“ Apartment complex in Lanzarote, Spain. „
I have stayed at this hotel a few times and in the beginning, it was brilliant. I originally stayed about 6 years ago with 12 members of my immediate family, it was a challenge getting everyone organised but the hotel was great and helped us with any problems we had and put us all near each other and the food and places to go were great. There was ample sunbeds, the bars and restaurant were not too busy and taxis from the rear entrance were in abundance. However after going back the second time 4 years ago, the place has changed so much, I hardly recognised it. The paintwork had detoriated, the jazzuci was empty, there were hardly any sun beds around the pool and the food was okay (just) ! I did complain to no avail, however it did get better and the week turned out okay. The last time we visited was just a year ago and again I was midly disappointed. but I had found out that some of the apartments had been sold privately so the upkeep of the complex was on the mend !! Having become friendly with the guy that runs the Gym there, we (my husband and I) found out that a complete re vamp was planned for the whole complex ! Things can only get better. I do hope so as it is in a lovely position with amazing sea views and with easy access to most places, its only a stones throw from the beach and local bars and restaurants and the airport is just 10 minutes drive away.
WHY THE MORROMAR APARTMENTS? I felt the need to get away. As a result of a family bereavement and personal health issues I'd had a rotten few months and didn't want to wait until August to have a break. I had been toying with the idea of enjoying a week away somewhere sunny for a few weeks and had thought about places to go either in May or June but then unfortunately in early May I dislocated my knee cap. This added to some existing mobility difficulties I have. My doctor advised that I shouldn't think of a holiday until at least September and definitely after seeing the physiotherapist. Well, this is all very well but the earliest appointment was weeks away and I felt thoroughly fed up. Just over a week before the Jubilee celebrations found me still only able to hobble around and not able to bend my leg. I admit being worried that my knee would dislocate again and I was worried about the plane journey. But then again I wasn't improving much at home so decided to risk travelling but knew I would have to search for somewhere relatively easy to travel to and to stay at for a week. My thoughts of hilly Corfu seemed inappropriate now. And so I looked for somewhere likely to have lots of sunshine, accessible accommodation which would be served by a lift or be at ground level and a pool with steps and a rail leading into it as I knew a ladder would be impossible at this time. It wasn't easy to find anywhere. I suppose as not only was it half term in England but the U.K. had two public holidays in this week of the Queen's diamond jubilee celebrations. There wasn't much availability on flights and prices were high. Eventually I booked a holiday in Lanzarote, staying at the Apartamentos Morromar, formerly a Sol apart-hotel. I booked through a company called Broadway Travel. CHECKING IN/RECEPTION We were greeted politely and welcomed. I asked if our apartments were close to facilities as requested and was told they were. Wristbands were put on to show we were all inclusive and literature supplied explaining about the all-inclusive facilities, along with a map of the small complex. We asked for the use of a room safe and this was priced at 12 Euro and a further 6 as a deposit. A few steps from reception took us to our apartments which were on the ground floor, as requested and very close to facilities. APARTMENTS We had two one bedroom apartments. The Morromar can also provide two bedroom apartments and studios. The exterior of the apartments throughout the complex looked pretty; they were inviting and authentically Spanish. Alas, inside there was an air of tiredness and of them having seen better days. I suspect they looked lovely when first constructed; the décor in pale blue, green and grey, was pretty and everything matched (curtains, seat covers, tiling) but was none the less, jaded. I did like the apartments though as they were spacious and light but had no air conditioning. I don't think air conditioning was vital at this time of year but the weather was hot and so at least a ceiling fan would have been nice. I wouldn't personally stay in a hotel in a hot country, in the hottest part of the year without air conditioning, after spending a week in Malta once where we had only fans and it was too hot to sleep at night. I don't think Lanzarote would get as hot as Malta but all the same it would probably be uncomfortable for me at night as even in early June I only slept with one sheet as a cover. Some cool air would have been nice. There were two single glazed upvc windows in the bedroom, close together, but when opened these made everything fly around the room in the breeze and the windows banged. During the week I stayed in the apartment I kept thinking that they would have been delightful when first built but now had become scruffy internally and the paintwork could have done with a good scrub. The door to the apartment could be double locked. Once inside there we saw that there were two doors opposite each other which were the bedroom and bathroom. Next to the bathroom was a cupboard holding buckets, brooms, mops etc. The mop came in handy when I flooded the bathroom floor after a mishap with the shower curtain. Floors were of stone tiles throughout. BEDROOM This was plain but had character. It had no chest of drawers or dressing table only two large wardrobes either side of the door. These had an internal shelf and all of our clothes fitted easily into the wardrobe. Both had a large cupboard above and in this my husband placed our suitcases along with the spare blankets supplied. Two single beds had one table between them and both had a reading lamp above and a switch for the main room light. There were three electrical sockets in this room. We took two wooden chairs from the dining area (There were four) and used one as a further bedside table and another, to serve as a dressing table, we placed by the mirror and an electrical socket, so that I could use my hair dryer (not supplied). This worked well as I could use the mirror as I sat on the end of a bed as I couldn't stand for long. We requested extra pillows which soon arrived. The beds were comfortable enough and had mattress protectors and extra padding. The bedspreads looked a bit worn. BATHROOM This room had no window and no extractor. Part of the sink/counter surround was missing. It looked clean enough apart from the toilet brush which was in serious need of replacing. The over bath shower worked well. On our arrival the towels had been folded into a pattern and one held toiletries which were two sachets of shower/bath gel and two shampoos and one tiny soap tablet. These were not replenished during our stay. There was a good supply of toilet tissue and towels were changed every other day when the apartment was cleaned. LOUNGE/KITCHEN AREA This was a welcome space with the kitchenette and table at one end and with large patio doors at the other end it was very light. The kitchen had a two hob plate, extractor hood, toaster, kettle and fridge. Cupboards (needing some repair) held a few pots, pans, crockery and cutlery. . Into the room towards the curtained patio doors were a sofa bed, matching chair and a white also matching, coffee table. A television was on shelves opposite the sofa. You could pay for channels but we stuck to news and watched bits and pieces of our countrymen waving their sodden flags as they lined the Thames. We had a socket but no actual telephone. My son's apartment did have a telephone but we didn't bother asking for one because my husband suggested that it might be more relaxing without as our son tends to over use the room phones to ask what time we are going to do such and such. Anyway his apartment was only a few steps away as was reception. We both had our mobile phones as well. BALCONY I loved the balcony as it was large and ours contained a long stone shelf/seat type structure which could be used to sunbathe on or as a bench. This combined with the plastic patio set would have made a very pleasant dining area for a family if here on a self-catering basis. The view from the balcony was beautiful. We could see a little of the quieter pool and between the vista of pine trees, whitewashed villas and bougainvillea could be seen the deep blue Atlantic sparkling in the sunlight. CLEANING The apartment was cleaned every other day, not thoroughly but I feel these chamber maids are overworked and I would think underpaid. The floor was mopped every time and the beds made. The bathroom got a quick rinse through and really for the little time we stayed that was adequate, yet a deep clean was needed in the aspect of paintwork, and I'm really not housework orientated but the need for this was evident. POOL AREAS The main pool had the animation providing games. We took no part in any of these and we all had decided to have a chill out holiday so chose the quieter pool and were often out and about in the areas nearby. I believe there were only two entertainers but I'm not sure. I know there was a Kids' c Club, and games such as darts, table tennis and archery. This main pool had snack bar close to it and also some loud music from the Lanzarote local radio station. A nicely shaped pool, in my opinion, but wasted on me. I couldn't get in (or I wouldn't have been able to get out!) as the only easy proper steps were in the part that was sectioned off for children. I thought it a shame that it hadn't been sectioned off differently as there were several guests staying at this complex who found the ladders into the pools either very difficult or impossible to use. This pool was very cold although the air temperature was between 27 to 30 degrees during our stay. There were always spare sunbeds and parasols around both pools. I liked the slightly smaller, quieter pool, more although wish it had been warmer. It was a shock to enter but with help, I could at least get in although wasn't able to swim properly because of my limited movement in my leg and so I couldn't swim to warm myself up. Again, lots of sunbeds and several parasols were to be found but a shame that the pool bar was closed. I expect it's opened at the height of the season. We saw these pools and surrounding area being cleaned every day FACILITIES Facilities are mainly housed in one building over two floors. Stairs on one side but both could be accessed from one side at ground level owing to it being built o hilly ground. On one floor was large area with snack and drinks but there was a distinct lack of snacks included on the all-inclusive tariff. In fact only once or twice did we see the snacks that were supposed to be available and there didn't seem to be much supplied then. Pizzas could be ordered here and paid for. There was a games area with a table tennis table, pool tables and a couple of games machines. The lower level contained the restaurant, bar, three pool tables (with pool balls which seemed to have been collected and made up from different sets over time. The white ball was large and limited my expert shots somewhat. Tables and sofas/armchairs were placed around the indoor fountain area and bar. They really did look a little mouldy and worn. Again, I would have thought this an attractive area a few years ago. ENTERTAINMENT The entertainment area was opposite the restaurant and this was open plan, only divided by screens. This made dinner noisy and not at all an adult experience as kids club would be going on at this time. The entertainment consisted of kids club and then sometimes a show (magician, flamenco etc.) and bingo or quiz hosted by the entertainers. We like a quiz but went out to eat on that night. One night was a free night which meant only background music was played. We also went out on this night but arrived back for a drink and game of cards. We didn't go for the entertainment so from our perspective it was good enough. Actually we enjoyed the flamenco evening and the magic show. RESTAURANT/FOOD QUALITY I didn't think the food was badly cooked but the choice was limited and I also had issues with how long the food was stored. Breakfast was the best meal. Not an extensive choice but all in all we were able to find enough to select. Very thin streaky bacon, eggs or scrambled or Spanish omelette, potato option usually beans and sometimes grilled tomatoes bread was lovely and a toast machine was supplied. There were croissants and sometimes pancakes. The choice for both lunch and dinner was very limited. It was strange that the same flavoured soup was first served at lunch and was still the only choice for dinner. The fish soup wasn't very nice which was probably why it was served first for lunch, followed by dinner and also for lunch the following day. It may have still been there for dinner (I hope not) but I couldn't say as for us, enough was enough, we ate out. As two of us were non meat eaters the choice was annoyingly limited. Usual choices were a meat choice, fish and sometimes pasta. Vegetables often contained pieces of meat as did the pasta sauce, even if it looked as if it should be Napolitano-nothing went to waste! Sometimes the pasta was cooked in an 'Italiano' sauce and this always contained meat. The salad was limited-shreds of lettuce, pale tomatoes, corn and dips (these were nice) and olives. Desserts were limited. Plastic tubs of Tubs of ice cream in three flavours were always available (even though some parents always scooped out three to put on a plate for very young children) but the selection generally was very scant. Fruit was always available. It did seem to me that the food was left out for too long, especially the salads and cheese and I thought that the servers should have been lidded. I was put off the sliced cheese after seeing a small insect crawling on my slice. I know this happens but I felt here was less hygienic in the food department than just about all other places I've stayed at. On the second day of my holiday I was happily drinking my rose wine with my lunch, (red, white and rose wine was on tap) when I noticed three 'bits' in it. My eyes these days aren't so great so I handed the glass over to my to my son asking if it were bits from the pesto sauce but he said, "No! In that case they wouldn't be swimming!" I hoped they had just landed in the glass but wasn't too confident. I then decided I would only drink white wine from the restaurant so that at least I would then be able to see clearly if there were foreign bodies sharing my drink with me. Please bear in mind that I don't eat meat. VEGETARIAN A nice salad or two would have been welcomed but even this area left a lot to be desired. There was never a vegetarian option. I never expect much in this respect but had asked the tour company to mention that there were two vegetarians in our party and this I know they did. As we were struggling to find anything to eat my husband mentioned this to the chefs who said there would be pasta with a meatless sauce the following day for lunch. They didn't seem at all bothered about their not being anything for us to eat. We had already planned to go out the next day and so and missed lunch but for dinner the next day there wasn't anything that my son's fiancée could have to eat as a reasonable choice. She doesn't eat fish her choice was limited to potatoes, broccoli and carrots. As we knew there had been other complaints yet nothing seemed to be addressed I commented to the restaurant manager that there was nothing at all for vegetarians. I was polite but he was quite irate and gestured to the carrots and broccoli, telling me that these were vegetarian options! He continued to say that there were twelve vegetarian options at this meal. He meant: cheese (Not vegetarian I don't suppose!), broccoli, carrots, lettuce, potatoes, olives and I don't know what else. I told him these were side dishes to accompany a meal and could not be considered as a suitable option and went on to say that we wouldn't mind if we could have pasta if tomato sauce were on the menu-he then pointed to the ketchup! I explained about Napolitano sauce. He began to calm down and asked his chef to prepare us pasta with sauce. We were pleased that an effort had been made but it didn't happen again and although we would look, out of curiosity, to see what was on the menu we chose to eat out. ALL INCLUSIVE Drinks tasted watered down and were often served in cardboard Pepsi Cola cups as they ran out. I asked for a cocktail at one point (Tequila sunrise) and it was served in a large paper cup. I asked for a glass and one was washed up for me but I felt there was no interest from the bar staff in serving up inviting looking drinks, although the young fellow serving was pleasant and worked hard. There was only one beer (lager in truth) offered which was Mahou. My son said he prefers other foreign beers he's sampled to this but it was still okay. My son's fiancée liked the fact that a local imitation of Malibu was available as well as various flavoured schnapps. The wine served in the dining room tasted very weak. Things might be better in July and August but I don't think the All-inclusive was quite up to standard here and I am now quite used to this board basis to know whether it's good enough. I always try to spend some money in restaurants, shops and bars, especially when on all-inclusive holiday, as I feel resorts need holiday makers to keep them going, but on this holiday we felt we really had to eat out often, therefore I don't think we benefitted nearly as much from being all- inclusive as we usually do. Also the, A/I ended at eleven P.M. and most places we've been to it continues for half an hour or an hour longer and this means even if you only want soft drinks, tea, coffee or chocolate you don't have to keep reaching for the Euros as we did on this holiday. FACILITIES The Morromar has the facilities and because of this and its location I feel that with a bit of sprucing up, more staff and some thought to the menus it could be much improved. Facilities include: Three pool tables in the downstairs area, one upstairs and there was a further table near to the swimming pool. An internet corner had three computers with a coin slot for internet access. The complex had a tennis court, a multi sports court and an area for archery. There is a gymnasium but I never saw this. A pool bar but this wasn't open while we stayed at the complex. SUPERMARKET There was a shop on site referred to as a supermercado but not really, more of a small shop which was well stocked, selling some foodstuffs, large bottles of mineral water, gifts, drinks and pool toys. GROUNDS The area is quite hilly but slopes have been paved or smoothed over and is mostly easy to walk upon. Slopes leading to the pool area have handrails which I found invaluable on this occasion. Inside the complex there weren't any stairs that I had to climb. We all found the grounds incredibly pretty and well kept. I love bougainvillea and it was growing in profusion, as were other exotic plants and palms. Because this is an area of mainly low rise accommodation it really is pretty and I actually revelled in the scenery. It was just what the doctor ordered, or should have! The island and this hotel is no exception, make use of the black volcanic rock and walls throughout the complex and some paths were made from this. Against the white buildings and the pink and red bougainvillea this results in an attractive and interesting look. DISABLED FRIENDLY? I would say yes. Compared to most other places I have stayed at I would say that this complex is manageable, with a little help if you are a wheelchair user. Assistance might be needed owing to the steep gradient of slopes. I didn't see much in the way of disabled toilets but if an apartment near to facilities is requested then it isn't any distance at all to use the toilets in the apartment rather than the public ones. One problem I found was the lights being turned off from outside by mischievous children which wouldn't be helpful and some toilets around the resort are on a sensor and tend to go out leaving the toilet in total darkness. My bathroom had a shower grab rail and as this wasn't a disabled apartment this is probably true of them all. As I have mentioned one of the swimming pools had steps wide steps with a rail. For further details this is the website address: http://www.morromar.es/ LOCATION The apartments were in a lovely and ideal location for us. If leaving the Morromar from the back gated entrance (locked after eight p.m.) there is a taxi rank on the quiet road outside. If crossing this road you will find pedestrianized steps and pathways leading to the shops and to the beach. It took us about ten minutes to walk to the beach but I was slow; I think it would be just over five minutes for mobile holidaymakers. It is an easy and short walk for most to Playa Los Jameos and there are many benches along the way. Once at Playa Los Jameos restaurants, bars, hairdressers, a pharmacy and more can be found. Where there are steps there are usually also slopes although these do tend to often have a steep incline. There is a good cycle path and bicycle hire with a good choice of bikes for one, two and families can be hired. From the front of the hotel a bus stop is near although taxis are so cheap that we didn't (unusual for us) go on a bus as most journeys only cost between three to five Euros for four people. Taxis have meters installed. ADDRESS: Apartamentos Morromar Lanzarote Urbanización Matagorda C/ Mato nº 13 C.P. 35510 Puerto del Carmen Lanzarote SPAIN OVERALL It's hard to give the true feeling of this place as there were some things about it that I loved and others that I thought made it below par. I loved the very pretty location which was most handy with a taxi rank outside. The area was well lit and travelling around was easy. Although the pools were cold they were attractive. I appreciated the fact that we never had any trouble at all finding sun beds and there was no need whatsoever to reserve them. Empty tables were also easy to find in the restaurant. In the entertainment area there was a need for more tables and chairs but we still found somewhere to sit fairly easily. All of these things may not be so positive though in the height of the season. But negatives were that there was no air conditioning or fans in the apartments, the accommodation being tired and the fact that the dining room was so near to the entertainment area making it feel a little café like; I appreciate a nice crisp table cloth when away on holiday and a nice ambience. The worst thing was the very limited choice of food and the complete lack of a 'proper' vegetarian option. Of course the choice of food might be better in the high season too but food wise I certainly didn't get my money's worth. I feel we would have been better to have gone to these apartments on a self-catering basis and used the complex as a base. Of course, when booking and not knowing the place I really didn't know that taxis would be so easy to find and cheap too. I thought I would have been confined to the complex more than I was. Also food in the restaurants in Lanzarote, we felt were reasonably priced (cheaper than Cyprus where we usually holiday) and so really this time the all-inclusive option wasn't great value for us. The complex was friendly with guests being mainly British, Irish and Spanish and a few Germans. However, this was the British half term and public holiday so this may have accounted for the large number of British guests. However, I did get the feeling that it could be a bit unruly and loud in the summer and don't think I would choose to stay here in the busy times. Then again, if visiting Lanzarote again I would probably choose a different hotel. And yes, I would like to go back as we had a very enjoyable holiday which, although very last minute, proved to exceed our expectations. Although I had some issues with these apartments, mainly regarding the food and the restaurant itself, I do think there were many advantages and on the whole the holiday was just what the doctor ordered.