, there were quiet areas, and the entertainment was never overwhelming.
The Blue Moon Bar hosted entertainment until 11, but our kids were too little to stay up, I heard that the Cabaret was top notch though!
Oh my gosh, I am so fat! The all inclusive food was like a dream. In the main buffet we had a great range of fresh, healthy food, with meat grilled to order, and not so healthy food like chocolate fountains, chocolate cake, ice-cream and sweeties! There was a great range for breakfast too, though I found the Belgian waffles too hard to resist! You could get popcorn and ice-cream all day long at each of the various bars, which serve on tap water, fizzy drinks, juices, slushies, teas and coffees, alcohol, you name it, they do it!! There were also some lovely a la carte choices and we especially loved the Tavern by the Sea which was simply stunning and served yummy tapas. It was so amazing.
The great thing about all inclusive is that you, as parents, get a real break. For two glorious weeks I didn’t clear up under my son’s high chair! And if there’s something they won’t eat, you have the freedom to choose something else. I also loved that Harry, being under two, was free of charge, and yet practically ate them out of house and home!
I have already mentioned the amazing kids club staff, but the “people in pink” (the reps) as a whole literally walk around all day smiling and saying hello to guests, they are so happy and ready to help with anything they possibly can. The Spanish hotel staff who run clean up in the restaurants and clean the rooms are literally heaven sent. What a job cleaning up after all of those kids, and they do it so wonderfully well!
I also want to mention the other hotel guests, who were all so lovely…it was like being part of a big family in ways with everyone looking out for each others’ kids and trying to help with buggies or passing on toys. Whilst we were there Sam inherited a boat, a lilo, and a bucket and utensils, which we were able to pass on when we left!
The hotel is superbly located right on a beautiful pure sand beach with turquoise waters which we enjoyed immensely! It is very pretty, with sugar cube apartments and bungalows. There were plenty of excursions to take but we didn’t really need them, we were so busy at the hotel!
The accommodation has been newly refurbished and is lovely. Paul and I had a lovely spacious bedroom, and Sam and Harry slept next door in the lounge, which meant we had our own space. the bathroom was also newly done and very spacious. Harry had a travel cot, and Sam was on a sofa bed, which was essentially a sofa with bed linen, but it was plenty wide enough for a child to sleep on, and he was very comfortable. We also had a lovely kitchenette with brand new hob, microwave, fridge etc. The best bit of all was that the curtains were black out!
The only thing that is a little bit of a sticking point is the main pool, which is really a bit too small, and doesn’t have enough sun beds. This said, there is a beautiful beach near by, so that never troubled us, and all in all, I think that the benefits of everything else (so wonderful) really outweighed it. By 3 or 4 in the afternoon, you could most often get a sun bed, and at the Mickey Mouse kids pool there were sun beds free, and even if you didn’t have little ones, it was a lovely place to sit.
Now back at home, we feel like for the first time since having the boys, we’ve had a proper break, and so have they. We enjoyed so much quality time together as a family, and it was lovely to see our boys smiling and laughing so much! All of us give it a massive thumbs up!
Find out more information about Holiday Village Flamingo Beach (Please note, since this review was written the hotel has been rebranded to TUI Family Life Flamingo Beach. Some features may have changed)