The Canary Islands have a reputation built on winter sun, a long season and bargain prices that are great for those who can’t stretch to a long-haul holiday.

But there’s another side to the Canaries – a posh side. So posh, in fact, that Tenerife, Gran Canaria and Lanzarote are stealing year-round business from the Balearic islands of Minorca, Majorca and Ibiza.

Online accommodation-only specialist said four and five-star hotels in the Canaries were outselling similar properties in the Balearics.

“Fifteen years ago there were only a few five-star hotels in the Canaries; now there are about 30,” said Classic Collection head of commercial Gary Boyer.

Tenerife started the shift upmarket several years ago when the local authorities decided to ring- fence an area of the mass-market resort of Playa de las Americas for quality hotels.

The area, known as Costa Adeje, now boasts several upmarket properties including the new Royal Garden Villas, the Gran Hotel Bahia del Duque Resort and the Regency Country Club.

Iberostar has just completed a €7 million upgrade of its flagship Grand Hotel Anthelia in Costa Adeje to turn it into the chain’s first and only five-star hotel in Spain. Suites come with a butler service and the hotel has a luxurious Asian-style spa.

Lanzarote has followed Tenerife’s lead and the resort of Playa Blanca now boasts luxury accommodation such as the Gran Melia Volcan, which is attracting well-heeled travellers.

The greatest concentration of luxury hotels in Gran Canaria are found in Costa Meloneras, although a new five-star Sheraton Salobre Golf Resort and Spa will open near Maspalomas this summer.

As a result of these luxury hotels, Cosmos has expanded its ‘elite’ programme in the Canaries. Cosmos head of mainstream product Ian Hailes said: “The investment is going into the development of new resorts and new properties, which raises the standards of the accommodation.”

The launch of GB Airways’ daily service from Gatwick to Tenerife has also boosted luxury short-break business to the island, while its flights to Lanzarote and Gran Canaria are helping these islands to compete with the Balearics for upmarket clients.

Sample product

Mundi Color offers seven nights at the five-star Gran Melia Bahia del Duque Resort in the Costa Adeje region of Tenerife from £823 per person including flights, transfers and breakfast this May.

Classic Collection Holidays offers seven nights at the five-star Sheraton Salobre Golf Resort and Spa Hotel in Gran Canaria from £622 per person including flights, private transfers and breakfast this May.