We can discuss hours and hours about (preference) tastes and styles. Even so, they may well make or break your vacation. In my case that is professional deformation and that makes me very critical. These days we are spoiled; before we walk into some new place, we know exactly or at least almost where we will end up, with websites such as Trip Advisor we can find our perfect match.
Because I was so spoiled during my first hotel visits, the bug of exploring hotels had bitten me for real. This time I have been a bit lazy and stayed in the beautiful Maspalomas area. I visited the hotel of my colleague, the big fancy sister of my hotel group and off course I will not forget my home sweet home.
1. RIU palace Maspalomas ****
This is the hotel where my colleague stayed. It is the only not renovated RIU hotel that I have visited. At Lopesan I have learned that this colonial style is a more European style and not a typical Canarian style. This hotel grew on me because of its location between the dunes: what a gorgeous view!
I walked trough the dunes to enter this hotel. The hotel garden is split by a promenade with a lot of publicity about RIU hotels, which I find quite unfortunate. If they are renovating this, I hope they will be making something magical of this place. At the end of this promenade you walk underneath the building, which is also the entrance. From where I am standing (with my back to the dunes) I entered the left side, which brought me in the lobby. Although the hotel is not renovated it knew how to charm me anyway.
The lobby exudes class and takes you back to bygone times. The marble floors, woodwork, crystal chandeliers and original furniture provide this atmosphere. Except for the addition of indirect lighting, the lighting in overall is classic. The lobby is more compact compared to the other hotels. There is also a section set up where you can have a drink and in this section, the openings are in the shape of a bow. I can understand why guests return here again and again: the classy interior, the friendly atmosphere and impeccable service are the main reasons. Although the interior is still in a great shape, an update is necessary.
Here I visited the room of my colleague. This was located in the other part, which is accessible through the entrance. The room is quite compact but not uncomfortable. The wooden furniture has a very classic and heavy look, these provide a well-filled room. The colors of the room are quite monotone but very light combined with some old-fashioned prints, but the blue chairs looked very comfy and suits the room like a glove. I found the room quite pleasantly decorated, but I will not deny that it is pretty dated.
That is even truer for the bathroom. This is equipped with a bathtub in an alcove, which not only looks old but also very impractical. The room needs some updating to 2016, while retaining the colonial atmosphere.
My official plea to the RIU design team
My private visit to RIU Club Gran Canaria taught me that the style of RIU-hotels is fixed. This means that Palace Maspalomas will get about the same look as Palace Meloneras.
I hereby would like to beg the design team for Palace Maspalomas to retain some authenticity. The unique location of this hotel and the colonial style are a match made in heaven. Imagine yourself in this typical colonial hotel and this beautiful view from the dunes when looking out of your window: Lawrence of Arabia would be kind of jealous. I share this opinion with a few loyal RIU guests, hoping that after renovation there is still something left from the authentic charm. I guess the older you get, the more nostalgic you become.
2. Seaside Palm beach *****
In contrast to the hotels I have visited for a tour, this lobby is not so grand. Though it is not required to me. This provides a cozier and cozier atmosphere. The lobby is divided into two parts in terms of style. You have the front part of the reception area is more like a retro-style design and the second part a more decorative.
Color was clearly present in the furniture. The famous Barcelona chairs in burgundy are not exactly my thing, but attract attention. I did not really pay attention to the particular design of the reception desk. What I did like was that small and luxury boutiques were to be found in all corners. That made the space fascinating and certainly to shopaholics. The sitting area that was more decorative designed to me than I found very cozy: the brightly colored chairs and tables with integrated fruit baskets were a nice detail in my opinion.
My room is on the fourth floor in the corner. The room had a small hall, which also included a dressing room and the door to the bathroom that contained a mirror on the outside. Which is very practical to check your entire outfit. The bedroom was located right behind the other door and when you open that door, you find a very spacious room bathing in pleasant light. The decor was very warm and pleasant, the beautiful colors matched with the retro furniture. The color palette consisted of brown and beige colors, which gives a kind of Zen feeling. In the bedroom was a large bed, a TV cabinet, a small sitting area and a makeup table/desk.
There was a room large sliding window and an equally large balcony with comfy armchairs. The view from my room was lovely, a real palm beach feeling: the sea, including palm trees and overlooking the dunes of Maspalomas. I really felt like a queen of my castle in this room. The only thing I would add to this room is some indirect lighting.
The bathroom was quite small, but very practical and nicely done. It has the same warm feeling as the room and I felt that the design of the bathroom was seamlessly connected with the design of the room. The lighting here was perfect to me: there were a few light spotlights and some indirect lighting behind the mirror. The design of the bathroom was adjusted to the inclined shape of the space. A sink was incorporated into a sloped tablet and there also was a large walk-in shower. The tuned floor and wall tiles made up for a warm and cozy atmosphere. Since the floor tiles return on the wall, it makes a unity of the room. This is so far the most pleasant bathroom I’ve ever had on holiday.
No infinitypool in this one, but oh boy this garden was a real oasis of tranquillity. It closes you off from the busy outside world. No big fuss here, but small cozy corners to relax. The lighting at night was magical!
This garden made me speechless from the start.
I must say I felt really lucky with this room because there are rooms in different colors and I am not so certain that I would have the same feeling if I were in another colored room. I certainly have nothing against color but if an entire room is coral, yellow or purple painted, this gives a predominant effect. In these areas it seems reasonable to me to make at least one wall neutral white; it creates a balance.
I was happy as a designer to be allowed to stay in this hotel. Our minds are rarely quiet as we enter a room and we always see things that we can improve. But this hotel felt like a home for me and I managed to get that button to “switch off” and enjoy my vacation. I loved the mix of different styles in the public spaces and the unity in my room. Not everyone will be wild on the design of this hotel, but it excels in personalized service. I want to thank the staff for picking out this perfect room for me & for the outstanding service, I found that it fits into the interior.
3. Seaside Residentia *****GL
Seaside Residentia is located within a stone’s throw of my hotel. I had no clue about what to expect from this higher hotel category. A little nervous, I entered the hotel where I was welcomed very friendly. Unfortunately, the hotel was fully booked; so I could not visit any room, but right away I received information and got the permission to explore the hotel.
The lobby is decorated in a typical Spanish colonial style, with care for details and finishing. I got acquainted with the colonial style at Lopesan, yet they are leagues apart. At Lopesan you are overwhelmed by big spaces, while here you are being embraced by a certain discretion and domesticity. The front section is reminiscent of a Spanish patio. The ceiling surfaces edged by traditional tiles give a nice traditional touch to the interior. The furniture and especially the yellow plaid seats are not exactly my thing, but the flashy pieces were in equilibrium with the interior. The lighting consisted of spotlights and traditional lanterns; I found that it fit into the interior. The one thing that I noticed right away was the great sense of quietness the hotel radiated.
When walking outside you feel immediately what people are looking for in this place; rest in luxurious surroundings, away from the busy life. Since it is a small-scaled hotel, they succeed in creating that relaxed feeling. The pool and gardens are landscaped beautifully and in the gardens you will find the beautiful traditional villas.
Like I said I was not able to visit a room in person, but lucky me got the info in the hotel and on the World Wide Web. The traditional style is continued in all of the rooms. Unlike the most colonial styles, this style was bathing in light. I find this a very big plus because it makes the space fresher and timeless. The traditional furniture speaks for itself. The details of the tiles are also repeated in appropriate manner. Moreover, the fabrics in this room are well chosen with a nice decorative print. The interior is very nicely balanced.
The bathroom appealed less to me because the tile prints. This is not my taste. I would have liked it if a sober tile has been chosen as a base and a traditional tile board as an accent. So it would be similar to the tiles in the lobby/room. I find the sink unit too robust. The Zen effect is faded away when I return to the resort. In my opinion, this space should emit a little more warmth and coziness. About finishing second, I have no doubt; this will be in order to perfection.
If you would be one of those lucky bastards who can afford this place I would stay here for a few days, to find my inner peace.What makes this hotel different to the others is the exclusive service without pretension. The only thing I would change is the bathroom, the rest is perfect to me.
With this hotel I end my curiosity for hotels, at least for now. I want to thank the hotels and staff for their hospitality. It was a very nice first experience I wanted to share with you. There are so many beautiful places in the world, embrace the place where you can be happy and praise yourself when you can travel once every so often. Be content with what you have, but never stop dreaming.