Having stayed in many lovely four-star hotels over the years, this Gran Canaria break was our first real five-star experience and I wondered how much that extra 'estrella' would bring. We were not to be disappointed.
Leaving our luggage outside with the concierge to be brought up to our rooms, we walked into the hotel's imposing reception and main bar area, the grandeur of which was only topped by the vista which greeted us on the other side as we ventured out onto the plaza.
Overwhelmed was the word as we spun 360 degrees and took in the sight of the hotel's clients enjoying the 25 deg C sunshine and views of the Atlantic as they sipped drinks, some occasionally looking up at the massive main stage screen which signposted many of that day's activities around the hotel (and which would become for many the focal point as it played host to all the Word Cup football matches).
With over 1100 rooms, this was most probably the largest hotel complex I have ever stayed in, and once we had found our accommodation we began to notice the little details a five-star hotel brings.
For starters, there was the 50-inch-plus TV - somewhat bigger than the usual flatscreen fare - though I do have to add that I would have liked to have seen more channels in English.
Fixtures and fittings are high end, and a proper king-sized bed (not two singles pushed together) ensured a week’s worth of comfort, space and contented sleep.
The ultra-modern bathroom has a walk-in wet room with two shower heads, and the sink console was home to not just the usual freebie soaps and shower caps but welcome details like body lotion and vanity boxes containing cleansing pads and cotton buds.
Bathrobes were hanging in the two wardrobes, and an electric kettle (unusual for a non-apartment in my experience) sat atop a mini-bar and a drawer containing mugs, spoons, creamers and every type of tea imaginable. Strangely no coffee, but luckily we had brought our own!
Light switches and plug sockets, complete with USB charging points, are conveniently situated by the side of the bed and a high-powered hairdryer is located in the bathroom.
Venturing out then proved a dilemma: Which way to go? Which pool to try? There are so many exciting areas at this sprawling resort you can try a different bathing experience every day, all accessed by buggy and wheelchair-friendly wide paths, with a plethora of palm trees and rugged rocks and more open areas depending on your preferred choice of sun and shade.
Four main pools await - an infinity lake complete with its own pebble beach, the meandering lazy riveresque Rio with picturesque waterfall (and yes, I did detect a slight current helping swimmers along) a slightly warmer pool with water-spouting statue dogs and last but not least the complex's latest addition, the get-away-from-it-all Premium pool.
For me our half-board basis dining experience was arguably the highpoint of the holiday. Rather than the usual serving trays with large spoons, food is apportioned to its own tiny tureen, wee wok, petite pan or fun-size frying basket.
And I have to say, this was probably the finest food I have ever tasted from a self-service buffet restaurant. There are some 13 different serving areas with talented chefs working hard to provide a fantastic and abundant array of these mini masterpieces.
Drinks prices are reassuringly reasonable for a five-star hotel too, with a decent bottle of chardonnay costing 18 euros (c£15.50) and a pint of local beer 4.60 euros, or just under £4 whether in the restaurant or in the many bars in and around the hotel. For an extra price there are other a la carte restaurants on the complex too if you fancied that extra special meal.
Entertainment was excellent with sporting , fun and fitness activities during the day, details of which appear on your room TV on switch-on. While we didn't see many children on our term time trip, the hotel has a kids club providing entertainment for youngsters.
We chose to relax during the day, but availed ourselves of the wonderful evening's entertainment, with live bands, magic and specialist circus acts and flamenco artistes to mention just a few, all performing outside in the beautiful balmy evenings on the prettily-lit plaza, a seamless transition seeing the support act ending just as the headliners on the main stage began.
A nice sandy beach is on the doorstep with a pretty promenade, complete with impressive lighthouse, lined with restaurants and bars and big name shops from Hugo Boss to Ralph Lauren, as well as handy supermarkets for sundries and duty free. The resort of Maspalomas is just around the corner if you want to venture farther afield.
As its full name suggests, Lopesan Costa Meloneras is home to one of Europe's largest spas, The Om Spa, which offers customers over 3500 m2 of impeccable facilities, including the extraordinary and renowned 'Spa Experience' circuit, consisting of enticing treatments and areas that work with spring water at different temperatures. This is not included in the price but may well put the icing on the cake on your break.
To sum up, this was an amazing, luxurious and opulent experience to live long in the memory and one which ended all too soon!
Fares to Gran Canaria with Jet2.com start at £66 one way including taxes. Package holidays with Jet2holidays to the Lopesan Costa Meloneras Resort Spa & Casino, start from £869 per person for seven nights' bed and breakfast accommodation, departing from Leeds Bradford on 9th May. Price includes a 22kg baggage allowance, return transfers and free resort flight check in.
An introduction to Gran Canaria
With natural vistas and beautiful agriculture, there is more to Gran Canaria than the black lava, white sandy beaches and year-round sunshine that the island is known for.
Some of the Canary Islands’ most magical landmarks are found in Gran Canaria. From the Maspalomas Sand Dunes, arid boulders of the Nublo Rural Park and the verdant valleys of the Azuaje Ravine, there are plenty of natural wonders waiting to be discovered.
As the third largest Canary Island, Gran Canaria boasts rich culture, mouth-watering cuisine and exciting activities, offering something for everyone. What’s more, as it enjoys a hot, dry climate all year round, it’s the ideal destination to soak up some winter sunshine.
Whether holidaymakers are looking to venture to the beachside promenades, explore several of the island’s striking villages, experience the Cocodrilo Park Zoo or enjoy waterside cocktail bars and sample delicious seafood across its host of restaurants, there’s plenty on offer on this Atlantic Island.
Things to do in Gran Canaria
Jet2holidays offer a wealth of trips and excursions which you can book in the hotel from your Jet2holidays rep.
We enjoyed two fantastic boat trips, the first of which, the Multiacuatic Dolphin Safari, saw us set sail from Puerto Rico marina along Gran Canaria’s glistening south-west coast to see dolphins and whales diving and splashing in the waves – they love it around these parts! In fact, 27 different species of these creatures have been spotted around the Canary Isles. We were lucky to spot and photograph a rare species – the false Orca – which the crew said they had seen only once before.
Free soft drinks are included on the trip and if you don’t see any dolphins or whales during the two-hour excursion, you’ll be offered another trip free of charge! The Multiacuatic trip costs 38 euros per adult.
The Afrikat Catamaran with its enthusiastic crew welcomed us on board to discover the beauty of the island in style. Departing from Puerto Rico, we set sail along the coastline passing by the serene and charming Puerto Mogan. This former fishing village has earned the nickname ‘Little Venice’ with its many canals and luxury marina.
Continuing through the volcanic island’s natural formations, we anchored at the bay of El Perchel where you can enjoy a swim in the crystal clear waters or simply relax under the beautiful Canarian sun. The crew will prepare a delicious buffet on board and serve you (help yourself really) to a choice of sangria, beer, soft drinks or water throughout the day. A speedboat trip is included in the 71.50 euro adult price, with the option to try parasailing or a rollocking ride on a banana inflatable for an extra charge.
Holiday Extras is the market leader in UK airport parking, hotels, lounges, and transfers – and every 30 seconds a Holiday Extras customer saves £100 on their airport parking.
Booking an Airport Hotel with Parking means you can enjoy more holiday with less hassle. With an early flight this was an ideal way to start our holiday. Plus with Flextras, if you need to cancel or amend you can - without charge.
At Leeds Bradford Airport, one night’s accommodation at the Premier Inn LBA with eight days’ parking at The Sentinel is available for £122.14. To book, visit HolidayExtras.com or call 0800 316 5678. Price searched on 15th November 2022 for arrival on 7th December 2022.
1432 Runway Lounge
The 1432 Runway Lounge at Leeds Bradford Airport is a first class, adults-only lounge that allowed us to relax and unwind in a cosy and comfortable space before our departure, with full-length views of the runway while taking advantage of the lounge’s premium drinks and food range.
it offers free and speedy Wi-Fi access, a dedicated washroom and a team of friendly lounge hosts to help passengers make the most of their stay. This lounge is open from 5:00am – 5:00pm throughout the winter months.
The lounge entrance can be located past security, on the first floor of departures to the left of Gates 4&5. Guests can enter the lounge for a maximum of three hours before their scheduled flight departure time. Prices start from £40. For further information or to book, visit: The 1432 Runway Club