Sun, sea and sand are just the start of a holiday in Gran Canaria. Health reporter Kate Liptrot enjoys a revitalising spa break

GAZING over the Atlantic Ocean from a sun lounger it crossed my mind that I felt completely relaxed. 

From the spa balcony on a cliff-top some 100ft feet above the sea, the royal blue ocean stretched uninterrupted into the horizon from the Gloria Palace Amadores Thalasso and Hotel. 

I had just been in the hotel’s Get in Shape pool, a relaxing circuit in which you gradually move around a huge, warm salt water pool overlooking the ocean as jets of water pummel you. Having completed the easiest workout ever, I was wrapped in a soft robe, bathed in sunshine, sipping ice cold water as I waited for a massage.

It’s difficult to remember a more perfect day. 

Gran Canaria has been long established as a destination for health tourism. While many know the island for its package holidays and all-year-round sunshine, it had become famous as a place to convalesce and relax long before the first chartered flight landed on the island. In the 19th century wealthy European tourists were already visiting Gran Canaria in a bid to cure ailments and to be revitalised by the island’s warm temperatures, mineral-rich waters, and golden sandy beaches.

It’s a tradition which is still going strong, with a network of luxury spas across the island for people to unwind.

I was staying at the Seaside Palm Beach Hotel, a beautifully designed five-star hotel in the south of the island right next to the enormous golden sand dunes of Maspalomas beach. Set in extensive palm-filled gardens, the hotel has two large pools, tennis courts, a children’s area and elegant spa facilities.

In a treatment room with floor-to-ceiling windows looking out onto lush gardens, I had the hotel spa’s signature Singing Bowls Massage. A form of sound massage, it involves being covered in a towel and having numerous copper bowls placed on points on your body, which are then struck gently by the masseur. 

The idea is that the vibration and sound help to alleviate stress and “stabilise the body’s energy centres known as chakras”. An hour later, I’m not sure I had achieved inner peace, but I was so relaxed I felt blissfully dazed as I emerged from the tranquil spa into the warm sunshine outside.

For those seeking high-wend luxury, the Palm Beach’s sister hotel, the Seaside Grand Hotel Residencia, offers a famously high-quality stay. Just a short walk through palm-lined streets, the small and exclusive hotel has an air of old-school glamour which is reflected in its extensive spa facilities including a warm salt water pool, steam bath and sauna and numerous treatment rooms. 

A short drive from Maspalomas up into the south west of the island is the Hotel Cordial Mogán Playa, a Spanish-style luxury complex of suites and rooms situated on the outskirts of the pretty fishing village of Puerto de Mogán 

At the heart of the leafy hotel grounds is its spa and wellness centre with facilities including a sauna and indoor pool with bubble beds. Best of all was floating on your back in the outdoor saltwater pool, overlooked by cacti and surrounded by arid red sand and rocks in a landscape which looked and felt like Arizona. 

Later we had an aromatherapy massage before stopping for a drink overlooking the harbour of Puerto de Mogán. 

The getaway finished with an outstanding poolside meal at the hotel followed by a night time clamber up the Maspalomas sand dunes to see panoramic views of the moon over the sea, the town’s lighthouse, and the glittering distant lights of neighbouring villages. 

I didn’t want to leave but having swum in the sea, seen the unique landscape of Gran Canaria and having been pampered in beautiful spas, I headed to the airport feeling completely relaxed and regenerated. 

Kate stayed at the Seaside Palm Beach at Maspolomas, Gran Canaria, tel +34 928 721 032 or For more information about spa hotels and treatments in Gran Canaria, visit