You'd think the year-round sunshine and the fresh sea breezes of the Canary Islands would be enough for anyone feeling the need of some holiday pampering. But then why leave anything to chance? For a full body recharge, you may well require the attentive services and luxurious surroundings of a spa resort – and here Gran Canaria is ideally placed.
In 1998, the island's first Thalassotherapy centre opened at the four-star Gloria Palace San Agustín (00 34 928 128 500; gloriapalaceth.com ), which lies near Maspalomas; the chain's two new hotels, the Gloria Palace Amadores and the Gloria Palace Royal, now also offer the treatment. Appropriately enough, given the island setting, Thalassotherapy involves bathing in seawater heated to 37C, which apparently allows the skin to absorb goodies such as sulphur, calcium and magnesium. Removing stress, rebuilding the nervous system and assisting in the recovery from respiratory disease are among the stated aims. The resorts also offer beauty, sauna and massage treatments.
Alternatively, try the Spa Corallium Costa Meloneras centre at the Lopesan Costa Meloneras Resort Spa and Casino (00 34 902 450 010; gloriapalaceth.com ) in Maspalomas, which contains a "spa experience circuit" where guests encounter water at temperatures ranging from 4C to 90C. These extreme variations provide "beneficial vascular gymnastics" for the whole body. And there is a Himalaya salt grotto designed for those suffering respiratory problems, which is "a naturally ionised space absorbing the excess of electromagnetic waves and giving off beneficial negative ions".
Also in Maspalomas, the health garden at the Seaside Hotel Palm Beach (00 34 928 721 032; seaside-hotels.com ), located in a huge palm grove, has various pools at different temperatures, including a Thalasso pool and sauna area. The spa and wellness centre has 11 treatment rooms offering massages and beauty treatments, with views over a Japanese garden.
Finally, at the Sheraton Salobre (00 34 928 943 000; sheratonsalobre.com ), again in Maspalomas, you can experience the Seven Pillars of Well-being – which, in case you didn't know, are beauty, interior harmony, vitality, aqua, life balance, nutrition and nature. The resort's Aloe Spa offers treatments, a 24-hour fitness room, and vitality pool. There are also plenty of Espa products to choose from and the spa offers massages with fresh aloe vera, which grows wild on many of the Atlantic islands.