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We recently found cheap flights to Gran Canaria and decided to book a little city break in Las Palmas, the capital city of the island. Because we had saved money on the flights, I decided to go a bit bougie when it came to accommodation. I booked three nights at the oldest hotel in Las Palmas.
Here is my review of Santa Catalina Hotel in Las Palmas de Gran Canaria.
I’d always wanted to stay at a prestigious hotel like this one and I really feel it’s the best place to stay in Las Palmas. Read on to find out why.
You may also like to read the following posts before your trip to Gran Canaria:
Check prices and availability for your travel dates at Santa Catalina Hotel here.
The history of Santa Catalina Hotel
Santa Catalina Hotel is a Royal Hideaway hotel in Las Palmas de Gran Canaria that has become emblematic of the city itself. The five-star hotel’s history is intertwined with that of the island, and no review of Santa Catalina would be complete without a look back at its captivating past.
The hotel initially opened in 1890. The oldest hotel in the Canary islands, Santa Catalina Hotel was built to provide respite to the wealthy classes during long journeys between Europe and Africa.
The Spanish royal family, Winston Churchill and Agatha Christie are some of the famous figures that have passed through its doors.
Santa Catalina has recently undergone a 25 million euro renovation that has ensured the hotel remains up to the standards of modern-day luxury travellers, without detracting from its old-world glamour and heritage.
My Santa Catalina hotel review
As you’re driven through Santa Catalina’s gates, any tension in your shoulders from the journey to Las Palmas evaporates. You’re entering Parque Doramasm, an oasis in the busy streets of Las Palmas. Palm trees rise overhead and the soothing sound of running water surrounds you.
Though you’re just twenty minutes from Las Palmas airport, your luxury retreat has well and truly begun.
Upon arriving at Santa Catalina Hotel and taking in its impressive salmon facade, my mind immediately took me back to Mumbai, where we visited the Taj hotel.
The colonial architecture and ocean views are reminiscent of the famous Indian structure but Santa Catalina’s overall ambience is one of happy collision between local and international.
As guests cross the threshold of the hotel entrance and set foot on its polished floors, you’re greeted with the scent of lilies emanating from the floral display in the centre of the lobby.
To your left, you’ll find a hushed piano bar. To your right, the reception area where you can nestle into an armchair while you’re checked in.
Directly across from the entrance, steps lead to the most breathtaking reception room. Plush couches rest on gleaming floors and overhead, spectacular chandeliers disperse light throughout the ornate room.
Through wooden doors on either side of this refined room are shaded courtyards. Momentarily, I was back in the luxury hotels of Dubai.
Review of the Deluxe room at Santa Catalina Hotel
With 204 rooms in total, there are various room options available at Santa Catalina I booked a Deluxe Superior room at the front of the hotel with a balcony, which is 25 square metres.
Despite its compact size, our room still felt very luxurious!
The bathroom facilities are hidden behind sliding wooden shuttered doors, meaning you can have privacy if you desire.
The double-headed shower (including a rainfall shower) was spacious and there were his n’ hers sinks which made getting ready for evenings out together less claustrophobic.
The room came complete with a TV disguised as a mirror when not turned on, soft white robes, slippers and a well-stocked mini-bar. The coffee machine was great and the pods were restocked daily.
We couldn’t get enough of the large, comfortable bed. The pillows were heavenly and made for a delightful siesta every day at sundown.
My only gripe about the room was the fact there was no full-length mirror. I’d check my outfit before heading out for the day or evening in one of the many mirrors in the hallways instead!
If you’re a light sleeper, there is one thing to be aware of when booking your room at Santa Catalina Hotel: the noise. The delighted screams of the children playing in the grounds are cute and everything, but not when you’re trying to sleep.
It didn’t bother us too much because we were keen to get out for a day of sightseeing in Las Palmas in the mornings, but if you’re visiting for a more relaxing getaway I’d recommend not getting an ocean view room.
Our room had a large, furnished balcony overlooking the lush gardens at the front of the hotel. Beyond the palm trees, we could gaze out at the Atlantic.
My review of the Alis rooftop bar at Santa Catalina Hotel
The crowning glory of the hotel is its rooftop. Every evening, we made our way up to the fourth floor for sundowners and lapped up the views. As the sun lowered, a live DJ provided the soundtrack to our night with the help of a saxophonist.
The vibe on the rooftop is more modern and chic than the refined splendour that reverberates throughout the rest of the hotel. The cocktails are excellent and come with complimentary nibbles.
There’s a pool to the right and plenty of bali beds to your left, so this would be the perfect place to catch some rays if you’re staying at Santa Catalina in the summertime.
Other facilities at Santa Catalina
There are three restaurants at Santa Catalina: a gourmet place called Poemas which is run by Michelin starred brothers, 1890 La Bodeguita which is a tapas bar, and Camarote Grill which serves Canarian cuisine.
Unfortunately, because this was a short trip to Gran Canaria, we didn’t eat in any of them so I can’t share a review of the food. We also didn’t eat breakfast at the hotel.
On your left as you leave the hotel, you’ll find the spa, which comes at an additional cost, and outdoor pool.
The pool area is well maintained and lined with vibrant flowerbeds. I just wish it had been a few degrees warmer during our trip!
Santa Catalina Hotel gardens
While writing this Hotel Santa Catalina review I learned that the gardens were once used as a zoo, and suddenly the sculptures hidden around various corners made sense.
The hotel’s grounds are beautifully well-tended and often filled with young families and dog walkers.
You’ll also find there are no shortage of shaded spots in which you can quietly sip a gin and tonic!
Overall, we absolutely loved our stay and I hope this review of Santa Catalina hotel in Las Palmas has enticed you to book a room there.
The hotel is well-placed for exploring the city, however I do recommend purchasing a hop on hop off bus ticket if you plan to spend time sightseeing in Las Palmas because otherwise, you could end up with sore feet.
I also recommend checking my Gran Canaria highlight over on Instagram for a closer look at the hotel and the rest of our trip.
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