Gran Canaria: An oasis for spas and relaxation – the best places to stay, relax and eat | Beach Holidays | Travel
Gran Canaria: An oasis for spas and relaxation – the best places to stay, relax and eat.
With over 320 days of sunshine per year just four hours from London, Gran Canaria is one of the most beautiful destinations in the Canary Islands. Just off the coast of northwestern Africa, it’s a truly unique with Canarian culture and often described as a ‘mini continent’ as it’s got a mixture of rocky hills, sandy deserts and tropical beaches.
It’s known as being a haven 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 understand the environment of Gran Canria through its hospitality and hotels.
I was fortunate enough to visit the island to discover the spas, treatments and resorts so read on to discover the best hotels, spa treatments, and things to do.
Where to stay and spa
Best for: Families, couples, solo travellers and if you’re unsure where to stay
Hotel Cordial Mogán Playa.
Nestled in the beautiful fishing village, Playa de Mogán, Hotel Cordial Mogán Playa is massive holiday resort that feels like a tiny village. Whether you’re a couple on a honeymoon, a family on a school holiday or on a solo trip, the hotel is suited towards every kind of stay with over 500 rooms including suites, bungalows and even mini apartments. I was guided through the hotel by subdirector of the hotel, Marcos Aguilar, who showed the expansive grounds and talked through the resort’s stunning design which blends nature, waterfalls and homages to Canarian architecture – it even has its very own archaeological site. There are two swimming pools, a gym, tennis courts, bars, a cacti garden and so much more so that you could have an entire holiday in the hotel. There are lots of restaurants in the hotel and highlights include Los Guayres, a Michelin-starred fine dining restaurant, Tamarona Restaurant, where breakfast and dinner is served buffet-style and La Fula, which is poolside. I stayed in a double room that had a balcony view overlooking the pool and was cool during the evening. Other highlights from the hotel include its Spa Inagua where I enjoyed a relaxing 50 minute massage that left me feeling rejuvenated. I left feeling like I had a full summer holiday at the hotel.
Book here (£60 up per night)
Gloria Palace San Agustin Thalasso & Hotel.
Blending a poolside hotel with a very retro-futuristic looking spa, Gloria Palace San Agustin is one of the best places to stay for a true spa holiday. It’s the largest Thalasso centre in Europe and just the pools alone, will already make you feel relaxed. Enhanced by surrounding views of the ocean, the pools in the spa are designed in layers and you could spend an entire day just swimming here. I swam through seawater-filled pools with hydromassage stations, micro bubble seats, fitness pools and more. You have to wear a shower cap when swimming in the pool but it didn’t detract from the experience as it was simply stunning to be in such a bright and spacious atmosphere. I also enjoyed a relaxing massage that immediately relived tension across my entire body and it’s definitely where you want to stay if you want to pamper yourself.
Book here (£104 up per night)
Seaside Palm Beach.
Step back in time at Seaside Palm Beach and it’s a visual feast for the eyes thanks to its a bold colour scheme, 1970s decor and art deco design. Conveniently located directly next to the beach and Dunas de Maspalomas, it’s family friendly and also ideal for couples thanks to a variety of rooms, restaurants and facilities like mini kid’s clubs, lagoon-style pools, gym and more. Despite being in a popular location, the hotel itself is quiet and offers plenty of incredible services including a brand new All Inclusive Premium Meal & Drinks Plan which allows guests to enjoy unlimited alcoholic and non-alcoholic drinks like Tattinger on tap. The hotel’s spa is completely unique as treat rooms have big bright windows with a private view of nature, allowing you to absorb the scenery while feeling isolated. I had the spa’s Pantai Luar treatment which is an intense massage that involves a stone being scraped along the body in piping hot temperatures – it’s not for anyone who has a low pain threshold. There’s a fair amount of repeat guests at Seaside Palm Beach for a reason, it’s really got everything you need in a hotel and you leave feeling like you’ve enjoyed the most exquisite treat.
Book here (£151 per night up)
Salobre Hotel Resort & Serenity .
Situated in top of the mountains, Salobre Hotel Resort & Serenity is the ultimate luxurious hideaway and ideal for a retreat. Inside the hotel, you’ll find modern design that complements the stunning scenery and there’s a very calming feel throughout the hotel. Rooms are spacious and have a balcony view that overlooks stunning hills with no other buildings inside, giving you a sense of isolation. The hotel’s spa is incredibly tranquil and features unique features like a oxygen therapy tank with 99 percent pure air, Finnish sauna’s and more. But no stay here is complete without a swim on the Sunset Bar at the hotel’s highest point and it has an infinity pool with the most beautiful view of Gran Canaria. You can even book a day bed on top of the cliffs to really enjoy the breathtaking sites. If you’re coming to Gran Canaria to play golf, then this is the perfect hotel to stay as it’s got an 18-hole course in a unique setting, complete with palm trees, rocky terrain and expansive grounds. As it name states, this is the hotel to stay for serenity.
Book here (£201 per night)
What to do:
Relax and dine at Perchel Beach Club
Perchel Beach Club.
Newly opened, Perchel Beach Club is the ideal destination for relaxing in the sun and was one of the highlights of the trip. Spacious at over 7,000 square metres, it’s an oasis with crystal clear pools, a stunning view of the beach and is truly the best place to hide away from the crowds. Greeted with a glass of champagne, I enjoyed lying on the sun loungers before dipping in and floating around on the swimming pool massage chairs. The beach club has a sushi restaurant, bar and a restaurant Arroceria, where we enjoyed a delectable lunch of Black Squid Rice, calamari, grilled octopus and more. Ideal for families or couples who want some peace in the sunshine, don’t miss out on coming here.
Book on Expedia (£67 for day trip with lunch)
See dolphins with Sprit of the Sea
Spirit of the Sea.
During the second day, I went abroad Spirit of the Sea, a dolphin watching cruise to see dolphins in their natural habitat. While the cruise guide starts the journey by stating that it may not be possible to always see dolphins on every journey, I saw about seven dolphins during the two-hour trip which was extremely exciting. In addition, Spirit of the Sea is an ethical cruise that educates visitors on the harmful effects of pollution in the sea by fishing out plastic bags from the sea while on the trip. The staff were friendly and it was an incredible once-in-a-lifetime experience I won’t ever forget.
Book on Trip Advisor (£32 up)
Dunas de Maspalomas
No trip to Gran Canaria would be complete without seeing its dunes, which is what its most well known for. Dunas de Maspalomas is on the south of Gran Canaria and is beautiful, expansive and truly unique. Since the pandemic, there have been stricter rules to help preserve this natural reserve. Be sure to walk on the designated path and don’t jump or run into the dunes to treat the area with respect. The best time to visit would be either early in the morning or in the late afternoon as it reaches scorching temperatures at around noon.
Where to eat:
Moray eel chips and octopus at La Punta Yacht Club.
If you’re looking to enjoy a Canarian meal at a beautiful setting, then book a table at La Punta Yacht Club. With an abundance of choices to pick from, we enjoyed a feast of food that included Canarian potatoes with mojo sauce and fried Moray chips which is an incredibly tasty Canarian delicacy. Other highlights include the paella, Jamon Iberica ham and fried eggplant. Paired with a stunning view of the yacht club, it’s the perfect restaurant to eat delicious food and enjoy a good time.