Have you ever been to a film which all your friends highly recommend and you come away disappointed or a movie that the reviews universally panned but you came out having enjoyed every minute? Outcome changes with expectation. In this case, there are additional factors: age, weather, and previous experiences with holiday rentals, which I will expand on a little later.
First, I want to help those of you who keep reading dozens of reviews and are by now bleary-eyed or the spouse is nagging away crying "make a decision for god sake!" Not that this happened to me, I'm just saying. So the quick review is this is a fine place and you will be very satisfied. The not so quick answer is that I desperately wanted to give Club Oceano 4-stars but find myself stuck at 3-stars. It all has to do with prior expectation, age, and previous rentals. What’s the big deal?
There is nothing earth shattering, just quibbles. To begin, we got a really good price, saving nearly £150 ($230) for the week rental due to a last-minute booking (only three weeks before arrival). This should have clinched 4-stars but it didn't. Why? Completely unscientific analysis leads me to conclude that to absolutely get an unequivocal 4-5 stars accommodation on Lanzarote means double or triple the price at Club Oceano, or be very lucky with a private rental. Moreover, my quibbles go beyond Club Oceano but the general rental-scene on Lanzarote, so the remaining comments probably apply to other Villas or Apart-hotels. In other words, stop the search now, book at Club Oceano and be assured you got as good as it gets for the price.
Let me also put this in another perspective. The Club Ocean self-catering villa will move between and 3-star and 4-star based on the following criteria. To better use the “heated” pool depends on the time of year, because it is not all that heated for winter. Northern Europeans (Brits, Irish, German) will find it perfectly acceptable from March until mid-December. Americans and southern Europeans will be happier from April until November. If you are a really dedicated swimmer, the pools will be too small. Children will love it anytime of year.
Families will find the 3-bedroom better than for couples sharing. Too claustrophobic and not enough comfortable sitting for six adults; in fact, not enough places for four big adults either. Enjoyment of the villa will go up the more time you can spend outside of the villa -if the nights are cool and you retreat inside expect to be on top of one another.
If your still wondering about the 3-stars and the nagging behind the words, read on for the shortcomings; in other words, lowered expectations brings you more satisfaction; in truth, I hope Club Oceano is reading this as to nudge the owners (three brothers?) to upgrade.
This next paragraph is for people only interested in technology and WiFi. Skip ahead for the more mundane. So, for me the tilt-point on disappointment came with the lack of WiFi, which may seem absurd to many reading this. Backstory: I asked before booking and the UK-based brother told me the on-site brother was working on this. My mistake was to assume that surely in three weeks it would all be set-up. Not the case and my ultimate point is that we are now into the second decade of the 21st century and this should be standard at a 4-star villa. Cub Oceano told me I was able to use the WiFi at the main complex, which I did twice but it was slow and did not download my newspaper subscriptions. Club Oceano missed the point -to be able to access WiFi in the Villa anytime of day or night and not have to go out and then return to only remember a missed download or a forgotten email. Club Oceano also referred me to the neighboring villas owned by Don Rafael , with the twelve units above that of Club Oceano -these all have WiFi and reached our villa at No 16. I did inquire to Don Rafael Villa and learned this was not the first time Club Oceano sent their clients to ask for the WiFi code; as in all other requests, he refused, even if offered money (I suggested 25 euros for the week). Don Rafael, by the way, built the two blocks of housing including those of Club Oceano: he is a contractor and sold four of the identical villas to Club Oceano, so he knows them well -they are friends. So why not take some money for the WiFi and why does Club Oceano tell people to talk to him when they know he will refuse? Why does Club Oceano not want to install WiFi? These are mysteries of life.
By the way, the Don Rafael villa that I saw had a dishwasher whereas our Club Oceano villa (no 16) had an oven in the same spot; noted too that Don Rafael had WiFi and small flat-screen TV, and as already pointed out, Club Oceano Villas do do not have WiFi and old-style TV that goes for about £20 in the UK. (I know because my son bought one used a few months.) Don Rafael, unlike Club Oceano, does not include a club complex of bar, restaurant and desk staff available from early morning until late evening, nor a location close to the main walking ocean front promenade. It really is a six and two-threes between the two places.
What else about the our villa? Glad you asked. Are you reading this Club Oceano? The Italians have a saying, “fare bella figura”, the English say “shows a bit of class”, and the Americans call it “good business sense”. Take your pick. What I do not understand is that for a small investment this would easily move the villa closer to a 4-star. I'm talking about the basics and here is a short list (incomplete but a good start). Make sure the villas have the following:
5. dishwashing liquid
8. one or two rolls of paper towels
9. two packets of Washing machine detergent
10. cheese grater
11. a few more cutting knives for food preparation
12. one or two more bowls
13. five more sets of utensils (knives, forks, spoons so it is not necessary to wash for the next course)
14. a coffee pot (drip peculator alla Mr. Coffee)
15. soap dish in each bathroom
16. charcoal briquets for the outdoor grill
We bought many of the above provisions as we started to cook plus a small bottle of olive oil for about 20 euros. The small amount of euros is not the point, but the inconvenience and having to remember what to purchase on the first trip to the local supermarket was disconcerting as we forget some items -salt and paper towels required a return trip followed by a third trip for the washing-up liquid. Shouldn’t a couple of hundred of pounds (dollars) per week include this? There was toilet paper, but is this enough for 4-stars? We learned after doing the laundry that there was no clothes-line, so again a trip to the supermarket to purchase one for 1.50 euros -not a big deal as far as cost just the extra trip, again! By the way, ask for Villa No 16 as we left our supplies that should last at least two or thee rentals and clothes-line indefinitely. (Sorry, we opted out of purchasing a Mr Coffee pot.)
These items cost next to nothing and shows a bit of class. For Club Oceano to really go the extra they should buy flat-screen TVs and upgrade the cable box for more channels (BBC. ITV. Spanish TV, Sports); when amortized over one year it will be next to nothing and very classy -Fare Bella Figura.
Let me emphasize that based on my visit to Don Rafael and reviews of other sites this lack of basics seems to be Island-wide practice. We have rented in St. Ives, Cornwall; Keswick, Cumberland; Ripon, Yorkshire; Modica, Sicily and Paciano, Umbria. In every case the places were fully stocked. Two provided welcome dinners for weary travelers, another baked a cake and had a bottle of wine on the table: Classy, Fare bella figura, Good business sense.
At present, the villa feels like a beach house that appears fancy because of the tiled floors but recalls days of starting out married with bare essentials. Been there, done that. Repeat from above: I believe this will be the same everywhere on Lanzarote except for personal home rentals.
Let me end on a high note. The Club Oceano is immaculately clean and provides cleaning every two/three days. The pool is cleaned every other day. The villa has a good view of the ocean (not great but good) and on a cul-du-sac. and great for privacy unless you have noisy neighbors. Athough not highly elevated at 500ft (150m) and 3/4 mile (1200m) from the main structure and promenade, is will be too high and too far for those with walking or heart problems.
According to a universal Renting Law like the third law of Thermodynamics, it is not possible to maximize more than two items for optimum cost. In other words, below is a sample listing of several things to choose in a rental (make your own to suit your vacation needs), but you can only get two for a good price. Try it.
2. Flat-screen TV with multi-channel box;
3. Heated pool suitable for winter and not just bearable to kids and northern Europeans (Germans, Brits, Irish);
4. Short, easy walking distance to the promenade/beach;
5. Completely stocked kitchen and household supplies.
I hope to return to Club Oceano villa if I can be assured of items 1 and 5. I might opt for Club Oceano apartment, a one-bedroom at the main complex. I will adjust my travel to April-November to gain the benefit of the pool.
|How easy was it to book the property?||How easy was key pickup/access to the property?|
|Overall condition of the property||Bedding & mattresses|
|Kitchen & utensils||Bathroom cleanliness|
|Other facilities & amenities||Service|
|Families with young children|
Everything about this villa, cleanliness, location, facilities, was excellent. I will book again and would strongly reccomend it to my family and friends.
|Check-in / front desk||Service|
|Friends getaway||A romantic getaway|
|Older travelers||Families with young children|
|Families with teenagers||Tourists|
|Large groups||Luxury-minded travelers|