Marina Suites Gran Canaria
7 / 10
Gran Canaria’s airport is located halfway down the east coast of the island. From there, you can reach Marina Suites in just over half an hour. Since the GC-1 motorway was extended, the journey to the south-west of Gran Canaria is much faster than it was using the old GC-500. This coastal route actually overlooks Marina Suites, which means it feels more cut off than it did after it first opened in 2004.
Style & character
8 / 10
There’s a jaunty nautical theme to Marina Suites, from the blue and white stripes on our sofa to the identikit markings on the uniform of the staff at breakfast. Reception staff and the waiters in the night-time buffet restaurant dress more like modern sailors. The towels in the bathroom are stacked inside an upright surfboard. Although there’s something for landlubbers too, with benches outside the room overlooked by cacti.
Service & facilities
You're greeted with a complimentary glass of cava at Marina Suites and the lobby, delightfully decorated for Christmas when we were there, was a suitably comfortable waiting room. As they were putting the finishing touches to preparing our suite at the time. After unpacking, we headed out to the Infinity Pool (open from 8am until 9pm) to cool down, as early December temperatures saw the thermometer rise to the high 20s on the centigrade front. We then took advantage of the outdoor hot tubs instead of hitting the gym (open 8am-11pm).
- Fitness centre
- Room service
- Steam room/hammam
- Tennis court
9 / 10
As we made our way to suite 124 (one of 216 arranged over nine floors), we were handed a letter by the reception staff. 'Welcome on board!!!, ' it began. 'We are pleased to inform you that we have set sail and you are one of the first sailors aboard this new cruise.' Our suite felt as spacious as a cruise ship, with two bedrooms and a lounge with sofa-bed. The look was budget chic, proving that style doesn’t necessarily come at (a great) cost. Staying on a half-board basis, we didn’t use the kitchenette’s hob or microwave - although there was an individual birthday cake waiting for us in the fridge, left for the person celebrating their birthday in our party.
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Food & drink
We ate a buffet dinner in the ground-floor La Sirena restaurant (open 6.30-9.30pm). Here, an attentive waiter, Paco Herrera, brought us a bottle of a Loculto Verdero, a white wine from the peninsula, which, at 13% proof, packed a surprising punch. There were Canarian touches to the menu, including a misnamed caldo de patatas (potato broth - potatoes are known as papas over in the Canary Islands). Lacking the usual eggs, it did include the key ingredient of coriander and tasted all the better for it. There was a vegetarian corner with a selection of thoughtfully-prepared dishes. I finished off with another Canarian staple, a mus de gofio (toasted cornmeal mousse), while a second birthday cake was brought out as the staff sang Cumpleaños Feliz. Breakfast is served at the Atlantic Pool Bar from 7.30-10.30pm. The fresh fruit selection was extensive and eggs were fried on the spot, while other ingredients of the great British breakfast were prepared beforehand.
Yes. There’s a children’s pool and a club for ages four to 14. Typical events include face painting and sporty games. The surface of the ground-floor playground is sand - ideal for boules. There’s also a games room and guests can hire out family-friendly DVDs.