Self / 27.12.2019

Wellness destinations: Gran Canaria

By Hattie Parish
Long favoured by winter sun worshippers, this Canary Island is fast emerging as a top wellness destination
Salobre Hotel Resort & Serenity

Sun, sea and… spa? For when the sun lounger just won’t cut it, a trip to the spa can round off a relaxing break nicely. And Gran Canaria may well have nailed this particular combo. With mineral-rich thalasso waters and a natural bounty including aloe vera, algae and sea salt, it’s no surprise this volcanic island is emerging as the latest wellness hotspot. With a plethora of spa hotels to choose from, we’ve rounded up our favourites:

Seaside Palm Beach, Maspalomas

5* Hotel

While the retro interiors might not be to everyone’s taste, the sprawling gardens of Seaside Palm Beach are a guaranteed crowd-pleaser. An ancient palm grove meanders around huge lagoon pools, a thatched bar and garden games including shuffleboard and giant chess. Feeling more wholesome? Take part in one of the free tai chi or yoga classes, available daily under the shade of the palms. As the name suggests, it’s smack bang on the beach, and the area’s famous sand dunes are just 50 metres away.

Before that though, enjoy a delicious pool-side lunch (we recommend a bottle of the local white to accompany your shellfish), then head to the open-air spa, where you’re greeted with champagne on arrival. Replete with mineral pools, Finnish sauna, steam room, salt cave and Bio Sauna, plus an extensive treatment menu and even a nudist area means there’s something for everyone. If you’re stumped, try the volcanic hot stones massage – heavenly. 

Rates: £286 per night (based on two people)
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Gloria Palace Amadores Thalasso & Hotel, Puerto Rico, Amadores

4* Hotel

You’d be forgiven for thinking you’d stumbled onto a cruise ship on entering this hotel. The huge arced windows offer floor-to- (very high) ceiling views of pure ocean, giving the impression you’re teetering over the big blue. And you basically are – the hotel is integrated into a cliff side, providing spectacular views – something the rooms capitalise on; they’re all sea-facing. A panoramic lift gives direct access to the seaside cycles paths and walkway – which stretches from Puerto Rico to the calm waters of Amadores beach (just a 10-minute walk away).

The spa here feels a tad less luxe than the others we visited, but boasts one of Europe’s best equipped thalassotherapy centres – and the glorious views continue here, too. Signs guide you around the ‘Get in Shape’ pool, each jet, fountain and bubble dedicated to hydromassaging a different part of your body. There are 29 stations in total, with varying temperatures throughout, to melt away tension and boost circulation. A mezzanine level overlooking the circuit offers sauna, treatment rooms and a spectacular Turkish bath. There’s also a large gym and beauty salon on-site. Treatments range from algae therapy to ayurvedic massage – we went for a ‘Crystal with Flowers’ peel, a detoxifying scrub which left skin hydrated and silky smooth.

Rates: From £125 per night (based on two people sharing)
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Hotel Cordial Mogán Playa, Mogán

4* Hotel

This isn’t so much a hotel as a sprawling, toy-town village, including chapel, village square and various historical sites. The architecture is based on a typical Canarian village, reflected through the cute courtyards and tropical foliage – indeed, the hotel sits within a vast botanical garden. Everywhere you look has some charming characteristic – from the wooden bridges spanning the swimming pools to the regular splashing waterfalls.

While you could while away many an hour nursing cold bubbly under the canopy of one of the outdoor restaurants, the spa is a must-visit. As well as the facilities you’d expect – sauna, steam room, bio-thermic shower – there’s also ample outdoor relaxation space, dotted with various pools, tubs and loungers – we loved the outdoor flotation pool. Indulge in a sensuous aromatherapy massage like we did, or sample from the interesting treatment menu – highlights include wine body wrapping and a green tea scrub.

Rates: From £281 per night (based on 2 people sharing)
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Salobre Hotel Resort & Serenity, Maspalomas

5* Hotel

This place is simply gorgeous. A design hotel in every sense, it’s made up of tiered blocks wedged into a secluded hillside, offering panoramic views across the island. Earthy tones and textures make up the minimal interiors, reflecting the arid hillsides beyond. If that wasn’t tranquil enough, throw in a top-of-the-range spa equipped with sauna, steam bath, Finnish sauna, ice fountain, Jacuzzi and Hamman. Treatments centre around the island’s native Aloe Vera, and the wellness circuit incorporates a salt water pool with therapeutic jets.

There are several pools dotted at different levels throughout the hotel, but by far the best is the rooftop pool, at 11 storeys. It’s child-free policy was enough to make it a winner in our eyes, but it’s also surrounded by stunning views and beautifully landscaped gardens, dotted with four poster sun loungers straddling tinkling rivers. Oh, and the on-site Sunset Bar serves a mean sangria.  

More of an active traveller? No problem. Two 18-hole courses will keep golf fans occupied, hiking and cycle tracks surround the hotel, while a slick gym offers inspiring mountain views, and a packed activity calendar boasts Pilates, yoga, water workouts and more.

Rates: From £176 per night (based on two people sharing)
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