Travel expert, Ray Si checks out gay Gran Can…
There can’t be many tourist destinations which encompass so many different landscapes and diverse geographical features, cultural blends and range of exciting holiday activities in such a small area. Gran Canaria may have a diameter of only 50km, so it is safe to say that this island is compact and bijou, but that just makes it easily navigable. And with this “miniature continent” having everything from long golden beaches and dunes of rich sand to green ravines and picturesque villages, volcanic uplands and ports, you won’t have to travel too far for the next change of pace or scenery. It also blends the best of Spanish colonial architecture and ultra-modern hotels, all under the rays of an African sun.
Gran Canaria also has a very liberated attitude towards gay and lesbian tourism and there is a very vibrant scene to be found here especially with gay hotels such as Vista Bonita by MOW Hotels, catering specifically for rainbow flag flying tourists.
Vista Bonita sits at the heart of the Gay Resort community of Maspalomas, in the lively commercial region along the southern coast. Vista Bonita is an apartment hotel (with an upstairs and downstairs) with a very social scene going on around the heated pool and sauna, well worth catching happy hour at the pool bar and a world away from the tourist trap of Yumbo Centre (pretty much the outdoor shopping centre that the name suggests) and its bad drag shows and even worse the food.
Gay apartment hotels in Gran Canaria such as Vista Bonita can afford you the perfect combination of privacy and freedom to structure your break the way that you see fit and the convenience of having everything close to hand, the onsite supermarket being a useful touch especially for your fully equipped kitchen. If cooking on a break is not your thing then the pool bar caters to all of your breakfast, lunch and thirst quenching needs. One drawback in the area is car parking which can cause a bit of stress but this is easily avoided if you arrange your parking with the hotel €5 a day as of May’18.
Obviously the icing on the cake of any hotel stay is the staff and here the housekeeping team are always friendly, seemingly loving the environment that they work in, and it is almost worth staying to see there smiles as well as the extremely helpful and gorgeous Monica managing reception, not only brilliantly accommodating in her role and suggesting the best restaurants but I’m sure can be a lot of fun to share a few cocktails with on the hotels rooftop.
Away from the hotel, there is much to do and a walk along the seafront of the exclusive Meloneras area will reveal a range of bars, cafes and restaurants and also KopaZ, a hidden gem of what I would describe as the only gay outdoor tapas pub in Meloneras. KopaZ has fantastic views of the ocean from its elevated decks, the tapas prepared are humble and delicious with hints of South American and German influences and there is a great selection of drinks to be tried. Service is always friendly and unhurried and the location itself is discreet and away from all the tourist traps. It makes for the perfect place to lunch and wait to watch the sunset sipping on a glass of sangria.
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And if it is perfect views that you are looking for then the 360° Restaurant is a must for dinner. Situated on the 8th floor (but feeling much higher) at Bohemia Suites & Spa Hotel, as the restaurant name suggests, it offers all-round panoramic views of the ocean and dunes and offers an exquisite dining experience both via its tasting menu or a la carte options. With live music and the company of attentive restaurant ambassadors, this is a great and stylish way to end the day as the night draws in.
Maspalomas is a beacon for LGBT tourism, sitting both comfortably alongside mainstream venues and attractions but also catering specifically and brilliantly for the gay scene in Gran Canaria, there is even an annual gay pride event and a number of boat parties and other activities to explore. The perfect destination and the perfect time to hit the sun, grab yourself a twenty-five year old…scotch and bottoms up!
Written By: Ray Si – Proud Member of IGLTA