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Sarah Dawson continues her tour of the spas and wellness facilities of the island of Gran Canaria. One of the best things about the Canary Islands is the variety of the landscape. In any one day you can experience barren and volcanic scenery followed by lush and verdant trees...

Sunshine and Spas in Gran Canaria – Part Two

Sarah Dawson continues her tour of the spas and wellness facilities of the island of Gran Canaria.

One of the best things about the Canary Islands is the variety of the landscape. In any one day you can experience barren and volcanic scenery followed by lush and verdant trees and a riot of exuberant flowers the next.After our treatments at the Gloria Palace hotels and the Inagua Spa at the Hotel Cordial Mogan Playa, we joined our guide Christian the next morning as he navigated his way along winding mountain roads to our next spa venue – the Corallium Thalasso Spa at the five star Lopesan Villa del Conde Resort in Meloneras.

The resort describes itself as ‘an authentic oasis dedicated entirely to luxury and pleasure’ and as we enjoyed excellent service from start to finish, I couldn’t disagree. The exceptionally modern wellness centre includes a lovely garden and terrace overlooking volcanic rocks and the Atlantic Ocean, from which a refreshing breeze enhanced our visit.

The resort’s Carallium Spa offers a number of special thalasso packages such as a 180-minute thalasso circuit with a choice of treatment rituals (from €85) such as the Chocolate Fancy, involving a massage with warm chocolate (80-minutes, €95) and massages from Swedish (50-minutes, €63) to Indian Head (50-minutes, €55).

The Thalasso Experience is an aquatic and sensorial experience, part indoor and part outdoor with the route exceedingly well explained by the spa staff. Our ‘experience’ started off in the hydrotherapy vitality pool followed by a moisturising oil shower a warm sauna and steam bath, then contrasting cool ice and a Kneipp pool dip, finishing with a stint in the floatation pool, which mimics the buoyancy of the Dead Sea.

After our thalasso journey, we were treated to our first native Aloe Vera treatment in one of the four Ocean View Suites – spacious and uber comfortable private treatment rooms for two, complete with Jacuzzis and terrace overlooking the sea and incredible airy lightness due to the floor to ceiling windows. Couples can book an Oceanic Paradise Bath in one of the suites for €111, which includes an hour of hydrotherapy in the seawater pool and a bottle of Moet and Chandon.

The Aloe Vera wrap (50-minutes, €65) involved an intensive salt scrub followed by an Aloe Vera gel and cream wrap, which renewed and nourished my skin a treat. To finish our spa visit, we enjoyed a healthy lunch from the Nature Corner bar on the quiet terrace.

Aloe Vera is a type of aloe plant, native to the Canary Islands and now considered a wonder product which is increasingly used in the cosmetic and pharmaceutical industries. Its anti-inflammatory properties are soothing on sunburn and offer relief from eczema, allergies and a large range of skin conditions. And with its refreshing, revitalising and intensely moisturising properties, it makes perfect sense to draw on its super powers in spa treatments and products.

The following day we visited the nearby Lopesan’s sister spa at the Lopesan Costa Meloneras resort, located slightly closer to the beach and where the spa focuses on hydrotherapy, rather than thalassotherapy.

The indoor Spa Experience Circuit involves themed rooms that draw on customs and treatments from Egypt to the Himalaya. Housed within an atmospheric volcanic cave complex, a circuit of which purports to eliminate toxins, increase relaxation and invigorate the cardiovascular and immune systems. After trying the health-giving circuit, we enjoyed the benefits of our visit over a cup of herbal tea and a healthy sandwich in the spa gardens.

My penultimate spa visit was to the five star Sheraton Salobre Golf resort – my personal favourite from an architectural and location point of view.

An excellent choice for five star privacy, rest and rejuvenation, the resort offers top class luxury, from its design and architecture and supreme inland location overlooking two lush golf courses with the twinkling ocean in the distance, to its superb contemporary rooms, cuisine and fine attention to detail.

The resort’s structure has been carefully integrated with the natural environment using locally sourced stone from the Canary Islands as well as from China and Turkey. The interior design is at the hand of famous architect Marta Sanjuan Garcia-Trivino in conjunction with architects from Catalonia. The stylish use of glassware and graphite gives an overall feeling of openness, lightness and tranquillity.

The hotel’s 313 rooms, include 241 deluxe, 45 premier, 9 junior suites and 17 suites with separate living room and bedroom. There is also a presidential suite with a private roof top terrace and Jacuzzi.

With seven different pools (heated, fresh water, in different locations to maximise enjoyment of sunsets and panoramic views), guests never feel encroached upon – important because the resort caters for couples on erotic and romantic breaks! There are two golf courses, each with 18 holes and stunning views of the surrounding Canarian landscape and sea.

After a delicious breakfast buffet in ‘Gofio’, the breakfast room, we visited the hotel’s wellness centre. The‘Aloe Spa’ is built on 1658 square meters in the valleys of the golf course overlooking an arid cactus-filled Arizona-like landscape.

The spa is lovely if a little small, with nine treatment rooms, two saunas, a steam aroma room, indoor whirlpool, indoor/outdoor relaxation rooms and a stunning heated outdoor vitality pool with hydro-massage. We enjoyed a few hours relaxing beside the outdoor pool enjoying the soul soothing ambience and reflecting on the varied landscape of Gran Canaria and its great restorative powers.

Should you tire of the tranquillity of this superb resort, the golden dunes of Maspalomas beach and Meloneras are only a ten-minute drive away, and a free shuttle bus service quickly transports guests to the resort’s beach house at Maspalomas.

This finally brings me to by far the grooviest of the hotels we visited on the island, the infamous 70s-inspired retro Seaside Palm Beach Hotel. The five star Palm Beach is perfectly located at the foot of Maspalomas beach and with 328 luxurious rooms and 300 plus double rooms of varying category attracts a high-end clientele, including families with children and couples in their mid thirties upwards.

The hotel was completely renovated in 2002 by quirky designer Alberto Pinto and given an inimitable but modern 70s take, including varying themes and hues in the rooms from purple through to brown, stripes, circles, squares and intriguing artwork. The reception and bar areas are formidable, featuring curved glass top tables, chandeliers, high bar stools and enormous brightly coloured lamps.

The Palm Beach spa offers a range of unique and traditional treatments. The quiet zone features a Thalasso pool with sea salt and other minerals, along with a Finnish (90ºC) and a Bio (60ºC)) sauna and steam bath.

Various programmes and packages range from a simple ‘Recharging batteries’ (€135) to the more complex ‘Body styling’ (€459). I surrendered to a 60-minute Asian-inspired Pantai Luar treatment (€98). This was a divine oil-based deep tissue massage involving heated cotton bags containing medical herbs applied over tense or painful areas of the body. The patting of the herbs then the rubbing of the oil and herbs around tense areas such as the shoulders, upper and lower back was absolutely wonderful.

We finished our Gran Canaria wellness trip with a delicious lunch outside at the hotel’s poolside ‘Africano’ restaurant, sampling more traditional Canarian cuisine, which of course included fresh fish and more papas arrugadas with mojo rojo sauce (potatoes with red pepper and garlic sauce). Before flying home there was just one more visit to make. As well as pampering mind, body and soul in any of the island’s excellent spas, visitors can also take advantage of ‘health tourism’ at the modern private hospital in Maspalomas.

The San Roque Hospital and Clinic offers a whole range of services. It specialises in cosmetic treatments and is renowned for its X-ray expertise and super-modern orthopantography department so visitors can combine a spa holiday in Gran Canaria with teeth whitening, a non-surgical face lift or even a cardio/gynaecological health check, returning home well-rested, rejuvenated – looking and feeling like a new person.

After our four-day wellness weekend, my skin was silky soft from the Aloe Vera treatments, supple and relaxed from the massages and invigorated and toned from the thalasso and hydrotherapy sessions. I felt pampered and holistically rejuvenated.

Lopesan Villa del Conde Resort & Corallium Thalasso (five star)
c/ Mar Mediterraneo, 7 – Meloneras, Gran Canaria
Tel: +34 928 563 232Lopesan Costa Meloneras Resort, Corallium Spa & Casino (four star)
c/ Mar Mediterraneo, 1 – Meloneras, Gran Canaria
Tel: +34 928 128 181
The website for both properties is www.lopesan.comSheraton Salobre Golf Resort & Spa (five star)
c/ Swing, s/n – Urbanizacion Salobre Golf
Tel: +34 928 934 000

Seaside Palm Beach Hotel(five star)
c/ Avenida del Oasis, s/n – Maspalomas
Tel: +34 928 721 032

Hospital San Roque Maspalomas
c/ Mar de Siberia, 1 – Meloneras
Tel: +34 928 063 600

For the latest offers, prices and packages contact a travel agent or visit the resorts’ websites.

Sarah’s trip was arranged by the Gran Canaria Spa, Wellness & Health Association. Tel: +34 608 722 408

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