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Lanzarote - Sandos Papagayo Beach Royal Elite (Junior Suite) Hotel Review
Living room and terrace in the Junior Suite, Sandos Papagayo
This review is based on my second visit to this hotel (2016). The stay was in a Junior Suite, which also includes the Royal Elite package. My first review of a standard room experience can be found here.
Location (obviously), ownership and star rating of the hotel remain unchanged from 2012 - Sandos Papagayo Beach Resort is still a 4-star hotel located on the edge of Playa Blanca. After a good experience the first time, I didn't hesitate to book it again.
If you want to read a bit more about the location, do check out my first review of this hotel. In this review, I am going to go straight in and talk about the room, Royal Elite and what's changed.
Our Junior Suite was very true to the description and photos that the hotel has on the website - as you walk in, you have a bar/dining area, which is where the kettle, the coffee machine and the mini bar are located. Then there is a living room area with a sofa, arm chair, LCD TV and glass sliding door onto terrace number one with a beautiful view over the sea and Fuerteventura. There are two sun loungers as well as table and two chairs on the terrace (the second terrace only has a table and chairs, not the loungers). There is also a spacious separate bedroom with another LCD TV and safe (free of charge). Finally, there is a large bathroom with a hydromassage tub, a separate shower and double sinks.
Booking a Junior Suite at Sandos Papagayo automatically gives you access to the Royal Elite package, which includes robes, slippers and pool towels in the room on arrival, tea/coffee making facilities with daily replenishment of teabags, coffee pods and water, turndown service, a separate restaurant for breakfast and dinner and access to two lounges with premium drinks and some snacks (one of them has a large outdoor terrace and the other one is adults only). You can also get this package with a standard room for a supplement.
The Royal Elite restaurant has a completely different atmosphere to the main restaurant - it feels significantly more upmarket and with classier furniture and table service for drinks it has the air of fine dining although I don't believe the food itself was different. I have a feeling that the food quality in general has improved since our last visit - though desserts were still not my thing, I was very happy with my main course choices 90% of the time.
The Royal Elite lounges were a lovely place to chill when the sun outside got too much. There were comfy sofas and armchairs and self service drinks of all kinds. Sometimes the lounges were completely deserted and sometimes they got pretty full.
Junior Suite bathroom
Junior Suite bedroom
The lounges can only be accessed with your room key, so don't leave in in the lounge if you pop out to the toilet or you will not be able to get back in easily.
In general, we felt that the Royal Elite areas were not signposted well - it took us ages to find the restaurant on the first night, and we didn't discover the adults-only lounge until midway through the holiday. Now that may be something that the hotel chose to do on purpose, but nevertheless a bit more signage would have been helpful.
WiFi could be used in the reception tower area and in the Royal Elite lounges (though the signal was only strong enough in one of them to make it work properly).
Overall, I noticed that though this is an older hotel, they are trying to make sure they keep up to speed and don't let standards slip. They are slowly renovating the rooms, the area around the adults only pool got nice new sun loungers (though people reserving them meant it was difficult to actually get one), and I am also pretty sure that the outdoor hot tub by that pool is new as well. During our stay, maintenance was working in the reception tower to replace a few broken floor tiles. So though it's not one of those shiny new high-tech places, it's not falling apart either. I would happily come back to Sandos Papagayo again!
Royal Elite adults only lounge
Adults only pool area
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