This grandiose resort hotel hogs the beachfront, 200 meters from Maspalomas Lighthouse. Compared with sister-hotel Villa del Conde, this resort is more convenient for the shops and restaurants, which are within easy walking distance. The beach outside the hotel is rocky, but the further along you walk, the sandier it gets.
The hotel is set in Meloneras, the newer, more upmarket satellite resort to Playa del Ingles. Playa del Ingles may be more populist but the beaches are better, with golden sand rather than shingle. Although occasional winter storms periodically play havoc with the sands on Meloneras beach, attractive sections survive, and the seaside promenade is always delightful. Luckily, the resort also has its own its own man-made beach, while sandy beaches are nearby.
Choose a bedroom on a higher floor and specify views of the sea, grounds or mountains. Given the huge range of rooms, don’t be afraid of requesting a different option from the helpful German guest relations manager. For a sea view you might need to pay for a `double standard deluxe’. Bedrooms on the higher floors naturally have better views, though ones immediately above the main entertainment area can be slightly noisy. Some of the best rooms are in the eighth-floor towers, but views from the sixth floor are also excellent, encompassing the pool area, palms and fountains. Bedrooms on the lowest floors tend to have negligible views, cast in the shade by the palm trees. Some rooms are set aside for those with limited mobility.
In general, guests praise the big balconies, large walk-in wardrobes and separate sitting areas. But they are less keen on the dated look of some rooms and the fact that WiFi comes with an extra charge. To be fair, the décor is generally unobjectionable, in a palette of soft colours, with some rooms charming. The décor ranges from contemporary to Canarian and eclectic African. The spacious bathrooms are cast in a tasteful marble and terracotta finish, with separate showers, his-and-hers hand basins, and bathrobes.
Tucked into the extensive grounds are all the pools, gardens, bars, restaurants, children’s activities and spa facilities that you could reasonably wish for, and even a casino. Near the seafront there’s an exciting secret tunnel and grotto area that appeals to children. In the evening, the live music and entertainment is often a cut above what’s on offer in rival resorts. And if you still want more, the resort adjoins a sweeping sand-and-shingle beach skirted by an appealing, palm-lined promenade of beach bars, restaurants and boutiques.
Eating and drinking
For lunch, there are two delightful poolside options, both airy waterfront pavilions with sea views and inviting terraces. It’s hard to choose between the Italian-oriented Via Veneto, which is closer to Maspalomas lighthouse, and Vista Mar, which is slightly further away. For views, Vista Mar wins, especially since its meaty menu, including grills, is also a hit with families.
There are five main restaurants, including two big buffet affairs that serve variants on international cuisine, enlivened by changing thematic feasts and live music in the evenings. But to escape the buffets, either choose the waterfront options or head to the Ambassador Restaurant for gourmet fare á la carte, accompanied by live music in the evenings.
The buffet breakfasts are fine, with omelettes cooked to order, but you need to hunt down a tranquil area. Buffet dinner is a choice of two sittings and includes themed evenings, from Italian to Asian. Given the sheer numbers, the buffets can be a bit of a free-for-all and there’s a lot of tedious traipsing around. Upgrading to the non-buffet restaurants is the best way round this, or otherwise mixing and matching among the poolside and other a la carte restaurants. All restaurants are generally competitively priced compared with the non-hotel options nearby.
The Costa Meloneras boasts a clutch of swimming pools, including one with a waterfall, one with an artificial beach, one designed as a tranquil haven, as well as all the spa pools. The pools and jacuzzis are excellent, even if guests report that they can occasionally be on the chilly side in winter. Children’s facilities are first-rate, from the dedicated pool and playground to a daily activity programme. Tennis is also on offer (four courts), as well as boules, with complimentary Tai Chi, water aerobics, yoga and Pilates, both for children and adults. Golf, sailing, mountain-biking or short sightseeing helicopter trips can also be arranged.
The Corallium Spa Costa Meloneras is a destination spa that will suit both first-timers and serious spa-goers. Occupying 3,500 square meters in the heart of the resort, the spa is one of the best in Spain and is arguably the Gran Canarian spa with the greatest `wow factor’.
The experiential circuit is inspired by the dramatic, volcanic nature of the island. Using water, light, scent, music, aromas, and changes in temperature, the spa journey is, here, a real journey rather than a spa cliché. The concept is a voyage through different sensations to a place of well-being. The `science bit’ claims that the journey stimulates the elimination of toxins. The `feelings bit’ induces a mood of well-being or euphoria, depending on the person.
The `wow factor’ is created by the way the circuit sweeps the spa-goer around the world geographically. During this four-hour experience, different moods are matched to different places and the spa experiences associated with those places. The voyage runs from Egypt to Arabia, from the Tropics to the North Pole. En route, you discover an ice canyon, complete with igloo, and a glowing Himalayan salt grotto built with bricks of crystallised salt. Designed as an energy source, the crystalline salt is supposedly beneficial, especially for conditions ranging from migraines to allergies, asthma or other respiratory conditions.
The Aqua-dome area focuses on water experiences, from a thalassotherapy pool to a Kneipp circuit. An `African’ sauna is followed by an Arctic ice experience in the igloo, with an interlude in a Roman caldarium. The womb-like relaxation room, complete with waterbeds and music, is softly-lit and calming. The sense of discovery returns with the flotation pool, carved into a lava-stone cave. Here, in the saline waters, you float gently, much as in the Dead Sea.
The spa also offers a wide range of facials and body treatments, based on essential oils and plant extracts, incorporating aromatherapy and oriental techniques. There is also an outdoor area with a tranquil spa garden for sunbathing, Tai Chi or meditation. If a late check out isn’t possible on departure day, sign into the spa for the four-hour experiential circuit, which also lets you relax in all the spa pools.
Most people praise the friendly service, supported by the assiduous guest relations manager. The only time service standards occasionally slip is at the buffets, which are often busy.
Who stays there
Anyone in search of a luxurious holiday in the sultry south. An international mix of laidback families, fun-loving couples, groups of friends, serious spa-goers, beach-lovers, and winter sun-seekers. The hotel is suitable for adults and children, although adults will also like the sister-hotel, the Lopesan Villa del Conde.
Definitely choose half-board: as in most Gran Canarian resorts, the price differential between B&B and half-board is negligible and the food is generally good. However, consider upgrading to the a la carte restaurants to avoid the `smash and grab’ buffets.
- Fitness Centre
- High-Speed Internet
- Room Service
- Swimming Pool
- Families with teenagers
- Families with younger children
- Sporty types
- Live entertainment
- People watching
- Chilling out
Pros & Cons
- Two delightful waterfront pavilion restaurants
- The `wow factor’ spa, one of the best on the island
- An unbeatable range of activities, pools and restaurants
- The buffet restaurants can be crowded and a touch chaotic
- Despite the well-designed space, do not expect boutique charm