Since ‘becoming adults’ Helen and I had never been on holiday during the kids, school holidays. There was simply never a need for us to pay exorbitant prices to travel to places that were crowded with… well, kids.
However, having ventured to America a number of times now to supervise my parents on the trip. I figured it was about time that we shared a holidaying experience with Helen’s family. Given the fact, her sister has two kids, one of which is in school and her mum is a teacher, we were going to be going in the school holidays.
In fact, for the summer of 2018, they’d already booked there trip away to Fuerteventura (10 months in advance). When we looked to join them on their package holiday with Jet2 I was quoted in excess of £2,000 for the two of us for a week (despite booking 5 months in advance).
Undefeated and unwilling to pay the exorbitant price I managed to find a long-winded travel plan that would land us self-catering at the same “hotel” as Helen’s family for eight nights for £700 for the two of us.
Broncemar Beach is located in Caleta De Fuste, Fuerteventura. Around 15 minutes from the international airport. Caleta De Fuste is predominantly owned by Melia hotels with a large Barcelo hotel, bungalows, villas and hotels taking up the majority of the seafront.
Broncemar Beach is set around 200 metres back from the front and the main bar, shopping, restaurant area in Caleta De Fuste. Which means that you’re only ever a short walk away from a number of different restaurants, a supermarket, bars, clubs, excursion shops etc.
As we were self-catering we did the majority of our shopping at the main supermarket; HyperDino. Although we had the pleasure of eating out one evening at the Indian restaurant around the corner from the supermarket – it was delicious, I highly recommend checking it out.
Just past the main area, you’ll find the man-made beach and seafront. We headed down to the beach a couple of times during our stay and picked up a sunbed each for around €22 for the day.
We arrived at the hotel at around 7am, we got a taxi from the airport for €14 and was first in line to check-in. After completing all the necessary paperwork and submitting our payment for the room we were provided with a map demonstrating where the reception was in relation to our room.
We’d asked when booking on the Broncemar Beach website to be situated in an appartment next to Helen’s family if possible and we’re grateful that this request was met.
The room at Broncemar Beach was much like the rest of the hotel resort. Outdated. The whole place was clean, just incredibly outdated. In fact, I remember the hotels I visited the Canaries with my parents 20 years ago looking just the same.
A double bed, as in many Spanish apartments like this one was two single beds pushed together. Something similar to the below (without the flowers and juice of course)
We were welcomed to our new room with a new giant cockroach crawling around the bedroom, and unfortunately, this wouldn’t be the first time one would take up residence in our apartment during our stay here.
I’ve been to the Canary Islands more than fifty times, and while I understand cockroaches are common here, it seemed as though Broncemar Beach did next to nothing in order to help prevent them. As we later found they were coming out through a gap in the wardrobe wood (we found this out thanks to some loud crunching around 2 am one evening…)
Whether you’re staying self-catering or all-inclusive all rooms are the same and come with an open plan living and kitchen area. The floor is traditional Spanish tiled and you’ll find (difficult) sliding doors out onto a balcony area with plastic seating.
The kitchen equipment available inside the apartment is basic at best. However, we focused on the use of the toaster, microwave and fridge during our stay more than anything else, all of which worked perfectly fine.
Wifi is available at the resort for an additional cost (and then an additional cost after that for each device).
The WIFI is dreadful. Upon looking to purchase access to the service the staff member advised me to sample it first to ‘see what I thought’. I decided to do my sampling inside the reception and I was happy. Well, I was spending the best part of €30 for 5mbps download, but whatever…
The mistake I made was sampling the WIFI inside reception. Outside of reception, by the pool, in the restaurant or in your room there’s zero WIFI availability. Ultimately, making the entire WIFI service useless – or at the very least not payment worthy.
All-Inclusive Food & Drink
While we personally didn’t pay extra for the all-inclusive food and drink at the hotel, Helen’s family did. So we can only discuss what they told us and experienced. Breakfast, lunch and dinner are all buffet style and served from the main restaurant which has an indoor and outdoor seating area.
The restaurant area, much like the rest of the area is outdated. Breakfast and lunch remained the same throughout the stay, however, some evening meals include themed meals (Mexican, Chinese etc.) alongside some staple items.
Lunch-time snacks were also available pool-side in the bar area where you’d have a selection of breads, cheeses, meats, chips etc. This was ideal for the kids who chose to maximise there pool-time without missing out on food.
Unfortunately, the quality of the food was very hit and miss. I don’t feel that the atmosphere of an out-of-date rickety old buffet restaurant helped.
Soft drinks, local beer, cocktails and un-branded spirits were all available from 10am until 11pm, this was perhaps the best part of the all-inclusive offer at Broncomar Beach. The variety of drinks for both children and adults was fantastic, and the measurements were very generous.
After days of convincing him, Frankie decided to visit the kids club. The staff are very enthusiastic and friendly. Frankie even ended up winning a certificate from one of the games during the day that was given to him at the evening disco.
The evening entertainment was run by the same activity staff that run the kids club and adults entertainment during the day. Considering the small number of staff and limited resources available for so many guests we were highly impressed.
The kid’s disco was a major hit. However, bingo that seemed to take place most evenings was mixed, it lacked organisation, timekeeping and required you to buy a pen if you didn’t bring your own.
There are three swimming pools at Broncemar Beach. One is a small children’s pool, the other two are larger, deeper swimming pools.
During the mid-week of August as you can imagine all three swimming pools were busy from the moment they opened until the second, they closed in the evening. Of course, the swimming you might want to do was restricted due to a large abundance of inflatables – seriously, there were pineapples, chips, sharks, cars, unicorns… and that’s all at the same time.
That’s before we get to the sunbeds which, again, were like gold-dust leaving many families’ talking up camp on the uncomfortable plastic white chairs by the bar.
With the majority of guests being all-inclusive, many spent their days around the pool. In which case, when the resort is near high capacity means that obtaining a sunbed or an area of the pool to swim in is near impossible.
The on-site shop is down at the bottom of the complex, opposite the restaurant, next to a pub. It contains a range of heavily overpriced items including your typical souvenirs, ice-lollies, drinks, cigarettes etc.
If you’re planning on buying anything other than a drink I’d seriously suggest walking the extra 100m to either the Chinese ‘tat shop’ on the corner or HyperDino the supermarket.
There are better places than Broncemar Beach to stay in Caleta De Fuste. There are even cheaper places (saving of around £200 based on 2 people over 7 nights) to stay that are a similar quality to Broncemar Beach.
So, would I stay here again? You can probably guess by now my answer is no.
Even if you’re planning on sticking to the Caleta De Fuste region there’s a great deal of choice and competition that I believe provides you with the opportunity to find somewhere better.
What ultimately goes on to let this hotel down is the quality of the entire complex. It’s completely outdated, and in an area where there are luxury hotels, it really shows.