Recently, Alfred and I headed to the Canary Islands for a super awesome press tour with a great group of gay bloggers including the Nomadic Boys, Two Bad Tourists, Dream Euro Trip, High Heels Abroad, GastroGays, and Engineer on the Road. Connections Magazine was also represented. I strongly suggest you check them out because they are on my favorites list now.
In any case, it was a fantastic group of boys and we had a blast hanging out with everyone. But none of it would have been possible without the initiative of Paso Chico Gay Bunglaows run by Thomas & Markus and located near Playa del Ingles.
What is Paso Chico?
Paso Chico is a small hotel of sorts offering cozy bungalows surrounded by well-kept gardens. The facility feels like a home away from home within the walled compound and includes a nice sized pool for guests staying at the hotel. Each bungalow features a bedroom, an equipped kitchen with a refrigerator and microwave, a living room, and two terraces. As soon as we saw our bungalow we were pretty impressed and definitely felt as though our stay would be very comfortable. The hotel itself was opened in 1972 which is around the time tourism began to pick up in Gran Canaria. But it has only catered to the gay community for the last 15 years and, yes, the hotel is for gay men only. In fact, it’s one of the first gay men-only complexes in Gran Canaria. Of course, these types of places are important for the gay male community as we are often discriminated against in other situations. It’s nice to be able to go somewhere we can feel 100% comfortable being ourselves.
Given it’s age, one might expect the hotel to be a bit outdated but that is certainly not the case. The management at Paso Chico have worked very hard to ensure the hotel is up to date with modern expectations. The bungalows have had quite a face lift with the kitchens, bedrooms, and bathrooms all having been renovated. I especially loved the bathrooms and the new beds. New linens and new furniture, bathroom necessities, and a nice selection of kitchen supplies really helped make our stay ideal. I spoke with Thomas who explained all the hard work going on to further attract the gay community. He explained after he and his husband took over the management of the hotel, they looked at many of the reviews available online. It was their goal to change people’s opinions of the place so they began to rearrange everything even adding a new reception area where there once was no such area. They have many plans for the future including the construction of a terrace near the pool which can be used as a breakfast nook and gathering place for guests. He also mentioned the possibility of a pool remodel which will involve laying new flooring around the pool as well as a few other changes. The work for Paso Chico is far from done but I’d say their progress is paying off with the satisfaction of their guests.
What to do?
One of the most unique aspects of Paso Chico is it’s extreme convenience to the gay scene in Yumbo Centre. Yumbo is a giant, maze of a complex filled with shops, restaurants, bars, and nightclubs. It’s basically where all the gay oriented businesses are located and Paso Chico happens to be located directly across from it. There are a couple beaches within walking distance of the complex as well including Playa del Ingles and the gay beach near the dunes. All other attractions are only a short ride away and I’ll cover those in another post.
Perks of a stay at Paso Chico?
Obviously, one of the greatest advantages of staying at Paso Chico is it’s policy of catering to men only…specifically gay men. You can stay here and not worry about being treated unfairly due to your sexual orientation. That’s always a major benefit in my book. However, the hotels convenient location near Yumbo makes getting to gay bars and then crawling home a breeze. You literally cross the street and you’ve arrived. For all other attractions outside the Playa del Ingles area, Paso Chico management is happy to help organize transportation and other aspects of an excursion. Additionally, the hotel welcomes all guest with a nice bowl of fresh fruit which is a welcome sight after eating airline food for many hours. In the morning, you may enjoy complimentary coffee and tea on your terrace. You can also have your refrigerator stocked with juice, water, soda, and beer for an additional cost. We requested this and it was totally worth it!
My Personal Review:
Paso Chico is everything I expected and more. The atmosphere at this bungalow complex is laid back and relaxed. Something I forgot to mention above is staff presence. One of the more unique aspects of the hotel is the staff shows up in the morning to clean and check on guests and then they leave. As a guest, Paso Chico pretty much becomes your own space to share with the other guests. That’s something you don’t experience at most hotels and it’s something our group of bloggers really enjoyed. I loved the renovated bungalows and the pool area. The staff at Paso Chico really treated us with respect and were available to answer any questions we might have or address any concerns. Additionally, the location of Paso Chico made exploring the gay scene of the area a breeze. I would definitely stay here again and encourage others to give this quiet retreat a try and let me know what you think!
– J Harvey
Interested in booking a stay at Paso Chico and exploring all Gran Canaria has to offer? Head on over to the Paso Chico website to get started. To see more photos of Paso Chico, check out the gallery below.