This was our first trip to Fuerteventura and we were simply looking for a lazy, relaxing and chilled out week in nice surroundings along with good food.
The Elba Palace Golf & Vital 5-star boutique hotel offered this in abundance and at a great price. This couples’ hotel, with only 61 rooms over two floors, also didn’t leave you feeling like one of the masses as you perhaps do sometimes in larger hotels – there is something really unique about this place.
A 20 min walk from the main commercial centre, the hotel is positioned at the top of an 18-hole golf course and is perfect for those (i.e. us two!) looking for peace and guaranteed year round sunshine, as well as for those interested in golf (i.e. not us two!).
The hotel has been designed with colonial dark wooden balconies surrounding an internal courtyard planted with palm trees and other plants native to the island.
We arrived at the hotel around 9pm after a pretty rapid and efficient airport transit and private transfer. What an incredible welcome we received – we honestly felt we had an arrived at family member’s house. Director Pilar George and David could not have been more friendly, welcoming and attentive.? Check in was swift and was accompanied by a lovely glass of pink fizz. We received the usual orientation style information and then we were shown to our room.
Director Pilar George really knows how to run a hotel, make guests feel special and help out when needed. Where else in the world, when reception gets a little busy, would you ever see a Director assist guests with their luggage. Elba Hotels really have a top leader there and I only hope they can keep her – until our next visit at least!
Our suite was stunning and the bottle of cava with freshly made petit fois chocolates was a nice touch. We had been allocated an upper floor south east facing suite overlooking the pool area; this would not normally have been our first choice, but it was perfect. At that time of year only a handful of rooms seem to receive the sun late afternoon and early evening – thankfully one of them was ours.
The suite, with a good size wooden balcony, was very spacious with a separate lounge area and large fully tiled bathroom area. A nice touch was the hydro massage shower and luxury bath along with the usual complementary gown, slippers, tea and coffee facilities and 2 x LED TV. ? The room also had a safe for use, mini bar and free Wi Fi.
One of the real plus points at the Elba Palace is that you can dine whenever you want. There’s no need to book and no difficulty in getting a table in the tranquil outdoor courtyard style restaurant appropriately named St Andrews – after the home of golf. You simply turn up, sit down, order wine, choose food, relax and enjoy.
St Andrews is an a la Carte restaurant with indoor and outdoor courtyard dining areas. It offers a romantic setting, dining under the palm trees and stars, and listening to a pianist or live music (on most nights). We dined here each night and had some really nice food. Main courses were good and the dessert buffet was fantastic – there is simply no chance of only choosing one!
One thing management should perhaps consider is to have background music playing in the background before and after the live singers as it creates more of an atmosphere for guests to enjoy. All in all, we had seven very tranquil, relaxing and enjoyable dining experiences in pleasant surroundings topped off with Hotel Elba’s trade make friendly, attentive and extremely courteous staff.
Breakfast was served in Café Hoyo 19 which also served a wide range of dishes throughout the day including Tapas, Snacks and fresh salads.
Breakfast was what you would expect from a buffet style set up with nice freshly brewed coffee and pastries to finish. We managed to bag a table each day on the outdoor terrace which was a nice way to start the day. Service was a little slow during our last few days, but we got the impression that they were maybe a little low on staff numbers. It wasn’t a problem though as it just meant we had longer time to enjoy our coffee accompanied by one (or two) of their amazing freshly made custard filled donuts.
Perhaps worth noting that Elba Palace isn’t your usual type of 5 star hotel in terms of food and drink prices. Although more expensive than establishments in nearby Caleta De Fuste prices are very reasonable and you can enjoy them at the hotel in much more luxurious surroundings. Would be nice to see the suite mini-bar prices come down a little though, but you can’t have everything.
We only ventured out a few times to Caleta de Fuste, which is only a 20 min walk away, but with nice food and lovely surroundings we didn’t feel the need to leave the Elba Palace much as it was such good value. We’re also going to reserve judgement on Caleta De Fuste until our next visit – there is some major beach reconstruction work underway (August 2016) which certainly had an impact on our first impressions.
Although smaller than the usual hotels we stay at, the pool area was spacious and was very relaxing and tranquil. We never had a problem securing one of the comfortable cushioned wooden sunbeds with parasols and there were always a couple of balinese beds available if you wanted to give them a go later in the day. Pool service was available and the fresh fruit served early afternoon was again a nice touch.
The Wi-Fi was a little temperamental around the pool, but it was nice to have a little digital detox time when it was down!
The hotel has plenty of other facilities including a relaxation area with jacuzzi, sauna and steam bath. Massage cabins, gym and padel tennis court. We also had free access to the seawater circuit at the nearby Sheraton Thalasso Spa and a personal trainer offering a daily sports program including Yoga, Tai Chi, Fitness, Aquagym and Pilates. We would love to say we tried all of these, but we never managed given we were only there for a week – perhaps next time though!
Would like to give a special mention to Laura who served us on our first few days – she was simply first class and always had a big smile – sadly she seemed to be on leave for the remainder of our stay, but the other staff stepped up to the mark in her absence. A mention is also due to Chapin from guest services / reception. This young gentleman always had a smile on his face throughout our stay and he was always there to help and assist us whenever we had a question or needed assistance. Our nearby city of Glasgow has a saying that ‘People make Glasgow’ – this is equally true at the Elba Palace where it is clear that the staff make the hotel what it is.
We don’t normally do seven day breaks as we never feel it is long enough for us to relax and switch off. The Elba Palace though has changed that – from the very first day we were totally chilled and in the relaxed zone. This feeling was down to the fantastic welcome we received, the outstanding customer service and supremely calming and tranquil ambience this hotel offers.
We had such a great time that within 2 days of returning we booked again for a 10 day break in March next year. We also have a funny feeling this hotel will be on our radar for many future visits too.