Set in the south of the island, in upmarket Meloneras, the hotel is convenient for the seafront, shops and restaurants close to Maspalomas lighthouse. Maspalomas’ sand dune beach is 800 metres from the hotel. As a resort, Meloneras offers mellow nightlife and excellent restaurants, including Ciao Ciao on the beachfront. Meloneras is the newer, more upmarket satellite resort to Playa del Ingles, a more populist resort with better beaches, and golden sand rather than shingle. Although occasional winter storms periodically play havoc with the sands on Meloneras beach, attractive sections survive, and the promenade is always delightful. Guests are even given a key to allow direct access to the seafront.
Most guests lucky enough to enjoy a garden villa will not wish to stray far from home – except to go for dip in the pool. Framed by palms, the appealing villas lead to the seaside promenade. Instead, rooms in the main hotel block are further from the seafront and gardens. As for décor, the villas have a faintly marine theme and are decorated in quiet good taste. The villas are one- or two-bedroomed suites. Instead, bedrooms in the hotel block are more hit-and-miss, pleasant but looking rather old-fashioned or tired in some cases. If staying in the hotel block, opt for a top floor room to guarantee a good sea view.
Designed in so-called colonial style, the Riu Palace Meloneras is more attractive than many large hotels in the area. A few shops, a hairdresser, beauty centre and a small spa are tucked into hidden corners. In terms of mood, the biggest distinction is between the more impersonal hotel block and the secluded villas scattered throughout the grounds.
Eating and drinking
Guests need to choose between two sittings, either at 6pm or 8pm, and encouraged to dress for dinner. Surprisingly, the main restaurant is often preferred to the select a la carte restaurant, Krystal. Available to Half-Board guests at no extra charge, Krystal specialises in creative fusion cuisine. Hungrier guests either love the upmarket mood or mutter that portions are too small. Although the non a la carte restaurant is officially a buffet, the main course is served by waiters so dinner is a far more civilised affair than in comparable hotels.
The gardens, graced with two pools, are the hotel’s biggest asset, along with the direct access to Meloneras seafront. The pools, both heated in winter, are surrounded by garden villas.Table tennis, billiards and a gym are also available on site, along with a small beauty centre that provides massages and facials. There is a token nod to families, with a dedicated children’s pool and regular activities, except in winter (November to the end of February). For adults, evening entertainment features shows and live music. But you would be well-advised to head to the more sophisticated bars and restaurants along Meloneras beach. If you want more, then the more boisterous Playa del Ingles hotspots are a short cab ride away.
Extremely friendly but highly professional, as in most Riu Spanish resorts.
Who stays there
Couples, especially mature couples, looking for a peaceful beach retreat. Summer brings more families, with the nationality mix predominantly German and British.
As in most of Gran Canaria, winter season rates (October-April) are higher. It’s worth splashing out on a garden villa.
- Fitness Centre
- High-Speed Internet
- Room Service
- Swimming Pool
- Families with teenagers
- First-time travellers
- Mature travellers
- Seasoned travellers
- Escaping the crowds
Pros & Cons
- Cuisine and service – not the usual “smash-and-grab” hotel buffets
- The seafront location, with direct access to the Meloneras promenade
- The peaceful garden villas and the sense of seclusion they provide
- This is a quiet, low-key resort, not suited to those who want constant activity
- The standard rooms are a far cry from the garden villas in mood and views