My husband planned our honeymoon in Spain. I was so busy with the wedding and literally losing my sh!t that I needed this. He planned a two week vacation with equal parts in Barcelona and Gran Canaria. Gran Canaria (one of the Canary Islands; a Spanish archipelago) has a year round balmy climate, charming villages, extensive beaches and stunning mountain views. Being that our trip was in October, it seemed like an obvious choice once we picked Spain. Now, if you are curious to know how the hotel you choose can shape your vacation, read on.
We arrived in Gran Canaria Airport (LPA) on a rainy day via a Veuling flight from Barcelona. Not much there to say except that you get what you pay for. If you love taking aerial shots, I suggest you keep your camera out for the flight descent to get a picture of the runway against a stunning mountain and sea backdrop. I had put my camera in the overhead compartment and unfortunately missed this opportunity. As we waited for our luggage, the significance of Mr.E planning our trip started to sink in (love you baby 🙂 ). He had neglected to rent a car. 30 minutes of trying to decide if we needed a car later and we found ourselves in a taxi on the way to the hotel. That was our first mistake.
After what seemed like an eternity in the cab, we arrived at the Sheraton Gran Canaria Salobre Golf Resort. We had just had a rude welcome to the island in the form of crazy cab bill (even by New York standards). Apparently, in Gran Canaria, you pay a surcharge for each piece of luggage you carry. That is on top of the hefty airport surcharge plus the cost of the taxi meter. Then the cab driver made the mistake of “reminding” my husband to add the tip. Lawd! This was not off to a good start! I busied myself with taking in my surroundings: We stood in the center of rolling hills, the greenest golf courses and a breathtaking view of the ocean down below. I swear my mouth stayed open as we checked in and made it to our room with more of these spectacular ocean/mountain views. The hotel even had champagne and fruit waiting for us because, honeymoon. I turned to my husband in glee, he had done good!
But by nightfall, the excitement had begun to wear off. The reality was that we were at a five star gold resort designed with all the amenities needed … to stay at the resort. A trip to the buffet that night confirmed that this was also a retirement destination. We were one of two other “young” guests at the resort.
The following morning, we were eager to get the hell out of Dodge. Did I mention that neither of us plays golf? A visit to the hotel’s concierge desk really drummed in the reality of our location. The hotel has one shuttle bus that transports guests to Las Palomas (an unremarkable shopping area some 20 minutes away). From there, you could catch public transport into other parts of the island. On this day, we made our way to Las Palmas, the capital city of the island. This trip took an hour and 40 minutes on the bus which meant that we needed to catch the bus back before 3PM in order to make the last shuttle bus back to the hotel before 6PM. We considered a cab until we realized it would be over $100. So back to the hotel it was.
Over the next few days, Mr E got sick which meant that we spent all day inside. A fact that wasn’t too bad considering that it rained every single day he was sick. Eventually it was sunny and he was better so we decided to go ATV riding, and hiking in one of the villages. We booked through a vendor we found on Trip Advisor. The day came and we were ready by 7AM. Then 9AM came and we called the vendor and were told very “matter-of-factly” that the car had broken down. That was it. No adventure for us. Everything else we tried was either sold out or had left the hotel for the day.
It rained the next few days and we only managed to make it to the beach on one barely sunny day. I took full advantage of the fabulous hotel spa and pools. And before we knew it, it was time to leave. I really can’t say it was all bad. After all, a honeymoon is supposed to be about spending time with the love of your life. Being surrounded by all the old-timers also drilled in that love is a beautiful thing at any age. Overall, I would recommend Gran Canaria. However, if you happen to NOT be a homebody, do yourself a favor and either rent a car or stay in the city. Stay tuned for part 2 of our trip in Barcelona.