We were on holiday in Crete when we met Alex, who is a hotel promoter. When we told him we lived in The Canary Islands, he said: “You MUST go and stay at Bohemia Suites & Spa in Gran Canaria – you’ll love it!”

We rarely pass up strong personal recommendations, so we booked a two night stay at the hotel almost as soon as we returned from Crete. Alex had told us that there had been a huge investment in the property to bring it up to 5 star standard, that it was adults only, and that it was a really special place.

First impressions

We arrived in Playa del Inglés on a mid week afternoon. First impressions of the resort weren’t great – the flora and fauna is wonderful, but it’s a heavily built up tourist area, with plenty of unattractive high rise hotels and complexes, and some very tacky looking shopping centres. Bohemia is easy to spot from a distance – it’s one of the higher buildings, so we parked up outside and looked for the entrance. Everything about the place is subtle, and classy, and that includes the entrance! There are no huge signs, just a tasteful upright board announcing the name of the hotel. The entrance itself is clever, you wind around a hedge, and it really does feel as though you are getting away from the bustle and noise of a busy resort, and entering somewhere very different. That feeling carries over into the gardens, which again are protected by thick hedges, which keep noise and prying eyes away from the outside areas.

Checking in was a joy. Plenty of hotels offer a welcome drink, but generally you are left standing and awkwardly holding your glass while you sort out the paperwork. At Bohemia, we were immediately seated, our luggage was whisked away and we were asked what drinks we would like from the bar. The receptionist took our passports and credit card and did all the necessary stuff while we relaxed in comfortable chairs. The hotel has WIFI throughout, and in reception there are several iPads dotted around, which anyone can use to surf the net. Formalities done, we were giving a quick guided tour of the pool area and pool bar, the dining options were explained to us, and we were taken to our suite.

The Hotel

We had selected a junior suite, with a sea and pool view. Bohemia has 38 rooms and 29 suites. Don’t hesitate to book a room, we had friends staying in one, and they are spacious and very classy. The suite adds a little more space, a larger balcony, bigger television and an espresso coffee machine. Our room was beautifully furnished, with plenty of seating space inside, and a huge balcony, with two chairs and a double sunbed outside. The mini bar was well stocked, and the coffee machine a joy for me! Sadly, there was no kettle for tea drinker Julie. Every room at Bohemia has an Apple Computer in it, with docks for iPhones and iPods. In the suite we also had a Loewe television and sound system, which was very impressive. Reflecting the clientele, most channels on the TV were German, but we did find both BBC and Sky news. We don’t watch TV when we’re away, but it was good to catch up with the news when we didn’t have a phone plugged in and playing music. The WIFI was very fast, and there were tons of sockets all over the place to charge various devices.

The bathrooms are unusual in that they are protected by screens with holes in them, and the huge shower areas have clear glass doors. None of this bothered us, but friends we travelled with mentioned that they would have preferred privacy for their shower. We had a walk in wardrobe, with plenty of hanging space and a safe. It’s worth mentioning the lighting – as I get older I really do struggle to read in poor light, and most hotel rooms are weak in that respect. Not so at Bohemia, where we had dozens of lights, including reading lights over the furniture and bedside tables. There’s also a very clever “50%” switch, which instantly cuts all the room lights down to half power. Of course, there is air conditioning in the bedrooms and throughout the hotel. The double bed in the suite was sumptuous and very large, with Egyptian cotton sheets. We could have done with two more pillows, but apart from that, we both slept very soundly.

On the first evening we chose to eat in the ground floor restaurant, which is where half board guests eat. The choice was quite limited, but excellent value for money, and the food was very good indeed. We preceded dinner by visiting the top floor cocktail bar to enjoy a sundowner – the views from there are amazing as you look down onto the huge beach and sand dunes. There was a DJ playing cocktail music.

The following morning, we went up to the famous 360 degree restaurant for breakfast. In the evenings, this is a fine dining restaurant and offers a tasting menu. We didn’t try it for this trip, but we will next time. The restaurant’s name derives from the fact that it is located in a round “satellite” which does have a 360 degree view. It’s a stunning place to eat breakfast! The full choice of continental style food is available on the buffet, and cooked breakfasts are made to order- basically anything you want. The juices are fresh, the coffee not bad, and the home made preserves are delicious.

One lovely touch, which is typical of the hotel, is the sweet jars that are placed by the elevators. There are little bags there, and everyone is encouraged to grab a few jelly beans after dinner or as they head in our out of their rooms.

We spent some time in the gardens and pool area and they are wonderful. The main pool is large and has a 22 metre “length” for people who want to swim up and down, there is a second, smaller pool, and a hot tub which runs at 28 degrees. The gardens are dotted with palms, which offer dappled shade, and there are single and double sunbeds aplenty. There’s a fully stocked pool bar, offering bar or table service.

The hotel has a spa area and a small gym, but we didn’t have time to try either – we will next time!

One thing that struck me throughout, was the quality of the service. The team there are well dressed, confident, multi lingual and seem to be really proud of the establishment. The only chink in the service armour was in the restaurants, where the staff appeared to be under some pressure, but they weren’t particularly busy! It was early season, so perhaps they were learning and getting up to speed.

In summary, we absolutely loved the hotel, and you will too; if you like peace, tranquility, great service, fabulous furniture and fittings and constantly being surprised and delighted.

We travelled by inter island ferry: Naviera Armas Ferry Arrecife to Las Palmas

You can read about the local area here: Playa del Inglés and Gran Canaria

Inspired to stay at the Bohemia Suites? Please do get in touch, we’d be delighted to help you book your next holiday at this hotel.

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