We just spent a week on the Spanish island of Gran Canaria (in the Atlantic outside Morocco).
The “traditional” main tourist destination for Scandinavians since the 60’s.
It was meant to be a nice, quiet and calm week, with plenty of time to relax.
I like the island mostly for two reasons;
-Lots of childhood memories (mostly good ones…… 😉
-The canarian tapas….and especially the papas con mojo (small, extremely tasty and salty potatoes with red mojo (garlic/herb) sauce and those gambas ajillo….. (small prawns in garlic oil)
There are many, maaaaaany hotel areas on the island, they stretch from old and ugly to new and chic… All options and records are highly represented in all possible ways ans forms.
Our personal favourite is Meloneras, which is located after the Maspalomas light house. Meloneras started to take form around 2003 – before that, there was basically nothing in this area.
Meloneras offers hotels in the high end and most shops here do not belong to the typical souvenir/beach/bikini-kind, but are “proper” shops that you’d also find at home.
Nearby is also the El Tablero shoppingcentre, which is also open on Sundays.
There are of course also plenty of restaurants in Meloneras, most ran by hotels, but also other ones like the excellent Italian inspired Ciao Ciao Restaurant right on the Meloneras beach – or the Asian inspired Samsara towards the sanddunes.
We stayed at the Lopesan Villa del Conde on the Meloneras beach walk and about half a kilometer from Meloneras “centre”.
It’s beautifully built with the shape of a canarian village, with the traditional hill top “church” being the reception – beautifully seen from far and lit-up during night time.
Rooms are many but despite the size of the hotel, it still gives the impression of a cosy place – which we always look for when choosing a hotel.
We had booked a double room with seaview and was allocated a room very close to the sea (thanks a million Johan and Maria!) – really the perfect location!
The room was very spacious and I loved the idea of a walk-in closet where you could put all your stuff + suitcases and close the door. Excellent!
Our balcony was a huge, canarian style balcony and we spent hours here just enjoying the calm and the sea.
Bathroom very good and functional as well with double sinks and both shower cabin and a huge bathtub with drowning potential 🙂
The only thing missing, at least according to Brian, was coffee facilities.
We had paid for wi-fi and when this facility is at an extra fee, you’d expect a fast connection, however this was not at all the case.
The room was kept spotlessly clean every single day with normal, daily cleaning as well as nightly turn-down service. Extra plus for the yummmyyyyy Lindt chocolate on the bed every evening…..!
The food at the hotel is outstanding, as in really, really good.
A huge variety of food for breakfast and dinner, all of very high quality. The buffet is filled up properly and we really enjoyed all the meals, which we had in the hotel.
Bubbles for breakfast just makes a day even better!
We loved the canarian buffet one night, which included garlic prawns cooked in front of you, without any doubt what so ever the best garlic prawns I ever had and – as we say in Kenya – beleive you me, I’ve had many, many, many garlic prawns during my life…..
Only negative thing was that there were few tables outside on the terrace (however, you never waited for more than 10 min. for a table) and the waiters simply assume you’re German and speak to you in that language as well. All the time 🙁
There are several pool areas at the hotel, all looking really nice! However, those of you who know us well, can probably guess that we never went to swim or even tried out the pool beds.
On the other hand, we did visit the spa at the hotel. We visited it 5 years ago as well while staying at the RIU Palace Meloneras hotel, and it was still as nice.
The private spa suites are lovely, your own water therapy pool, lounge chairs with tea, minibar – all directly seafacing – is a real treat and we can highly recommend the spa.
This time, I had a facial and a massage.
Our dear family members, Johan, Charlotte and Max, were holidaying with their parents in Fuerteventura the same week.
For months, we had planned to visit them for a day, and so we woke up at 5 am to jump on the 7 am Binter Canarias service to Fuerteventura.
LPA Airport at 6 am.
Heading towards Playitas – soooo excited!!!
It’s all very convenient and the flight takes just about 30 min.
We had rented a car for the whole week with CICAR, works out very well with good rates and all insurances incl. (as well as extra driver), so we parked the car at the airport and rented a new CICAR car for the day when arriving at Fuerteventura.
We were so excited while driving to the sports resort Playitas since our family had no clue we were on holiday at all..
My good friend Jacob had put lots of energy in helping us to spy on our family in order to know where they were when we arrived. Somehow :0))))
The surprise was succesful and we spent a great day together. Passed way too fast but doesn’t time always fly too fast when in good company?
Back a Gran canaria, we also spent one day driving to Telde (2nd. largest town on the island) in order to find the Östblom/Bodin’s former holiday residence.
My dad tried finding it a few years ago, as did we 5 years ago….But Telde has grown and previously we did not manage to find it at all.
However, this time it was a Mission and with great help of Margrethe (our gps, named so by my collegue Martin during a work trip to Tenerife earlier this year), we finally managed to find Lomo de Sala and Calle Calma.
It was so nice to see the place, where you had spent so many school holidays from approx. the age 8-13 years and not been back since.
It actually looked a lot like it did then, only the current owners had painted the house and had 2 very angry dogs that did not enjoy me walking and looking around…..
By the way, the most “memorable” holiday there was that 8 weeks holiday when my dad wasn’t able to get us 8-weeks airtickets and hence decided to drive from Gävle (my Swedish hometown, located 190 kilometres north of Stockholm) to Gran Canaria. Oh well, after all, isn’t that the next best option/thing to do with 3 kids (aged 5, 8 and 11)? I’m just saying……
The last day of the holiday was our wedding anniversary and the reason why we had decided to travel in the first place.
When you choose the most boring (weatherwise) month to get married, you also have a good reason to travel and celebrate your Anniversary in a special place.
Last year, we were in Thailand celebrating the day with an Anantara “dining by design” private dinner on the beach. This year, our friends, Johan and Eva, recommended the rooftop restaurant at the Radisson Blu hotel in Arguineguin for our special day.
The restaurant was so great that it deserves a blog post on it’s own. Watch this space! 🙂
We will definitely return to this island. Unfortunately we never drove through the beautiful, central, mountainous green area of the island this time. And I simply MUST do a hike with Björn from Rocky Adventures next time.
Anyway, we had another great holiday, and like all our other holidays, it was much too short…..