European Holiday Reviews

European Holiday Reviews

Tuesday, 25 March 2014

Lanzarote 2nd – 9th July 2009...

We had booked our holiday through the First Choice website, flew Thomson, and the tour operator was Skytours, so it was no surprise that when 10 of us got off the bus at reception approx 3pm on Thursday 2nd July 2009, none of our names were on the list.

The rep had conveniently remained on the coach, which was now nowhere to be seen.

Eventually, all of the various couples were allocated rooms, however, as the Spanish receptionist handed over the key to room 114 she warned us that the view was “not good” and that “maybe you move room tomorrow?”

As we didn’t plan to spend much time in our apartment, the lack of a view did not unduly bother us. We certainly didn’t want to waste our first full day there unpacking / packing / moving room / unpacking again. Hindsight is a wonderful thing.

There were no pillows on the beds, however, once I’d been to reception and asked politely we were given two (albeit the lumpiest pillows I have ever seen). Predictably, the beds were very hard, but there are thick foam cushions on the sofa and arm chair which we laid underneath our sheets at night. This seemed to do the trick.

There is a free tv in the room but channels are very limited and prone to interference.

There were only minimal kitchen utensils available, and I had to ask reception for a corkscrew. The can opener was completely rusty, and we chose not to use it. There are just 2 hotplates, no oven or grill. There is no microwave (although I accept that these things were not promised). A kettle and toaster are also provided.

We weren’t overjoyed at our room, but as it was only rated a 1 key we weren’t expecting a palace. I didn’t expect to see rust along the edge of the bath however, nor did I wish to see weird gunge growing on the internal window frames. With no windows, other than the large sliding patio doors, the room felt quite claustrophobic. With no windows in the bathroom you wouldn’t want to get locked in there!

With the July heat we decided it was a good investment to spend 21 euros (5 euros refundable deposit) on hiring a fan. We actually paid 20 euros as they had no change.

With only one visible socket in the room, located in the kitchen, the fan wouldn’t reach to the bedroom area. We asked reception for an extension lead but was told that we should come back and ask again in the morning!

The room was unbearably hot with no air con so we had no sleep. The fridge in the kitchen backs onto the wall beside one of the beds, generating even more heat for the poor unfortunate trying to sleep there. At 3.30am my partner went to the bathroom to find a huge cockroach scuttling around. I went to reception and woke up the night watchman to tell him. He spoke virtually no English but managed to convey to us we need to see the manager in the morning.

It was windy outside (which I’m certainly not blaming on the accommodation!) but the 6 feet tall metal fence, which was just a few feet from our room, kept banging and creaking all night long, so we had to keep the patio doors closed because of the din, meaning we had no fresh air in the room. (Also, we didn’t fancy letting any more cockroaches into the apartment).

After no sleep at all and having to sleep with the lights on so we could look out for more cockroaches, I went to reception at 8.30am Friday morning. I was finally given an adapter for the fan so we could at least cool down, and a large can of industrial strength cockroach spray (it was apparently up to us to fumigate our own apartment).

Due to the lack of any sleep, we missed the visit from our rep at 5pm as we’d dropped off. No attempt was made by the rep to check on us at any point during our stay.

The pool and Jacuzzi were quite nice, and there were plenty of sun loungers, but it would’ve been good if the poolside bar had been open, especially on Sunday. Everyone had to walk to the local shops for ice creams which was annoying when there’s a fully stocked bar on site.

Despite spraying the whole room several times each day, Sunday afternoon we had cockroaches on the patio. If we hadn’t spotted them, they could easily have scuttled into the apartment.

A cleaner came in but simply emptied the bin and washed the floor. She didn’t change the towels (or tea towel).

Monday morning, after another sleepless night paranoid about cockroaches in the room, we found another two large ones on the patio (making a beeline for the apartment). I’d had enough of this and asked reception to move us.

I have to say that the reception staff did the very best they could, and were very sympathetic throughout our ordeal.

We wasted all Monday morning packing up our things and waiting for an available room. By 1pm we finally had the keys to room 204. (A cleaner had been scrubbing it for over an hour to make sure it was fit for use).

The bathroom door handle came off when we used it, but the views were better and room was much cleaner. We were promised that there would be no more cockroaches, and I admit that we didn’t actually have any cockroaches in this room for the remainder of our stay.

There was no kettle in this room and I couldn’t be bothered to pester reception yet again, so I made do with boiling hot water for my cups of tea using the percolator.

The new issue became stray cats, who come into the apartments every time they notice the patio doors ajar. The image of an emaciated stray cat munching on a large bug just 3 feet away while I was trying to eat my breakfast outside on the patio is an image which will stay with me for quite some time.

Although there is a public computer in the reception area it costs 1 euro for just 10 minutes, so is quite expensive.

During our stay we used the Thomson helpline but they simply said that cockroaches are a common problem and that there was nothing they could do. Basically, they didn’t want to know.

I have tried to write a balanced review, including some positive aspects, but it hasn’t been easy finding anything good to say about The Panorama Apartments.

The décor in the corridors is nice, the receptionists are very helpful, the views in some of the rooms are nice, the wardrobes are large, the fridge is adequate, the pool and Jacuzzi are good and the actual location of the apartments is good (5 minutes from The Strip, 5 minutes from the Old Town, 3 minutes from the local Spar supermarket).

There is a gym on site, but I never once saw anyone use it.

Unfortunately, this is the worst holiday I have ever had and I would certainly not recommend The Panorama Apartments to any of my friends or family members. There are lots of far better places to stay in Puerto Del Carmen.

Here are more photos of our trip:

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