The hotel we've stayed in for the last couple of years is quite idiosyncratic from all other hotels in the area because of its African theme. With animal figurines in the grounds, members of staff in safari style outfits, and a Rainforest Cafe-esque soundtrack when walking through the front entrance, you feel like you're on safari.
A short walk down the road and you will find a couple of supermarkets for food staples, luxury boutiques such as Lacoste, and the beach. If after Spanish brands like Mango and Zara, Las Palmas further north of the island is your best bet and is only a 30-40 minute drive away. If you follow the coast round, you will pass several beaches: one rocky - typical of the Canary Islands! - and others with sand imported from the Mediterranean (apparently). Playa de Ingles has the most packed beach and is a tourist hot spot. If you're after buzzing night life, Playa de Ingles may be more for you. If you can be bothered, walk on the beach further past Playa de Ingles and you will see the sand dunes. Things of beauty, but bloody hot to climb.
The beach along this part is much quieter - people are too lazy to walk that far! - and makes for far nicer photos.
Be wary though: when you walk further along you'll hit the nudist section. If you're a bit funny with nudity, maybe avoid this bit! I am not a prude, but seeing a - very naked - old man bend over to get something from a cool bag has scarred me for life...
Our walks on the beach was an afternoon thing to walk off lunch where we indulged in local breads, meats and olives.
Some mornings we chilled by the pool. And by "the pool" I mean "a pool" - our hotel had 7 of them(!) As nice as it is to sit,
When it's that hot, ice cream is a necessity. As soon as we saw that temperature gauge hit 31 degrees, we'd look at each other and not have to say a word. ICE CREAM O'CLOCK.
Only in Gran Canaria can you see Ice Age in sweltering heat!
We'd tried some excursions last year, but weren't impressed with any of them and felt they were a bit of a rip off. 50 euros to go shopping in Las Palmas? Erm, no. One benefit of going on an excursion to Las Palmas last year was that we stumbled across a museum which wasn't on the itinerary - so we made a mental note of it. Taxi's to Las Palmas were extortionate - about 60 euros - whereas a bus would only cost 6 euros. Our holiday rep was a bit useless when it came to knowledge of the local area / transport, so somehow with my VERY limited Spanish, we managed to get to Las Palmas and back in one piece! The museum Museo Elder de la Ciencia y la Tecnologia was only 5 euros and was a lot like the Science Museum in London as there was a lot of interaction and activities like the launch pad bit. My favourites had to be the green screen and the biology section:
We mainly ate at the hotel, but did treat ourselves to tapas on a couple of occasions:
The resort had everything you could ever want - entertainment, food and cocktails - so there was no reason to go anywhere else in the evenings
I miss our comfy bed and the massive floor space our room covered (something you'll never get in Europe!)
Oh Gran Canaria, I miss you.