Gran Canaria: An oasis for spas and relaxation – the best places to stay, relax and eat | Beach vacation | Travel

Gran Canaria: An oasis for spas and relaxation – the best places to stay, relax and eat. (Photo: Gloria Palace San Agustin Thalasso & Hotel / EXPRESS)

With over 320 days of sunshine a year just four hours from London, Gran Canaria is one of the most beautiful destinations in the Canary Islands. Just off the northwest coast of Africa, it’s truly unique with Canarian culture and often described as a ‘mini continent’ as it has a mix of rocky hills, sandy deserts and tropical beaches.

It is known as a paradise for sun-seekers from the UK and Northern Europe and Gran Canaria Spa, Wellness & Health is welcoming even more visitors with the #WarmWelcome campaign which encourages tourists to support local communities and to understand the environment of Gran Canria through its hospitality. and hotels.

I’ve been lucky enough to visit the island to experience the spas, treatments, and resorts, so read on to find out about the best hotels, spa treatments, and things to do.

Where to stay and spa

Hotel Cordial Mogan Playa

Best for: Families, couples, solo travelers and if you’re not sure where to stay

Hotel Cordial Mogan Playa.

Hotel Cordial Mogan Playa. (Image: Hotel Cordial Mogán Playa)

Nestled in the beautiful fishing village of Playa de Mogán, Hotel Cordial Mogán Playa is a huge resort that feels like a small village. Whether you are a couple on honeymoon, a family on school holidays or on a solo trip, the hotel adapts to all types of stay with more than 500 rooms including suites, bungalows and even mini apartments. I was guided through the hotel by the hotel’s assistant manager, Marcos Aguilar, who showed off the expansive grounds and talked about the resort’s stunning design which combines nature, waterfalls and homages to Canarian architecture – he even has its own archaeological site. There are two swimming pools, a gym, tennis courts, bars, a cactus garden and much more so you can spend an entire vacation at the hotel. There are plenty of restaurants in the hotel and highlights include Los Guayres, a Michelin-starred gourmet restaurant, Restaurant Tamarona, where breakfast and dinner are served buffet style, and La Fula, which is by the swimming pool. I stayed in a double room which had a balcony overlooking the pool and was cool during the evening. Other highlights of the hotel include its Inagua Spa where I enjoyed a relaxing 50 minute massage that left me feeling rejuvenated. I left feeling like I had spent a full summer vacation at the hotel.

Book here (£60 per night)

Gloria Palace San Agustin Thalasso & Hotel

Best for: Spa vacations

Gloria Palace San Agustin Thalasso & Hotel

Gloria Palace San Agustin Thalasso & Hotel. (Photo: Gloria Palace San Agustin Thalasso & Hotel.)

Combining a poolside hotel with a very retro-futuristic looking spa, the Gloria Palace San Agustin is one of the best places to stay for a true spa vacation. It is the largest thalassotherapy center in Europe and just the swimming pools, you will already feel relaxed. Enhanced by the surrounding ocean views, the spa’s pools are designed in layers and you could spend an entire day swimming here. I’ve swum in saltwater-filled pools with whirlpool stations, micro-bubble seats, fitness pools and more. You have to wear a shower cap when swimming in the pool, but that didn’t detract from the experience as it was just beautiful to be in such a bright and spacious atmosphere. I also enjoyed a relaxing massage which immediately revived the tension throughout my body and is definitely where you want to stay if you want to be pampered.

Book here (£104 per night)

Palm Beach Waterfront

Ideal for: design lovers, couples, families and beach holidays

Palm Beach waterfront.

Palm Beach waterfront. (Image: Palm Beach waterfront.)

Step back in time at the Seaside Palm Beach and it’s a visual feast for the eyes with its bold color palette, 1970s decor and art deco design. Conveniently located right next to the beach and the Dunas de Maspalomas, it’s family-friendly and also great for couples thanks to a variety of rooms, restaurants and facilities like kids’ clubs, lagoon-style pools, a gym and more. Although located in a popular location, the hotel itself is quiet and offers many incredible services, including an all-new Premium All-Inclusive Meal and Beverage Plan that allows guests to enjoy alcoholic and non-alcoholic beverages. unlimited booze like Tattinger on tap. The hotel’s spa is quite unique as the treatment rooms feature large, bright windows with private nature views, allowing you to soak in the scenery while feeling secluded. I had the Spa’s Pantai Luar treatment which is an intense massage that involves scraping a stone along the body in very hot temperatures – not for those with a low pain threshold. There are quite a few repeat guests at the Seaside Palm Beach for a reason, it truly has everything you need in a hotel and you leave feeling like you’ve enjoyed the most exquisite treatment.

Book here (£151 per night)

Ideal for: Golf fanatics, spa retreat

Salobre Hotel Resort & Serenity.

Salobre Hotel Resort & Serenity. (Photo: Salobre Hotel Resort & Serenity)

Located on top of the mountains, Salobre Hotel Resort & Serenity is the ultimate luxury hideaway and retreat. Inside the hotel you will find a modern design which complements the beautiful landscape and there is a very soothing feel throughout the hotel. The rooms are spacious and have a balcony with a view of stunning hills with no other buildings inside, giving you a sense of seclusion. The hotel’s spa is incredibly tranquil and has unique features like an oxygen therapy tank with 99% clean air, a Finnish sauna and more. But no stay here is complete without a swim at the Sunset Bar at the highest point of the hotel and it has an infinity pool with the best view in Gran Canaria. You can even book a day bed on top of the cliffs to really take in the breathtaking sights. If you are coming to Gran Canaria to play golf then this is the perfect hotel to stay in as it has an 18 hole course in a unique setting, with palm trees, rocky terrain and extensive grounds. As the name suggests, this is the place to stay for serenity.

Book here (£201 per night)

What to do:

Relax and dine at Perchel Beach Club

Perchel Beach Club.

Perchel Beach Club. (Picture: EXPRESS)

Recently opened, the Perchel Beach Club is the perfect destination for relaxing in the sun and was one of the highlights of the trip. Spacious at over 7,000 square meters, it’s an oasis with crystal clear pools, stunning beach views and truly the best place to hide from the crowds. Greeted with a glass of champagne, I enjoyed lying on the lounge chairs before diving in and floating on the massage chairs by the pool. The beach club has a sushi restaurant, a bar and an Arroceria restaurant, where we enjoyed a delicious lunch of black squid rice, calamari, grilled octopus and more. Ideal for families or couples who want some peace and quiet in the sun, be sure to come here.

Book on Expedia (£67 for a day trip with lunch)

See dolphins with Sprit of the Sea

Spirit of the sea.

Spirit of the sea. (Image: Spirit of the Sea.)

On the second day, I went overseas Spirit of the Sea, a dolphin watching cruise to see dolphins in their natural habitat. While the cruise guide starts the trip by stating that it may not always be possible to see dolphins on every trip, I saw about seven dolphins during the two hour trip which was extremely exciting . Additionally, Spirit of the Sea is an ethical cruise that educates visitors about the harms of pollution at sea by looking for plastic bags at sea during the voyage. The staff was friendly and it was an amazing and unique experience that I will never forget.

Book on Trip Advisor (up to £32)

See the dunes

Maspalomas dunes

Maspalomas dunes (Picture: EXPRESS)

No trip to Gran Canaria would be complete without seeing its dunes, which it is best known for. Dunas de Maspalomas is in the south of Gran Canaria and is beautiful, vast and truly unique. Since the pandemic, there have been stricter rules to help preserve this nature reserve. Be sure to walk the designated path and do not jump or run into the dunes to treat the area with respect. The best time to visit would be early morning or late afternoon as it reaches scorching temperatures around noon.

Where to eat:

Nautical Club La Punta

Moray eel and octopus chips at La Punta Yacht Club. (Picture: EXPRESS)

If you want to enjoy a Canarian meal in a beautiful setting, book a table at La Punta Yacht Club. With an abundance of choices to choose from, we enjoyed a feast of dishes including Canarian potatoes with mojo sauce and fried Moray crisps, an incredibly tasty Canarian delicacy. Other highlights include the paella, Jamon Iberica ham and fried eggplant. Combined with a breathtaking view of the yacht club, it is the perfect restaurant to eat delicious dishes and have a good time.

Book here

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