Geographically speaking, Gran Canaria in the Canary Islands just about has it all: superlative beaches, rugged mountains, arid deserts, and fertile ravines covered in wild olive and almond trees. These high-end hotels pretty much have it all, too, in a sense — think striking Canarian architecture, spectacular infinity pools, and acclaimed restaurants. They’re microcosms within a microcosm.
The 561-room Villa del Conde is easily the most luxurious hotel in Meloneras. It is known for its striking architecture style that copies the layout of a traditional Canarian village, with streets, several buildings, squares, fountains, and even a church. Rooms are elegant and classic, with upscale bathrooms and furnished balconies. The highlight here is the hotel’s top-notch spa, complete with indoor and outdoor spaces, treatments, and hydrotherapy areas. But the resort also offers five pools, a wide array of dining and drinking options, a well-equipped fitness center, entertainment for adults and children, and meeting rooms. Sister property Lopesan Baobab Resort has a more exotic style, but draws more families and can be louder.
Huge, luxurious and strikingly designed, the Lopesan Baobab is one of the top resorts in this part of Gran Canaria. Rooms are upscale and modern, with spacious terraces, African-inspired touches, and sexy bathrooms with soaking tubs and walk-in showers with rain showerheads. The seven pools (including a fun lazy river), lots of kid-friendly amenities, an array of daily fitness activities, four restaurants, and four bars (two with poolside seating) ensure there is plenty to do on-site. There are daily fees for Wi-Fi, use of in-room safes, and parking.
The Hotel Riu Palace Meloneras Resort is a 515-room luxury escape set amid vast gardens that's within walking distance of the buzzing waterfront along El Faro Beach. Contemporary rooms are chic and sleek in muted gray and lilac tones, with private balconies and terraces, some of which have ocean views. The hotel has five swimming pools, including two freshwater infinity pools and a children’s pool, a whirlpool, solarium, and a fitness center. All rates are half-board and include dinner and breakfast, the latter of which features health-conscious options and cava. Travelers seeking a hotel with direct beach access might want to compare rates with the Ifa Faro Hotel.
Perched on a craggy mountainside a 15-minute drive from the beach, the luxurious 313-room Sheraton Gran Canaria offers a quiet, luxurious stay. Although it is a large hotel, rooms and amenities are spread out across several buildings of just a few floors each, so common spaces feel less crowded than other properties of a similar size. The hotel’s seven pools are located on different levels, and the airy spaces allow for extra privacy and a relaxing atmosphere. In addition to two scenic 18-hole golf courses, this property also four restaurants, a spa, and a fitness center with group classes. Rooms are have understated contemporary style, and great amenities such as free Wi-Fi, Sheraton’s signature mattresses, furnished balconies, and deep soaking tubs with separate showers.
First open in 1890, the historic Santa Catalina is housed in one of Las Palmas’ most recognizable landmarks, a gorgeous building with traditional Canarian carved-wood balconies, stone-framed arched windows, and turrets. It may not be as luxurious as it used to be and rooms feel dated and a tad spartan to some, but few hotels in Gran Canaria are as stately as this. There is a pool, spa, and gym, but the standouts here are the restaurants, including acclaimed La Terraza and Los Patios, which serves a wonderful free breakfast in a charming courtyard. It is a quiet hotel a 15-minute walk from the beach and the marina, so those traveling with kids may want to consider other properties.
The Bohemia Suites & Spa is a sophisticated vacation oasis with attention paid to every detail, from the bold, modern decor with creative lighting and a spectacular rooftop restaurant and bar. The adults-only boutique hotel -- roughly 200 yards from the beach -- has 67 rooms and suites designed to blend indoor and outdoor living in seamless luxury. The many on-site facilities include the stunning, full-service El Siam Spa; the state-of-the-art Wellfit Health Club; and two freshwater pools, one with underwater music.
The 189-room Radisson Blu Resort Gran Canaria is a five-pearl family-friendly property with a small but sandy beach. Large, contemporary rooms have marble floors, spacious bathrooms, and ocean views from furnished balconies; some units have full kitchens with dishwashers. There are two pools -- including a large freshwater one and a heated saltwater pool -- plus two restaurants with indoor and outdoor seating, a spa, tennis courts, and a small fitness center. Despite its kid-pleasing features like a playground and kids' club, the atmosphere here is quieter than at other nearby resorts, so partiers may want to look elsewhere.
The H10 Playa Meloneras Palace is an outstanding piece of architecture, inspired by famous Catalan architect Antoni Gaudi, who's responsible for much of Spain's iconic Modernismo buildings. The 373 simply decorated rooms have a relaxed beachy theme that’s reflected in terra-cotta tiling and island-inspired artwork. There are four swimming pools, including an infinity pool with ocean views, two adults-only pools, and a kids' pool -- the main pool area is quite spectacular, with multiple levels, waterfall, and lazy river.