As the days get darker and chillier, the prospect of some winter sun becomes increasingly appealing. Whilst lighter, brighter days might feel a long way off, they can be found closer than you might think: the sunny shores of Gran Canaria can be reached in much less time and at much lower cost than far-flung exotic beach destinations, and promise just as healthy a dose of warmth and sunshine as those long-distance alternatives.

And whilst a Vitamin D top-up might be enough for some, those looking to reset and recharge to the fullest are in for a treat: with its state-of-the-art golf and spa facilities, Salobre Hotel Resort & Serenity is the perfect winter wellness destination.

The destination

Set atop a hill with panoramic views across the desert-like landscape and towards the ocean, Salobre Hotel Resort & Serenity is the ultimate secluded spa escape. Unlike most hotels on the island that are clustered close to the beach, Salobre has the advantage of being able to spread across a vast resort complex, with the extra space and seclusion lending a pervading sense of calm and stillness.

The spacious grounds also boast the best golf facilities in Gran Canaria, and 7 pools – including a rooftop infinity pool where sunsets are like nothing you’ve ever seen before, and a secret plunge pool that if you ask nicely, a member of staff might just show you how to find… just make sure to keep it a secret.

For those who want to dip their toes in more than just an infinity pool, a regular shuttle service takes you to the beach for sea swimming, shopping and ice cream – though you’d be hard-pressed to want to leave with so much to explore in the resort itself.

The spa

Salobre’s Be Aloe Spa complex is vast enough to be a hotel in its own right, with a private pool area reserved exclusively for spa guests where day beds boast breathtaking views of Mount Teide. If you can’t drag yourself away from the scene, massages can be booked poolside while you admire the surroundings.

The spa also offers regular yoga, meditation and pilates classes in the stunning cristalarium, with panoramic views of the mountain scenery. There are frequent guided hikes, or for those wishing to explore the surrounding area on their own, staff are happy to recommend walking and jogging routes of varying distance and difficulty.

The accommodation

In keeping with the spacious nature of the resort, rooms are vast and offer separate living rooms and bedrooms, bathrooms with separate bath and shower areas, and large terraces or balconies with spectacular views of the golf course and mountains on the horizon.

Sunsets and sunrises are stunning – the former best enjoyed from the balcony before descending for dinner, and the latter as a natural wake-up call before heading to a morning yoga class.

The food

Although breakfast and dinner are served buffet-style, SENS Kitchen Patio Garden restaurant is far from your average hotel buffet: alongside wholesome salads, homemade dips and an array of fresh vegetables, guests can enjoy an extensive selection of fresh fish cooked to order. Desserts are a particular highlight, with an abundance of fresh fruit and mini vegan puddings alongside more indulgent options such as chocolate bread pudding and exotic fruit cheesecakes.

Make sure to reserve a special occasion meal at Sidecar restaurant, where local delicacies are fused with Asian influences – think dishes such as 24 hour suckling pig served with sweet potato rendang puree and pickled carrot, and curries of local fish.

Other noteworthy spas on the island
Gran Canaria is also home to Europe’s largest Thalasso centre at Gloria Palace San Agustin. It would be easy to spend all day exploring all 7,000 square metres of the light-filled spa complex designed by Canarian architect Luis López – but make sure to save enough time for a treatment administered by the island’s top therapists. For a more energising experience, go for a hike across the sprawling archaeological site of an ancient Aboriginal cemetery situated on the doorstep of Inagua Spa & Wellness, then recover at the spa’s secluded indoor-outdoor thermal circuit. Alternatively, the hot stone massage at the spa at Seaside Palm Beach is a fitting treatment for an island whose landscape was forged by volcanoes – you’ll emerge calm, soothed and reinvigorated, with no sign of an eruption in sight.

words by Rosie Sargeant