Hotels in Gran Canaria seem to be suffering from a naming crisis. Instead of solid, confident names like Claridge's or The Ritz, we get full sentences like the Santa Catalina, a Royal Hideaway Hotel 5*GL or the Hotel Puerto de Mogán THe Senses Collection.

It's like the marketing teams have so much to say that they forget about the power of a brand and try and crowbar the entire brochure, plus the hotels' corporate mission statement, into the name. 

The Design Plus Bex Hotel, located in the towering building that was originally Spain's Banco Exterior (BEX) in Las Palmas, has quite a modest name in comparison to some (and no punctuation 2.0 abominations). I'm just going to call it The Bex; jaunty and catchy at the same time and no need to breathe half way through. 

Another thing that is modest about the Bex is the price of its daily lunch menu. At under 13 euros you get a drink, two courses and coffee, or drink and one course for under nine euros. What isn't modest, and comes for free, is the rooftop location high above Santa Catalina Square with 360º view of Las Palmas city.

The food, which changes regularly, is excellent quality and well presented and the atmosphere at lunchtime is relaxed and friendly. No need for mismatched Gucci loafers and a pink chihuahua here although you might feel out of place in Havaianas and a vest. 

The food at The Bex at lunchtime

We started with crafty lunchtime cañas because it was a sunny day (yes, you get them quite a lot in the north). Then the watercress soup and gazpacho to start. Both solid if not souper. For mains an excellent cod dish with caramelised potatoes and asparagus, and a decent chicken couscous (which is as good as couscous gets). We skipped the cake dessert (another five euros). 

The views and the excellent value make the lunch menu at the Bex an excellent option for anyone visiting Las Palmas for work or play. Phone in advance to check availability or turn up early.

 

 

Published in Restaurants

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Tip of the day

  • Exchange Money In Gran Canaria Or At Home?
    Exchange Money In Gran Canaria Or At Home?

    Visitors to Gran Canaria often ask whether it is better to exchange their local currency for euros at home or in Gran Canaria. 

    The answer is that it is almost always better to buy your euros at home than it is to bring pounds to Gran Canaria and use local banks or currency exchanges. This rule of thumb applies all over the world. A currency is almost always cheaper the further away you are from the place you can spend it (because demand for it is lower). 

    Exchange rates are almost always better at home than in Gran Canaria

    You are very likely to get a better exchange rate using a British currency exchange specialist or local bank. Many of these companies will deliver your euros to your home.

    One of the best rates in the UK is often from the post office, especially if you do it well in advance.

    The only way you'll get a better rate in Gran Canaria than at home is if the exchange rate changes while you are travelling and this is rare. 

    You also have to bear in mind that currency exchanges in Gran Canaria are getting rarer and some local banks don't exchange money for non-clients. 

    To Transfer large amouynts of money to Gran Canaria, or to make regular transfers, always use a reputable currency broker such as Currencies Direct. This will save you money on exchange rates and bank charges and is highky secure. 

    The risk of bringing cash to Gran Canaria

    Another important factor to consider is the risk of bringing cash to Gran Canaria: If it is lost or stolen, there is no way of getting it back. 

    It is much safer to bring a debit or credit card and use local bank ATMs to take out money. These days, a good option is a pre-charged debit card. 

    Cards may be slightly more expensive that carrying cash, unless you seek out a bank card with low commissions, but it is much more secure. 

    Bank ATMs like Bankia, Santander and BBVA often charge lower rates than the ATMs in shopping centres and busy tourist areas.

    Alex Says: Always select the Euro option at ATMs in Gran Canaria because the exchange rate is much better than if you opt for the Local Currency option. The same applies when you pay by card in shops and restaurants.

    See our Gran Canaria Tips section for more nuggets of useful local information.

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