SPA GRAN CANARIAS, THE HEALTHY ISLAND: The first tourists came to Gran Canaries more than 50 years ago for health reasons, because of the dry and hot climate, minerals in the sand and sea water which seemed healing. Then came only charter tourists.
Now the health profile has raised to therapeutic levels with spa and therapy at new luxury hotels. Guests are talking about aloe vera, chakra massage, mud and algae treatments, diet therapy, shiatsu and bio-massage, to name a few new words. I went for an exclusive spa safari to test luxury and the new wave at Spa Gran Canarias.
Gloria Palace Royal, San Augustin
Hotel: A big 4-star hotel, suitable for families overlooking San Augustin and the sea. Two swimming pools for adults, one for children. On the top floor swimming pool with sun area and panoramic views. Designated nudist area. Playground and mini club with child care. Half board or all inclusive. Free internet access throughout the hotel. Tennis, squash and gym.
Spa: Opened as a hotel health, now Europe’s largest spa and therapy centre with the latest technology and four saltwater pools. Offers various health cures, among other rheumatic disorders, as well as beauty treatments and large recreation areas.
Specialty: A pool with hydro massage and heated seawater at different temperatures. Hotel guests receive a 10% discount on all treatments.
Best in test: Antis tress treatment. Massage combined with therapeutic gym session, come-in-form pool, sauna, Turkish bath.
Duration: 3 hours and 30 minutes. Price: 81 Euro.
Lopesan Villa del Conde, Meloneras
Hotel: With three large towers and a dome, this is a 5-star hotel under the name “Church”. The front desk is a copy of one of Gran Canarias’s oldest churches. Swimming pool, large garden and charming buildings of local architectural style. Close to the dunes of Maspalomas.
Spa: Corallium is located on the seafront, and a spa that provides luxury and pampering. Ocean View at exclusive rooms with private saltwater pool, solarium and treatment rooms. Especially suitable for couples. 15 massage varieties, 16 body treatments and a range of beauty treatments.
Best in test: Aloe Vera body treatment. Scrubbing with salts, treatment with gel and cream renews and gives skin elasticity and protection.
Time: 50 minutes. Price: 65 Euro.
Lopesan Costa, Meloneras
Hotel: Luxury close to the sea with great rooms, top restaurants, activities in sports and entertainment and casino. Large area with pools and lots of palm trees. Some complain that the palm trees shading the sun. Nevertheless, should satisfy even the most demanding guest.
Spa: Spectacular. Here you can embark on a journey that can last the entire day, especially if you book a treatment or two. Architecture inspired by the volcanic part of the island. From relaxing on the bed of salt, steam bath, Turkish bath, sauna, hot and cold water areas. Exclusive pool area outside. If you become homesick, go into the igloo with ice and temperature next to cero. Remember, you get used to the luxury.
Seaside Palm Beach, Maspalomas
Hotel: The best thing about this hotel is the large pool area with palm trees, birds and a top operation. Here you feel special, almost in another world, even if you are near the beach and shopping opportunities. Large room, balcony and a variety of restaurants. Built with a combination of 1970s colours and today’s extravagance. Perfect for couples over 50 years. Own pool area for naturists. Just outside, bus connections to rest of the island.
Spa: Relax in the Finnish sauna and massage overlooking the Japanese palm grove. Treatment range from aromatherapy to oriental Rasul treatments, plus a selection of cosmetic cures.
Best in test: Rasul. Intense scrubbing the body with eucalyptus, medical and sea salt. Strengthens the skin and muscles.
Time: 30 minutes. Price: 39 Euro.
Seaside Grand Hotel Residencia, Maspalomas
Hotel: Luxury, elegance and a selection of tasty and healthy food. Not surprising that this hotel has many guests who keep coming back. A peaceful oasis with the little extra. Suitable for couples without children.
Spa: New and elegant. Here you can choose different package or individual treatments suitable for body, mind and wallet. The most extensive runs over four days, will be best for stressed business women and costs almost 500 euro.
Best in test: After sports. Suitable after a day on the golf course if you do scrub, foot treatment and intensive back massage.
Time: 70 minutes. Price: 98 Euro.
Sheraton Salobre, Salobre Golf, Maspalomas
Hotel: Located in the height, ten minutes drive from the coast, with stunning views from every room. Neighbour with two golf courses. This is the place for couples who want it quiet. Elegant rooms and even more impressive views of mountains and sea from the pool on top. Three restaurants and two bars.
Spa: Not as impressive as the hotel itself. Accommodates 30 guests. Two experts on Thai massage.
Best in test: Traditional Thai massage brings you into the oriental world and provides complete relaxation. Possible to choose between one, two or three hours of massage. Price: 100 Euro for 60 minutes.
Gloria Palace Royal Hotel & Spa, Mogan
Hotel: Built in stone, clinging to the mountain with stunning views. You feel almost like a bird when you stand on the terrace of one of the top floors with the sight of the pool, beach and ocean.
Spa: Dynamic pool with massage bubbles, micro bubbles and water heated to 35 degrees. Turkey bath and gym included in the room rate. Barber, manicure, pedicure, facial with ginger and sea salt, to name a few. Here you can meet all the needs of body and soul.
Best in Test: Chocolate Special. The body covered with chocolate, which should be good for the skin because seeds of choco is rich in a substance that fights cellulite and slows aging.
Time: 45 minutes. Price: 60 Euro
Cordial Mogan Playa, Puerto de Mogan
Hotels: Feel like you live in a Canarias village with 500 different plants and palm trees. This large 5-star hotel has everything, even the church if someone wants to marry. Quiet and calm, suitable for families. Dive centre on site. The town is small, with a nasty shopping mall and picturesque harbour with small shops and eateries.
Spa: Heated pool, saltwater pool, massage showers, massage and a variety of treatments. Best in test: Oriental head massage. Not only the head but also the back and shoulders. Very relaxing.
Time: 45 minutes. Price: 60 Euro.
Click for large photos Spa Gran Canarias
Facts Spa Gran Canarias
The third largest of seven, located in the south of the Canary Islands. Volcanic Island in the Atlantic which consists of beaches and mountains. On the same latitude as Florida.
Size: 1,560 sq km
Main city: Las Palmas
Highest point: Pico de Las Nieves, 1949 meters
Climate: Average 25 degrees. Most sunny south of the island.
Travel: Many airlines have direct flights to Las Palmas. Charter flights.
South: Playa del Ingles, San Agustin, Maspalomas and Puerto Rico.
North: Green mountains. The coast paradise for divers.
More info: grancanria.com, grancanariawellness.com