The hotel/ Bungalow complex is nowhere near Maspalomas or shops, bars or attractions of any kind unless you take a taxi – which works out quite expensive if you want to get out and about during your holiday. The name of the complex “beach” is misleading to say the least. There is a free bus to Maspalomas but this only runs three times during the middle of the day at set times.
You must pay for some basic services at the complex, such as the use of the televisions and the air conditioning in the bungalows, things which generally come as part of the package at other complexes and hotels in Spain. For instance, the televisions cost three euros per day, which works out at quite a bit if you are staying for two weeks (14 days). There is no getting around paying for television charges as you must hire a remote control at reception and the televisions are actually programmed from reception (so you can’t just plug it in and use the buttons instead). This was really stingy in my opinion. We had a radio/ CD player with this and so we just used this instead. You aren’t going to be in the room all day so three euros is quite a lot for a few hours of viewing. The sun beds beside the pool are free – which I was surprised about considering the price of hiring other things. I am sure that the owners of the complex would charge for these too if they saw how certain other holiday centres charge for them. The only problem with the sunbeds was that many guests get up really early in the morning to reserve them with towels, I saw some people up at as early as six in the morning doing this and nothing was said to them despite the hotel rules stating that this is prohibited.
There is entertainment most nights, bar Mondays, at the complex but this tends to be over and the bar area is dead at 8pm. Not very late at all. The shows weren’t up to much in comparison with other places I have travelled to in Spain. Added to this the problem of location and lack of transport into Maspalomas or Playa del Ingles, if you are looking for a bit of nightlife or at the very least a beer or two at night – then don’t book the Cay Beach Princess.
We arrived on Saturday night and so had to use the supermarket in the complex as we were self-catering and are accustomed to most Spanish shops being shut on Sundays. The shop sells some basics at almost DOUBLE the cost of the normal Spanish price and so the owners take advantage of the poor location of the complex. My advice is to take a taxi into the nearby San Fernando (you could also walk but it is quite an uphill hike in the hot Canarian climate and you also need to walk along the busy national road – dangerous with children in tow – it will take you at least half an hour if you are a fast walker – we tried it one day). We shopped at Mercadona in San Fernando at it is probably the cheapest “nearby” supermarket. A taxi will cost you about 5 euros each way. You can also shop at the shopping centre “El Faro 2” but the supermarket there is quite small and has little to offer and also sells at marked up prices. Definitely take a taxi to San Fernando – you win back the taxi price and more when you add up the cost of shopping at el faro 2 or in the complex shop and compare it with normal Spanish prices in San Fernando.
The pool has a lifeguard, which is a bonus. There is a climatised kid’s pool which is about wading depth. There are also two other pools for adults. One of them being the “large” pool featured in all the brochure pictures with the bridge crossing it. Beware it isn’t as large as the panoramic pictures make out!
The entertainment is outside and it can get quite chilly at night if you have been out in the sun all day. It would be much better if the entertainment was indoors. I think that this is why the bar area was always empty and lacking atmosphere at night.
The bungalows are lovely when you first arrive and are quite spacious and luxurious when compared with other Spanish and Greek self-catering units I have stayed at. We had a bungalow beside the pool – number 205 – with a separate bedroom with two beds stuck together and a sofa bed in the kitchen/ living area. There is a built in wardrobe which is quite spacious with some drawers and a safety deposit box (which again you need to hire and pay for at the reception). There are also several small drawers and a large mirror over the dressing table in the bedroom. You can hire out adjoining bungalows and use your card to lock or open the adjoining door. This needs to be programmed at reception as we had a door which led to the bungalow next door but our card didn’t open this. There are lots of plug sockets, but of course, you need to bring European type adaptors if you are travelling from the UK.
There is a small kitchen with an electric hob (two “rings”), plug in electric kettle, microwave and small fridge with freezer box. The microwave if quite good but it would have been nice to have an oven too. Beware the handle of the plug in kettle which gets really hot when the water is boiled. Have a towel at the ready before you try to pour the water or you will burn your hand. A tea towel is provided but you need to bring your own washing up utensils and fairy liquid, buy these in Mercadona as well as they are expensive in the complex shop or even just pack a small bottle and washing up sponge in your suitcase! We also had a toaster and coffee maker in our room and there was a telephone in the living room to get in contact with reception. There was a small coffee table indoors but we ate outside as there was a larger plastic table and three chairs. Cutlery and crockery is provided, there were three of each item as well as a small metal tea pot and milk jug. You also get two pans (one large and one small) and a frying pan and we had an old fashioned kettle that you could boil on the hob too. Small tea cups and glasses of various sizes are provided. There is quite a lot of cupboard space in the small kitchen area for food storage.
The bathroom had a bath, shower, sink and WC with a large mirror but there was no bidet. There is also a built in hairdryer but it isn’t “all that” i.e. very hot or very powerful. Just as well that my long, thick hair dried quickly in the hot climate. Bring your own toiletries for the first night and the first morning as no complimentary toiletry sachets or bottles are provided. There are large bath towels and small hand towels on arrival – so no need to pack these! Toiletries on sale at the hotel shop are expensive!
The bungalows have a key card system to open and lock the door. Our door ran out of batteries and we had to go to reception and ask for this to be prepared as we couldn’t lock or unlock the door. The system is a bit funny the first time you try it but you get used to it. You can’t use just any card to keep the electricity and lights on like other hotels. The only card that works in the electricity control slot is the card you are given at reception to open the door.
There is a Wi-Fi service at the hotel and this reached our bungalow but it was also chargeable per day. The cost was 6 euros per day which I felt was quite high compared with other hotels I have stayed at in Spain, some of which charged and some of which offered a free Wi-Fi service.
There is a “kids club” at the complex but this consisted of three or four kids songs, dancing on the stage to these and then rapidly moved on to the show of the evening, which consisted of 10 -20 minutes of show and then half an hour of selling photos.
The bar staff are very friendly but the beer is horrible. Tropical is the local beer and this is what there is on tap at the hotel. Better to pay slightly more and drink an “imported” beer. The bar also offers snacks and pizzas, but there are fixed times for when you can buy these. Pizza prices are okay compared with restaurants in Maspalomas, San Fernando and Puerto Rico!!!! Surprisingly enough. We ordered a pizza to share on the first night for supper and it was quite tasty! You can also eat inside at the restaurant if you have booked a package without food. This costs around seven euros per person per meal. Ask at the reception for more information. There is a menu outside the restaurant and you can pay per week, per day or per meal. There is also a barbeque once a week at the pool bar.
The tour operator charged me the same for my little girl as for myself but when we arrived there was a travel cot made up for her – which I thought was a bit cheeky – but of course this was not the fault of the complex. My friend came to see us for a few days (from Spain) and the hotel charged us an extra 12 euros per day per person (without meals). Again, a bit cheeky considering there was no food involved and someone had to sleep on the sofa bed. Considering it is more a small apartment you are renting out than a hotel room, you would have thought there would have been a price per bungalow rather than per person. The receptionist told me that even although my little girl was 2 she would have been charged 12 euros if they took into account that we had originally been charged for two adults by the tour operator and they had informed the hotel that one adult and one baby would be arriving. There was, therefore, no discount and we duly paid the extra 12 euros per day. No discount is offered on this for longer stays.
Despite knowing that we were travelling with a baby we were given a bungalow with steps leading up to it. The bungalow next door was of the same type as ours and had no stairs and yet we were not allocated this one or similar. This made getting my little girls pram in and out, when she was asleep, a bit awkward. There are however ramps throughout the complex.
When eating or if you leave the doors and windows open, beware of the local cats. These are a complete nuisance no matter how cute some of them look. We had them climb in the bedroom window at night and run in the main door and hang about on the patio area when we were eating or sitting out in the fresh air. We ended up keeping the shutters of the bedroom window closed and chasing the cats from the patio area each time they appeared. They also drink from the swimming pool and go to the toilet wherever they like, including by the pool.
There is a small play park for kids and there are two swings, a see saw, a slide and some small bouncy cars. This is well maintained. Nearby there are tennis courts and a five a side enclosed football pitch. Hire your equipment from reception.
Maids come around most days and offer to change the towels and clean the bungalow more often than the rep or brochure tell you. The cleaning staff are very pleasant and offer to help and say hola whenever they see you. They are, however, rushed off their feet and I felt they could have done with a few more staff to cover the number of bungalows properly.
Whilst pleasant, I wouldn’t recommend the complex to families or the more adventurous traveller, or anyone on a budget. Taxis cost a lot to get about and the buses in Gran Canaria aren’t cheap. For two people it cost us 24 euros for a return, had my little girl had to pay it would have cost us over 30 euros to get to the islands capital and back. To get to Puerto Rico it cost about 7 euros by bus, and to San Fernando it cost us 5 euros each way by taxi. What you save by booking this complex, compared to a more central accommodation, you pay out in taxi and bus fares.
This hotel complex is more suited to the traveller who is staying for no more than a week and who wants to do no more than laze by the pool and drink the horrible local beer at the pool bar, as long as you don’t mind the sales pitch of those selling local aloe vera crèmes and sunscreens. I wouldn’t return to Gran Canaria based on my experiences at the Cay Beach and around the island. Transport is expensive and there isn’t that much to do. All the resorts are based around shopping centres (which I have never seen in other parts of Spain or on other Spanish islands). There also aren’t that many excursions that you can do or companies offering them. I make my comparisons based on what I have seen in Tenerife (another of the Canary Islands) and with other Spanish resorts. In Tenerife there were a few excursion companies and the reps offered lots of days out. In Gran Canaria there were island tours and little else on offer. There wasn’t much to do with a baby of 2 years and when there was, the rep wanted to charge us a child price for her. Go to Las Palmas for the day and visit the Casa de Colon. (Christopher Columbus’ house). This was well done and entry is free. Buy the ingredients for your sandwiches from Hyper Dino in the city centre and grab a seat on one of the benches in the town centre and watch the world go by. There is also a great play park for kids in Las Palmas near the centre and across the road from the bus station.
We booked my little girl into a local nursery for a few hours per day during the second week (we didn’t discover it was there until the end of the first week). It is called “playschool” and you can pay by hour, buy a ten hour ticket or buy a twenty hour ticket. You use the hours up as you please and they discount these from the ticket as you go. This is about 20 minutes walk from cay beach, passing by the holiday world theme park. The staff is very friendly and the care and equipment is of very high quality, equal or better compared with the nursery services offered in the UK. The staff speak to the children in Spanish, English and German and are very good at speaking the three languages. The manager is German. My little girl loved it there and the staff comes and goes with the hours you use. You can also pay 2 euros per meal if you wish to go and do something and leave your child at lunchtime or at dinner time. The nursery is not part of the Cay Beach Princess complex but I am writing about it here as the complex claims to be for families but there is no child-care available and I am aware that other families might also want to use this type of service whilst overseas. It is also very nearby and within walking distance if you have a pram or buggy.
- Also Known As:
- Cay Beach Princess Bungalows Hotel Maspalomas
- Cay Beach Princess Bungalows Hotel
- Cay Beach Princess Hotel
- Cay Beach Princess Maspalomas
- Cay Beach Princess
- Cay Beach Princess Bungalows Maspalomas, Gran Canaria
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