A Mummy Break in
Lanzarote, Canary Islands
As a mammy of two little girls under the age of five, you’d imagine I’d be ecstatic to escape for a girly break.
I’d been planning this for an eternity.
Since getting my first little girl Erin off the boob, (at 18 months, she was stuck on breastfeeding) then I got pregnant again so I put my much needed trip on hold.
Roll on six years and it was finally happening, a taste of freedom.
For weeks before I left, I conjured up images of the airport duty free shopping, that pint of Guinness in departures, the carefree lunches in the Canaries.
The ease of not having to spoon food into another human while mine got cold, hot cups of coffee and long walks uninterrupted, these were all my daydreams.
But throw a pandemic into the mix, I’m at the airport and I feel unhinged.
A disorganised mess, I hadn’t printed out my boarding card assuming everyone takes a screenshot on their phone! Like anyone under 40 who’s cool, (Big mistake huge, stay uncool is my motto)
The check in guy looked at me as if I had ten heads when my screenshot of the boarding pass on my phone was too blurry to be read correctly.
We ended up dashing through the fast track in a panic.
Next hiccup, I hadn’t organised my liquids properly, (I was told off by security)
I was an unmitigated disaster and I firmly believe when I turned off mum, I welcomed back a less proficient, more discombobulated me, I guess the old carefree me was back!
In six years I had been away for one night alone and one weekend with my partner John but never on a plane without my babies.
I usually had one on my knee, invariably lobbing them on the boob for take off and landing so I was always in a state of nurture and mammy mode.
If my kids had been with me, I would have boarded that plane with a million polly pockets of documentation organised, it would have been a military operation and I would have been supremely organised.
I had never banked on parental anxiety affecting me, but it hit me in the face.
Catastrophizing, I had visions of the plane crashing, at home my girls choking on a rasher, or getting run down by a car while out playing, I was in some sort of mild mental torment.
When my friend eased my nerves by reminding me that my girl's daddy was at home I soon began to chill and address my unmitigated fear, it was unfounded.
As the plane took off it was as if I was no longer mammy.
I felt this massive weight lift off my shoulders. I was jetting off into the distance with nobody but me to please, woop I was going to make the most of this.
Step up Lanzorote the home of the Irish great escape and for stressed out mammy’s it was just the ticket.
My pal Angie is an easy going travel companion, we both have young kids so everything was a luxury, as we drove past rows of white washed villas I knew paradise was beckoning.
On the South-West coast of Lanzarote, Puerto Calero is only 10 kilometres from the airport and 20km from the island's capital Arrecife.
Its geographical location is ideal being sheltered from the island’s prevalent North-Easterly winds.
Secrets Resort and Spa, Lanzarote is a tranquil and grown-up hideaway in Puerto Calero only a 10 minutes stroll from the marina with its chic bars, boutiques and restaurants.
The neighbouring island of Fuerteventura and the mountain range forming the coast of Punta Gorda also give protection from the strong rolling winds making it a haven for sun bathing of which I planned on doing a load of!
I never got to read the three self help books in my suitcase, preferring to nod off or swim!
Upon arrival at Secrets, myself and my pal Angie were welcomed with a glass of champagne and a cold face cloth by the friendliest of staff.
As Italo (yes that was his name) gave us an explainer on how the preferred club works he added: “The only thing you must do now is relax.”
Soon all feelings of mummy guilt evaporated, I had forgotten what it was like to truly relax on holidays.
Secrets is a stylish seaside hotel and spa, with four swimming pools and a huge choice of bars and restaurants.
Honestly we did not want to leave our stunning suite let alone the hotel.
Overlooking the ocean, with fabulous views, it’s a tranquil chill out property, we joked that our other halves should have been with us and felt for them back in freezing Ireland.
You’d be forgiven for thinking we were in the honeymoon suite, with two rooms, a jacuzzi bath, a comfy sitting room area and the best view of the sea and the private pool area, this was a little slice of heaven.
If you choose either of these Suites, or one of the smaller Standard Rooms in the Preferred Club section, you’ll receive a host special extras such as continental breakfast and afternoon snacks served in the exclusive Preferred Club Lounge and access to a private solarium and pool.
With a bottle of cava upon arrival what more could girls who wanted to channel their inner Carrie Bradshaw desire!
The architecture at Secrets is clean-cut and modern, with low-rise whitewashed buildings, interspersed by towering palm trees, beautifully arranged in terraces down to the pool area and the sea beyond.
I could see why this is a popular flop and drop holiday option.
After we toured the property, I lapped it up in the jacuzzi bath before we donned the heels in preparation for dinner.
From classic Italian cuisine and sushi with sea views to a seafood grill and a beach bar with a fabulous line in cocktails, there’s ample to choose from.
We headed for Oceana, the fabulous seafood restaurant the first night and opted for Angus Heart and freshly caught Hake.
To start the lobster bisque was divine and it was so fabulous to be served dinner.
That’s the best bit.
With the unlimited luxury package we could have sipped our chardonnay all night but for these burnt out mums, bed was calling.
There’s something about Egyptian cotton in five star hotels, heavenly.
After a cup of mint tea and a chin wag we were in zzz heaven.
Breakfast is a thing of beauty at Secrets, from delectable almond cakes to hand crafted pastries, a full a la carte omelette menu, fry ups, fresh juices and charcuterie with cheese, we ate like queens.
I was thinking of a recent report I read stating that if you eat cake for breakfast, you actually burn calories, this to burn the calories so I stocked up with no guilt!
We could have survived on breakfast for the day and skipped our evening meal.
The bustling Porta Del Carmen is just six kilometres from Puerto Calero and it’s an incredible walk across natural terrain if you’re into hiking.
So we donned the shorts and headed for a much needed breath of fresh air.
We passed by the upmarket Puerto Calero with it’s gorgeous shopping strip and marina, a lovely spot for people to watch.
Lanzarote is known for its chillout vibes but if you want more than to fly and flop, hiking and walking is a really popular activity.
www.komoot.com details the 20 best hikes around the island. On our hike, we bumped into many friendly hikers trekking across the Island.
The volcanic soil is truly something to behold, it felt like we were walking through craters, whilst taking in the stunning sea view.
Back at our hotel it was time to slip back into relax mode so after a sunbath and a swim it was off to the spa in the form of a dynamic indoor pool with neck and lumbar jets.
It also contains a thermal suite that includes a Turkish bath, a beauty centre with a tempting list of face and body treatments, and even a hairdresser.
And for anyone with an urge to explore beyond the hotel, there’s a diving centre for underwater adventures, bicycles to hire and excursions to beaches and volcanoes.
All right on your doorstep, we truly were spoiled and it felt like an oasis for mammy time.
For all info see www.secretslanzorote.com