Spring on the Island of Gran Canaria
Enjoying spring in February - where better than the Canary Islands? So off to Gran Canaria - the island where I used to work many years ago and which I have visited many times for business and pleasure.
The popular tourist resort of Playa del Inglés is not my thing, but rather the more chic Maspalomas with the adjacent Costa Meloneras.
Salobre Hotel Resort & Serenity - Hideaway high above Maspalomas
But my choice fell on the Salobre Hotel Resort & Serenity, which towers ochre-coloured amidst the barren hilly landscape high above Maspalomas. Nature is omnipresent in this luxury hotel with banana trees, dragon trees, aloe vera plants, and numerous cacti. The proximity of the sea makes for excellent air, and temperatures between 20 and 25 degrees C are just perfect for me.
Paradise for Golfers
You can reach Salobre Hotel Resort & Serenity from the airport in just over 30 minutes. In this hilly landscape, an area was developed in 2006, primarily for golfers. Two courses (the newer one, the biggest on Gran Canaria) make golfers' hearts beat faster. "About 60% of our guests play golf," says Armando Santana, Sales Executive of the SATOCAN Group, to which the Salobre Hotel Resort & Serenity belongs. The little balls are flying in the early morning, as I can observe from my room.
It is always open at the seven hotel pools because the golfers are primarily on the courts. The green of the golf course with a small artificial lake is a beautiful contrast to the brown of the hills - balm for the eyes. Fancy villas for well-heeled people are still being built everywhere, so you can expect some construction noise for some time.
Design and Nature in Harmony
The architecture of the Salobre Hotel Resort & Serenity, with a lot of natural stone and wood, fits perfectly into this extraordinary landscape. There are 350 rooms and suites, three restaurants, four bars, seven (!) pools, and extensive gardens on 11 levels. Pure relaxation is guaranteed away from the tourist hustle and bustle. Brightly coloured cushions on the outdoor furniture as well as white floor lamps outside, form an excellent contrast to the scenic landscape. Perfect motives for Instagram!
Sundowner in the Sunset Bar
It takes time to explore all the areas. You can't get enough of the stunning views from the glass balustrades. My absolute favourite was level 11. Two artificial rivers cross the spacious sunbathing area - ideal for morning meditation. Your sundowner is best enjoyed in the Sunset Bar with pool, pool bar, and Balinese beds, pure well-being.
The gastronomy at Salobre Hotel Resort & Serenity does not disappoint. You get everything your heart desires in the morning at various buffet stations. Healthy and delicious juices are created according to your specifications. Coffee is best served from one of the Nespresso machines. Another highlight is the exotic fruit from the island - mango, papaya, and bananas thrive on the Canary Islands due to the favourable climate. After breakfast, I enjoyed my room terrace with its super-comfy lounge furniture for a quick sunbath with a view.
At lunchtime, the Sidecar Restaurant is "the place to be". Here you can enjoy local specialties; vegans also get their money's worth. On the terrace, the view sweeps over the hills to the sea, while a gentle breeze caresses your skin.
Oh yes - the room! Spacious and puristically furnished, with two window fronts, a comfortable bed, and a chic bathroom with dark stone - just my taste. I also liked the environmentally friendly offer to not have my room cleaned daily. If you want to use this, you get a credit of 4 EUR per day, which is a good idea. The Salobre Hotel Resort & Serenity attaches great importance to sustainability; read more here.
A word about the staff: No matter where I went, I felt very well looked after. My favourite was the waitress Yamira, who quickly discovered my preferences and infected me with her super mood in the morning.
Sanus per Aquam
There is a large, very well-equipped gym (with a great view) and the chic Be Aloe wellness centre for fitness and health. In the outdoor vitality pool, I let the water from the massage jets splash down on me, again enjoying the view over the hills to the Atlantic Ocean. A visit to the steam bath rounded off the wellness day. The Salobre Hotel Resort & Serenity offers various treatments; an overview is here.
I then treated myself to a massage with my Instagram friend Antonio at the Namaste Center in Playa del Inglés. The man kneaded me for over an hour (literally) and strongly recommended Pilates for my tension.
As beautiful as the Salobre Hotel Resort & Serenity is, it would be a shame not to explore the stunning dunes and the island's interior. For this reason, I had a rental car, which took me to Maspalomas beach in just over 10 minutes. The dune landscape, with a length of 6 km and a width of 2 km, is probably the largest in Europe and reminds of nearby North Africa.
Protected Nature Paradise
In an enclosed protected area, there is a biotope with a lagoon - a refuge for rare animals such as the Canarian giant lizard and 40 species of birds. However, most of this breathtaking landscape is freely accessible and, at the same time, an excellent workout for your legs and buttocks when you climb the sand mountains that can be up to 25 m high.
You may encounter a naked person on a dune hike, as nudism is permitted in the entire area. The "Dunas de Maspalomas" is a fragile structure suffering from progressive erosion. Fortunately, there are now many efforts to preserve this "little Sahara" for future generations. After all, the dunes are THE tourist attraction par excellence on Gran Canaria.
Maspalomas - Holidaymaker´s paradise
Chic boutiques and numerous restaurants near the lighthouse ("Faro") make the holiday perfect, even if any Spanish or Canarian atmosphere is missing. In Maspalomas, there are some 5-star hotels - which, like the houses of the Lopesan chain, are pretty large but architecturally interesting. You're more likely to find that in neighbouring San Fernando, the locals' quarter, or even better, in the pretty mountain villages in the island's interior.
Sundown on the Rocks
The beach promenade takes you to Costa Meloneras, my favourite place to watch the sunsets, in a good 10-minute walk. The beach is less beautiful than in Maspalomas, and you can only get into the sea partly over uncomfortable stones. Nevertheless, I sometimes chill out in the sand here - also because of the proximity of a small shopping centre, which unfortunately has been half empty for years - no idea what the problem is.
There are nice bars on the upper floors where you can watch the spectacular sunset. Another anecdote: After a short swim in the sea, I looked forward to tapas and a smoothie in the Kopa Z Bar bar high above the sea. To my horror, an elderly gentleman in a green glitter jacket sang "Eviva España" there in broad daylight. So I left and enjoyed my tapas at Maximilians Café by the sea in Maspalomas (near the lighthouse).
Charming Puerto de Mogán
The most beautiful seaside resort for tourists is Puerto de Mogán, about 24 km from Maspalomas and easily accessible via the motorway. For me, the pretty harbour is the antithesis of Playa del Inglés. No high-rise buildings and bed castles, but a charming pedestrian zone with snow-white houses, lots of flowers, and a small canal flowing into the sea. Puerto de Mogán has a relatively small sandy beach. Tip: Be sure to climb the 164 steps to the "Mirador." The view of the town, the mountains, and the sea from there is overwhelming. You can reward yourself afterward with a delicious cake in the cosy Home Bakery.
A little insider tip is the artificial Playa de Tauro between Puerto Rico and Puerto de Mogán. The sandy beach is lovely for swimming and is especially popular with locals. Another trump card of this little place is the beautifully designed promenade with cafés and restaurants.
In Puerto Rico you can go dolphin and whale watching by boat. With a bit of luck, you might see impressive pilot whales.
If relaxation and wellness are important to you, the Salobre Hotel Resort & Serenity on Gran Canaria is certainly a very good choice. From here you can discover the wonderful beaches and the impressive mountains of the third largest Canary Island with a rental car (which you can park for free in the hotel's own parking garage).
Salobre Hotel Resort & Serenity
Urbanización Salobre Golf calle Swing s/n, Maspalomas, Las Palmas
Tel:+34 928 943 000
PRACTICAL TIPS FOR GRAN CANARIA
TRAVEL TO Gran Canaria
The tourist centres in the south of the island are about 32 km away and easily accessible via the GC-1 motorway (journey time 30 to 45 minutes). A one-way taxi ride costs about EUR 35 (as of March 2023).
If you are planning the worthwhile excursions on Gran Canaria, a rental car from the airport is recommended. All the major car rental companies are represented there.
A trip to the capital Las Palmas de Gran Canaria is also recommended. In this article, I give you numerous tips on the largest city in the Canary Islands.
AND ONE MORE THING...
Flights always cause CO₂ and pollute the environment. At atmosfair you can find out how much you have caused with your flight and compensate this by paying a fee. The money is used sensibly for climate protection projects.
THE BEST SEASON FOR GRAN CANARIA
Of course, information about the weather is becoming increasingly difficult due to climate change. However, the temperature in the south of Gran Canaria is mild and sunny all year round. In winter, you can swim in the sea at a pleasant 21 to 22 degrees Celsius. In the summer months, it is noticeably warmer. Maspalomas is considered a paradise for sun worshippers.
The photos of me on the beach and in the dunes of Maspalomas were taken during a shoot with Rustam Akhmetov. I highly recommend this talented photographer and videographer.
My trip was partly supported by Turismo Gran Canaria and Turespaña. However, this did not influence my ratings in any way.
More Gran Canaria? How about the rugged north of the island? Check out my article.