Palm Beach is set in an ancient palm grove in the most sought-after part of Maspalomas, in the sultry south of the island. If you’re simply after a lazy beach, golf and spa break, or some winter sun, dispense with a car and book a transfer from the airport, which is 30 minutes’ drive away (38 kms). Although it’s only a short stroll to the centre of Maspalomas, the delicious cuisine, seductive spa and sheer professionalism of Palm Beach means that many never stray further than the palm grove. Bustling Playa del Ingles is 3 kms away but many guests never venture there. There’s also a local bus with regular services to Las Palmas.
The bold palette of colours is more successful in some bedrooms than in others so make your preference known when booking. The most soothing colour scheme is the symphony of beige, but fashionistas (and, let’s face it, girls and the gay crowd) have a soft spot for the lilac-and-lime combo. All bedrooms have WiFi and balcony, with the Illy coffee machine a chic touch. Superior rooms enjoy a sea, garden or pool view. The stylish bathrooms are equipped with L’Occitane products but predominantly come with showers not baths, a slight gripe. But for me, Palm Beach feels like close family: minor character defects become amusing quirks and only make me fonder.
Palm Beach pretty much manages to pull off the glam retro-chic look even before you’ve downed a few cocktails. Conceived by French interior designer Alberto Pinto, the funky candy-coloured lounge overlooking the gardens is a triumph. Only the lower level piano bar, a riot of cerise and purple, crosses the line for more colour-sensitive souls. But the whole place exudes personality and warmth, making it the antithesis of the corporate chain ethos.
Eating and drinking
The international breakfast buffet and the evening barbecues are among the best on the island, and feature dishes such as lobster. Other restaurants include the casual Italian trattoria and the more formal à la carte Orangerie, adorned with chandeliers and mirrored columns. Barbecues are ever-popular, and served several times a week on the terrace. The Africano pool bar is the place for healthy tapas or a jug of Sangria throughout the day.
The pampering yet professional spa is one of the best in Gran Canaria, run by Zen-like therapists in a secluded part of the grounds. The steam room and saunas are tucked away on a private patio and are complimentary to guests, as are the sun terraces and outdoor fitness centre. In the spa, the exotic treatment rooms are matched by a Zen-like relaxation area overlooking the garden. The signature treatment is the exotic Pantai Luar full-body massage, but seaweed or chocolate wraps are also on offer - along with classic massages and Rasul. That’s in addition to aloe vera wraps using aloe vera from Gran Canaria, the purest in the world. Individual treatment programmes can be tailored to your needs, from slimming to anti-ageing. The spa also uses Spanish Natura Bisse products.
A short footpath leads to the beach and dunes but many guests prefer to stay poolside. The freeform pool is the focal point of the tropical gardens. There’s also a thalassotherapy pool with massage jets, underwater bubble-beds; and a hot, mineral-enriched saltwater pool heated to 33C. Activities include water aerobics, yoga, stretching, and Tai Chi under the palms.
The well-supervised new kids’ club caters for the under-eights and comes with a sandpit, children’s pool, heated paddling pool and playground. Child minders will also sort face-painting, crafts, mini-discos, beach safaris and adventurous outings for older children.
Service is attentive but friendly, never overbearing. As at the Residencia, expect Spanish warmth underpinned by Germanic efficiency, reflecting the hotel’s ownership. The German proprietor is passionate about all his hotels and is a stickler for details. Definitely no German commandeering of beach beds here.
Who stays there
Laidback couples, families and foodies who appreciate the sultry beach temperatures of the southern resorts. Also aesthetes and a discreet gay set who lap up the resort’s retro design and playful vibe. The hotel is equally suitable for adults and children: there are plenty of private areas as well as a dedicated kids club, plus activities for older children. The clientele was once predominantly German but is now far more international.
Definitely book half-board: as in most Gran Canarian resorts, the price differential between B&B and half-board is negligible and the food here doesn’t disappoint. As elsewhere, winter season rates (October-April) are higher. Request one of the `beige and brown’ rooms or one of the many rooms that were refurbished in 2011.
- Fitness Centre
- High-Speed Internet
- Room Service
- Swimming Pool
- Families with younger children
- Mature travellers
- Seasoned travellers
- Design and architecture
Pros & Cons
- A family-friendly hotel with a kids’ club and outdoor activities
- Superb treatments in the seductive spa
- A design hotel with affordable luxury for couples and families
- Cheesy evening entertainment but you don’t have to succumb
- Some bedroom colour schemes are more appealing than others