This villagey resort is set back from the seafront in Meloneras, the newer, more upmarket satellite resort to Playa del Ingles. Meloneras beach is only 100 metres away while the iconic lighthouse and atmospheric Maspalomas dunes are within easy walking distance.
It’s around 10-15 minutes’ stroll to the centre of Meloneras, with its designer shopping and restaurants. Alternatively, it’s a short taxi ride to Playa del Ingles - unless you want to trek through the dunes past the nudist beaches. Playa del Ingles may be more populist than Meloneras 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. What’s more, within the resort there’s no shortage of sand as Villa del Conde has its own man-made beach, which small children love, while the Playa del Ingles beach scene is nearby.
The air-conditioned bedrooms overlook the gardens or the sea, and are framed by attractive, Canarian-style balconies or linked to small patios. Although the bedrooms tend to be somewhat neutral in style, they are spacious and boast surprisingly big walk-in wardrobes. Equally generous bathrooms feature separate baths and hand-held showers, as well as bidets. The junior suites have showers with massage jets, along with free WiFi and DVD players. Senior suites enjoy fine sea views, best appreciated from the huge balcony. There are also five bedrooms designed for people with disabilities.
The resort design feels as welcoming as the model village itself. With its imposing dome and towers, the showpiece lobby is inspired by one of the oldest churches on Gran Canaria. But it’s the vistas towards to the beachfront that give the resort its character and sense of space. At the far end is the huge yet discreet seafront spa, one of the best on the island. Instead, the plaza area, with restaurants and bars fanning off a central square, is the beating heart of the village. It makes the key restaurants easy to find, even if they feel very distinct, ranging from easygoing Italian to formal fine-dining.
Eating and drinking
The two best restaurants don’t feature in the half-board or full-board options. Given the reasonable half-board deal, you can still afford to splash out occasionally at these a la carte places. The elegant Ovo specialises in Mediterranean creative dishes while the Ristorante Italiano El Patio focuses on fresh pasta. La Plaza, the half-board restaurant (for breakfast and dinner) is buffet-style, including Canarian, Spanish and international cuisine. Alpendre does buffet lunches while the Patio is the place for snacks or ice creams, cakes and crepes.
The six bars include: the Akoran Lobby bar, a perfect meeting point, as well as two pool bars. The central plaza is home to a pub, a snack bar and an internet café. There’s also a lounge bar with a dance floor and summer terrace, which comes into its own at night.
The five swimming pools (one saltwater and 3 heated in winter) include a charming `quiet pool’ and a children’s pool, convenient for the man-made beach. The kids’ club caters for four-year-olds to twelve-year-olds. Other facilities include a gym, tennis court, and several Jacuzzis, as well as activities such as Pilates and Tai Chi; and a neighbouring casino. The resident band and evening entertainment are better than in most rival resort hotels.
The Corallium, the seductive seafront spa, specialises in thalassotherapy. The circuit begins in a heated seawater pool equipped with massage jets and underwater bubble beds. You can also unwind in the flotation pool or under steam showers scented with aromatic herbs. There is also a Kneipp reflexology pool and a Finnish Sauna with chromatic light therapy. Typical spa treatments include Lomi Lomi Hawaiian massage, aloe-vera peels and seaweed wraps. One revitalising, chocolate-based skin treatment features exfoliation and chocolate wraps. Finish a spa session in the tearoom or on the Mirador terrace where you can admire the sun setting over the Atlantic Ocean. For privacy and romance, opt for an Ocean View Suite. These are water villas, each with its own seawater Jacuzzi and sundeck. A villa can cater for upto six people so makes sense for treatments, including massage, with a group of friends.
Most people praise the friendly service, supported by the assiduous guest relations manager. The only time service standards occasionally slip is at the bars, which are often busy.
Who stays there
Anyone in search of an all-round luxurious holiday in the sultry south. An international mix of chic couples, laidback families, serious spa-goers, beach-lovers, and winter sun-seekers. The hotel is suitable for adults and children, although the sister-hotel, the Lopesan Costa Meloneras, is even better for children.
If travelling with upto two children, opt for a suite rather than separate rooms as this is often far better value. 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. As elsewhere, winter season rates (October-April) are higher.
- Fitness Centre
- High-Speed Internet
- Room Service
- Swimming Pool
- Families with teenagers
- Families with younger children
- Seasoned travellers
- Live entertainment
- Special occasions
Pros & Cons
- A man-made beach to delight small children within the resort
- A chic spa, one of the best on the island
- All-round excellence in terms of setting, food and facilities
- Parts of Meloneras beach occasionally get reconfigured in winter storms
- The two best restaurants are a la carte and not included on the half-board basis