When a designer goes alone on a holiday, she has a certain curiosity when she is passing some amazing hotels. It happened in a spontaneous way. A work colleague stayed in another hotel with her husband and she came for a private tour to my hotel and I went to theirs to do the same. So that is how I got the idea to visit hotels and review their design. This was the first time I did something like that, so I was completely unprepared. For a first timer I did not do such a bad job, because I got two private tours. I felt very blessed for those opportunities.
As a designer I have my own opinion about architecture and when I am going to another country I appreciate more the traditional inspired style than a hyper modern style or a style from a different continent. On the other hand I like a combination of traditional style with a modern touch. It depends of the destination where I am going, what my design expectations are.
Hotels give guided tours on certain days. So if you feel like doing the same like me, it is advisable that you contact the hotel to find out when they organize this. In that case you are more prepared than me. To keep this post on holiday mood, I will split it in two posts: one that includes 3 hotels in Meloneras and the second with 3 hotels (incl. mine) from Maspalomas.
1. Lopesan, Costa Meloneras ****
This was the first hotel I visited and I was completely impressed by this one. The style is typical Colonial from the Canary Islands. The driveway itself is very impressive like the entrance hall. The greatness plays an absolute roll to let your mouth fall open.
Two towers and galleries characterize the building. The front is built fairly symmetrical. This symmetry starts already in the front yard. High ceilings and large arched windows characterize the entrance hall. The materials, a combination of light and dark (mostly marble), large seats, table lamps and crystal chandelier created a wow feeling. Because I did this spontaneously I went to the reception to ask if it was possible to see a room. Unfortunately I missed the hotel tour and since I was only here for a week, I was ready to leave the hotel with nothing. The lady at the reception picked up the phone and did something I did not expect at all. She arranged me a private tour to a suite; so if I can say one thing about Lopesan, I felt very welcome even though I was not a guest.
Mister Ludovico PR for Lopesan was so kind to give me this tour. He told me a little history about the founders. The suite had the same colonial atmosphere, which gives a sense of unity. We entered the suite by a small hallway, which leads to the dining and sitting area. I missed some homey touches and the dinning table and chairs were a different style.
Off course as a designer you have a strong opinion and always see points to change. I was immediately drawn to the large windows with a beautiful sea and garden view. Being an interior designer myself, you might find it strange that the outside view is equally important as the inside. And in fact, the view outside makes the whole of the hotel room itself more impressive. The balcony was large enough for two chairs and a dining table.
Enough with the daydreaming! The next room was the master bedroom and this one did not disappoint me. It felt very warm and cozy. There also was a little desk, because it was in glass not too instructive for the area. The dressing radiated certain calmness and made me dream away. Behind the last door was the bathroom, which had a completely different style. As a designer I would appreciate it if the colonial style was extended to this room as well. The layout of the bathroom was good, but I would rather choose warmer and more natural materials. This way you create a unity, which provides a total experience.. And this is where my private tour ended.
I took some time to walk through the garden and I found my favorite part of the hotel: the infinity pool. The design of the garden makes this one the best I have seen so far. And with this amazing view in mind I ended my first visit.
My advice for this hotel
Off course I did some extra research on this hotel, because I was not able to visit the other types of the room. To keep guest happy it is important to renew yourself constantly. For the interior I would suggest that they freshen up the rooms. Keep the colonial style, but make it more modern and use more indirect light. Pull this style trough in the bathrooms and use more natural and warm materials in this room.
As for the service (which I only read from guests): we live in 2015, so free Wi-Fi in the rooms is a basic need. Another tip: include towel service at the pool in the price: nothing more annoying than paying for every little thing.
2. RIU Palace Meloneras *****
This hotel lies next To Lopesan Costa Meloneras so it seemed a logical next step. This hotel was completely renovated in the summer of 2014. The lobby is what I would like to call the mirror palace. The floor is shiny and the pillars are lined with mirrors. These materials provide a good light without overdoing. I am sure it leaves an impression on most of the guests. At least you have the possibility to check if you look great, before you leave the hotel. The light is reflected in this manner in the various fields. The ceiling also has special detail. There is a particular pattern cut out and the cavity is made of gold. The design creates a luxurious and cool appearance. The border to excess is very thin, but is used in a lot of hotels to impress the visitor. I feel that this design is kind of cold. I would feel a bit uncomfortable. I have great respect for the housekeepers. It is not easy to keep this style clean, but they are doing an amazing job.
In this hotel tour they give you a key of a room to explore it by yourself. The room I visited was on the ground floor. The room was very light and modern. The lighting was kind of cold and in combination with the grey colored wood and the white floor, it looked less cozy to me. They use purple as their signature color in this room. One thing I did not understand is the ceiling fan. It breaks the modern look. The bathroom had the same clean look. What I would appreciate is that they put a purple accent in the bathroom as well, just a small detail to create a sense of unity. In general all of the elements and materials are matched to one another. Only the lamp above the seat feels a little bit out of place. In my opinion, there is nothing wrong with the design.
Afterwards I explored the garden. The entrance to the garden impressed me in a good way. It exudes a certain calm. It looks like a postcard with views of the pool and sea. The infinity pool is the place to be, but my favorite part was the blue de mar Terrace. The open design, the furniture and the turquoise colored elements are totally my thing. The hotel has a main building and also villas, which have a similar interior design. One thing I missed in the design of the garden was privacy for the villas, which would be an added value. Presuming that you pay for this type, I would appreciate it here more.
I had the opportunity to speak to Belgian guests that were very loyal to this hotel. They missed the old style a little bit but the new design makes it possible for more people to eat outside. The old style approximately the same as that from palace Maspalomas, which will be review in a second post.
My general opinion about this hotel is that the design impresses you, whether you like it or not. The modern style is hot and I understand that RIU uses this style. I would do the same but with materials that give a certain warm touch to the room or with another combination of materials. I would do the lighting different and use more indirect lighting. As a light advisor I would not choose for the standard options.
3. RIU CLUB Gran Canaria ****
This hotel was the last hotel I visited in the Meloneras area. This was the hardest of them all, because it is a 24 all-in. They only allow visitors on organized tours and on invitation. Because I really wanted to visit this hotel and I also missed the tour, I send them e-mail and luckily they were so kind to invite me for a private tour. On a hot Sunday morning I walked to the hotel (Post: The meeting the 09/06) and Mister Clemente Bordon welcomed me. Assistant manager Mister Javier Rodríguez Nieto was my private guide and he did an amazing job. He showed me all the places to be and gave me a very detailed explanation. This hotel was renovated in the summer of 2013.
We started were we stood, in the lobby. The design was very relaxed which I really appreciate as a designer. The slanted ceiling and circular staircase made the space interesting. The warm floor and wooden reception desk combined with the light walls and nice direct and indirect lighting created a holiday feeling.
We walked trough this amazing resort and I saw the theatre all the restaurants, all the facilities and I was amazed the extensive range. Off course I am only reviewing the room design in this post because I could write a book about this hotel.
The room he showed me was on the first floor. Because it is a RIU hotel I compared the design with the palace Meloneras. This room was nicely decorated and they used warmer tinted materials. The details in this room made it cozier, the lamp details and the ceiling print were matched. Only the blue chair and the ceiling fan were out of tune for me personally. In the bathroom they used the same material for the furniture and there was one wall with al photo that gives you an instant holiday feeling.
If I compare the design of the rooms here to the one used in Palace Meloneras, I find this style warmer and more decorative. So if I had to choose between the two based on the room I would pick this one and over here you have also more entertainment options.
Here the garden design was something more wisely, so you did not feel in a gigantic resort walking around. This also created an intimate atmosphere, which gave you more privacy. Infinity pools are a hot topic at this moment so this hotel has also one. Everybody wants to be at that pool, what makes it a little to crowded for me personally. My favorite outside spot in this hotel must be the purple bar, because cocktails and a sea view like this are a match made in heaven. I heard it’s the place to be for amazing sunsets.
With this hotel I ended my hotel visits in Meloneras. Obviously, this region still has a few other unique hotels, but I have limited myself to these three to get some time to enjoy my vacation. What strikes me most is that the hotels would still radiate in a classic way despite having chosen for a modern interior and look. In the next post I will tell more about three hotels in Maspalomas, where I stayed.
I want to thank all the hotels for their hospitallity and in particular Mr Ludovico from Lopesan Costa Meloneras and Mr. Javier from RIU Club Gran Canaria for their precious time. I hope you enjoyed this post and hope that it will inspire.
P.s. If you’re curious about these hotels, you can use the links below.