Stylish Gran Canaria: Chic hotels, spas and shops
Gran Canaria is a favourite destination for many thanks to its proximity to the UK and favourable year-round weather conditions, but away from the busy beaches and bars, another somewhat glamorous side of the Canary Island has been growing. This mini-guide to stylish Gran Canaria hopes to highlight just some of the hidden gems where you can get out there and experience it for yourself...
Stylish Gran Canaria Hotels
The Seaside Palm Beach* is easily Gran Canaria's most stylish hotel - as well as occupying the number two spot on Trip Advisor for hotels in Maspalomas (at the number one spot is The Palm Beach's more traditional luxury sister hotel, the Seaside Grand Hotel Residencia) it's also one of the only Canary Islands' hotels to make it into the Design Hotels 'recommended' list.
Renovated in 2011 The Seaside Palm Beach exudes, as the name suggests, a cool Miami feel, adorned with modern art and bright eye-popping décor keeping the vibe contemporary and fresh.
It's also perfect for sun worshippers especially those hoping to work on that coveted all over tan - as well as being right on the beach the property is just 800 metres away from the nudist area, and you can enjoy the spa's dedicated sunbathing section where you'll find that costumes are somewhat optional.
Hotel Rural Finca Las Longueras
This pretty countryside boutique hotel is a far cry from the large resorts often associated with the Canary Islands. A must visit for holidaymakers seeking out stylish Gran Canaria, this retreat is a real haven of peace and tranquillity on the island's northern tip.
The finca itself is a delightfully characterful old building dating back to 1895 and is set amongst rolling hills, tropical grounds and even includes a cactus garden. Guests can relax in style at the outdoor pool, enjoy oranges from the orchard or take a walk amongst the surrounding nature.
Stylish Gran Canaria Self-catering
If you're looking for something different on your quest to find a stylish stay on Gran Canaria head to Artenara, the island's highest village and check yourself into one of the local cave houses for which the area is famous.
If you don't fancy cooking in your own cave you can visit the cave restaurant, El Mirador de la Silla, which you enter via a tunnel in the side of a hill before dining on a panoramic terrace overlooking the valley.
Stylish Gran Canaria Spas
Palm Beach Spa
Voted one of the Top 25 spas in Spain by Conde Nast Traveller this thalassotherapy centre at the Palm Beach hotel offers a sauna, sanarium (a slightly less hot and more humid version of a sauna), ice-cold plunge-pool and a unique hot-stone-powered outdoor steam room, with 11 spacious indoor treatment rooms.
A full menu massages and facials are available seven days a week, including the spa's signature Pantai Luar east-Asian massage which uses a mixture of medicinal herbs, and you can relax after your treatment with a cup of green tea overlooking the Japanese garden.
Spa Corallium at the Lopesan Costa Meloneras
You can take your body and mind on an international journey at this luxurious and decadent 3,500 square metre spa - from an African sauna, Turkish bath, ice world and igloo, to a Himalayan salt cave you can journey all around the world without leaving the upmarket Meloneras area of Gran Canaria.
Treatments at the Spa Corallium can also be taken at one of the four stylish open-air ocean-facing treatment rooms which offer ultimate relaxation with private terraces and saltwater jacuzzis.
Aloe Spa at The Sheraton Salobre
The Sheraton Salobre is set in the mountains above Maspalomas and the Aloe Spa specialises in using aloe vera which grows naturally on the island - perfect for treating those who've indulged in just a little too much sun worshipping on their Gran Canaria holiday.
The special aloe treatments available range from manicures and pedicures to massages and body wraps and spa guests can also use the extensive facilities including steam baths, saunas and jacuzzi.
Stylish Gran Canaria Shopping
If you're in search of stylish Gran Canaria, the best place to shop is at one of the Fedac branches (Foundation for Ethnography and the Development of Canarian Artisans) of which there are two in the capital Las Palmas, as well as one in the tourist office in a delightful old building in Playa del Ingles.
These government-sponsored shops carry a tempting selection of surprisingly stylish and exceptionally high quality local handicrafts sold at competitive prices.
Fedac's souvenirs range from ceramics and pottery figurines to leather goods and hand-made wooden items all intricately made using traditional techniques.
If you're lucky enough to visit Gran Canaria at the right time you can also enjoy shopping outdoors at one of Fedac's artisan markets during one of the craft fairs which see around 60 craftsmen set up stalls around the island. For more information ask at the tourist office or visit the Fedac website (in Spanish).
If you want to embrace Canarian style whilst on your trip and grab some cool new holiday threads at the same time head to a branch of Natura - there are branches in Las Palmas, in the shopping centres around the island and for last minute souvenirs, there's even a small branch in the airport departure lounge. Floaty dresses, espadrilles, linen trousers and beach bags are on sale along with cute home wares and plenty of Asian-inspired gifts.
During sale season (look out for the tell-tale rebajas signs) the already reasonable prices are slashed by up to 70% meaning you can do stylish Gran Canaria on a supermarket budget.
This popular Canary Island has so much to offer the discerning holidaymaker, and you really don't have to go far to experience stylish Gran Canaria, whether in its hotels, spas or shops. Have you been to Gran Canaria? Share your stories of Gran Canaria below...
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