Holidays to me are a chance to relax, unwind, de-stress, have fun and spend quality time with your loved ones – preferably somewhere sunny and warm. Generally this checklist leaves the options quite open as I guess these are qualities that a lot of people look for in their holiday. However the minute you add sport and leisure facilities, the list narrows down….when you specify watersports, it narrows down again. What about golf, tennis, pilates, swimming, sprint training, workout classes, and cycling – but not just for adults, for kids too – and within a 4 hour flight of the UK, well the destinations scale right back and you are left with one place – Club la Santa. I have neighbours who go religiously to Club La Santa every single year – the same fortnight, with the same group of friends, they’ve been going for a decade and wouldn’t dream of changing.
Whilst I do like returning to a destination that I have enjoyed, I wondered what Club La Santa had that made it so special and this was the year I got to find out first-hand. Club la Santa is on Lanzarote, in the Canaries, Spanish owned islands off the coast of Morocco – famed for their volcanic terrain, all year round sunshine and mild temperatures as well as being subject to trade winds that make it a lure to windsurfers from across the globe. There is little rain and temperatures are generally in the 20s. I went mid- July, and it varied from 21 to 27 during the day – with that trade wind acting as a cooling breeze. I booked to go with my 6 year old daughter, then when my mum heard, she wanted in on the action too-so then we were three!
We arrived on a Saturday evening, a little uncertain of what was in store. We had an apartment with self-catering facilities although we were booked on half board. After a 25 minute taxi drive from the airport, we reached a part of the island which really feels very remote, no other hotels, no holiday makers walking back from the beach, just a couple of small villages, a vast expanse of rugged and volcanic, windswept terrain and then at the bottom of the hill you reach Club La Santa.
On arrival, we were each given a personal code to access ‘the app’ which allows you to view which activities are on offer and then sign up for what you fancy during your stay. I honestly cannot believe how much there was to choose from and was completely overwhelmed by the variety of sports on offer – everything from golf to swimming, cycling to kettlebell classes, TRX to pilates….the list felt endless!
The room was absolutely fine – clean, neat, comfortable and functional – with a kitchenette, balcony, separate bedroom, shower room and amazingly for 3 girls sharing a room – too much wardrobe space (that’s an absolute first!). All we needed for a comfortable stay – including a decent hairdryer in the room!
And then we went to explore……my goodness the resort is massive and even though after a couple of days you have worked out where most things are located, on the first day, you really do need a map – and patience – as you get to grips with your bearings. For me, the key was making sure my 6 year old was happy – you know what they say – happy child equals happy parent and so the priority was signing her up for activities. There is so much for little ones too – a kids club open for a few hours each morning where they play games, bake and more importantly make friends with other guests who they will inevitably see again during their stay. Ella made friends with a few others her age which also meant she played with them by the pool and often after dinner, they’d all hang out leaving the grown ups to enjoy a glass (or two) of wine!
Other activities for kids included swimming sessions- we booked Ella in for butterfly, breast stroke and front crawl improvement classes. She also went to gymnastics, ball skills and a few different dance groups. There was so much to choose from and she would have liked to also try kids golf, tennis, mini-olympics, paddle boarding….we just needed an extra week to fit not all in! It was similar situation for grown ups – I love running so obviously was keen to sign up for the various run groups. On a daily basis there is a pre-breakfast 5km group run which sounded fun although I decided to focus on the evening runs – there were hill runs out of the resort to the nearby village with a trail run back again, there is also the option to run a half-marathon during the week and on top of that, you can do what I did a couple of times and nip to the amazing, fully equipped gym and just jump on the treadmill!! As well as running, I managed to get some golf training done on the driving range, putting green and short game practice area complete withbunker! They have plenty of golf clubs available to borrow and if you fancied a proper round, you can sign up for one of the arranged day trips to a local course. I’m a huge fan of TRX and in a week, I completed 4 sunset classes. It is quite something training in the evening sun, spending the golden hour working out – I loved it. I also thoroughly enjoyed the kettlebell classes, the early morning 90 minute reformer pilates and the daily afternoon ab sessions. The latter was so popular that one one day there must have been 150 of us lying outside in the heat of the afternoon sun, doing crunches and holding the plank! There were so many sports and activities on offer, many of which I just didn’t have time to try – I was so busy I didn’t even get time to do any watersports, cycling or swimming! In saying that, you don’t have to be active all the time – you can also just opt to be lazy…we spent a couple of afternoons simply lying on sun loungers by the pool and it was bliss especially as there is constantly a lovely refreshing breeze. After all, we were on holiday and there is no rule saying you must exercise!!!
In the evenings, we were pretty tired after such full days so generally just relaxed in one of the three restaurants. And don’t worry if you thought it was all protein shakes, salad and quinoa – I had wine and pizza during my stay!! It took me a couple of days to get used to the resort in terms of understanding how it works and exploring where everything was but once we were up to speed we felt completely at ease. The staff are brilliant, so friendly and accomodating and do everything they can to make sure you are happy. There are guests off all shapes, all sizes, all fitness levels and all ages staying – from uber fit national swimming squads there on a training camp, through to families just enjoying time together…like us.
After a week, we returned home to the UK feeling refreshed, tanned, toned and fitter! At the same time, we also felt as though we had only experienced a small proportion off what’s on offer and that is why already I have looked into returning next year to Club la Santa!
Date Posted: 10th September 2018