The last few weeks have been demanding and exhausting. I learned from this that I have to do more for myself. Maintaining an inner equilibrium and just taking a break from everyday life and relaxing. So i decided to treat myself to complete relaxation.
SANTA CATALINA, A ROYAL HIDEAWAY HOTEL
SPAIN – GRAND CANARY / GRAN CANARIA
28° 7′ N / 15° 25′ W
After only a 20-minute drive from the airport, a truly majestic and impressive view of the «Santa Catalina, a Royal Hideaway Hotel» in the centre of Las Palmas in the north-east of Gran Canaria opens up in front of me. I’m actually here! Being close to the centre, I can go shopping, visit the old town and eat out. Being close to the beach, I can treat myself to sun, sand and sea. But this shouldn’t be all. The colonial-style park in front of the hotel affords me a clear view of the latter and the impressive pool area. I am immediately aware of the charm of the hotel as soon as I enter the hotel lobby – greeted by authentic friendliness, I immediately feel welcome and well cared for. This friendly colonial style is reflected in the room.
Pleasure on all levels – gastronomically as well as optically
Before I go to «La Bodeguita» for dinner, I explore the park in the middle of the city in which the «Santa Catalina, a Royal Hideaway Hotel» is located. Lined with beautiful plants, extensive water features meander through the grounds. I treat myself to a drink before dinner in the Carabela Bar. The classic atmosphere, paired with the finest cava, sweetens the unobstructed view of Dormas Park in front of the hotel. The pianist contributes to the fact that I, in turn, completely immerse myself in the comforts and just enjoy it. At dinner, I treat myself to a selection from the menu. Of course I start with Jamon Iberico. A must in Gran Canaria. Surprisingly, the waitress recommends that I add cheese. This is a specialty of Gran Canaria. What is also surprising is that it is served on every occasion – not just at the end of a meal. As an absolute wine lover, I let myself be served with beautiful wines from the Canary Islands. I’ve never drunk any of these, but now I’m a true admirer of Canarian wines.
Ah, how beautiful life can be. Perfect location, fantastic weather and then the culinary delights.
Good morning Las Palmas
It was a restful night, so I go to breakfast full of energy. I fortify myself with everything my heart desires in the middle of the park that surrounds the hotel. This is how a day can start. Invigorated and in a good mood, I go to the old town in Las Palmas. A 25-minute walk takes me to the historic city centre. The houses express their history and each one is special in its own way. The cityscape is also unique. The houses are colourfully painted, each one different. This produces a colourful cityscape – as colourful and diverse as my trip so far.
After returning to the hotel, I check into the spa and let myself be massaged properly. My back and neck are in dire need of treatment. Relaxed and loosened up muscle by muscle, I head to the rooftop, where I treat myself to a nice drink by the pool. With a view of the park and the sea, I relax and let my thoughts wander into the distance.
Relaxed and rested, I’m ready for the culinary highlight of the «Santa Catalina, a Royal Hideaway Hotel». The Poemas restaurant, which has been awarded a Michelin star.
The restaurant is the brainchild of brothers Juan Carlo and Jonathan Padrón, who present an 11-course tasting menu with convincing elegance, inspiring connoisseurs with its lightness and precision. The service provided, highly professional but in no way formal, guides the guest through the menu. The sommelier accompanies each individual course with regional wines from Gran Canaria in such a perfectly coordinated way that the entire evening becomes an unforgettable experience and can compete with the most renowned restaurants in the world.
At the end of the set meal, the actual star of the show visits our illustrious group. Icíar Pérez, who enjoys the trust of the Padrón brothers as Executive Chef, answers questions about her thoughts. What is impressive is that Icíar Pérez is only 28 years old and is already showing off her skills at such a high level.
The oxtail sandwich with fermented pepper mayonnaise ranks among the top 3 dishes I’ve ever eaten.
360 sunny days a year
The high number of sunny days, combined with an extremely pleasant climate, encourages you not only to devote time exclusively to the culinary temptations, but also to enjoy the diverse landscape. So I decide to take a tour, the Royal Experience, to the north of Las Palmas. There I visit a market that was built in a former water reservoir, to purchase regional products. A visit to a cheese factory owned by the cheese world champion of 2009 makes me realise once again how rich the island is in terms of culinary delights. Cristóbal Antonio Moreno Díaz is an original who produces his sheep’s cheese using traditional methods and with a lot of passion. During a stopover at a reservoir in Artenara, I take a lakeside picnic that is second to none. The crowning and majestic end of the tour is a visit to the Artenara area, where I get an exclusive look behind the scenes of the Agala winery, which grows the vines at altitudes of up to 1,318 m and produces fresh white and red wines from them.
Las Palmas – see you soon.
Photos Copyrights: Santa Catalina Royal Hideaway