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We have just come back from our first visit to La Palma and the Hacienda San Jorge. Having hired a car for four days of our weeks break.
I agree with others, the rooms are really spacious and clean, I would take your own travel kettle, as only a saucepan is provided, or use the microwave, but only a small problem.
We never eat in the hotel, so could not comment, though the dining room is very large and impersonal. It was full of Germans(where isn't) but as the hotel was hardly full, there wasn't problems with the sun beds, the pool looked great, though unheated, I saw many people, feeling the cold of it!
We found the reception not very friendly they could be quite brusque.
We did some walking, but found the roads and the standard of driving not good. It isn't touristy, which was good, but we won't be returning to the island.
We spent an outstandingly enjoyable week in a spacious and attractive self-catering apartment at the Hacienda San Jorge. The apartments are in several small buildings (two storey) set in landscaped gardens with a beautiful swimming pool, 56 varieties of palm trees together with other plants, fishponds, a duck pond and an aviary. The clean black beach is close by and buses to the interesting town of Santa Cruz depart from there every half hour (hourly at weekends). We used public bus connections from Santa Cruz to make walks in El Paso, Los Tilos and Las Nieves and we also visited Los Llanos. The horticultural and botanic interest of the island, plus the landscape, was our main interest so we did not use the swimming pool, but we noted that it was much enjoyed by others. Nor did we dine in the hotel (so our mark of Good is based on what we observed but did not consume). We liked to explore, and found that the neighbouring restaurant La Fontana had good food and attentive service, while there is also a friendly coffee bar near the beach. There are also several quite good restaurants a short stroll away in the village, where there is a SPAR shop for food, etc. However, the hotel shop is also well stocked and not expensive, with some foods which are not available at SPAR. A feature of the hotel is its ten well-groomed and collared cats, to be seen in the foyer and grounds (but forbidden from the apartment blocks). The weather was mild and mostly sunny until the last day, when we were drenched during a mountain hike. Unfortunately, on the following afternoon, when we were due to depart, a continuing gale closed the airport for what proved to be three days - so the attractions of La Palma have to be weighed against a small risk of weather problems.
The Hacienda San Jorge is not a hotel for guests seeking entertainment or in-house activities or childcare. The visitors were either enjoying the pool and grounds or using hired cars and public transport to get to the many magnificent mountain walks and the countryside with its rich, exotic vegetation and charming, beautifully painted villages.
We were interested in visiting La Palma for a winter break as we'd visited the other Canary Islands and thought it sounded relaxing and beautiful. We were thrilled that it was both. The resort is very small, but there's everything you need - a supermarket and enough restaurants and cafes to go somewhere different each night. The food was generally excellent - very local and fresh - not an egg and chips in sight! The apartments were gorgeous - clean spacious rooms and the gardens and views were just stunning. Staff were very helpful and efficient.
Los Cancajos is excellently positioned. Just 10 minutes in a cab from the airport and a further 10 minutes in a cab or bus to the island's capital Santa Cruz, however, we would recommend a walk to the capital which takes less than an hour. Typical tourists at this time of year are older walkers and tourers and young families (pre-school). Couples who just need to relax and unwind would also find this an ideal resort.
The weather was very changeable during our visit - we had 48 hours of torrential rain, but as you will see, not even that managed to dampen our review! Brollies are actually provided in each room, and as the island is so lush and green, it's not surprising that even when the sun is shining there is the odd coinciding shower!
In conclusion, we would definately go back for another week in the future and that's high praise for us!
We had a very successful week on La Palma, staying at the Hacienda San Jorge. Our apartment was spacious, clean and well maintained, set in beautiful well kept gardens full of palms and other indigenous plants. We did not book half-board but in fact ate in the hotel for all but one meal. There was a good choice of food with a good salad buffet and plenty of fruit. Our only criticism was that the food could have been hotter at times but this seems to be a common fault of hotel buffets. The atmosphere within the hotel was relaxing and calm we felt it was a peaceful haven. During our week, there was only entertainment on one evening, a jazz night in the bar. There was an inviting pool but during our week, there was not too much sun on the east side of the island and the water in the pool felt cold.
We explored on foot, by bus, in our hire car and went on one guided walk. The buses are cheap, arrive on time and frequent. It is necessary to get the local bus into Santa Cruz (every half an hour) to catch further buses to other parts of the island. Copies of the timetable can be obtained at Reception or Tourist Information in Cancajos. We found driving easy as the roads are in a reasonable condition, quiet and well signed the petrol is cheap. A company called Natour organises guided walks these are quite expensive but in our experience, well organised.
There are many volcanic features on this mountainous island and we particularly enjoyed walking on the rim and within the crater of the Caldera de Taburiente. From the rim, the views on a clear day are excellent. We also enjoyed the volcanoes in the south, San Antonio and Teneguia. Walking routes are shown on the useful hiking and leisure map La Palma, published by freytagberndt 1:30 000, purchased in the hotel supermarket. We were glad we had taken our walking boots and trekking poles because some terrain is rugged. A visit to Santa Cruz is worthwhile as there are numerous old buildings to see it takes about 40 minutes to walk along the coast or a few minutes by bus.
It seems the weather is very localised so if it is cloudy on the east, venture west! At times, it can be hazy due to winds bringing fine particles of sand from the Sahara. In January, we found the evenings chilly and were glad of warmer layers!
We had a very busy week with no rest days! We wished we had booked to stay longer! We have no hesitation in recommending non-touristy La Palma and Hacienda San Jorge.
Hotel: ok for what we paid, that?s about the most positive thing i can say about the island in general. It says in brochure quaint with little tapas bars, very low key which is fine but this was very misleading. We were in the main resort, it was dead! The capital city which is a five minute taxi ride away was also dead, we couldn?t even find a restaurant with more than six people in, most of the time we were the only people in there. If you are under 70 it?s not for you, very Darby and Joan
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