In a quiet location alongside the traditional village of Alcalá on the sunny west coast, between the resorts of Playa de San Juan and Playa de La Arena. The hotel is a ten-minute drive to Los Gigantes and is well placed for access to Teide National Park. A 35-minute transfer from the south airport.
In some ways the Gran Meliá Palacio is a real home from home. Rooms have a coffee maker and an alarm clock, an iron and an ironing board, and a flat-screen 32 inch TV. But there the similarity ends, at least to my home. Luxury and exquisite taste are combined with leading edge technology to create the sort of environment which it’s difficult to drag yourself away from. Rich, mahogany carved furniture; a deep, soft velour sofa and bronze wall art and innovative lighting are teamed with silk furnishings in autumnal tones. Bathrooms are mocha granite and mahogany. Those on unlimited budgets should consider booking the adults-only Red Level rooms, where a long list of personalised services includes your own butler.
Stepping into the lobby of the Palacio is like entering another world - a scented granite, marble, chrome and glass world of fine art, elegant design and dancing fountains. Checking in may take a little time, simply because you’ll be too busy gawping around at another wow corner to concentrate on the task in hand. Light, space and water feature heavily, along with sensually shaped vases and light fittings, long, low sofas and arched porticos looking out onto beautiful courtyards.
Eating and drinking
Buffet breakfasts are in the Pangea restaurant or on the terrace outside. There are individual stations for cereals, healthy options, continental and hot. Choices are endless and standards are a la carte level. Five a la carte restaurants offer Asian, Iberian, Italian, seafood and grills. Half-board guests can select from three of the restaurants as well as the buffet, but you have to book to be certain of a table.
Stepping outside, your eyes are assailed by a symphony of blue pools punctuated by white marble pillars, canopied Balinese beds and chill out music; it feels like the millionaire’s version of Club Tropicana. The main attraction is the vast, salt water infinity pool which more than makes up for the lack of a beach. There’s also a kiddie’s pool which is great fun and Red Level guests have an adults-only pool. The YHI spa is a haven of perfumed tranquillity and pampering, and staff organise a menu of fitness and relaxation programmes.
As professional and courteous as you expect from a five-star resort. Dining staff are alert to empty glasses and generous in refilling them. The Play House Live staff are every parent’s dream holiday find.
Who stays there
Predominantly Spanish mainlanders and well heeled Canarios at weekends and in summer. Ratio switches to British, German and quite a few US during winter. Mix of couples and families.
Extras are costly and can mount up. Use the Pcan garage shop next door or wander into Alcalá to stock up.
- Families with younger children
- Mature travellers
- Seasoned travellers
- Escaping the crowds
- Chilling out
- Design and architecture
Pros & Cons
- Fabulously stylish
- The Red Level
- Family friendly
- Timeshare reps
- No beach