Four months after our arrival in London our finances had finally started to recover from our epic trip to get here. So with a four day bank holiday weekend for easter and no end in sight to the grey London weather we booked ourselves an extra day of annual leave and headed south to get some sun. Returning from the trip I can’t really say we saw any of Spain or Fuertaventura. All I have to show for it is 3 finished books, a slight tan, some average photos we took on our phones, sunburnt feet and an extra 3kg.
Naturally we were a little apprehensive about booking an all inclusive. These holidays naturally attract those wanting to drink themselves to oblivion, retirees and families with young children. As two mid twenty males we certainly don’t fit into any of the three categories.
Booking a trip on a bank holiday weekend in the UK naturally adds at least 30% to the cost, and means that you’ve got to book almost twice as far in advance. We booked ours 7 weeks out, which means we paid through the teeth for it, and didn’t have many options. But after much researching we settled on booking with Jet2holidays for 4 nights at the Iberostar Palace Fuertaventura.
Before we made it to Fuertaventura we were full of questions. Would it be full of families and retirees? Will the food be awful? Would we manage to experience any culture? Is the pool nice? Do we have to tip? Why do we have to wear trousers to dinner?
Thankfully our fears were unfounded and we had an amazing time. We had perfect weather, averaging 27 degrees, a little wind and not a cloud in the sky. Dare I say that one day it was almost too hot!? We didn’t though figure out why we had to wear trousers to dinner… Our days were all very similar, starting with eating more than a days calories with breakfast and ending with a cocktail looking out over the pool. In between we ate more, read, napped, ate, drank, tanned, drank, ate and occasionally went for a walk to make ourselves feel productive. The one time that we ventured off the beach and out of the resort was for a 20 minute excursion to the shops to buy sunblock. It was exactly what we needed.
Iberostar Palace was a great hotel. Located right on the beach in Jandia we had the choice between lounging poolside, or heading down to the beach. Thankfully the beach was the only reason that we had to leave the hotel, everything else we wanted was provided. On site we had three bars, two restaurants, nightly shows and three swimming pools. We managed to watch a spanish dance class, a sangria making (and drinking) demo and an ABBA tribute whilst we were there. What more could we ask for!?
The only gripe that we do have was the lack of hotel provided sun loungers on the beach. The only option that you have are those provided by the local council and are priced extortionately. It was almost €20 for two sun loungers and an umbrella for the day! We resorted to digging a hole and building a wall to escape the wind. Not exactly glamorous, or even overly effective…
One of our major concerns about staying all-inclusive was that the food would be bad. Thankfully our fears were unfounded. The Iberostar Palace reviews we came across all mentioned the quality food – and rightly so! Breakfast and lunch were standard every day, but each evening had a themed dinner to ensure you got something new every day. Between 7am and 9pm there was only a 30 minute gap between the poolside “late breakfast” stopping and lunch starting, otherwise there was always food available. By the last day we’d eaten so much we just sat at breakfast pushing food around the plate. I feel as though this had more to do with our lack of self control than the quality of the food though!?
The other guests were exactly what we expected, retirees and families with young children. What we didn’t expect was that they would all be German! So over the 4 nights we stayed at the hotel we made a grand total of zero friends – and loved it. No pressure of making small talk or being ‘cool’ enough to make friends.
Poolside hours were spent in companionable silence, punctuated by the occasional request for another beer from the bar or checking if it was time to eat again. According to one of the staff of the hotel, we’d not picked the best guests to share the hotel with. In his words “The spaniards who come later in the year are much nicer, they don’t reserve loungers like all these Germans do..” I could see his point, but even so we never had to spend more than five minutes looking for somewhere to tan! But for us it was perfect. The total lack of friends meant we finished four books, had multiple naps a day and relaxed for the first time since we arrived in London!
Our five days staying all inclusive were exactly what we needed. Before booking we’d had only two prerequisites, that it was hot, and it was easy. Fuertaventura and Iberostar Palace gave both. We had to make no decisions, spent no extra money and finally got some sunshine. Will we be staying in another all inclusive resort for our next trip? Probably not. But for a few nights away from the grey skies of London, we couldn’t have asked for anywhere better!
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