Confusingly, Riu Palace Maspalomas is located in Playa del Ingles, even if the main resort of Maspalomas is nearby. But in some ways the name doesn’t lie: the tranquil mood evokes Maspalomas more than Playa del Ingles – and has little to do with the stereotypes of Playa del Ingles. If you’re lucky enough to get a sea view, then there will be no sense that you’ve landed in `party central’. But even in the built-up heart of the resort, much has changed and Playa del Ingles is cleaning up its act. While it will always look like a concrete jungle, landscaping is taking place, and the promenade is still delightful, day or night. What’s more, the hotel itself is far enough away from the action to keep its distance and special character.
Definitely request a sea view on the fourth floor as any extra cost is worthwhile. The dunes are mesmerising. The bedrooms are pleasant, if unimaginative, and slightly in need or refurbishment. However, given the views over the dune, few will mind too much.
The only crazy thing about the hotel is that the most beautiful spot, the rooftop, remains just that, rather than being converted into a romantic bar and chill-out zone. I always climb up there to dream overlooking the dunes. If you share my fondness for this spot, please do encourage the management to create the most enticing rooftop retreat.
Eating and drinking
To my eyes, the piano bar looks rather dated and overly-ornate, with its red brocade swagging, but many love it. The cuisine is generally good across the board, including in the poolside snack bar. Surprisingly, the main restaurant is often preferred to the a la carte restaurant, Krystal. Available to Half Board guests at no extra charge, Krystal specialises in creative fusion cuisine. Hungrier guests mutter that portions are not large enough and return to the main restaurant with alacrity. What is impressive about the main restaurant is that although it’s officially a buffet, the main course is served by waiters so dinner is far more relaxing than in rival hotels. Themed buffets feature Spanish or Mexican cuisine, for instance. Guests are encouraged to dress up for dinner, as befits the elegant, rather old-fashioned feel of the restaurant.
Most guests will not wish to stray far from the Jacuzzi and three pools (heated in winter). Although the hotel is on top of the dunes, the beach is 900 metres away. Tennis, table tennis and a gym are available, as is a small spa and beauty centre, with several golf courses nearby.
The above average evening entertainment features acrobats, dancers and easy-listening Euro-pop from the resident house band. If you want more, the more boisterous Playa del Ingles hotspots are within easy walking distance, while the gay scene is centred on the Yumbo Centre after dark. For more mellow nightlife, jump into a cab to the beachside bars at Meloneras, a neighbouring resort (about 7 euro).
Friendly, personable, but highly professional, as in most Riu Spanish resorts.
Who stays there
Mature couples (including a discreet gay clientele) who are looking for a peaceful beach retreat that is still close to the action in Playa del Ingles. The nationality mix is predominantly German and British.
As in most of Gran Canaria, winter season rates (October-April) are higher. A buffet breakfast is included, as are a raft of activities, but the WiFi zone in the lobby is free, even if WiFi comes with an extra charge in the bedrooms.
- Fitness Centre
- High-Speed Internet
- Room Service
- Swimming Pool
- First-time travellers
- Mature travellers
- Great views / scenery
- Chilling out
Pros & Cons
- Cuisine and service – not the usual “smash-and-grab” hotel buffets
- For party people, the nightlife is still within walking distance
- The peaceful location, tucked into the sand dunes on Playa del Ingles
- The hotel is still about 15-minutes’ walk from the main beach, across the dunes
- This isn’t a hotel suited to families, even if some mistakenly book here