Gran Canaria has long been a staple holiday location for Brits. A Spanish island located northwest of Africa, it’s built a name for itself as a tourism hotspot, equipped with Atlantic shores, almost yearlong sunshine and a bustling nightlife.
Known as the as a typical summer-holiday destination, Gran Canaria may not initially smack of luxury. However, at a closer look, it’s sprawling sand dunes, mountainous countryside and charming coastal villages make it the perfect place to head for a lavish wellness retreat.
Across the island, visitors have no shortage of high-end spas and hotels on offer, each bringing their own unique flavour with their top-notch treatments, picturesque surroundings and gourmet dining options.
All on offer through Gran Canaria Wellness, a collection of spa hotels on the island – here are some of the best pamper hotspots and experiences to help you to stop, relax and recharge.
Seaside Palm Beach *****
As its name suggests, Seaside Palm Beach is situated just a stones throw away from the island’s dazzling shores. With its most desirable bedrooms looking straight out at the sea, the hotel’s number one selling point is its prime location in resort town, Maspalomas. Not much more than 100 metres from the famous sand dunes, guests can head to watch the sun as it sets over the beautiful island – a perfect activity to unwind and take in the incredible setting.
No stone is left unturned in this retro-chic hotel, which has been quirkily decorated by esteemed Parisian architect, Alberto Pinto. In a style paying homage to Miami’s plush hotels, the seven floor building has a very unique and distinct character in comparison to the island’s other offerings: from the big, bold colour block sofas in the reception to the 70s bar and salon area, decked with tall chairs and mosaic tiles.
Seaside Palm Beach doesn’t come with five stars for no reason. The huge building boasts two heated lagoon pools, a salt-water pool, an ancient palm garden and three gorgeous restaurants – one of which is located on a terrace, where you can enjoy incredible views of the hotel as you eat.
However, the Asian-inspired spa is perhaps the hotel’s greatest crowning glory, decked with a Finnish sauna, a bio sauna, a steam room and a salt cave. With an extensive list of treatments on offer, Natura Bisse’s innovative new mindful touch facial is one of the most exciting, encouraging visitors to practice mindfulness as they’re given a restorative face massage while wearing a virtual reality headset.
Meanwhile the Pantai Luar massage is also not one to be missed, as medical herbs are heated in soft cotton bags and rubbed into the muscles with Pantai oils.
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Prices start from €181 per night.
Avenida del Oasis, s/n C.P. 35100 Maspalomas, Gran Canaria
Salobre Hotel Resort and Serenity *****
Tucked away high in Gran Canaria’s mountainous terrain, Salobre Hotel Resort and Serenity is the definition of a getaway. The 10 floor premises, which encompasses nearly 40,000 square feet of land, re-launched only last summer as an independent wellness retreat, and aims to provide new techniques of relaxation with everything from its breath-taking views to its Aloe Vera enriched treatments.
Everything about Salobre is designed to be deeply calming, from the ornate four poster Balinese beds looking out at the rocky landscape to the aptly named sunset lounge, which sits at the highest point in the resort, and features a stunning pink river which weaves peacefully alongside the sun-loungers.
While it may be in a rather isolated location, one thing Salobre hotel is not short of is facilities. As well as having an incredible six restaurants to dine in, a fitness centre and two 18-hole golf courses, the vast hotel also boasts a whopping seven swimming pools – including one secret mini pool, nestled into a mountaintop.
Plus, the spa and wellness centre comes equipped with a steam bath, a hammam and two saunas, as well as a plush Jacuzzi and an outdoor relaxation area, which features an infinity pool fitted with swan neck jets and bubble sun loungers.
At the spa, don’t miss the 70 minute Aloe ritual, which uses dehydrated aloe and volcanic stones to gently buff away dead skin before a full body massage. Epitomising everything that Salobre stands for, it leaves visitors feeling thoroughly cleansed, both inside and out.
Prices start from €183 per night.
C. Swing, s/n. Urbanización Salobre Golf, C.P. 35100, Maspalomas, Gran Canaria
Gloria Palace San Augstin Thalasso and Hotel ****
Home of the largest Thalassotherapy centre in Europe, Gloria Palace has long been one of the most prominent hotels for those travelling to Gran Canaria in search of health and wellness.
The sea is the focus at this hotel – not only do all the bedrooms face the Atlantic, but even the spa uses its natural salt water to fill its four pools, including a dynamic pool, a gym pool and a Thalasso ‘Get In Shape’ pool – heated at several different temperatures to stimulate the muscles.
Hailed for its stress busting quality and even claiming to reduce cellulite, a circuit in the Thalasso allows visitors to connect with the elements and completely relax.
At the spa, guests can indulge in an extensive list of calming treatments, including a thermal wrap – the ideal way to switch off and find your zen after a circuit in the pool. Then, the best place to go is the private Gorbea chillout, which features a solarium terrace, where guests can grab a snack and a Piña colada with exceptional views of the hotel below.
The hotel also offers a main restaurant with a buffet, as well as a several bars across the site, and an a la carte option.
Prices start from €85 per night.
C. Las Margaritas, s/n C.P. 35100 San Agustín, Gran Canaria
Hotel Cordial Mogan Playa ****
Perhaps the most beautiful hotel in all of Gran Canara, Hotel Cordial Mogan Playa is a leafy paradise, nestled in local fishing village called Puerto de Mogán, known to locals as ‘Little Venice’ due to its network of stunning canals. With an indoor botanical garden, a greenhouse reception room and palm trees everywhere the eye can see, this hotel brings visitors back to nature from the very moment they step inside.
When staying somewhere like Cordial Mogan Playa, you won’t want to leave – and with everything from a chapel to an old archaeological park on site, there’s plenty to keep guests occupied on site.
As far as dining goes, Cordial Mogan Playa also doesn’t miss the mark, and guests can pick between five restaurants and bars, including indulgent Michellin quality cuisine at their a la carte option, Los Guayres – which has built a reputation for itself across the island.
The idyllic spa at Cordial Morgan is the real star of the show, however. An intimate and private retreat with relaxaing music playing through surround sound, its outdoor space comes with a pool, a trickling waterfall and bubble beds to relax on as they soak up Gran Canaria’s yearlong sunshine. Meanwhile inside, users also gain full access to a Hammam, a sauna and an array of speciality showers.
Guests then have the option to pick from a whole number of treatments, including a hot stone massage, a head shoulder and foot massage or their famous anti-stress treatment, which lasts 90 minutes and includes a body wrap and a rejuvenating massage. Your stay is sure to be pure heaven.
Prices start from €96 per night.
Avenida de Los Marrero, 2 C.P. 35138 Mogán, Gran Canaria
Spirit of the Sea
[Gran Canaria Blue]
While wellbeing means spa treatments and pampering, it also means taking time to appreciate nature – so why not also squeeze in a dolphin and whale-watching trip? Not far away from all the relaxing hotels, Puerto Rico is one of the hotspots for seeing these beautiful creatures in the wild, with 29 different species of cetaceans found in the seas of The Canaries.
Spirit of the Sea offers a 97 per cent chance of spotting dolphins, and allows guests to go on an excursion of either two or three hours and take in the incredible wildlife that Gran Canaria has to offer.
Adult dolphin watching tours start at $33 on www.grancanariablue.com
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