Monthly Archives: May 2016

Playa de Jandia, the trendiest destination in Fuerteventura

If I have to summarize my experience in Jandia I would say: Jandia is unique, magic and different from any other place. It was separated from the rest of Fuerteventura and now it’s really popular among all travellers who are looking for a quiet and charming place.

Playa de Jandia is the new place to be, a trendy place which is perfect for fishing and diving lovers and for those who like long walks. Fuerteventura is an amazing place where to experience a memorable holidays.

A perfect destination for couples

While checking my travel notebook, I realize I have written many times “romanticism”, a word that could perfectly define one of the best attributes of Fuerteventura.

With just a few access routes (as most of the territory is part of the Natural Park of Jandia), Playa Jandia is perfect for those who want to enjoy a quiet romantic holiday. A couples getaway in the Canary Island is just amazing.

Walking across unspoiled places or along the Atlantic coast is a unique experience and there are many hotels for couples in Fuerteventura. Hotels like Iberostar Fuerteventura Palace, really popular for its exclusive facilities within a few steps from the sea, Iberostar Playa Gaviotas Park, perfect for those who love pools by the beach; and Iberostar Playa Gaviotas, one of the best All Inclusive hotels in Playa Jandia.

A destination with thousand of activities

I want to enjoy Playa Jandia in Fuerteventura to the fullest and not just the sun and the beach. Here’s a list of my recommendations:

  • A gastronomic tour: the local gastronomy is one of the most important attributes of the Canary Islands. You should go to some of the local restaurants offering traditional gastronomy, so you will taste delicious potatoes, sancochos and Canarian cheeses.

  • Dive in the deep sea: Playa Jandia is the perfect place for those who want to dive in the Canary Islands. You can take diving and snorkel lessons in order to discover what the crystal waters of the island hide.

  • Beaches and beaches: They are recognized for many people as “the best beaches in the world”. In fact, they are so beautiful as the Caribbean beaches. Jandia is one of the best beaches in the area, as well as Playa de Sotavento, Playa de Barlovento or Playa de Cofete.

Friends’ getaway: 2 idyllic destinations

When your friends tell you that they want to plan a friends’ getaway in summer…the first thing that comes to my mind is the film “The Hangover”, in which 4 friends travel to destinations like  Las Vegas or Bangkok, where they enjoy crazy parties and in the morning they cannot remember what happened the night before.

What happens at night should stay at night. We don’t want you to experience the same issues, but we want your group of friends to live the most entertaining holidays. If you choose an entertaining destination and a comfortable hotel offering you a wide range of activities and services, car rental to explore the place and cold beers at sunset, your personal The Hangover could be your best year plan.

Friends’ getaway destinations in summer

friends getaway

Lanzarote

BIO: two and a half hours flight from Madrid. Older sister of Fuerteventura. Impressive beaches. Quiet atmosphere. It’s perfect for relaxing, chill out and exclusive getaways. It’s a trendy destination for cool people.

If you are a  bit of a freak, you would love to visit the places in the island where some scenes of movies like “Journey to the centre of the Earth”, “Doctor Who” or “Mararia” were filmed. … You will feel like an astronaut visiting the Moon.

Travelling with your friends to Lanzarote and forget daily routines, stress and responsibilities is a fantastic idea. The island has lots of secret spots where to get lost and just sunbathe, swim and drink a beer at a small island like La Graciosa with unspoilt beaches.

lanzarote with friends

You should go to the typical taverns and bars to taste the traditional gastronomy of the Canary Islands: gofio, papas arrugas, fried fish, cheese… Beach clubs are also a great option (prices are a bit more expensive) as well as chill outs and trendy terraces offering DJs sessions, live music and theme parties by the sea.

What to do in Lanzarote by day or by night?

Lanzarote is full of culture apart from beautiful beaches. If you are looking for sun and beach holidays, you just need to find the perfect place in Lanzarote with excellent tourist services, great nightlife, leisure activities and entertaining atmosphere at any time.

1.- Choose the best beaches. Playa de Las Conchas in the small island of La Graciosa and Playa Papagayo will amaze you.

2.- Bike tour across La Graciosa and then return to Lanzarote.

3.- Enjoy nightlife at Arrecife, Playa Blanca and Puerto del Carmen.  No limits 😉 You should go to bars like: Blue Mar, Manhattan and Heineken Harbour. Dance at La Ola or Lanzarote Palace until the early morning.

Group accommodation in Lanzarote?

You will find the most comfortable and affordable hotels for friends’ groups in Puerto del Carmen. You will be close to all trendy places in Lanzarote. There are a lot of hotels in this area, but we suggest you choose a fabulous 4-star hotel in Puerto del Carmen like Ole Olivina Lanzarote, an All Inclusive hotel with 4-star rooms for up to 5 people near the beach of Pocillos.

Ibiza

BIO: less than an hour flight from Madrid. Older sister of Formentera and one of the most beautiful islands of the Balearic Islands. Secret coves with entertaining beach clubs. Shops, craft markets and hippy clothes. The best electro music discos in the world. Amazing sunsets. A trendy summer holiday destination.

ibiza with friends

Entertainment is a key factor in Ibiza. You must visit this land of Mediterranean salt flats with your group of friends at least once in a lifetime. Train for the endless parties before you go. You will always find a place with great atmosphere to dance and enjoy excellent music.

Its secret coves are one of its main attractions where to relax with friends. Their beach clubs are fantastic, offering exclusive cocktails and typical food. Some of them even offer vegan food.

What to do in Ibiza?

1.- Visit and swim at crystal water coves and beaches like Las Salinas, Saladeta or Cala Bassa.

2.- Dive and explore. Take a diving class, put on your snorkel glasses and practice diving. You will be amazed by the crystal waters.

3.- Go out and enjoy the party. Ibiza is world-famous as a meeting point of the best DJ’s in the world. The best discos in Spain are there:Amnesia, Space, Privilege or Pacha.

4.- Try your luck at Ibiza Casino. You will have lots of fun.

Accommodation in Ibiza?

Choose a well-connected place so you can reach any interesting point in the island, but avoid nightlife areas. The north of the island is a great choice: it’s not too crowded and you will love its natural beauty. You will then combine amazing parties with relax on your holiday break.

We recommend you to choose hotels offering activities you can enjoy without leaving it, so you can combine them with your plans outside the hotel. A great example is  Ole Galeon Ibiza, a hotel with rooms at the beach of San Miguel  by Ole Hotels offering All Inclusive board and usually oriented to families who want to have fun and forget daily routines.

What should a hotel offer to be considered a wellness hotel?

When we talk about wellness tourism we refer to a segment or product that according to experts meeting every year at the International Tourism Fair in Madrid (FITUR) has an expected growth rate of 20% , so in 3-4 years the turnover is expected to be over 500 million euros. This amount rises to 7000 million across the globe, which made hotel chains and important business groups of the complementary offer portfolio to be committed to wellness.

In Spain, we already have a cluster of health tourism called Spaincares that integrates several businesses, most of them are aesthetic, fertility and health companies and some of them include hospitals.

We must stand out that health tourism is not the same as wellness tourism. Health tourism is also known as medical tourism and people travels to a particular city for medical treatments and also enjoy the destination (to the extent that their health needs allow it). They usually travel for minor illnesses treatments or aesthetics reasons, such as obstetrics (infertility problems), dentistry or aesthetic operations. It’s a segment  of tourism that attracts more and more foreigners due to the high quality of Spanish health systems and its professionals, as well as the great weather conditions during recovery times.

tourism-wellness

Wellness tourism is related to relax, disconnection, anti-stress treatments and personal care. Wellness tourism is very similar to traditional tourism but its main objective is travelling to achieve a balance between body and mind. According to experts, the recent growth of tourism is due to this tourism segment, which means that society is becoming more aware of the importance of health care and avoid sedentary lifestyles and stress.

In this second segment of tourism wellness there are two types of travellers: the one who plans a relaxing travel to disconnect or get beauty and wellness treatments. This traveller usually is highly selective about accommodation, as it should offer the wellness treatments that they need. This is happening in many spa hotels in Playa de Palma, where usually foreigners look for getting lost in Majorca to escape from daily routine. They just want to arrive to the airport and go directly to the hotel to relax.

Customized offer and customer care are essential for these type of travellers. But not all wellness hotels offer these services.

What should a pure wellness hotel offer?

Spa hotels are increasingly demanded since the 70’s and there are many spa hotels in Spain, especially in the north. They usually offer thermal waters with therapeutic purposes (as the times of the Romans). Despite rules and laws related to spa hotels, there’s a big difference between real spa hotels and promoted touristic spa hotels.

wellness-iberostar-bahia-palma

wellness area in Iberostar Bahía de Palma Hotel

A spa hotel in Tenerife or a family hotel in Costa Adeje with spa services offers body treatments with water as essential element. For this reason, it includes appropriate safe facilities with guarantee of absolute hygiene and excellent team of professionals team.

According to the definition of the Spa International Association: “Spas are areas specifically designed for wellness purposes, including professional services to revitalise body, mind and spirit”. In order to offer these services, they must create the appropriate facilities, whether it is a hotel or a private centre.

If you look for the real definition of SPA (Salute per Aqua) we discover that all spas should include an indoor pool, Jacuzzi or hydromassage bath. Therefore, spa hotels which just offer beauty treatments and massages cannot be considered spas, but hotels with wellness areas without the required facilities to be spa hotels.

Water then is essential. But we must differentiate between spa hotel and spa resort. Spa resorts are more institutionalised (Hotel management: a new view. Jesus Felipe Gallego, 2002. Spain. Paraninfo). They usually have two main areas, a more traditional one (the accommodation and its extra services) and another area offering specific health services that potentiate water benefits. Water at spa resorts has also thermal properties.

What is the sector future?

A report of the Andalusian Regional Government of 2012 explains some recommendations to improve these services and make wellness a reliable touristic product following a sustained and ongoing improvements. Below is a passage of the report which are addressed to Andalusia but can also be applied to other Spanish regions:

1. Create synergies between different subsegments to provide a global view of the segment.

2. Create a Health and Wellness culture offering training activities and promotions.

3. Determine the bases of H&W Tourism and what they offer and how it is formed.

4. Create access rules to determine which activity is H&T Tourism and which must it offer.

5. Potentiate education about the origins of Health and Wellness tourism, as well as H&W tourism travellers’ characteristics: potentiate this segment and create a market-oriented offer as well as an effective promotion and marketing.

6. Promote it as an individual segment. Offer a developed product with strong foundations and also show this proposal to the home and national market.

7. Apart from the sub-brand configuration, it should be created a H&W tourism brand, so the image and values of the brand should be defined.

8. Keep working on the recovery and implementation of spa offer.

9. Improve hotel infrastructure and keep working on complementary accommodation and spa offer at the same place.

10. Work on packages configuration depending on the tourist profile and market demands. Provide differential values.

11. Potentiate values such as:  Spanish health quality, one of the best in the world. Medicinal waters with healing effects. Legal protection and physical and health safety. A varied wellness and health offer.  The doctor’s importance at the healing treatments and facilities as well as the value of “hospitals” tourism.

12. Potentiate complementary offer as leisure itself and a great treatment complement: hiking, sports, etc.

13. Position Andalusia not just as a Sun, Beach or Golf destination, but as an Internationally famous Health and Wellness tourism destination.

14. Potentiate international tour operation.

15. Plan marketing systems for “hospitals” tourism.

16. Potentiate individual customers, as Spas usually potentiated groups.

17. Target youth market with a more flexible and affordable offer: from the most expensive to the cheapest offer.

18. Improve connections in all the provinces with H&W tourism. Road connections are essential to access spas and inland accommodations.
iberostar-wellness-bouganville-playa

Andalusia is a touristic destination that is really committed to H&W tourism, targeting travellers who not just look for sun and beach accommodations. They know that this type of tourism can improve deseasonalization, although there’s usually high-occupancy in Andalusia as winter takes just few months.

The Canary Islands and Majorca are also two main focus of wellness tourism especially addressed to foreigners. Hotels improvements in this sense are great, especially in touristic mature areas like Arenal and Magaluf in Majorca or Playa de las Americas and Los Cristianos in the Canary Islands. Family hotels in Costa Adeje with jacuzzi, spa hotels in Tenerife… The offer has changed and it has been renewed with wellness, sport and beauty alternatives.

Some chains are also investing in children’s spa facilities as Protur Hotels which has one of the most exclusive spa hotels in Spain: Biomar Spa, a wellness area in Sa Coma, Majorca, inside a 5-star gourmet resort 5 estrellas at the beach. The children’s spa (kids must be always accompanied by adults) is great for family travels and makes a difference in Only Adults spa hotels in Majorca, Tenerife, Ibiza, Marbella or Lanzarote.

In the other hand, the link with only adult hotels is usual as these hotels are mostly demanded by spa and wellness travellers: single or couple travels for people aged 40 to 50, without family responsibilities and medium-high purchasing power. Tourism sector prefers these customers as their expenditure by length of stay is higher than the standard sun and beach traveller.