The hotel is set in Playa del Ingles, Gran Canaria’s liveliest resort. Bustling Playa del Ingles is on the doorstep, but the beach is just 200 metres away, with its seemingly endless sands. The convenient location is part of the hotel’s appeal. Some repeat guests come for the nightlife while others come for the hotel itself. Sandy Beach is quietly self-contained, but it also happens to be handy for an array of bars, shops and restaurants just beyond the grounds.
Bedrooms from the third floor upwards overlook the circular pool and palm-lined gardens but sea views are available from the 9th to 11th floors. As well as low-key double rooms, twins and more tasteful junior suites, all with balconies, there are also spacious family rooms. These offer a separate living room, big bathroom and even a kitchen, in some cases. Walk-in wardrobes and plenty of storage space set the bedrooms apart from those in rival hotels. Bathrooms are spacious and attractively tiled, with a choice of showers or baths.
Sandy Beach offers a mixture of moods. The terracotta tiles and earth-toned sofas set the scene. The atmospheric ground floor, lined with Moroccan lanterns and Moorish artwork, feels more boutique than brash beach resort. The same is true of the funky Bar Salon, which is a moody take on contemporary Moroccan cool. (It’s also used for the ho-hummish nightly entertainment). Even if the exotic mood isn’t sustained upstairs, it’s fun while it lasts.
Eating and drinking
Whether choosing an all-inclusive, half-board or B&B option, loyal guests are clear that the food is the hotel’s greatest asset. The restaurant’s welcoming garden terrace is at the heart of the action for lunch. Typical international fare includes kebabs, Mediterranean salads, sole, steak and chips. It’s not so much about choice or creativity as about quality and care of preparation. Evening options include hearty, themed buffets and barbecues. The pool bar is a popular spot for cocktails or jugs of Sangria.
There’s no getting away from the fact that this is a built-up resort hotel where space is at a premium. Even so, for a Playa del Ingles hotel, the outdoor space is more than reasonable. The bold, circular pool is well-designed while the compact grounds are dotted with palms and cacti.
Set on the 10th floor, the spa serves its purpose, with similar exotic treatments to those at Palm Beach, as well as a steam room and sauna. The signature spa treatment is the Pantai Luar Asian massage, possibly followed by a retreat to the relaxation room or rooftop terrace. Nudists can revel in the privacy of the `naturist terraces’ on the 8th, 9th and 10th floors. Less exhibitionist couples might prefer soaping the mud of one another in the Rasul ritual bath.
For children, there’s a play area, babysitting, mountain-bike rental, and some entertainment in high season. As for adults, if you’re not enamoured of the cheesy evening entertainment, then head out to the surrounding bars on your doorstep, from Playa del Ingles to Meloneras.
Service is attentive and friendly, as in Palm Beach, the Maspalomas hotel in the same group. As at this sister-hotel, expect Spanish warmth underpinned by Germanic efficiency, reflecting the hotel’s ownership. The German proprietor is passionate about all his properties and is a stickler for detail. Definitely no German commandeering of sun-loungers here.
Who stays there
An international mix of British, Scandinavians and Germans. Laidback couples, families, foodies and party people who like the liveliness of Playa del Ingles, as well as the sultry beach temperatures in the south. The hotel is equally suitable for adults and children.
Definitely choose half-board or all-inclusive: as in most Gran Canarian resorts, the price differential between B&B and half-board is negligible and the food here doesn’t disappoint. Book well in advance for Christmas to February as this is a popular hotel. 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
- No fuss
Pros & Cons
- Tennis, golf, boat trips, nudist beaches - it's all available
- An affordable, family-friendly hotel with a loyal following
- A handy beach base for families, party people or party-poopers
- Excellent food normally associated with a more luxurious hotel
- Some of the bedrooms are looking rather tired
- The built-up nature of the area precludes much in the way of gardens
- Cheesy evening entertainment - but that’s part of the fun on Playa del Ingles