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Gran Canaria: an island retreat for everyone, with rental villas and apartments for every taste

The Canary Islands have been a popular holiday destination for holiday flights for decades and with an abundance of beautiful beaches, a warm and favourable climate, gorgeous landscape, and a rich history, it comes as no surprise. The island of Gran Canaria is the second most populated island in the Canary Island archipelago and one of the most heavily visited. Each year around 2.2 million holiday travellers take flights and sail to the island, with most choosing the south for its warm and sunny weather. Create the perfect holidays on this gorgeous island of sand, fantastic shopping, great nightlife, and delicious food and drink. Whether travelling solo or with the whole family, everyone is sure to find just what they are looking for on Gran Canaria.

An island rich in history

Gran Canaria's earliest population most likely came from North Africa, which lies a mere 150 kilometres away. Experts believe the island was colonised as early as 500 B.C. In the late 15th century, the Crown of Castile officially annexed Gran Canaria, and the capital city of Las Palmas was established in 1478. In 1492, the famous Christopher Columbus stayed in Las Palmas before setting sail to discover the Americas, which established the island as a stopover port and important shipping port. Trade and shipping have always been important to the economy of Gran Canaria, though tourism has since taken over as the top industry. For those who want to delve deeper into the history of Gran Canaria while on holiday, there are a number of fascinating museums that the island offers. For example:

-Casa-Museo de Colón: This stunning museum is worth a visit just to view its exterior; it is a gorgeous example of architecture typical to the region with heavy wood balconies, silver decorations, built-in patios, and a garden of palm trees, fountains, and parrots. The museum consists of four sections that focus on accounts of the famous Columbus’ voyages, the role the Canary Islands played in the birth of transatlantic shipping, America before Columbus, and the history of the capital city Las Palmas. Works by Canarian artists are also on display.

-Museo Canario. Explore the ancient culture of the Canary Islands in this museum that displays the origins and history of the Canary Islands. It was founded in the late 19th century and exhibits an impressive collection of archaeological items dating back to times before the Spanish colonization of the late 15th century. The museum also boasts a large library that is open to the public. Not to be missed is the collection of over 2,000 prehistoric skulls, all found on the islands. The museum has also got an impressive store with a great collection of books and souvenirs.

Gorgeous sand and crystal clear waters: Gran Canaria is a prime destination for beach lovers! Perhaps the most compelling reason to visit Gran Canaria on one’s holidays is the island's abundance of gorgeous beaches. Visitors should be sure to check out the popular Maspalomas. This is perhaps the most beautiful of all the beaches on Gran Canaria with its impressive Golden Sand Dunes. These dunes as well as the lagoon located just south of them are part of a huge and well-maintained nature reserve. The stretch closest to the lighthouse is the most popular. Though it can get crowded during peak travel months, Maspalomas is an iconic sight not to be missed.

Here are a few other sandy sites well worth a visit:

-Playa del Inglés, or Englishman's Beach: Strangely enough, this place was not founded by an Englishman but rather a Frenchman who constructed his house in the middle of the sand dunes! This beautiful three-kilometre beach of golden sand converges with Playa de San Agustín on the north end and Masapalomas to the south. This place is very popular in the summer, and the town of Playa del Inglés has plenty of nightlife, restaurants, and activities to keep anyone busy.

-Playa de las Canteras: Located directly in Las Palmas, this beach has a reputation as being one of the best city beaches in all of Europe. The beach extends almost four kilometres, and a beautiful natural reef about 150 metres from the shore makes for ideal swimming conditions. Surfers can delight in waves large enough to ride. The promenade has plenty of beach bars, cafes, and restaurants. For those who prefer to get a taste of how the locals live, it is worth noting that this beach tends to draw local Spaniards.

-Playa de las Alcaravaneras: This one-kilometre-long stretch of strand is quite popular with locals, giving it a different feel from the more heavily tourist-oriented beaches. It is positioned between two yacht clubs, and the boardwalk is a great place to run, skate, or simply stroll.

-Puerto Rico: This beach is situated between two harbours on the southwestern part of the island. The beach lies rather close to the African coast, which makes for loads of sunshine throughout the year. Puerto Rico has a lovely sandy beach made of imported Saharan sand. The beach can be very crowded during peak season, especially when it is overcast on other parts of the island.

With no lack of gorgeous sand beaches, travellers who stay on Gran Canaria on their holidays are sure find just what they are looking, for example, diving and snorkelling. Explore the marine life of Gran Canaria! With water temperatures that vary from 18°C during the winter and upwards of 26°C in the summer, diving enthusiasts of every skill level can rejoice. The waters are clear, and visibility is perfect up to 30 metres. Gorgeous and colourful fish such as cardinal fish and parrotfish are plentiful along the shore. For those who want to venture a little further out, barracudas, tiger moray eels, and stingrays await. Divers of all levels can check out the Pasito Blanco reef on the southern side of the island, and for those who having diving certification, a trip to the Wrecks of Las Palmas is a fascinating destination.

Windsurfing is another popular sport for tourists on holidays and locals alike. The weather conditions for wind surfing are perfect in Gran Canaria, thanks to the ever-blowing trade winds There are multiple competitions held on the island each year, and there are also numerous schools apt to train absolute beginners fresh off their flights to the island.

More than just resorts and sand: Explore the interior of the island

Most holiday travellers book a flight to the southern part of the island, where beaches and resorts are plentiful, and never venture away from the tourist area. What many don't realise is that the government has recently invested in recreating the Caminos Reales, or Royal Paths. These walkways bring visitors to the interior of the island and are connected to many old villages. See the other part of the island; Gran Canaria has been referred to as a 'mini continent' due to the extreme changes in landscape and climate from one side of the island to the other. While the south has a warm, dry, desert-like climate, the centre of the island has lush pine forests, valleys, and fertile farmland. Stroll through sensuous orange and lemon groves, sample wines at local vineyards, explore avocado and banana plantations, and much more. Professional guides are available to lead families and groups of any size along the Caminos Reales.

Delicious, fresh food: Indulge in local delicacies

Tourists who stay in the popular destination locations can find just about any type of food they may be craving. No visit to Gran Canaria is complete, though, without trying a few delicious local dishes. In just about every Canarian restaurant you will find Mojo, a famous sauce of garlic, olive oil, green or red peppers, vinegar, salt, and paprika. Chilli peppers are often added to kick up the heat. Put it on just about everything--it is that delicious! Give "papas arrugadas" a try. This local speciality consists of potatoes cooked in extremely salty water. After they have been cooked thoroughly, the potatoes sit in a covered pot until the skin wrinkles and are then served with plenty of mojo sauce. Another must is the popular salted fish dish called "Sancocho Canario". The fish is boiled together with potatoes and sweet potatoes, then served (again) with mojo sauce and plenty of delicious local wine.

With so many hotels to choose from, why not opt for a unique and more personalised holiday rental?

There is no lack of resorts and hotels with offers on Gran Canaria, and the island is a hot destination for couples, families, and larger groups. If you are searching for a more unique place with local flair, perhaps you ought to consider checking offers and renting an apartment, private room, or even entire house from HomeAway. Find a large house to accommodate the whole family, or stay in a romantic seaside apartment with a terrific view to share with a loved one. Rent from locals, get off the beaten path, and gain new perspective on the area. Choosing an apartment or home means more privacy than in a hotel and also provides you with the option to completely personalise your trip.

  • Showing 1-50 of 300+
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    Apartment #6797584
    4
    Viewed 144 times in the last 48 hours
      Wonderful! 4.8/5
      (57 reviews)
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      • 1 BR
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      Apartment #6409059
      57
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        Multiple rentals Apartment #6476560
        3
        Viewed 117 times in the last 48 hours
          Exceptional! 5.0/5
          (6 reviews)
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          Multiple rentals Apartment #6476560
          6
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            Apartment #6846374
            2
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              • 3 BR
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              House #6889877
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                • 1 BR
                • 1 BA
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                • Sleeps 2
                Apartment #6598975
                0
                Viewed 50 times in the last 48 hours
                  Excellent! 4.7/5
                  (10 reviews)
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                  • 1 BR
                  • 1 BA
                  • Sleeps 4
                  House #763519
                  10
                  Viewed 77 times in the last 48 hours
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                    Studio #6600330
                    0
                    Viewed 37 times in the last 48 hours
                      Exceptional! 5.0/5
                      (7 reviews)
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                      • 1 BR
                      • 1 BA
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                      Cottage #531213
                      7
                      Viewed 95 times in the last 48 hours
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                        • 1 BR
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                        Apartment #2421357
                        0
                        Viewed 89 times in the last 48 hours
                          Excellent! 4.6/5
                          (5 reviews)
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                          • 1 BR
                          • 1 BA
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                          Cottage #1204052
                          5
                          Viewed 118 times in the last 48 hours
                            Wonderful! 4.8/5
                            (13 reviews)
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                            • 1 BR
                            • 1 BA
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                            Apartment #599625vb
                            13
                            Viewed 171 times in the last 48 hours
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                              • 2 BR
                              • 1 BA
                              • Sleeps 6
                              Farmhouse #6864208
                              2
                              Viewed 193 times in the last 48 hours
                                Exceptional! 5.0/5
                                (25 reviews)
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                                • 1 BR
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                                Villa #858351
                                25
                                Viewed 60 times in the last 48 hours
                                  Exceptional! 5.0/5
                                  (15 reviews)
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                                  • 2 BR
                                  • 1 BA
                                  • Sleeps 4
                                  Bungalow #490317
                                  15
                                  Viewed 114 times in the last 48 hours
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                                    • Studio
                                    • 1 BA
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                                    Apartment #6535386
                                    4
                                    Viewed 41 times in the last 48 hours
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                                      • 1 BR
                                      • 1 BA
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                                      Apartment #1894444
                                      2
                                      Viewed 129 times in the last 48 hours
                                        Wonderful! 4.8/5
                                        (23 reviews)
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                                        • 2 BR
                                        • 1 BA
                                        • Sleeps 4
                                        Chateau / Country House #31097
                                        23
                                        Viewed 80 times in the last 48 hours
                                          Wonderful! 4.9/5
                                          (8 reviews)
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                                          • 3 BR
                                          • 3 BA
                                          • Sleeps 6
                                          Villa #2084716
                                          8
                                          Viewed 83 times in the last 48 hours
                                            Wonderful! 4.9/5
                                            (8 reviews)
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                                            • 3 BR
                                            • 2 BA
                                            • Sleeps 7
                                            Condo #1987045
                                            8
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                                              Excellent! 4.7/5
                                              (12 reviews)
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                                              Apartment #2553925
                                              12
                                              Viewed 137 times in the last 48 hours
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                                                Multiple rentals Apartment #845283
                                                3
                                                Viewed 65 times in the last 48 hours
                                                  Wonderful! 4.8/5
                                                  (47 reviews)
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                                                  Multiple rentals Apartment #845283
                                                  47
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                                                    Multiple rentals Apartment #845283
                                                    2
                                                    Viewed 63 times in the last 48 hours
                                                      Exceptional! 5.0/5
                                                      (7 reviews)
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                                                      • 6 BR
                                                      • 5 BA
                                                      • Sleeps 15
                                                      Villa #6562912
                                                      7
                                                      Viewed 111 times in the last 48 hours
                                                        Excellent! 4.7/5
                                                        (14 reviews)
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                                                        • 2 BR
                                                        • 2 BA
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                                                        Apartment #874977
                                                        14
                                                        Viewed 62 times in the last 48 hours
                                                          Excellent! 4.6/5
                                                          (9 reviews)
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                                                          • 5 BR
                                                          • 5 BA
                                                          • Sleeps 10
                                                          Villa #1147596
                                                          9
                                                          Viewed 68 times in the last 48 hours
                                                            • 7 BR
                                                            • 3 BA
                                                            • Sleeps 15
                                                            Apartment #758511
                                                            4
                                                            Viewed 77 times in the last 48 hours
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                                                              Villa #6801144
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                                                                • 3 BR
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                                                                Apartment #6801145
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                                                                Viewed 165 times in the last 48 hours
                                                                  Wonderful! 4.9/5
                                                                  (8 reviews)
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                                                                  • 1 BR
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                                                                  • Sleeps 4
                                                                  Multiple rentals Apartment #1092026
                                                                  8
                                                                  Viewed 103 times in the last 48 hours
                                                                    • 1 BR
                                                                    • 1 BA
                                                                    • Sleeps 4
                                                                    Multiple rentals Apartment #1092026
                                                                    1
                                                                    Viewed 46 times in the last 48 hours
                                                                      • 1 BR
                                                                      • 1 BA
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                                                                      Multiple rentals Apartment #1092026
                                                                      2
                                                                      Viewed 75 times in the last 48 hours
                                                                        • 1 BR
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                                                                        Multiple rentals Apartment #1092026
                                                                        0
                                                                        Viewed 45 times in the last 48 hours
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                                                                          • 5 BR
                                                                          • 4 BA
                                                                          • Sleeps 10
                                                                          Villa #1987743
                                                                          0
                                                                          Viewed 148 times in the last 48 hours
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                                                                            • 3 BR
                                                                            • 2 BA
                                                                            • Sleeps 6
                                                                            Villa #413635
                                                                            1
                                                                            Viewed 56 times in the last 48 hours
                                                                              View details for price
                                                                              • 3 BR
                                                                              • 2 BA
                                                                              • Sleeps 6
                                                                              Hotel #413634
                                                                              0
                                                                              Viewed 17 times in the last 48 hours
                                                                                View details for price
                                                                                • 2 BR
                                                                                • 1 BA
                                                                                • Sleeps 4
                                                                                Apartment #1191760
                                                                                0
                                                                                Viewed 19 times in the last 48 hours
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                                                                                  • 2 BR
                                                                                  • 2 BA
                                                                                  • Sleeps 4
                                                                                  Hotel #413633
                                                                                  1
                                                                                  Viewed 15 times in the last 48 hours
                                                                                    View details for price
                                                                                    • 2 BR
                                                                                    • 2 BA
                                                                                    • Sleeps 4
                                                                                    Hotel #413636
                                                                                    1
                                                                                    Viewed 8 times in the last 48 hours
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                                                                                      • 7 BR
                                                                                      • 4 BA
                                                                                      • Separate Toilets
                                                                                      • Sleeps 18
                                                                                      Villa #1987741
                                                                                      0
                                                                                      Viewed 106 times in the last 48 hours
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                                                                                        • 3 BR
                                                                                        • 2 BA
                                                                                        • Sleeps 6
                                                                                        Villa #413631
                                                                                        1
                                                                                        Viewed 11 times in the last 48 hours
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                                                                                          • 3 BR
                                                                                          • 2 BA
                                                                                          • Sleeps 5
                                                                                          House #1191058
                                                                                          0
                                                                                          Viewed 7 times in the last 48 hours
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                                                                                            • 1 BR
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                                                                                            Apartment #1381478
                                                                                            4
                                                                                            Viewed 192 times in the last 48 hours
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                                                                                              • 1 BR
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                                                                                              Apartment #6921749
                                                                                              2
                                                                                              Viewed 122 times in the last 48 hours
                                                                                                Excellent! 4.5/5
                                                                                                (8 reviews)
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                                                                                                • 1 BR
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                                                                                                House #1021723
                                                                                                8
                                                                                                Viewed 38 times in the last 48 hours
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                                                                                                  Bungalow #6868801
                                                                                                  2
                                                                                                  Viewed 57 times in the last 48 hours
                                                                                                    Wonderful! 4.8/5
                                                                                                    (20 reviews)
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                                                                                                    • 2 BR
                                                                                                    • 1 BA
                                                                                                    • Sleeps 4
                                                                                                    House #1779564
                                                                                                    20
                                                                                                    Viewed 37 times in the last 48 hours
                                                                                                      Exceptional! 5.0/5
                                                                                                      (6 reviews)
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                                                                                                      • Studio
                                                                                                      • 1 BA
                                                                                                      • Sleeps 2
                                                                                                      Apartment #1941737
                                                                                                      6
                                                                                                      Viewed 35 times in the last 48 hours
                                                                                                      • 1 - 50 of 300+
                                                                                                       

                                                                                                      Recent Reviews

                                                                                                      Good value for money, close to beach,shops, restaurants

                                                                                                      4 of 5
                                                                                                      We flew into Las Palmas&then got the bus 60 from the Airport to Las Canteras.The bus stop at the airport was really easy to find&the bus was cheaper than Taxi,€2.95 each. It'as then just a short 25 min or so ride to Las Canteras, where the hotel is situated.The apartment was fairly easy&straight forward to find &was just a simple 10-15 min walk from the main Las Canteras bus terminus (last stop). The Host had given us superb communication both before&during the trip&even helped by waiting to greet us outside the apartment itself upon our arrival. The Apartment was great&very good value for money. The pictures were exactly as they were on the site and it was very clean & comfortable. We appreciated that it was fully equipped with all appliances (Cooker, fridge and microwave) &so we were able to cook at the apartment &also store a few cold beers in the fridge. The apartment is on the 6th flr&so we had to get the lift. but we were given two sets of keys & so we could both come &go as we pleased. Beach was also very close (only 3 min walk) ⊇rmarkets & nice, reasonably priced restaurants were all close too (just a few minutes walk away). The only downsides were: Mari herself, although very pleasant & helpful, did not speak any English (or French) at all & so the language barrier was a slight problem. This was overcome by sending her messages in English which she then translated via an app on her phone. Although the Apartment itself was great, the view from our window was not so good (and was obviously not included on the site). All we could see from the one window was the back of a building opposite (just a few feet away) &beneath we could see all of the underwear and washing which other people hung out of their windows onto washing lines. During our stay there was also very noisy construction work taking place in the hotel very close to our room. Thankfully this didn't go on throughout the night, but it started most mornings at 9a.m a&then continued intermittently throughout the day until about 5pm. It made us want to leave the hotel early in the morning, rather than spending extra time relaxing there. The construction work did not happen on Sunday however and maybe it will be completed soon &so you will not have this issue when you go, but we thought to mention it, as to do justice to an honest review. But in all, we had a nice time⁢'as definitely good value for money :)
                                                                                                      • Review Submitted: 09-Jan-2017
                                                                                                      • Date of Stay: Dec 2016

                                                                                                      Great property in a lovely location

                                                                                                      5 of 5
                                                                                                      We very much enjoyed our short break here on Gran Canaria. This is a great location if you want to be near, but not too near, the resorts of Maspalomas and Playa del Ingles.
                                                                                                      • Review Submitted: 06-Jan-2017
                                                                                                      • Date of Stay: Oct 2016

                                                                                                      Lovely apartment and owners

                                                                                                      5 of 5
                                                                                                      The apartment is quite hard to find so the owners meet you at the local post office and help you up the stairs to the apartment, which is very kind of them. The pictures do not do the apartment justice, it's even nicer in reality. The finish of the apartment is to a very high standard and looks brand new. The view is incredible. From the pictures the marina looks quite far away, in reality it is so close. We had the 2 bedroom apartment and it had everything you could need. The roof terrasse was nice with the jacuzzi but the apartments own terrasse was just as adequate. We will definitely be going back to this lovely apartment and would definitely recommend it.
                                                                                                      • Review Submitted: 01-Jan-2017
                                                                                                      • Date of Stay: Dec 2016