These days, with its average yearly temperature of 23 degrees, 235 kilometres of coastline and endless days of beating sun, Gran Canaria is best known for being a luminous jewel in the offseason; a sure escape from the relentless grey of British winters and a necessary top up of Vitamin D. But, back when the islands were first discovered, they made the perfect stopover for weary seamen travelling between Europe and South Africa, and it was on those necessary visits that travellers discovered the deep wellness traditions rooted within this island.
Looking for a dose of health, visitors would take to the thermal waters of San Pedro, or visits the renowned spas in Azuaje and Los Berrazales. They would soak up the sun's rays, take bracing dips in the oceans and let the island's powerful natural environment ease them away from the stresses of their everyday lives. While those spas kept the island's health reputation going for centuries, a new host of modern destinations have cropped up in recent years, once again calling visitors to its sunny shores in pursuit of the ultimate luxury: health. And, for those in the market for something even a massage can't fix, the island's three hospitals: Hospitales Universitarios San Roque at Las Palmas, Hospitales Universitarios San Roque at Maspalomas and Hospital San José offer world-class medical attention.
The best wellness hotels in Gran Canaria
Gloria Palace Royal Hotel & Spa
Situated just above the golden sands of Playa de Amadores, the views from Gloria Palace Royal Hotel & Spa will immediately lower your cortisol levels. Add in the wellness centre, home to a sizable fitness centre, sauna, Turkish bath, circular shower and Scottish shower and you have all the ingredients for a stress-reducing stay.
Gloria Palace Amadores Thalasso & Hotel
Flanked by Playa de Amadores and Playa de Puerto Rico, with a focus on thalassotherapy (the use of seawater as a wellness technique) Gloria Palace Amadores Thalasso & Hotel is the perfect location for thalassophiles. It is seemingly impossible to separate where the infinity pool begins, the ocean ends and the sky starts, so endless are the eternal blues from the hotel's elevated location.
Gloria Palace San Agustín Thalasso & Hotel
A little further east, just a short stroll from the open sands of Playa de San Agustín sits Gloria Palace San Agustín Thalasso & Hotel, a sprawling estate set around inviting pools. Thalassotherapy is the order of the day here too, with a series of pools including fitness pools, dyanmic temperature-controlled pools and a seawater circuit with hydromassage stations.
Hotel Cordial Mogán Playa
Located in Puerto de Mogan, or, Little Venice as its been nicknamed thanks to its patchwork of bridges and canals, Hotel Cordial Mogán Playa is an oasis amongst the greenery. While the gorgeous village outside is certainly worth exploring, it might be hard to pull yourself away from the cornucopia of wellness facilities which include (deep breath...) a dynamic pool, Hammam, sauna, cold plunge, magnesium floatarium, jacuzzi and more.
Cordial Mogán Valle Apartments
Looking for somewhere with a little more independence and space but don't want to go without the amenities of a hotel? Set your coordinates for Cordial Mogán Valle Apartments. The series of one and two bedroom apartments all have their own terraces, living rooms and kitchenettes, while the property benefits from its very own wellness facilities at the Salinas Spa & Wellness.
Resort Cordial Santa Águeda
Do you fancy your wellness with a side of exclusive beach access? Head to Resort Cordial Santa Águeda, which is as close as you can get to the sands. Spend your mornings soaking up the rays on a lounger at Perchel Beach Club, and then take yourself to the Callao Spa & Wellness to soothe your sunkissed skin in the evening with a couples massage or a dip in the wellness pools.
Seaside Palm Beach
The team at Seaside Palm Beach look to the abundant natural environment of Gran Canaria to inform their treatments. From volcanic stone massages to restorative seaweed body wraps, this is a full immersion in the island's nurturing side. Emerge into a palm tree-lined oasis and feast on local cuisine at one of the hotel's four restaurants for a holistic approach that keeps the benefits of your treatments going long after you leave the room.
Seaside Grand Hotel Residencia
Slip away into a bygone era at Seaside Grand Hotel Residencia, where you'll feel as if you've just arrvied at the private home of a close friend. This intimate hotel swaddles you with its understated luxury, leaving the noise of the outside world behind. The Spanish-colonial design, constructed under the watchful eye of renowned Parisian interior designer Alberto Pinto, steeps the property in timeless appeal, while an abundance of local greenery lets the power of the natural world take hold. The spa, meanwhile, is home to salt water circuits, hydromassage jets, Finnish sauna, salt cave, steam bath, ice fountain and a shower of sensations, to fully ensure you slip into zen mode.
Seaside Sandy Beach
The clue is in the name here, Seaside Sandy Beach is (you guessed it) nestled directly on the sands of Playa del Ingles. Start your day with a stroll along the water's edge, and finish it with a drink in hand as you watch the sun slip below the horizon. The world's your oyster in between, but for a full reset of your nervous system head to the spa where you can sweat it out in the Finnish sauna or steam sauna, work out any residual knots or simply give your body some TLC with the extended list of treatments, or simple relax on a sun lounger on one of the private hot tub terraces.
Salobre Hotel Resort & Serenity
Hidden among the rolling, arid hills of this corner of Gran Canaria on an estate studded with cacti and palm trees, Salobre Hotel Resort & Serenity has an otherworldly feel to it. Get your heart pumping with a jog along one of the many running routes through the property's Golf Resort, and then cool off with a plunge in the vitality pool. Lean into the hotel's signature aloe experience which harnesses the plant's natural soothing properties over a 90 minute massage and ritual or simply flop onto a daybed and let the affable team keep you fed and watered from the restaurant's extensive menu.
For further information visit Gran Canaria Spa, Wellness & Health at grancanariawellness.com.