Gran Canaria - Dunas Suites & Villas Resort

The Dunas Suites & Villas Resort
The Dunas Suites & Villas Resort | Source

The Author's Experience

The author of this article has visited many countries and stayed in many hotels, villas, chalets and camp sites of all kinds during the course of these visits. The Dunas Suites & Villas Resort is the first such accommodation which has both the visual appeal and the value for money appeal, to encourage me to write a photographic review - It may not be my last such review, but I feel that this particular resort complex is worthy of recommendation and promotion.

The reception and foyer of the resort
The reception and foyer of the resort | Source

Introduction

This is a brief review of the Dunas Suites & Villas Resort in Maspalomas, in the extreme south of Gran Canaria.

The Island of Gran Canaria is just one of the Canaries Archipelago - a small group of islands to be found about 100 miles off the north western coast of Africa. Owned and administered by Spain, these islands offer everything that the majority of holiday-makers on an annual vacation require - sunshine and warmth, sandy beaches and safe seaside resorts, and a stable political governance. As a result, tourists flock here, particularly from the north of Europe, and even more so during the winter months - the Canary Islands are a mere two hour flight away from London, England, and they offer the closest possible vacation destination with guaranteed winter warmth.

Gran Canaria is certainly one of the most popular of the islands for tourists to visit. And most who come here will stay on the south coast. This review focuses on one of the more attractive yet affordable hotel complexes to be found here - the Dunas Suites & Villas Resort.

Several photographs were taken by the author in November 2014. Others are credited to the Resort Website.

The Key Appeal of the Suites & Villas Resort

This is my personal review, and the requirements of accommodation whilst on vacation are personal. I say this because first and foremost for me, the appeal of the Dunas Suites & Villas is made plain in the title name of the resort; this is not an impersonal skyscraper hotel like so many that tourists inhabit on beach holidays, and which so often look similar and become indistinguishable from one another in the memory. The appeal of the Dunas Suites & Villas Resort is the attractive distinctiveness of the accommodation.

The resort is a landscaped environment of suites and villas of varying sizes and designs, set around swimming pools, bars and gardens covering an area of approximately 75.000m².

The grounds of the Dunas Suites & Villas and the Dunas Bungalows are attractively laid out with tropical plants, including cacti and native Canary Island succulents
The grounds of the Dunas Suites & Villas and the Dunas Bungalows are attractively laid out with tropical plants, including cacti and native Canary Island succulents | Source

The Resort Location

The Dunas Suites & Villas Resort is set in a very favourable location in the quiet neighbourhood of Meloneras, a district of the main southern tourist town of Maspalomas. The resort is within walking distance of the beach and the extensive Maspalomas sand dunes and the local Maspalomas golf course. The Oasis and Varadero shopping centres are about 1.5 km away, and the airport of Gran Canaria is about 35 km distant. A wide variety of tourist attractions are within easy reach wither by car or local transport, including Palmitos Park (a theme park with a dolphinarium, an aquarium and bird shows), Aqualand (a water park) and Sioux City (a Wild West show).

How to get around? Walking is fine for most people who want to use the beach, the local shopping centres or the golf course, but a shuttle bus service to the beach is also provided by the resort. Local buses also make regular stops close to the resort giving acccess to the rest of Maspalomas and nearby Playa del Inglés - a more lively tourist centre than Meloneras, with a very colourful nightlife. Taxis can of course also be called from the resort. Finally there is a car rental service in reception, recommended for all who wish to make good use of their time here to explore the island.

The table and chairs on the terrace area outside one of the junior suites
The table and chairs on the terrace area outside one of the junior suites | Source
The junior suite bedroom, with views through to the lounge and bathroom
The junior suite bedroom, with views through to the lounge and bathroom
The senior suite bedroom
The senior suite bedroom
The villa lounge and terrace beyond, also showing the villa kitchenette facility
The villa lounge and terrace beyond, also showing the villa kitchenette facility | Source

The Suites & Villas Resort Accommodation

The Suites & Villas Resort comprises three types of accommodation.

Most typical are 192 air-conditioned 'suites' or 'junior suites' which all comprise a bedroom, a small 'lounge' area (a table and a few chairs and a sofa/bed) and a bathroom. These are considered suitable by resort staff for a maximum of 3 adults, or 2 adults and 2 children. Total area of the suites is 48 m2. This is the accommodation used by the author of this review.

In addition there are 34 larger 'senior suites' (58-82 m2). These all have a larger lounge area and two bedrooms, to house up to 5 adults.

Finally there are 76 'villas', which are between 44 and 55 m2 in area. Most are single bedroom residences but 10 have two separate bedrooms. The distinguishing feature of the villas is that they all possess a self-catering kitchenette with a fridge, microwave, cooker, toaster and coffee maker.

Apart from the kichenette units, free amenities within the suites and villas are limited to a phone, a hair dryer, and a large satellite TV. (Unfortunately in many European hotels it seems that the reception for English language channels is very poor. In my suite, just one such channel, which carries world news, was accessible.) If the TV is unsatisfactory from an entertainment point of view, then wi-fi connection is free for all who have their laptops or their tablets with them. There is also a charged or 'Premium' high speed connection available if required. (Internet access is also available in other public areas of the Suites & Villas Resort, for example by the lobby bar and pool bars). Finally, one can also have a personal safety deposit box, though again like many European hotels one has to pay a nominal fee for the privilege - that is quite irritating as in some parts of the world, there is no charge for keeping your valuables safe.

My accommodation was the junior suite which was more than adequate for a single occupant and rather more pleasant with more of a homely feel than the average, comparable hotel room. What's more, leave the door of the suite or villa and you don't find yourself in a barren, characterless corridor. Instead there's a little outside terrace with table and chairs surrounded by exotic tropical plants.

The Senior Suite Lounge
The Senior Suite Lounge | Source
A bungalow bedroom
A bungalow bedroom
A bungalow lounge
A bungalow lounge | Source

Bungalows Dunas

There are actually two resorts here under the same management, and each has its own reception area and lobby. I stayed at the 4* Dunas Suites & Villas to the south, and this is the resort which I focus on in this review. However, adjacent to and just north of the Suites & Villas, there is also the 3* Bungalows Dunas Maspalomas.

Apart from separate administration, the only significant difference is the accommodation. Bungalows Dunas consists of 207 dwellings which are more family orientated than those in the Suites and Villas Resort. Most (162) are actually single bedroom bungalows but these are considered large enough for a maximum of two adults and two small children. A smaller number have two bedrooms whilst ten more spacious bungalows have three bedrooms, as well as a second bathroom. And all also have a lounge area and a kitchenette for a true family atmosphere, and a terrace area outside the front door.

There are no other great differences between the bungalows and suites & villas sections, because all facilities in both resorts are available for use by guests. There is easy passage between the two, and indeed one could spend time here without even realising that these are two separate resorts.

Attractive plantings in the Dunas Bungalow Resort make this a pleasant place to live for a few days of your life whilst on vacation on the Island of Gran Canaria
Attractive plantings in the Dunas Bungalow Resort make this a pleasant place to live for a few days of your life whilst on vacation on the Island of Gran Canaria | Source
One of the swimming pools and surrounding terraces in the Suites & Villas Resort
One of the swimming pools and surrounding terraces in the Suites & Villas Resort | Source
Organised children's activities are available
Organised children's activities are available
... in the 'kid's club' in the Bungalows Resort
... in the 'kid's club' in the Bungalows Resort | Source

For Your Entertainment and Your Recreation

The grounds of the Suites & Villas Resort include three main swimming pools, plus three more for children. Two further adult pools and two more for children are in the Bungalows Dunas Resort. Paved areas around the pools are lined with sun loungers and sun umbrellas. And small pool bars provide refreshments. Swimming pools may be a staple attraction of any hotel resort like this, but these are particularly attractive pools with plenty to choose from.

But there is more to be experienced at the Dunas Suites & Villas besides swimming pools. There are billiard and table tennis tables for the guests, and just next to the Bungalows Dumas Resort are two floodlit tennis courts. And for those with children there is a 'mini-club' and playground with organised activities. Children's discos are also held in the lobby bar near the reception foyer.

Also in the lobby bar area, the resort offers a variety of entertainments and shows for the adult guests. Shows including quizzes and other audience participation events are most days conducted by the resort staff in the lobby bar area, but there are also visiting professional entertainers twice a week. Usually the evenings will end with music and dancing.

The mini-club
The mini-club | Source
The Reception bar on the left and the Canary Food Experience shop on the right
The Reception bar on the left and the Canary Food Experience shop on the right | Source

Wining and Dining

A very spacious restaurant serves the Suites & Villas Resort and is located close to the reception

The restaurant is open for breakfast between 8.00 am and 10.30 am, and for lunch between 1.00 and 3.00 in the afternoon.

In summer, the restaurant is open for a buffet-style dinner between 6.30 and 10.00 pm. In winter there are two sittings with a breathing space to presumably enable the staff to replenish the buffet and tidy up.The staff do prefer that you arrive for the early sitting between 6.00 and 7.30 pm or the late sitting between 8.00 and 9.30 pm (although they probably won't kick you out if you arrive between sittings!) The menu includes a good range of local and international foods, but most nights also offers a themed selection of dishes. There is a dress code for the evening meal, but it is only what one would expect - no beachwear, but casual and informal.

Poolside bars are open from 10.00 in the morning to 6.00 in the evening, and during the day provide cold snacks such as sandwiches as well as drinks and ice cream. In the hotel reception area there is also a small bar in addition to the main bar where evening entertainments are held.

The restaurant buffet at Suites & Villas Resort
The restaurant buffet at Suites & Villas Resort | Source
Massage services in the Wellness Centre
Massage services in the Wellness Centre | Source

Other Facilities

The Dunas Suites & Villas offers most of the amenities one would expect in a resort of this kind.

In the hotel reception area there is a shop, the Canary Food Experience, which promotes local Canary Island produce. And at the northern entrance to Bungalows Dunas Maspalomas, there is also a small grocery shop for all your needs when spending the day on the beach or out in the countryside, and particularly of course serving those who choose the self-catering facilities of the bungalows and villas.

In addition to car rental, bicycle rental is also provided. There is a laundry service, medical centre, and a baby sitting service available, and there is also a fitness centre for keep-fit enthusuasts.

And if massage and cosmetic treatments are your thing, the Wellness Centre offers a variety of services to cater for you including a sauna and massaging with heated volcanic stones, facials, pedicures and manicures.

The Suites and Villas Resort
The Suites and Villas Resort | Source
The suites and villas - more like a small, temporary home than a hotel room
The suites and villas - more like a small, temporary home than a hotel room | Source
One of the pools in the Bungalows Resort
One of the pools in the Bungalows Resort | Source

Recommendations

The Dunas Suites & Villas and its sister resort the Bungalows Dunas Maspalomas, are not luxury hotels. There are hotels within the town of Maspalomas which offer a full range of services with rooms of greater comfort and restaurants with finer dining. Some who can afford to do so, may prefer such accommodation.

But for the majority of us, the choice of vacation hotel accommodation is dictated by price constraints, and what we really want for our money is basic domestic comforts, entertainments during the day and evening, a decent catering service, and a few other conveniences to make the time we spend at the hotel as pleasurable as possible. And of establishments which offer these facilities in Maspalomas, the Dunas Suites & Villas Resort and the Bungalows Dunas, are unique.

What is it that makes them unique? For me it is two things. Firstly, the rooms. A hotel room is just a hotel room, one of many which lay behind identical doors which line a long and impersonal corridor, perhaps on the tenth or eleventh identical floor of a concrete tower block. But at Dunas Suites & Villas, even if the room amenities are no different to other hotels, one can feel that the accommodation is not just a room, but your own self-contained little home for the brief duration of your vacation.

Secondly there is the sheer attractiveness of the environment. Enclosed plaster wall corridors and metal box elevators are replaced by landscaped and vegetation lined pathways in the sunshine. Walking around the Suites & Villas Resort is a pleasure, and one could easily spend all of their days on the terrace of the suite or villa, lounging by the pools, or walking in the gardens. One might think it's a pity there's so much else to see in Gran Canaria that takes you away from the resort! For anyone contemplating visiting Gran Canaria and the town of Maspalomas, I can certainly recommend the Dunas Suites & Villas Resort.

The Dunas Suites & Villas Resort

This Video

This video by Mixtravel is a compilation of still photos which gives a good impression of the resort - the rooms, the pools, bars and restaurant, and the landscaped gardens

Aerial View of the Bungalows Dunas Maspalomas (top) and the Dunas Suites & Villas Resort (bottom of the picture)

This Interactive Map

Simply click on the various symbols to magnify the image or to pan out and see the location of the resort in the town of Maspalomas. You can also move the little human figure to view locations around the resort

Copyright

Please feel free to quote limited text from this article on condition that an active link back to this page is included

Other Gran Canaria Pages

The author has two further pages about Gran Canaria:

1) The Maspalomas Dunes

The extensive sand dunes of Maspalomas are a beautiful natural environment in the tourist resort of Maspalomas, easily accessible to visitors and well worth exploring

2) The Mountains of Gran Canaria

The mountains of Gran Canaria offer a satisfying contrast to the beaches which attract tourists to this Canary Island. This page investigates the beautiful landscapes and cultural history to be found in these mountains

A hedge of Bougainvillea helps create an attractive facade to the resort reception
A hedge of Bougainvillea helps create an attractive facade to the resort reception | Source

© 2015 Greensleeves Hubs

More by this Author


I'd Love to Hear Your Comments. Thanks, Alun 14 comments

Kristen Howe profile image

Kristen Howe 18 months ago from Northeast Ohio

My pleasure as always, Alun.


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Greensleeves Hubs 18 months ago from Essex, UK Author

Kristen Howe; Appreciate your nice comment. And thanks for the votes Kristen! It is indeed a really nice place to visit.


Kristen Howe profile image

Kristen Howe 18 months ago from Northeast Ohio

Great hub Alun on this article. This sounds like somewhere I would love to go to. Voted up!


Greensleeves Hubs profile image

Greensleeves Hubs 20 months ago from Essex, UK Author

Jack Burden; Thank you Jack for those kind words. Especially about the formatting, which I do try to make visually attractive. Cheers, Alun


Jack Burden profile image

Jack Burden 20 months ago from Columbus, OH

Very helpful article. Nicely formatted, a real pleasure to read.


Greensleeves Hubs profile image

Greensleeves Hubs 20 months ago from Essex, UK Author

AliciaC; Yes Linda, I've visited three of the Canary Islands now, and all make great places to explore. But for those who also want to spend some time just relaxing and resting, well, this resort is ideal. Appreciated, Alun

MsDora; Thanks Dora. I certainly enjoyed my time at the resort, though of course I was out travelling round the island most of the days. Even so, it was always nice to return there after a long day! Cheers, Alun


AliciaC profile image

AliciaC 20 months ago from British Columbia, Canada

This sounds and looks like a wonderful place to stay, Alun. Exploring the island and the resort would be a very enjoyable combination! Thanks for sharing the detailed review and the lovely photos.


MsDora profile image

MsDora 20 months ago from The Caribbean

This Gran Canaria resort is one beautiful place as you show in words and pictures. On your recommendation, I would visit if I had the opportunity. Thanks and voted up!


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Greensleeves Hubs 20 months ago from Essex, UK Author

bdegiulio; Thanks Bill. Always a pleasure to hear from you. One of my resolutions on HubPages has been to complete at least one hub every month - I've lapsed a bit this month, and so I was a bit rushed to get this one completed on March 31st! It took a lot of work to get it compiled in the past few days so I appreciate your comment. Alun


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Greensleeves Hubs 20 months ago from Essex, UK Author

Ericdierker; Thanks Eric very much. One thing I didn't include in the review was the price, but that of course is because there are so many different packages offered by travel companies including room only or fully inclusive deals. Also, I always want my pages to remain relevant and accurate for as long as possible, and sadly prices do have a habit of regularly changing! :)


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Greensleeves Hubs 20 months ago from Essex, UK Author

pstraubie8; Very much appreciated. Thanks very much. I've never written an article advertising a commercial business before, so I was in two minds about writing this one! But whilst I love exploring a country, I do also like to have a comfortable 'home' to return to in the evening, and this resort is scenically much more pleasant than the average hotel. Cheers, Alun


bdegiulio profile image

bdegiulio 20 months ago from Massachusetts

Hi Alun. Looks like a wonderful place for a holiday. You wrote a great review. If I ever make it to Gran Canaria I will certainly check out the Dunas Suites and Villas Resorts.


Ericdierker profile image

Ericdierker 20 months ago from Spring Valley, CA. U.S.A.

I would definitely like to visit. This is a fine review and really leaves nothing important out. Thank you.


pstraubie48 profile image

pstraubie48 20 months ago from sunny Florida

O if I ever get to that part of the world. it sounds like a place I would like to visit.

thanks for the heads up/

Angels are on the way to you this evening ps

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