Hotel Profile – Hotel Gran Rey, La Gomera, Canary Islands

If you're the kind of family that likes choosing the path less travelled, then fly like a bird to the wonderfully lush Canary island of La Gomera. We stayed in Hotel Gran Rey, in the resort of Valle Gran Rey on the island's west coast. Right by the beach, boasting a roof top pool, we realised that choosing the path less travelled can be quite luxurious.

Junior rates the Hotel Van Rey rooftop pool on La Gomera

SETTING – I’m starting with the setting as it’s a huge factor in choosing Hotel Gran Rey in Valle Gran Rey. La Gomera is a small, authentic island, and Valle Gran Rey is its most developed resort, yet full of charm and integrity. The hotel is right on the beach, there are independent cafés, restaurants and boutiques dotted along the seafront and in town, so there’s quite an eclectic, sophisticated vibe. There are three beaches for visitors to choose between, including a sheltered ‘baby beach’ that became our second home in Valle Gran Rey. The hippie presence in the town is noticeable and it’s a really welcoming place for kids.

CHECK-IN – When we arrived at Hotel Gran Rey the ample, free parking was a welcome sight. We were swiftly checked in and then offered a drink. What a fabulous start. After a ferry and car journey (with two tots in tow) to be holding a glass of fizz was utterly delightful. The boys opted for OJ. Why don’t hotels in Scotland do this? it’s lovely to welcome guests with Cava or Orange Juice. A small detail but it made my day.

A family room at Hotel Gran Rey, La Gomera

OUR ROOM – We were booked into a family room. It was clean, tidy and comfortable. The decor wasn’t particularly modern but we noticed that the hotel had installed quality fixtures – solid wood, stone floor coverings – that were built to last, not ripped out every year to fit the latest trend. What mattered more than chichi decor was a lovely, soft, big mattress that had been added to the sofa bed, which actually made it a pleasure to sleep in. As a parent, who often hops between beds at the whim of my children’s colourful sleep patterns, I do dislike a thin, rock hard sofa bed. We also had an ensuite bathroom: useful for washing black sand and suncream off the kids.

FACILITIES – The rooftop pool is a stunner. With sun-loungers all around it everyone gets the sun, so there’s no rush to bagsy the best spot. The pool has stunning views of the surrounding area, and Valle Gran Rey is noted for having one of the best sunsets in Europe. Sitting poolside is a delightful place to watch day turn into dusk. Tots need supervised here, as the shallow end isn’t particularly shallow and the water is unheated, but older children may make a splash. A small plunge pool and a Wendy House shaped like a castle also caught our tots’ attention. There is also a tennis court for any junior Andy Murrays.

FOOD – Like many hotels on the Canaries, dinner at Hotel Gran Rey was a buffet affair, but it is of a high standard. We ate there three evenings in a row and it always felt fresh, varied and filling. It was ideal for feeding the children, as they could try different things, and I could eat exactly what I desired. I always destroy myself at the pudding/dessert counter, and I heartily tucked into the local delicacy, Palm Syrup, which I slathered all over custard pudding (with a creme caramel and tiramisu on the side of course). Junior loved the Canarian potatoes – baby salted tatties that are the pride of the island. Admittedly he is a bit of a carb fiend. An A La Carte menu is available in the 3rd floor terrace-restaurant if you’d prefer it.

The outdoor breakfast terrace

Breakfast is also served on the rooftop terrace offering both indoor and outdoor seating. Again, it’s a buffet affair with lots of options. Eggs, crepes/pancakes and omelettes are all cooked as you watch, so Junior and I went into overdrive on the freshly made pancakes.

LOCATION – Valle Gran Rey is a great base from which to explore La Gomera. If you want to simply chill out by the pool or on build sandcastles on the beach you can totally do this. Equally there is a lot to do on La Gomera, from hiking in a mystical rainforest to a jaw-dropping viewpoint or take to the waves for a spot of whale-watching. My next post on the island will round-up the child-friendly activities we experienced.

The baby beach in Valle Gran Rey

La Gomera is ideal for families who aren’t attracted by the mass tourism of the other Canary Islands. Or, perhaps like us, you simply fancy an interesting change and the chance to see somewhere new. La Gomera has its own identity and we admired that. For the rates at Hotel Gran Rey click here, and look out for the discounts for children.

OUR STORY – We’ve visited Tenerife with the kids three times now, due to direct flights from Aberdeen and Edinburgh airport, so we wanted a change of scene. We flew VERY cheaply from Edinburgh to Tenerife with Norwegian.com. We spent three nights in Tenerife before nipping to Los Christianos to catch the Fred Olsen Express ferry to La Gomera. Los Christianos is very close to Tenerife South airport if you want to go directly to La Gomera. The ferry takes 45 minutes, usually in glorious sunshine, and visitors arrive at San Sebastián, the capital of La Gomera. We picked up a hire car from Rent a Car La Rueda, which had no queues compared to other hire car companies, and we drove 1.5 hours across the island to Valle Gran Rey.

If you like what you read then don’t miss a post, enter your email address in the follow box and You’re In, or join the conversation on Facebook. For any queries or opportunities please email scots2travel@hotmail.com. We were guests of La Gomera Tourism and received a complimentary three night dinner, bed and breakfast stay for review purposes.

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26 Comments

  1. Reply

    Josh

    March 13, 2018

    Loved it, Thanks for sharing !

    • Reply

      scots2travel

      March 14, 2018

      Glad to hear it. Thanks for visiting.

  2. Reply

    Emma

    March 13, 2018

    I love the Canary Islands, but haven’t been to La Gomera before and we like to get off the beaten track a bit sometimes, so I’ll have to take a look! A comfy bed can make such a big difference and I always feel more up to exploring after a good night’s sleep. That rooftop pool looks amazing, I best the views were just incredible.

    • Reply

      scots2travel

      March 13, 2018

      The Canary Islands are fantastic. La Gomera feels so unspoiled and authentic. Great outdoors activities too.

  3. Reply

    mammasschool

    March 13, 2018

    I have never heard of La Gomera before but looking at your photos it is something we need to try, and that roof top pool was just amazing to see…bet the views were fantastic

    • Reply

      scots2travel

      March 13, 2018

      A lot of people haven’t. That’s why it’s got all the benefits of the Canaries, in terms of winter sun and a warm welcome, but it hasn’t been hit by mass tourism. A lovely vibe to it.

  4. Reply

    Helen

    March 13, 2018

    Wow a rooftop swimming pool would be just heavenly!

    • Reply

      scots2travel

      March 14, 2018

      It’s so attractive. And the beach is only a few metres away too.

  5. Reply

    What Mum Loves

    March 14, 2018

    Nothing can ruin a stay in a family room more than an uncomfortable sofa bed! I am so glad that the one in your room was very comfy 🙂 I loved your review, very honest and detailed. I feel like having a breakfast on a rooftop terrace now 🙂 It is 2:40 am, and I am in London not in La Gomera, but I think I am going to have my breakfast in the balcony tomorrow 🙂

    • Reply

      scots2travel

      March 14, 2018

      Brilliant, and have breakfast all by yourself on the terrace, with no interruptions. Just sitting in the sun with a coffee and nibbles. Heavenly.

  6. Reply

    Laura (@dearbearandbean)

    March 14, 2018

    A part of the world I’ve not been to before. That roof top swimming pool looks amazing, I bet the views are amazing!

  7. Reply

    fashionandstylepolice

    March 14, 2018

    I like the sound of breakfast on the rooftop. Sounds amazing.

    • Reply

      scots2travel

      March 14, 2018

      A nice touch isn’t it.

  8. Reply

    Newcastle Family Life

    March 14, 2018

    We are thinking of going to the canaries next year for a winter break, I had never thought of visiting La Gomera, it looks and sounds ideal with children as I am not a fan of busy tourist spots you find in popular resorts xx

    • Reply

      scots2travel

      March 14, 2018

      It’s a really nice alternative option. Nice to see something a little different. The cafes and restaurants were great too, lots of vegetarian and vegan offerings (as well as meat). I wasn’t expecting such a varied mix.

  9. Reply

    Kara

    March 14, 2018

    I love the idea of a rooftop pool but shame it wasn’t heated – I guess the sun would warm it up though

    • Reply

      scots2travel

      March 14, 2018

      It would be the finishing touch.

  10. Reply

    BattleMum

    March 14, 2018

    We have visited the usual 3 Canary Islands before on many occasion, but La Gomera has always escaped my attention until now. Its nice to see there is a good quality hotel to stay in too.

    • Reply

      scots2travel

      March 14, 2018

      The hotel worked well for us. I only heard of La Gomera about three years ago, been curious ever since.

  11. Reply

    Claire justine

    March 14, 2018

    We have not been abroad for over 15 years. One place I have visited is the Carney Islands and I would love to go again 🙂

    • Reply

      scots2travel

      March 14, 2018

      The Canary Islands are so welcoming, safe and warm. A good option if you’re not used to foreign travel. Not too hot either if you choose the right month.

  12. Reply

    dearmummyblog

    March 14, 2018

    Shame the roof top pool wasn’t heated however the views are spectacular! We’ve never visited La Gomera but would love to visit someday x

    • Reply

      scots2travel

      March 14, 2018

      In the heat of summer I’m sure it would be a blessed relief. Maybe not in January! Views were absolutely gorgeous.

  13. Reply

    Steph Renovation Bay-Bee

    March 15, 2018

    This looks lovely, the room is large, facilities are great and breakfast on the roof is great

  14. Reply

    Emily Leary

    March 28, 2018

    We’ve been wondering about destinations for our next family holiday and La Gomera definitely looks interesting. I’m sure that the children would have a wonderful time with so many places to explore and the hotel looks ideal!

    • Reply

      scots2travel

      March 29, 2018

      It’s something a little different, a very chilled vibe, quite an alternative scene. I appreciated experiencing somewhere new.

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