Lopesan Baobab, located in Meloneras, is arguably the biggest and most impressive looking hotel in Gran Canaria (we mean really big, almost a thousand rooms). When checking-in, you even get your own hotel map to study while sipping on a glass of sparkling wine. The design is African with vibrant art and an entrance built as a tropical garden with flamingos and waterfalls. But among all this architectural achievements, there is something very essential missing – lamps. The lightning is so bad in certain places that during the evening you actually have to make sure you don’t bump into a wall or sprain your ankle on the staircase. Cozy lightning is one thing but here you almost get the feeling that there is an electricity cut somewhere!
The rooms are normally sized and very well designed and if you get a balcony overlooking the sea, it’s even better. (But why on earth is the shampoo bottle attached to the wall a meter away from the bathtub?).
Food-wise you will definitely not be disappointed. The buffet offers a nice variety of choices and the restaurant “Akara” has a unique setting and a very tasty menu. For instance, we can highly recommend the spicy banana soup as a starter. It’s delicious beyond believe! The gym is small and relatively functional. But for some reason, no running machines are provided which we thought was disappointing. Another minus is that you have to pay extra for the safe deposit box (it’s the same in all Lopesan hotels in Maspalomas/Meloneras) which usually is offered free of charge in other 5-star hotels.
There are several pools and lots of stuff to do for the many kids at this hotel. You will even find huge crocodiles and giraffes (not real ones – plastic) around the pool area. As a couple, looking for a vacation in a relaxing atmosphere, who enjoy a spa and cool bars, we will probably avoid this place in the future. However, if you go to Gran Canaria with your kids, don’t hesitate; Hotel Lopesan Baobab can definitely be something for you.
What do a bank robbery, a white alligator and a herd of raging bulls have in common? Throw in a spaghetti western from the 70s and you have Sioux City. Yep, folks, here “Take a Hard Ride” with Lee Van Cleef was filmed and today y’all can enjoy some family fun. An authentic cowboy village form the 19th century built in the south of Gran Canaria, it even smells cowboy. There are bulls and horses riding through town, a bank robbery is staged for your viewing pleasure that includes the whole shebang: gun slingers, shoot outs, a jail break and even a hanging. A saloon is on hand for daddy to quench his thirst while the kids are spending a family fortune on cowboy hats and toy guns.
One also gets to see some Indians throwing knifes and if you are into the really creepy stuff, visit the reptiles center packed with poisonous this and that (we were too freaked out to notice the names) and the crocodile swamp where the unique albino alligator hangs around. It’s a fun few hours that will keep your kids talking for days (and dad for weeks). Sure, it’s kitchy and mass-market oriented but wasn’t that what Westerns were all about? It brings out the kid in all of us, even if you are in the same age group as Clint Eastwood. And so, after visiting Sioux City, we ride off into the sunset, the Lone Ranger and Tonto. Well, for a lack of horses, we took a cab. But you get our drift, don’t you?