shopping center kasbah: playa del ingles
We have just returned from a weeks stay in Maspalomas and visited Playa del Ingles and as our guide book states, you either love it or hate it and we did not like it very much at all. The negatives of the place is that it is full of big imposing blocks of flats and while they may be hotels they actually look like a slightly nicer version of UK council estates in most cases. The Yumbo center we visited in daylight hours as we needed a chemist and a summer dress for me. We found that like Italy, when trying to buy simple things like paracetamol in Gran Canaria, it cannot simply be bought in a supermarket like in the UK, you have to pay over the odds and wait in a queue to see a pharmacist in a pharmacy, for a product that next time I will pack and take with me from home. The choice of clothing was really poor and after much seeking I settled on the best of a poor bunch of dresses. We were struck by how entertainment was solely limited to a "shopping center" experience and there were plenty of those in GC. Very shortsighted for the Canarians to stick all modes of entertainment, i.e. bars and restaurants etc in shopping centres despite the fact that they were very organised in other areas like their town planning/road signs and good quality roads.
We did make the mistake of going for dinner and drinks at the "shopping center Kasbah" one evening last week and found many aggressive pushy men trying to get punters into their establishments and no amount of telling them they were being rude and pushy actually helped them to see where they were going wrong.
On the plus side the beach at Playa del Ingles was ok, but the day we chose to sit on it after a bland salad lunch, the sun was playing hide and seek and we had to abondon the idea after a few mins. I really cant say who Playa del Ingles would appeal to, but we wont be going back there.
- Food and Dining
Sparkles Showbar.: A drag-queen show.
Sparkles Showbar is a new bar which opened in 2008 featuring Andi Martine, Tammy Pax, and Miss Dinah Might. They used to have a show for 5 years in Ricky´s Cabaret bar on the ground-floor of Yumbo center (see my tip), a fantastic show, and they expanded and moved to a bigger location on the first floor in Yumbo.
There is no entrance fee, you only pay for drinks and get a free shot. As with the show on the ground-floor the main drag-queen show starts really late (00:30 or later), but it is worth the wait. Before the 3 drag-queens start their show there are dance shows and singing. And yes, did I mention that I am a sucker for drag-queen shows ;)
Dress Code: There is no dress code.
At Yumbo center.: Ricky's Cabaret Bar: A drag-queen show in 2009.
I am a sucker for drag-queen shows, so even though a added a tip on this bar in 2007 I am going to add more photos as the fantastic drag-queens from 2007 have opened a bigger bar on the second floor (see my next tip) and other drag-queens have taken over Ricky´s Cabaret Bar. The show is pretty much the same, but varies from night to night and it is very good as well.
There is no entrance fee, but you pay for drinks which are moderately priced and you get a free shot before the show starts and are in for a fantastic show! They are real professionals, funny, witty and fantastic entertainers.
The only draw-back is that it starts so late, the real show starts at ca 00:30 and if you don´t arrive before then then you don´t get a proper seat, so it is best to arrive an hour earlier.
This area gets so lively and there are groups of people standing outside watching the show, mostly gay people though, which seem to be the ones which really know how to have a good time.
Dress Code: There is no dress code.
Amadores Beach Club: Chilled Out
What a place to find on our last week, this place is so relaxing and welcoming with ambient music most nights and live music certain nights. If you ever wondered what a Buddha bar is like then visit this place.
I have to say it was not as expensive as I originally thought it was and its not just a bar ,its a restaurant too.
We got bored with our Hotel entertainment and decided to try elsewhere even though we were all Inclusive at the hotel, it was well worth the Visit and wished we had found it sooner.
If you like laid back chilled and relaxing this is the place for you.
Dress Code: As casual as you like.
- Romantic Travel and Honeymoons
Ricky's Cabaret Bar: A drag-queen show in 2007.
This is a fantastic drag-queen cabaret show, there is no entrance fee but you buy a drink and the price is fair. I watched the show for 3 nights in a row and there was always a new program, really professional and hilariously funny. Be prepared for a really lively show. Kudos to them, a fantastic show!!
Now since I last visited they have changed the drag-queens, the fantastic Andi Martine, Tammy Pax and Dinah Might have opened another show on 1st floor in Yumbo center, but other drag-queens have taken their place, and they are fantastic as well. Here is the website to Sparkles showbar .
Dress Code: There is no dress code.
Maggie's Irish Bar: Crock of Gold
Maggie's Irish Bar is, as it says, an Irish bar/pub and is situated on the upper level of a small shopping complex in the port of Puerto Rico.
We stopped off there twice for drinks. It's not the most glamorous of places but the staff are friendly and helpful.
For us the main purpose in going there was to catch the Irish news on Irish tv, which they have in the pub via satellite.
The pub was quiet on each occasion when we were there but we believe it gets really busy during high season. At that stage they will also have live traditional Irish music every night free of charge for customers.
They serve food, full meals, at very reasonable prices. We didn't eat but what we saw coming to other tables looked good.
There's a lovely view from the balcony area out over the marina.
Dress Code: Casual dress will do just fine.
- Beer Tasting
The Nag's Head, Puerto Rico: Smokers not banned
At this pub, and along with others around the same area, tourists can drink cheaply and get some fresh air which makes it ideal if you smoke because you do not annoy anybody. They all have outside tables and because of the weather, people can sit outside even in the winter months when it drops to 16º. The best thing is that the hosts, Alan and Val have installed the Wii and Playstation with games, free for the kids to use although you can get some very big kids there too. The thing I like about this one is the constant re-runs of Only Fools and Horses which has got to be one of the classics and also there is a Fish and Chip place not far away, Harry's Room, where you can get curry sauce and chips at a reasonable price.
Dress Code: Yes, very special dress. Anything you feel comfortable in.
- Beer Tasting
- Budget Travel
- Family Travel
British Bar: Good Clean laugh
Inside the Hotel Buenaventura there is a pub called the British Bar , it is run by Daisy and Hanna , it is so freindly nad they give a warm welcome plus it is small enough to make you talk to fellow drinkers , they have british beers also spanish ones ,we had a great laugh in there .
Dress Code: casual
Yumbo Center: Alternitive nightlife
This center is huge , it has loads of shops (dutyfree) open till late , places to eat and drink then to end the night it has a couple of cabret bars (drag) it is mainly a center for gays but there were loads of familys enjoying their night out when i went . Go early eveining when everything is open and there is a better buzz.
Must say J D `s bar has a really good toilet and as the bar is privatly owned he takes care of it ,you ladies know what i am talking about , spain is not to hot on having clean toilets.
Dress Code: well dress to impress as the Drag Queens will out do you in sparkle.
The Court (irish center): Kareoke
This bar was very popular there were people singing all night and plenty of people dancing to it , everyone was jolly the Bloke running the place was good (nice looking to) plus he had Brian Ormond from pop Idol to help him so they were taking it it turns to sing as well .Drink was a good price 2.50 euros for a pint of larger.
Dress Code: dress as you would going out at home.
Irish center (C.C. Aguila Roja): 6 Bars in one drink.
This has many a bar , if you go upstairs there are about 6 bars where you can walk round and through all of them , at first you keep thinking why they keep changing the music as you don`t know you are in another bar , a few of the bars are Flanagans, happy lepracorn there are more and they all have live music on at some time in the night.
Dress Code: Dress as you would to go on a night on the town at home .
Mykonos: Gay nightlife in Playa del Ingles
In the Yumbo Centre (4th floor), a small gay dance club with terrace and darkroom. Drinks rather expensive, but definitely the place to be between 1am and 3am. No dj, music is played directly from a computer, no decent mixing but nobody cares :-)
Dress Code: No dress code noticed.
- Gay and Lesbian
A Disco bar in the heart of the nightclub area of Playa d`Ingles. We spent quite a lot of our time there even though it was fairly quiet. It was good to sit and relax with a few beers before getting into party mode.
Dress Code: Anything you want.
- Beer Tasting
Harry's Bar 1, 2 and 3: Cheap thrills!
What can you say about Harry's? The most important thing is that it's cheap. And I'm talking cheap.
According to my sister (the most reliable source I know of the state of the nightlife in Playa del Ingles), the beer in Harry's is CHEAPER than it would be in the local supermarkets! You can't really beat that, can you?
Harry also does food, English, Indian and (I think) chinese. In 2002 we even had christmas dinner there, that was an afternoon never to be forgotten! I never thought it was possible for 15 people to drink a bar dry before that day... The bar looks a bit empty on the photo, there are usually far more tables, but we arranged to have the place to ourselves. In the front is the local Tom Jones act, he didn't sing for us that day though...
According to my sister, if you drink there he'll even get you a taxi home, although as I normally stay with my parents half an hour away I've never tested that one out personally.
Dress Code: It's Playa, anything you fancy will go down just fine.
Sahara Playa: Pool bar - daylife more than nightlife!
My favourite bar in Playa del Ingles. During the day at least! It's a bar. With a pool! Right on the seafront!
They have special offers on beer, and some decent cocktails and sangria. My favourite cocktail there at the moment is "Sahara Ice", but I can't for the life of me remember what's in it!
They've got a satellite dish and show sports events from around Europe and the world on their big screens. There's also a little hut serving food which is fairly cheap and cheerful.
If you're on holiday with a package operator they might offer a barbeque down at Sahara Playa. It's very meat based, but a good night out.
And you can't get away from the attraction of the pool on a long, hot, summers day.
Dress Code: Anything goes really. In a beach bar with a pool you have to expect bikinis or anything else!
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