As a sophisticated, mini-resort the Seaside Grand Hotel Residencia is evocative of the Hollywood hideaways of Southern California. Set within a palm grove, this elite enclave has rooms and suites in cosy, traditional guest cottages (with interiors by French designer Alberto Pinto) that surround a heated pool, writes Andrew Forbes (The Luxury Editor).
During the day guests at this Leading Hotels of the World may enjoy the pool and bar, chic spa, outdoor gym or oceanside strolls on the nearby beach. Candlelit gourmet dining at the rooftop restaurant is the evening highlight, followed by live music and drinks in the piano bar.
Found west of the majestic Maspalomas Dunes, the Grand Hotel Residencia is in the Meloneras, an upscale area of Gran Canaria that is home to mainly 5-star resorts. Set within a verdant Palm Grove, this intimate resort offers a unique guest experience for visitors to Gran Canaria. Ensconced in this enclave of luxury, one would never know you were near any other properties. Yet the facilities of sister hotel, the 5 star Seaside Palm Beach, are a few minutes’ walk away, as are restaurants and the beach.
The Grand Hotel Residencia brings the exclusivity of a boutique, gourmet resort to the island, a place where privacy and tranquillity are truly valued.
Drawing up outside the property one immediately feels this is going to be a treat. Mediterranean pots, filled with geraniums, bursting with colour greet you before entering the orchid filled reception and lobby, with trickling fountain. This is classic hospitality elegance at its best.
This hotel may offer grand luxury, but it is also in the style of an elegant residence. Small is beautiful. The Grandeur may come from the level of service, and the attention to detail, but the style is more of an elegant home. Designer Alberto Pinto has created guest and public spaces that are rich in elegant and luxurious touches, but entice you to sit, relax and unwind. This is the magic of the Grand Hotel Residencia, it embraces you with calm.
As the day begins to draw to an end, and the sky is ignited with the warmth and colour of a magnificent Gran Canaria sunset, another joy of a stay at the Grand Hotel Residencia has just begun. It’s the time for an aperitif, a glass of champagne and to get ready for dinner.
Yes, the grandness continues at the hotel’s award-winning restaurant with its large open-air terrace. Truly a daily highlight for guests. Swiss Chef Wolfgang Grobauer is the talent in the kitchen. He was awarded a Michelin star for his cuisine at the Restaurant U Santa Mariain Corsica.
Candle lit tables set with linen both inside, and on the roof, terrace creating a magical environment for a relaxing evening dining under the stars. Enjoy local seafood, cheeses, and other Canarian specialities prepared with finesse. Classic international dishes include Chateaubriand. Menus are paired with Canarian, Spanish and international wines.
To end a perfect evening, partake in a post dinner drink in the piano bar, enjoying the live music.
For longer stays, guests will be interested to know that they can also dine at the 5-star sister hotel of Seaside Palm Beach – where the architecture of Miami’s south beach meets the beauty of the Maspalomas beach setting.
The traditional cottages, with French windows and wooden balconies, draped with bougainvillea, provide charming accommodation. Well-proportioned rooms, furnished with robust traditional furniture, and decorated with elegance convey a classic style. I particularly liked the attention to detail with fresh flowers and fruit. Rooms open onto terraces surrounded by sub-tropical plants or onto balconies with views of the gardens or the pool.
Seaside Grand Hotel Residencia is home to one of Gran Canaria’s most exclusive and elegant spas. In addition to the beauty and spa treatments on offer, there is a wellness saltwater pool (maintained at 30°C), enriched with sea salt and other minerals. The underwater jets, massage seats and air jet beds increase circulation and relax muscles and joints. Aqua spinning (underwater bike) and aqua aerobics classes are available. The shaded gym is outdoors, for maximum health protection.
Beyond the Palm Grove
I was so impressed by Gran Canaria. It was beyond my expectations … certainly more than just a holiday island for sun and sea. The south of the island is the best known, with its hotels and resorts framing the magnificent Maspalomas Dunes. Here there is the opportunity to play golf too.
Yet, there is so much more to see. I recommend renting a car and driving north from the desert landscapes of the south and discover the dramatic canyons and mountains of the interior. The heart of the island is very green too. The local authorities have invested in well-signposted hiking trails that take you through natural parks and to fascinating villages and towns with charming Canarian historic architecture.
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Rates start from €690 on a bed and breakfast basis.