Gran Canaria as you have never seen it before….
I’m just back from a week in Gran Canaria and as you’d expect in February the weather was perfect. Sunny in the day, 22 to 24 degrees centigrade cool at night, no rains and there were very few clouds in the sky. It is generally cooler in the Canary Islands in the summer than it is in the Med due to the Atlantic breezes, making the islands the perfect year round destination.
I was down on holidays but I took 2 days out to meet with our local agent, Diana and to visit the accommodation. We have great agents in every destination, we work hard with them to get the best for ClickandGo.com and Diana is one of the absolute best you can get.
Gran Canaria has been a sun holiday destination for over 30 years. The first resort to be developed was San Agustin, and then came Playa del Ingles and then Maspalomas. At some points in the late 70’s, early 80’s, the famous Irish architect Sam Stephenson came up with a development plan for Puerto Rico, on the southern most tip of the island. This resort became and still is a huge favourite with the Irish.
Playa del Ingles
Playa del Ingles was massively popular with the Irish over the years. Properties such as the Broncemar, Danubio, Corona Roja and Blanco, Jardin del Atlantico, Agaete Park, Green Field, Garden and Park are all well known to Irish holiday makers. These properties are built around an area known locally as the Irish centre. The resort itself is very large and stretches for at least 4 kms from San Agustin down to the dunes in Maspalomas. The main hotel and apartment complexes were built around large shopping centres which in addition to shops had plenty of restaurants, bars and clubs. The main shopping centres are the Jumbo, the Cita, the Kasbah and the Aquila Roja which became known as the Irish centre.
We have 2 excellent IFA hotels in Playa del Ingles.
The IFA Catarina is the 4*hotel, close to the dunes. For value in the 4* hotel range it’s impossible to beat this property and the large bedrooms can take 2 adults and 2 children. In the summer the kids club is brilliant and the entertainment is second to none.
The IFA Buenaventura close to the Kasbah is an excellent 3* hotel. It’s in the heart of Playa del Ingles and like it’s sister hotel, offers unbeatable value but this time in the 3* hotel category. Anyone who wants to be within walking distance to the beach and close to all that Playa del Ingles has to offer just book this hotel. The food is great, the rooms are large, and there are great pool areas in the hotel, chill out zones for peace and quiet and full on for those looking for plenty of activity.
Puerto Rico has really come on with the marina looking fab. We have 2 amazing properties over there, The Morasol and the Marina Suites. Both are superb 4* properties with amazing apartment accommodation backed up by excellent hotel facilities. We also have the ever popular Mayaguez apartments. There are just 15 apartments in this block, situated near the beach in Puerto Rico, so a truly amazing location, brilliantly run by Juan. Staying here is like staying in your own private apartment as it s cosy and so affordable.
I’m delighted that we in ClickandGo.com have this property exclusively for the Irish market and it just sells and sells. Don’t be put off by the 1 key rating, that means nothing to the people who come back here year after year. The Mayaguez is unique in Puerto Rico, it’s got the location everyone wants, a pool for just the 15 apartments so it’s never busy, a great sun terrace and Jacuzzi on the roof and every apartment has great sea views.
My personal favourite area is Costa Meloneras, this is a newly developed area heading south along the coast from the light house at the end of Maspalomas, the Faro Lighthouse. Over the last ten years a new conference centre and about six new hotels and a shopping centre have opened up down here. Costa Meloneras and Boulevard el Faro which runs along the coast really is a tribute to the Lopesan people. This was a bit of a waste land before they moved and they have done a great job. It’s all really good 4 & 5* hotels, great restaurants, cafes, shops and bars. It’s really tasteful and price wise is more or less the same as the rest of the island but the standards are way above most other location on the island. I really recommend El Faro, Grand Italia, the 19th Hole and Sushi Mex for some great food. The walk from the Faro lighthouse up to Playa Meloneras is about 2 kms and it’s a great stroll along the coast.
We have some great properties in Maspalomas too, that’s the area between Playa del Ingles and the Costa Meloneras. Most of the accommodation in Maspalomas is low rise, bungalow type developments, so the accommodation is of a good standard, in a great location, not far from the beach and close to the night life in “Playa”. The island really has re-invented itself and it’s paying off as can be seen by how busy the entire island is. The local government are not allowing any new hotels to be built, if a developer wants to build a new hotel they have to buy an existing property and re-develop it. That’s wise and makes perfect sense as there are plenty of older properties which could do with a complete makeover.
One other great advantage of the Canary Islands is that they are tax free so shopping is amazing value. As it’s a year round resort, accommodation rates actually fall in the summer as the Canary Islands have more competition during the summer months than in the winter, so summer is usually a better time to travel from a price perspective and the weather in the summer is very good, not too hot given the islands location in the Atlantic, so there is always a cooling breeze.
All the best