The best Gran Canaria resorts
Lagoon-like pools twinkling in the shadow of rustling palm trees, crisp volcanic wines served alongside fresh-seafood lunches, drift-right-off spas gazing out on the deep-blue Atlantic – this is just a taste of what’s in store at sun-drenched Gran Canaria’s tempting, switched-on resorts. The third-largest of Spain’s Canary Islands is a joy, with winter temperatures climbing to around 20 degrees and a mountainous, verdant interior that feels worlds away from the rippling southern dunes. But it’s here in the south – Maspalomas, Meloneras, Puerto de Mogán – that you’ll find the island’s most fabulous resorts, from chicly designed adults-only escapes to luxe, activity-packed havens for the entire family.
At a glance: the best resorts in Gran Canaria for 2023
The best resort in Gran Canaria overall: Seaside Palm Beach
The best resort in Gran Canaria for families: Lopesan Villa Del Conde
The best resort in Gran Canaria for couples: Salobre Hotel Resort & Serenity
The best beach resort in Gran Canaria: Seaside Palm Beach
Exclusive Meloneras in the sultry south of the island is the setting for this family-friendly, four-star all-inclusive. Hotel Riu Gran Canaria is perfectly placed to enjoy a stroll along the promenade connecting the Faro de Maspalomas lighthouse museum to Meloneras beach. The bright, white, and light style employed by the architecture is minimalist by design. Riu also have hotels in Florida and what with the palm trees and laidback feel, this relaxed establishment wouldn’t look out place in, say, Miami. There’s a glorious adults-only infinity pool overlooking the Atlantic Ocean, along with a gym and a spa.
• The best hotels in Gran Canaria
This large resort, situated on the outskirts of Los Caideros, adopts a “Yes, I Can!” level of service with everything possible done to ensure guest satisfaction. A bijou spa features a spa circuit of Finnish sauna, hammam, and whirlpool tub, and treatments are available. Sporty types will appreciate the padel (Argentinian hybrid of squash and tennis), tennis, and volleyball courts. There's an on-site supermarket to stock up on essentials.
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Set apart from Meloneras’ shopping centres, you would be forgiven for thinking Villa del Conde isolated – until you realise, as its name suggests, that it’s a village in its own right. There's a plaza that feels more like a square, while accommodations mimic traditional Canarian houses. The resort gardens include a putting green and there’s a neat gym on the third floor of D block. Meloneras hotels are noted for their wellness facilities, and Lopesan Villa del Conde is no exception. The 18+ Corallium Thalasso is open daily from 11am to 7pm. Packages, ranging in duration from three days up to a week, include circuits, facials, and algae wraps.
• The best family-friendly hotels in Gran Canaria
Sheraton took the natural environment into account when building this resort, and chose to construct something that blends into its surroundings. The end result is not unlike a miniature Jenga tower set into the hillside. Ochre-coloured stone from the south of the island’s Ayagaures has been used in the exteriors, reflecting the area’s volcanic landscape. Facilities include an 11th-floor infinity pool, two golf courses, a fitness centre and the Aloe Spa, with Finnish sauna, steam bath and offering a range of treatments.
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Set back from the port and Mogán’s crescent-shaped bay, the hotel is just a five-minute walk from the beach. It aims to offer guests something approaching an authentic Gran Canaria stay and, accordingly, reception staff and waiters are dressed in traditional Canarian attire. Indeed, there are ecumenical tones everywhere, not least with the lobby’s stained-glass windows. The complex is more like a village than anything else, complete with its very own chapel, as well as more standard facilities such as pool, spa and four restaurants.
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Maspalomas is not as built up as its noisy neighbour Playa del Inglés, so hotels tend to be closer to the beach from which the resort takes its name; Seaside Palm Beach is no exception. The dunes and the five-mile stretch of shoreline that make up a coastal nature reserve are within comfortable walking distance. The hotel has a considered 1970s style, with colours that are big and bold, but reflect the hotel’s location. Vivid oranges and yellows represents the sun, beige the sand, and blues the ocean and sky.
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The idea of the Riu Palace Meloneras is to wow guests with the architecture – something it achieves with a lobby that reimagines Bath’s Royal Crescent as a single entity; replacing Georgian stone with a shiny bright crystal and white-paint combo. Inside, the look is neo baroque with a corridor of mirrors overlooked by giant chandeliers. The hotel's gardens with their palm trees offer plenty of shade and are a pleasure to stroll through. There’s also a gym and Body Love wellness centre, five swimming pools and four restaurants.
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Grand by name, grand by nature; the five-star Grand Hotel Residencia has accommodated both rock stars and TV personalities, including the likes of Bruce Springsteen and Mary Berry. Pleasingly, nothing’s higher than two storeys – a look patented by artist and architect César Manrique, in an attempt to preserve the traditional feel of neighbouring island Lanzarote. A restaurant with terrace sits atop the orchid-adorned reception, lounge and library. The two-storey whitewashed villas are draped in vivid bougainvillea which lends some contrast to a scene that’s otherwise predominantly green, given the number of palm trees. Opt for an upper-floor suite for vistas of dunes below and mountainous terrain above.
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The pristine exterior of Sentido's Gran Canaria Princess resort practically glows under the sunlight. In the reception, the orchids in giant vases and the colourful leather sofas soften the impact of the minimalist design. The hotel’s grounds are the focal point: sun loungers surround the two popular pools, while outdoor Balinese beds, external massage tables and hot tubs at the spa offer pleasant spaces to relax in the sunshine (a sauna and steam room are located indoors). Guests can also enjoy a tennis court and fitness centre.
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Playa del Inglés, one of Gran Canaria’s sandiest beaches, is situated 200 metres below this four-star, all-inclusive, family-friendly hotel. This is also one of the area's liveliest resorts, which has enjoyed a post-millennial rebirth of cool making it one of the best resorts in Gran Canaria. Dip in and out of the hip nightlife and then retreat to this quiet spot. The hotel's design reflects the island’s proximity to North Africa. There’s a Moorish influence on the architecture, which includes a faux minaret and horseshoe-shaped arches. All of the 256 rooms arranged over 10 floors offer views of the gardens and pools below, although opt for the corner junior suites on floors six to 11 for more space.
Contributons by Matthew Hirtes