The “hetero-friendly” Axel Hotel brand will open its fourth international property May 1 in that magnet for Eurogays, the island resort of Gran Canaria. The new inn, AxelBeach Maspalomas Apartments & Lounge Club, will debut at Playa del Inglés, the undisputed homo hub of the island.
The Spanish-based Axel chain opened its first property in Barcelona in 2003, making it the first large boutique hotel to specifically target the growing gay travel market. Branches in Buenos Aires and Berlin followed. Not surprisingly, each of the existing hotels is already the most popular on the travel social network, (and Queerty sister site) GayCities.
The Gran Canaria Axel will join a host of other gay-targeted hotels already on the island, most of which, like Villas Blancas and Pasion Tropical, are of the lower-frills and clothing optional ilk. The Axel will offer a more upscale vibe, with 92 apartment-style rooms, as well as gym, sauna, massage facilities, lush palm tree-laden garden, and the chain’s trademark Sky Bar. The new hotel will be within a five minute walk of Yumbo Center, the heart of the island’s nightlife.
Though part of Spain, Gran Canaria is (along with the rest of the Canary Islands group) actually located off the northwestern coast of Africa, more than 800 miles southwest of Europe. Its low rainfall and mild temperatures, with highs averaging from about 70 to 80 degrees year-round, draw visitors in all seasons, but especially in winter. Maspalomas Gay Pride (in May) and Dunas Festival (in August) are also peak times for gay travelers.