SUN, SPORTS AND THE BEST EXPERIENCES FOR 40 YEARS
Club La Santa seemed like an impossible idea: a sports centre at the far end of a volcanic island, off the coast of Africa. Hard to build, hard to get to - and isolated in the sands of Lanzarote, with no special attractions, shops nor towns for miles around. Just a beautiful and majestic volcanic landscape, with a few green crops here and there as far as the eye can see.
It doesn't sound like a recipe for travel success - and only a visionary daredevil and travel pioneer like Ejlif Krogager could see the possibilities. It has been a mental Ironman, to create, build and run Club La Santa, but it has been worth it all.
Many of us who have been there cannot imagine a better way to spend a holiday - and Club La Santa's guests are without a doubt the best and most loyal guests in the world. Why so? Because Club La Santa has a wonderfully special and relaxed atmosphere - with unique opportunities, unique staff, and unique history. It's hard to describe and has to be experienced - and once you've experienced it, it's hard to let go.
Now Club La Santa is celebrating its 40th anniversary - we have enjoyed every day of the journey so far. We hope you have too. We are immensely grateful for the fantastic and unforgettable experiences we've had with you over the past 40 years. It has truly been an extraordinary adventure, and we appreciate your continued support and trust. We eagerly anticipate the opportunity to create new memories and provide you with amazing experiences over the next 40 years, both at Club La Santa and in the stunning destination of Lanzarote.
The foundations of Club La Santa were laid back in 1968, when the Spanish savings bank La Caja had a holiday village built on the north-west coast of Lanzarote, near the village of La Santa. The project was initially to build an apartment complex of 400 units to be rented out as tourist apartments, but due to the oil crisis it was never finished.
For 10 years the resort lay derelict and decaying due to lack of maintenance. Ejlif Krogager, owner of Tjæreborg Travel, also known as the Tjæreborg priest, became aware of the decaying resort and immediately saw an opportunity. After quick negotiations with La Caja, the holiday resort was taken over by Tjæreborg Travel in 1978. The apartment complex in Lanzarote was initially purchased to provide more beds for the ever-increasing demand for charter holidays among Danes.
Krogager wanted to create something new, something the world had never seen before. At a time when the European travel industry mainly focused on beach and nightlife holidays, he wanted to create a resort where sports enthusiasts and active people could enjoy exercise and sport on their holidays. In June of 1983 "La Santa Sport", as the centre was first named, was inaugurated.
The early years were tough. The Danes were not adequately prepared to replace lazy holidays with unfamiliar active holiday. Losses were substantial and weighed on the overall results of the Tjæreborg Group. Still, Krogager was steadfast in his belief in the project and predicted: 'Club La Santa is a gold mine. It is only a question of when we can dig up the gold!"
When Krogager sold Tjæreborg Travel to Spies Travel in 1989, Club La Santa was not part of the deal. The ownership of Club La Santa therefore remained in the hands of the Krogager family.
In the early 90s, Club La Santa was put under new management, with Leif Rasmussen as CEO. After a few years of rationalization and restructuring, the resort’s financial balance finally improved. Meanwhile, physical activity and exercise became a bigger part of people’s everyday lives. Ejlif Krogager sadly died in 1992 and never got to witness Club La Santa’s success.
The year 1995 was the turning point and the first year of real profit for Club La Santa. Since 1995, Club La Santa has made a profit every year- right up until the covid crisis- and guests now come from all over the world to enjoy the Club La Santa lifestyle. Half of the guests are Danish, 30% are British and about 10% are German.
At the start of the new millennium, Club La Santa began planning its expansion, and assessing different possibilities, its finances and goals. Soon after, the company sought planning permission from local and national authorities - a process that turned out to be a lot more complicated than expected.
In 2012, Club La Santa took the first steps towards a significant modernisation and expansion. Firstly, new facilities were built, and old ones renovated. Next, all existing apartments were modernised, and work started on the construction of 96 new suites.
In April of 2014, many of the new facilities and 96 new suites finally opened - expanding the hotel’s capacity from 1250 to 1600 guests.
At the start of 2020, things started to go downhill - fast. Corona started to spread and slowly but surely shut down the whole of Europe and the rest of the world. On Wednesday, 17th of March, an extra flight was arranged to take the last guests home to Denmark. It was the beginning of over a year of an empty Club La Santa.
On 20 April 2021, Club La Santa reopened its doors, after being closed since March 2020. It was a great relief for both guests and Club La Santa staff.
2023 is the year when Club la Santa can celebrate its 40 years birthday. Four decades that have brought many challenges, great memories and lots of amazing experiences with amazing guests.