Finca de Arrieta

Arrieta, Lanzarote, Spain Book from Eur80

Reviewed by Joe Cawley
Self-catering with a difference: family-friendly yurts and stone cottages (sleeping 2-8) on a self-sufficient and stylish eco resort
It’s hard to miss Finca de Arrieta. Driving north along highway LZ-1, you see to your right a traditional Lanzarote scene: a sweeping bay bordering a sugar-cube fishing village. On the left, however, is the slightly less conventional sight of a cluster of Mongolian yurts and volcanic-stone cottages set amongst 3 hectares of mango and peach trees. And donkeys.

But it’s not just the aesthetics that make Finca de Arrieta stand out from the crowd; it’s also the ethos. English owners Tila, Michelle and their family are so eco-friendly that the entire finca is 'off the grid'. There are wind turbines, solar panels and DIY egg collecting. But sparing the planet doesn’t mean skimping on comfort. Whether you choose to stay under canvas in a yurt or under slate in a cottage, you’ll find comfortable beds, Balinese furniture, hot showers and fully equipped kitchens. There's a solar-heated pool, a chill-out area with daybeds, super playground with giant chess set and trampoline, plus an honesty shop. This is a quirky rural retreat with a real feel-good factor, ideal for anyone seeking a laid-back holiday off the beaten path.

Highs

  • Fantastic value for money
  • A great option for families - yurts and cottages sleep up to 8, there's baby equipment and body boards to borrow, and young children will love the pool, trampoline and playground
  • Only 35 minutes' drive from the airport, and 300m from a sandy, family beach
  • Guest Relations are on site daily from 9am-1pm and can offer local advice or book activities, including surfing, snorkelling, sea kayaking and boat trips
  • A good choice of restaurants beachside and in the fishing village of Arrieta (a 10-minute stroll away), or Tila can deliver deli meals to your door

Lows

  • Note, the pool will be undergoing renovations 15-25 May 2016; discounts apply during this time (10-15%; enquire when booking)
  • Don't expect luxury - the Eco Tower doesn't have a private kitchen, and all the accommodation is simple and stylish rather than sumptuous
  • Not for those who want complete privacy: the yurts are set close together and though they are separated by walls, noise does carry - but the atmosphere is convivial
  • The track to the beach is bumpy; you'll need a buggy with big wheels, and there are torches for after dark
  • Expect strong breezes - the weather in this part of Lanzarote is always bright but often blustery
  • You might hear occasional traffic from the nearby road

Best time to go

Lying just 100km off the coast of Africa, Lanzarote enjoys year-round sunshine and thus any month is a good time to go. Those who prefer a little less heat might want to steer clear of July and August. Expect strong sea breezes throughout the year.

Our top tips

  • If the finca is full (which it often is), and you're coming in a group, you can book the very sleek Casa de Volcan, 1 km away, with 5-6 bedrooms and a solar-heated swimming pool

  • For an alternative dip in the sea head to Caleton Blanco, a lagoon just a few minutes north of Finca de Arrieta on the way to Orzola. The warm, shallow water is ideal for young kids to splash around in.
  • Great for...

    Beach
    Cheap & Chic
    Eco
    Family
    • = Recommended
    • = Best in region
    • = World favourite
    • Boutique Cottages & Yurts
    • 7 cottages + 8 yurts + 1 large villa
    • Self-catering (+ restaurants nearby)
    • All ages welcome
    • Open all year
    • Heated Pool
    • Spa Treatments
    • WiFi
    • Pet Friendly
    • Disabled Access
    • Beach Nearby
    • Off-street Parking
    • Restaurants Nearby
    • Air Conditioning
    • Guest Lounge
    • Terrace
    • Garden
    • Gym
    • Daily Maid Service
    • Towels & Bedlinen
    • Concierge Service
    • Board games
    • Trampoline
    Room:

    Rooms

    The white Mongolian yurts scattered around the gardens vary in size, from the small Eco Chico Yurt and Eco Palm Yurt and Eco Yurt (both with kingsize beds and ideal for couples) to the Eco Chiquitita Yurt and Eco Twin Yurt, made up of 2 yurts and a covered dining terrace (each sleeps 4; best suited a family). The larger Eco Beach Yurt is made up of 2 yurts, both with a double bed, and a palm-leaf covered pod, sat on a raised platform which works as a living or summer sleeping area with a double sofa bed. All have private kitchens and bathrooms (most with a shower only), set in stone buildings next to the tents.

    Our favourite was the jaw-loosening Eco Yurt Royale, which sleeps up to 8, and would be perfect for family holiday with the grandparents. Its tardis-like interior has 83sq.m of eastern promise, with 2 kingsize beds and 2 single beds separated by weighted, drop-down drapes. Mosquito nets, Balinese furniture and Mongolian artefacts add to the exotic air. Within its walled garden is a bathroom with a bath and a shower, a thatched dining hut raised on stilts, a curtained Balinese daybed, and a huge open-sided kitchen and lounge area. Similar in style and comfort is the Eco Yurt Suite, which sleeps up to 6 in a super-kingsize bed, 2 single beds and 2 rollaway beds; both this, the Eco Casita (see below) and the Eco Yurt Royale come with airport transfers and exclusive use of a Toyota Prius hybrid car.

    For those who prefer their accommodation made of sturdier stuff, the Eco Tower is a restored water mill with 360-degree sea and mountain views. Ideal for a couple, it has a super-kingsize bed, an ensuite shower room and access to a communal kitchen. Slightly larger, with an open-plan contemporary interior and room for 2 adults and a child is the Eco Lodge. The stone-walled Eco Garden Cottage and Eco Casita are open-plan self-contained studios for up to 4 people, with kitchens, bathrooms and lounge areas with sofabeds.

    For larger families (and budgets) are the Eco Barn (sleeps 4), the Eco Luxury Villa, which sleeps up to 6 in 2 bedrooms (a double and a twin) and a sofabed, and the vast 3-double-bedroom Eco Farmhouse, which accommodates up to 8. The latter 2 have a lounge and a kitchen, plus 2 bathrooms; the farmhouse also comes with its own private plunge pool and a wonderful outdoor lounge area. Rates also include airport transfers and use of a car.

    Off site, in the nearby village of Tabayesco, the new Casa Volcan is an enormous and much more modern retreat suitable for up to 12 (in 5/6 bedrooms). We're yet to personally view it, but it's self-catering, has a solar-heated swimming pool and also includes airport transfers and use of a car.

    Features include:

    • Barbeque
    • Cd player
    • Coffee tea making
    • Cots Available
    • Extra beds
    • Food blender
    • Fridge
    • Full kitchen
    • Hob stove
    • Ipod dock
    • Microwave (on request)
    • Oven
    • Plunge pool
    • Radio
    • Terrace
    • Terrace
    • WiFi

    Eating

    Most cottages and all tents have a private kitchen; if you’re staying in the Eco Tower you’ll need to use communal cooking facilities, but the laid-back atmosphere is conducive to swapping tips and tales around the stove. And you can dine in private, as all have their own terraces with tables, chairs and BBQs (the Eco Yurt Royale also has a funky Balinese dining house on stilts).

    The kitchens are very well equipped, with ovens, hobs, fridge-freezers, pots and pans, crockery and cutlery, plus basic supplies such as tea, coffee, sugar, milk, crisps washing-up liquid and bin bags. The eco ethos means there are no high-energy appliances such as dishwashers or electric kettles (you get a ring-top kettle instead), though microwaves are provided on request. A basket of fresh local produce, including fruit, vegetables, herbs, wine, cheese and jam, can be pre-ordered, or you can fill your fridge with supplies from one of the 2 small but well-stocked supermarkets in Arrieta (a short stroll away) or the large hypermarket in Costa Teguise (20 minutes by car). There’s a small honesty shop at the finca, with a variety of soft drinks and snacks, and if you want to whip up an omelette you can collect eggs from the farm's hens.

    The village of Arrieta might be small, but it packs a punch when it comes to the number of options for eating out. No less than 7 restaurants, including the great Chiringuito beachside snack bar, grace its main road and waterfront; Amancer is perhaps pick of the bunch, specialising in fantastic fresh fish and seafood. Tila and Michelle can also recommend other restaurants in the surrounding villages, including LagOmar, which was previously owned by Omar Sharif.

    Casa Volcan is in village of Tabayesco village (1km away) and has a full kitchen, a dining area and an alfresco poolside barbecue area.

    Features include:

    • Children meals
    • Coffee tea making
    • Food blender
    • Fridge
    • Full kitchen
    • Hob stove
    • Honesty shop
    • Oven
    • Restaurants nearby
    • Shopping service
    Eating:
    Activity: Playa Garita

    Activities

    • Laze on a shaded daybed by the pool, while the kids amuse themselves on the trampoline and in the playground
    • Say hello to the myriad of animals on site
    • Soak up the rays on Arrieta’s sandy beach, Playa Garita, just 300m away. Afterwards, enjoy a long, lazy lunch at the beachside Casa de la Playa Garita (we recommend the paella)
    • Visit neighbouring Punta Mujeres to paddle in rock pools and snorkel in a natural lava-rock swimming pool
    • Try windsurfing, surfing or body boarding at Costa Teguise, 20 minutes away by car. Courses for novices can be arranged through Finca de Arrieta (it’s not as hard as it looks)
    • Explore above or below the waves with a sea kayak safari or scuba dive (Sally in the finca’s office can arrange these for you)
    • Don some hiking boots or hire a mountain bike and head off into the wilds along old donkey and goat paths (remember to take lots of water and sun cream)
    • Explore Timanfaya National Park, with its lunar-like landscape, which includes clusters of volcanic craters and a lava lake
    • Visit the Canaries’ eighth island, La Graciosa; zoom over in a power boat for a picnic on one of the best beaches in the area (a very memorable day out)
    • Go underground at the fabulous Cueva de los Verdes and Jameos del Agua volcanic caves (15 minutes away). Be warned, though: the multilingual ability of some of the guides is sketchy

    Activities on site or nearby include:

    • Boat trips
    • Body boarding
    • Caving
    • Hiking
    • Kayaking
    • Mountain biking
    • Playground
    • Sailing
    • Scuba diving
    • Scuba diving courses
    • Snorkelling
    • Surfing
    • Swimming
    • Wildlife
    • Windsurfing
    • Yoga

    Kids

    Kids of all ages will love it here (except perhaps teenagers looking for a bit of neon nightlife), and the quirky accommodation is a great option for families who want a fuss-free holiday without a guilty eco conscience. Tila and Michelle have a young family themselves and are extremely welcoming to children, who will be in their element bouncing on the trampoline, splashing in the pool and clambering about in the playground. There are also donkeys, ducks, chickens, cats, a dog and a frog to meet. During school holidays kids have the run of the place, visiting each other, and roaming around playing together.

    Best for:

    Toddlers (1-4 years), Children (4-12 years)

    Family friendly accommodation:

    The Eco Farmhouse (3 double bedrooms), Eco Barn (1 double and 1 twin) and Eco Luxury Villa (1 double and 1 twin) are ideal for larger families, as are the Eco Casita, Eco Yurt Suite and Eco Yurt Royale; all come with the use of a Toyota Prius hybrid car. The Eco Twin Yurt, Eco Chiquitita Yurt and Eco Beach Yurt would suit families with older children who might want their own space. Those with 1 or 2 children will find space aplenty in the Eco Garden Cottage and the Eco Yurt. Bathrooms in all but the Eco Farmhouse, Eco Luxury Villa, Eco Yurt Suite and Eco Yurt Royale have showers only, but baby baths can be provided on request. Casa Volcan is enormous and much more private: 1km away with a private pool and 5/6 bedrooms.

    Babysitting:

    Babysitting can be arranged on request.

    Baby equipment:

    • Baby cots
    • Highchairs
    • Potties
    • Child steps
    • Baby baths
    • Bath mats
    • Changing mats
    • Plastic crockery

    Remember  baby and child equipment may be limited or need pre-booking

    Children's meals:

    The kitchens are fully set up for self-catering, although you may have to share facilities with other guests if staying in the Eco Tower. Plastic crockery and highchairs are available on request

    Kids Activities on site:

    • Swimming pool
    • Trampoline
    • Kids' playground with little play houses and giant chess set
    • Table tennis
    • Donkey rides
    • Toy box
    • Board games

    Kids Activities nearby:

    • Making sand castles and learning to body board at Playa La Garita and Costa Teguise
    • Swimming at Caleton Blanco lagoon
    • Paddling in rock pools at Punta Mujeres
    • Day trips to La Gracious

    Families Should Know:

    The track from the finca to the beach is very bumpy. We don't recommend attempting it with a buggy. The resort is surrounded by walls and set back from the road so parents can relax and leave the kids to their own devices knowing they are safe.

    Distances:

    • Airport: 35 minutes
    • Shop: 5 minutes
    Kid Friendly:

    Our guests' ratings...

    9/
    Rooms
    8/
    Food
    8/
    Service
    9/
    Value
    9/
    Overall

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