In the capital city of Las Palmas, overlooking the classy Las Canteras beach, lies the exquisitely appointed Hotel Reina Isabel boasting a sophisticated spa and the most high-end restaurant food you will try in the Canaries.
One thing that I have learned on my travels is that the famous Canary Islands, just off the coast of northwestern Africa, are seriously hit and miss. When I say this I am mainly recalling the countless vulgar signs for 'Full English Breakfast!' that I encountered tarnishing the streets of Tenerife and other phenomena of that ilk. Yes, the beer is cheap and indeed the sun is hot. But must the boozy, sunburned and snarling British bulldog always ruin it for everyone?
That being said, if one is craving a subtropical climate and the sort of antiquated civility so often lost in so-called 'tourist resorts', then Gran Canaria will more than likely satisfy your desires. – Abundant with Spanish charm and culture, the island, most importantly, hasn't yet sold its soul to the Stirling.
The Hotel Reina Isabel, situated in the Las Palmas city center, fronts the clean, classy and impressively well-maintained Las Canteras beach where guests have the advantage of free beach loungers. Daytime and midnight strolls up the beautifully lit beachside promenade promise carefree playful explorations of quiet Spanish restaurants, bars and local culture. This is a safe place for sun, sea, sand and most importantly relaxation, and in Las Palmas I believe you'd be hard pressed to find a more luxurious lodging in a more ideal locale than that of the Reina Isabel.
Through the doors of the hotel you find yourself in a grand and glorious lobby, greeted by an elaborate and fragrant arrangement of lilies. Despite its elaborate conception, the lobby's interior design is a perfectly executed. In an unlikely feat of design magic, it combines Spanish style, marble floors, columns, fine art rich in colour with matching wicker furniture and modern light fixtures, and the result is spectacular; rich in luxury, elegance and artistic appeal. The pair of pink velvet bespoke spiral chairs are works of art unto themselves, and are popular among guests who often photograph themselves enjoying the novelty of their individual design.
As a beachfront hotel, with its own spa and rooftop swimming pool, it is a small mercy that the pink velvet is reserved solely for downstairs... The rooms, evidently designed to be practical and easily maintained, are a far cry from the ostentatiousness of the rest of the hotel with an appealing sleek and simple design that is great for families who wish to relax without worrying about their children dragging sandy wet feet into the room and all over expensive upholstery.
Suites are blessed with stunning sea views from chic balconies, plush clean beds with crisp quality linen, strong WiFi (throughout the whole hotel), a flat screen TV, radio and a minibar.
The bathrooms are bright, family-sized and have a large decent shower. The only thing I would suggest is that The Reina Isabel upgrade their toiletries to a designer brand whose quality matches the hotel. In other words, bring your own shampoo...
One of the great attractions of the hotel is its supremely sophisticated spa found on the top floor, alongside a fantastic gym, bar/cafe, high-end restaurant and a spectacular rooftop pool. In fact the whole top floor of the Hotel Reina Isabel is so fabulous you can happily spend the whole day there just enjoying the views from the gym, during a roof-top swim, in the spa and then at the Summum restaurant like The London Journalist did...
The spa (complimentary to all guests of the Reina) features glowing brick walls of himalayan salt, an atmospheric and health-boosting dead-sea floatation pool, steam room, sauna, hydrotherapy massage chair, and an extra large jacuzzi pool area with sea views. Children under the age of 16 are not allowed from midday. Which is great for those who wish to relax in a child-free environment, and also great for the children who may have fun and make friends in the morning.
The spa's warm jacuzzi infinity pool is simply sublime with large windows presenting a serene view over the ocean and the landscape of the island. During days with clear weather, one can even spot Gran Canaria's neighbouring island Tenerife on the horizon. Inside the pool are various jets and bubbly activities to benefit from, including two submerged loungers for those who wish to lie down and and benefit from a bubbly massage.
The hydrotherapy massage chair is highly recommended. Essentially a rubber waterbed, the machine directs high pressured water to targeted areas in a rolling massage. This very quickly eases the tension of the muscles and is very enjoyable. Ideal for someone who wants the convenience of private and remote controlled massage without the presence of a masseuse. The spa also offers special spa treatments including professional massages at an additional cost.
Waking up at Hotel Reina Isabel is an utter joy, with a breakfast fit for a Queen. Guests are presented with champagne upon arrival on top of a delicious self-serve buffet with a huge variety including fresh fruit and juices, a selection of cheeses, pastries, meats, fish, yoghurts and even a chocolate fondue fountain. Whatever your breakfast preference, you will find it here and at the very highest quality. The breakfast room itself is delightfully fun, with tasteful murals adorning every corner, and a very laid back and easy going atmosphere. This is somewhere where you can take your time to eat, drink and try a little bit of everything. – With friendly and attentive waiters running around ready to bring you additional cups of tea and coffee, or pick up any extras you might want from the buffet so that you don't have to...
Overall the Hotel Reina Isabel is a wonderful hotel that manages to create a laid back and easy going atmosphere whilst providing high-end luxury food, facilities and service. This is a new style of luxury living where the culture is high and the stuffiness is low.
Perfect for families, couples young and old, and even business with their three fantastically appointed business salons, the Hotel Reina Isabel somehow manages accommodate everyone effortlessly all while avoiding the tackiness of the traditional beach-front hotel. A class act worth coming back to the Canaries for...
The London Journalist gives the Hotel Reina Isabel a 5 out of 5 rating.
The London Journalist