Think Gran Canaria hotels are all about all-inclusive stays? Think again as the island’s seeing more and more new boutique hotels opening. Such as Las Palmas de Gran Canaria’s Bed&Chic.
If you’re a previous Gran Canaria Local visitor, you’ll know the format by now. If not, we’ll first show you how to get to the capital’s Bed&Chic and then describe their facilities and services. Concluding with a guide to what you can eat and drink here.
1. Bed&Chic: where it’s at
Parque Santa Catalina should be renamed Plaza Santa Catalina. It’s certainly more of a square than Vegueta’s Plaza Santa Ana on the other side of town, in terms of atmosphere and bustling bars, cafes, and restaurants: if nothing else. Allow for roughly 25 minutes by car and closer to three quarters of an hour by Global bus, try and get the most direct line 60 (from 6:15am to 8:15pm), if travelling from Gran Canaria airport to the terminal just 0.2km away from the hotel which has entrances on both the Parque and Calle General Vives behind.
If you’re arriving later at night but before 2:15am when services terminate, Global buses in to the capital only run as far as the Parque San Telmo station. There’s a taxi rank outside for you to complete your journey. Street parking invariably involves circuits of the local area to find a much-sought-after spot, although the hotel offers discount parking at a not-inexpensive city-centre car park (a business that’s akin to printing money).
There are 12 rooms at a hotel spanning three different time zones. Whilst Bed&Chic opened its doors for business back in November 2013, one half of the hotel can be traced back to the early 20th century (1920s) and the other half late (1970s). The Gran Canaria Local clan stayed in the adjoining 203 and 204, a junior suite internally connected to a double room; Bed&Chic being the most family friendly of boutique hotels.
Character is key at Bed&Chic which, at the time of writing, is TripAdvisor’s number-one hotel in Las Palmas de Gran Canaria. Because of its non-identical twin buildings, no two rooms share the same proportions. In that way, it almost feels like a large family house and the carefully-tailored, let-keep-things-simple, non-shouty interior designs of the bedrooms are as individual as the sizes.
Facilities are sparse but remember this is an urban hotel as opposed to a beach (although Playa de Las Canteras is a mere 500-metre 6-minute walk away) or rural one. Space is at a premium in one of the capital’s most high-profile areas. We loved the kitsch Coffee Corners with jars of Galletas María (Spain’s Rich Tea) along with the rooftop terrace featuring communal beanbags although a dipping pool/jacuzzi would be a welcome addition.
Wifi’s free and you can connect to the network across the hotel. It’s fast and Mr GCL welcomed the opportunity to get some work done. Whilst his family was at play at yet another Canarian fiesta: Día de Canarías (Canary Islands Day).
2. Bed&Chic: what to drink
Supping freshly-squeezed OJ at the outside tables at the Cafeteria La Catalina is a fantastic way to start the day. And a cocktail on the third-floor, rooftop El Tendedero de Catalina a great way to end it. There’s no menu at a venue which is a popular afterwork destination for locals.
When the barman asked Mr and Mrs Gran Canaria Local for their preferences, Mrs GCL answered sour (as in citrus-flavoured) and ended up with a caipiriinha. Mr GCL, being Mr GCL, replied Canarian and would later sup on a rum-based one. What they both appreciated was the wait as they took in the expert show of the mixologists preparing the drinks compared to the too-nonchalant pour of here’s-one-we-made-earlier at the likes of all-inclusive hotels.
Cocktails are competitively priced too. Whilst the city’s terrace nightclubs can charge northwards of 7,50€ for a cubata (rum and coke), it costs less at El Tendedero for a drink mixed with more ingredients. With the average damage to your wallet just 6€.
3. Bed&Chic: what to eat
The only tariff available at Bed&Chic is a room-only one. You pay extra for food and drink. La Catalina also has some inside seating if you’re lucky enough to have a rainy day during your stay (top tip: there will be more than one than if you visit during Carnaval).
There are a range of breakfast packages which are served from 7:30am until midday. Including Bed&Chic (€6 which offers the aforementioned juiced orange, your choice of coffee or tea including herbal ones, bread and sticky croissant (veggies beware: that glutinous substance is gelatine), butter, jam, tomato (for pan y tomate) and olive oil. The older members of the Gran Canaria Local family (i.e everybody other than six-year-old GCL Junior) plumped, however, for the 7,50€ Inglés with added sausage or bacon (vegetarian Mr Gran Canaria Lunch substituting the meaty pair with avocado, one of the island’s homegrown specialities).
You can also book a table for brunch, lunch, and dinner. The GCL bunch opted for a 9:00pm slot for the latter and were able to enjoy a heater-free, al-fresco ceña. Topics of conversation included the external giant paper-chain-style decorations which reminded Mr Gran Canaria Local of Chinese New Year and Mrs GCL of Seville’s Fería de Abril.
Gran Canaria Local chomped on croquetas de jamón ibérico (5,95€), finger food arranged on a surface which will anger the plate-not-slate brigade. His elder brothers tucked into the 200-gram Catalina burgers (8€), crusty buns filled with beef, lettuce, tomato, onion, Gouda, and bacon which came with hot crisps rather than fries. Meanwhile, Mr and Mrs GCL shared a cheese salad with strawberry dressing, a tower of aubergine and mozzarella, and melt-in-your-mouth pork sirloin.
Disclaimer: The Gran Canaria Local family stayed for free at Bed&Chic in exchange for a review. Book in advance directly with the hotel to secure a 5% saving on your accommodation. For the latest availability, visit the hotel’s website.