Looking for the ultimate gay holiday in Gran Canaria? The AxelBeach Maspalomas Apartments and Lounge Club in Maspalomas are the obvious choice.
This Spanish holiday island in the Atlantic Ocean draws gay travellers year-round, seeking guaranteed sunshine and shirt-off heat, even in winter.
Axel Beach is just a couple of minute’s walk away from the Yumbo Center, the heart of the gay action.
During the day it is the gay scene. Guests sunbathe around the pool and only have to raise their heads from their loungers to check out who they are chatting to on Grindr. So much easier when you can see if the pic is real. It’s like watching a colony of horny meerkats. With table service for food, beer and cocktails, there’s no need to leave.
The rooms are subtly designed for extra ‘guests’. As well as the ‘do not disturb’ door hangers there’s a ‘please disturb’ option. Double-bed apartments come with three chairs for the table in the kitchenette and a condom alongside the other toiletries. I question the logic of only providing a single condom and no lube in a gay context – but it’s the thought that counts.
Despite all that, it doesn’t feel the least bit sleazy.
The rooms are simple and comfortable. All have balconies, free wifi, basic cooking facilities, satellite TV and air-con. The ones overlooking the pool are quieter and cost a little more.
Facilities throughout the hotel are good. There’s a gym that’s better than average for a hotel and afterwards you can relax tired muscles in the Jacuzzi, steam room and sauna. Naturally massages, hairdressing and other treatments are available.
The highlight, though, is the other guests. Whether you are grinding or not, it’s easy to make friends. Just hang out in the Jacuzzi or get chatting to whoever is on the next lounger. Everyone we met was relaxed and most spoke English.
If you don’t formally organize to go out together, chances are you will bump into your Axel neighbors dancing at Mykonos – the Yumbo Center gay club where everyone ends up after midnight. Just get twerking.
Next day, the gay beach on the Maspalomas Dunes is just a â‚¬5 ($5.30) taxi ride away if you don’t have a car. Axel is also a practical starting point for bus journeys to explore the island. We had a hire car but found plenty of free parking on the street.
The Axel chain concept, launched in Barcelona in 2003, has raised the game for LGBTI-targeted hotels. Their ‘heterofriendly’ tagline means everyone is welcome – straight or gay. But it’s not just about respect or equality. It really does appear to be about friendliness. That’s the Axel difference.
AxelBeach Maspalomas Apartments and Lounge Club is at Avda Tirajana no 32, Maspalomas, 35100. Call +34 928 767 863, email them or visit their site here.