Superb service, fabulous food and spacious suites are just some of the reasons why I think the Aqua Suites is the best place to stay in Puerto del Carmen with kids. Find out more in this post.
Run by fellow Irish travel professional Geraldine Mc Fadden, I had heard nothing but good things about Aqua Suites. Many friends and industry colleagues have stayed there and all came back with glowing reports. Aqua Suites was opened in 2016 and already has been voted the second best place to stay throughout the Canary Islands by TripaAvisor. This is astonishing when you think of all the luxury five star hotels that are available, not only in Lanzarote, but on the other islands too.
Aqua Suites is sold on a half-board basis, which isn’t something I usually book, as we like to eat out at night time. What impressed me was the fact that we could swap dinner for lunch, so we were not confined to eating there every night.
I had also heard the food was excellent, but Aqua Suites is a four-star boutique hotel in Puerto del Carmen, it is not the Ritz Carlton…. I had to go and see what all the fuss was about. Could it possibly live up to the hype?
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The combination of Lanzarote airport’s quick baggage delivery and the proximity of the Aqua Suites to the airport, meant we were standing in reception of Aqua Suites within thirty minutes of the plane landing! We left Dublin early in the morning and arrived just in time for breakfast – it is served until 11am in Aqua Suites.
We were warmly greeted with champagne at reception and kindly shown to our table while our room was being prepared. Mandy, just one of the many friendly staff, explained in great detail how and where everything was. This set the tone for our entire visit. I recalled Geraldine, the General Manager’s quote in The Irish Times; “We don’t say ‘no’ at Aqua Suites. There is always a solution“.
The cold buffet was packed with various cereals, fresh fruit and a wide variety of breads as well as fresh juices and Cava. Aqua Suites also offer an à la carte breakfast, which is included in the cost of your stay. No queuing, no lukewarm sausages, but freshly cooked hot breakfasts, and to the delight of my son, there was ‘real bacon’!
They also have a special dish each day which ranged from scrambled eggs with smoked salmon, to churros with hot chocolate sauce. We were all really impressed straight away – a tasty hot breakfast served to our table and we hadn’t even got to our room yet!
The suites are bright and modern with a large double bed and a separate room for children. Note the two-roomed suites don’t have two separate bedrooms. The main room is huge but the second room is small so it would really only suit two young children.
Aqua Suites has three-roomed suites too, so if you have three children or just want the additional space these are ideal. The suites are well equipped with tea and coffee making facilities and a complimentary stocked minbar on arrival, which is replenished with bottled water each day.
All have a balcony or terrace with sun loungers and a table and chairs. The rooms felt more like apartments than a typical hotel room. It was great to have the extra space and the large balcony. We enjoyed pre-dinner drinks on our balcony in the evenings while the kids watched TV inside.
Aqua Suites is renowned for its great food, but despite being told by many people how good it was, I was still blown away by the choice, quality and flavour. The menus are changed daily and placed on a blackboard each morning. At breakfast time we decided whether we would have lunch or dinner.
Every meal we had was excellent and always freshly cooked. The paella was superb, but my favourite was the Italian night. The chef is from Lake Como and the food was authentic Italian cuisine bursting with flavour. In fact, one night we ate in La Casa del Pamigiano, which is supposed to be the best Italian restaurant in Puerto del Carmen, but I thought the food was better at the Italian night in Aqua Suites.
Aqua Suites also has a snack bar menu with salads, burgers, chicken wraps etc, so if you or the kids don’t fancy a three course meal, you can choose a light bite instead. We loved the prawn pil-pil at lunchtime and the pizzas were delicious!
On a few occasions we chose not to have dessert at lunchtime, but this was not forgotten by the staff. At 5pm when the kids started to get a bit peckish, they were allowed take an ice cream from the fridge in lieu of dessert.
We hired a car one day and happened to miss lunch and dinner. Mandy was quick to point out that we could now have a free lunch at any time during our stay. It turned out our return flight wasn’t leaving until 8pm so despite having checked out, we were able to have a late lunch free of charge before we left for the airport. Where else would you get this level of service?
The Aqua Suites has a large pool as well as a separate kids pool and a large adult-only heated jacuzzi. During school holidays there is regular entertainment by the pool as well as activities in the kids club. These range from biscuit decorating to water polo competitions, as well as poolside quizzes.
There are special events too, including a Reptile Show and an evening Fire Show Spectacular. There is nightly entertainment for adults and kids which varies from a pizza and pyjama party for kids, to live music and family game shows.
However, we arrived at the end of the Summer season so the kids entertainment was slowing down. We did manage to catch one quiz night – John Mac the entertainment co-ordinator was great and really got the kids involved. It just so happened that Cormac’s knowledge of movie trivia was unrivalled, and we won a bottle of champagne!
I was surprised by how much entertainment and activities are available during school holidays, particularly for a small hotel.
One of the many things I loved about the Aqua Suites is the flexibility. I loved that we were able to dine out some evenings and have lunch by the pool during the day. Aqua Suites is ideally located just ten minutes walk to the seafront where there is a wide selection of shops bars and restaurants.
One evening, we ate in the Asian Restaurant Enjoy and had a fantastic teppanyaki experience. We also went down to the old town and dined in Emma’s Cantina, a Mexican restaurant, which is affiliated with the Aqua Suites – so believe it or not we were able to dine there for free too! Just tell the staff at breakfast time that you wish to dine there instead of Aqua Suites and they will arrange it for you.
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After my visit I now understand why the Aqua Suites is voted the 2nd best hotel on TripAdvisor throughout the Canary Islands. It has all the benefits of a hotel, but also has spacious rooms, exceptional food and a homely atmosphere. But it was the extra touches that made it stand out for me.
The stocked mini-bar when we arrived, the complimentary bottled water each day in the room, and being allowed to keep our room on until 6pm on departure, free of charge. (Aqua Suites will allow late check out for everyone, subject to availability, I don’t know of many establishments that offer this service.)
Despite eating there almost every day, our bill was so small at the end of the week, because all meals were included in the cost, we only had drinks to pay for. The staff call you by name and go above and beyond to ensure you and your children will want to return. I have no doubt that we will.
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