About Real Benidorm

Work from home semi-retired lazing around Spain and her islands. Travel often and write about Benidorm where I live when not on my travels.

Hotel Orange Benidorm A Popular Levante Hotel

hotel-orange-benidormDeciding where to stay in Benidorm can be an uphill climb, what is perfect for one person could be holiday hell for another!  Of course Benidorm is rarely a place for peace and tranquillity, BUT, finding the right mix of fun, sun and a little bit of chill time is crucial if you are to return home relaxed with a feeling of time and money well spent.

In the first of a series from our mystery man on the street we attempt to offer you the “real” hotels behind the brochures.  This week the amazingly popular HOTEL ORANGE.

THE HOTEL

The first thing that strikes you about the hotel Orange as you walk through the entrance is the incredibly well kept lobby and lounge area.  This is a typical hotel from servigroup, the obvious investment in furnishings that will last, are easy to maintain and tip-top housekeeping are evident here.  Although an older style (1970´s) hotel the modernising in recent years has kept the building up to date including soundproofed doors to balconies, a real plus for a stay in the heart (Café Benidorm disco pub is opposite!) of the Playa Levante. A couple of guests mentioned to me that they were staying overlooking the late bars and could barely notice any noise after a few Vodkas and once the terrace doors were closed!

THE ROOMS

Refurbished only a couple of years ago, rooms are modern and bright with wooden floors, flat screen TV including plenty of UK Channels, not just the news.  WiFi is free and does work in rooms too.  There is a mini-fridge for chilling your drinks.  Guests also mentioned that the showers are really powerful and the cleaning is 100%.  All you could need then!

THE FOOD

Probably one of the main reasons that so many British guests love this hotel is the food.  The dining options are very much geared toward foreign visitors with just the right mix of local cuisine and dishes we northern Europeans like!  Breakfast is vast and will fill you up all day.  With 16 hotels and over 8,000 beds servigroup has a central food supply which enables them to offer well above average catering.  Worth the few extra Euros to go Full Board here.

THE POOL

At first it appears perhaps a bit on the small side, but when you add up the fact the hotel only has a maximum 500 guests most of whom head for the beach (3 minute walk) it is never a problem finding a sunbed from the many provided, on my visit this week there was plenty of room to spare around the pool or on the sun deck above.  Drinks are just a hop away from the poolside bar too.  No sign of any rowdy groups either, seemed to be mostly couples.

WHAT YOU SHOULD KNOW

The location is right in the very centre of the resort and opposite many of the late night venues.  Therefore some noise should be expected at night when staying in this area. The hotel is popular with couples who like to party and some groups too, but the soundproofed terrace doors really do make a difference.  The hotel management are good at sorting out any rowdy folks, so a quick call to reception quickly sorts out any issues.  Like every hotel in Benidorm, fellow guests can never be anticipated, so do not let the location put you off booking.  We loved the hotel Orange, it is ideal for a few nights away if good food, great nights out and a very clean place to stay is on your list.  Enjoy, YOUR weekender in Benidorm.

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Benidorm Beach Hotels

Fantastic hotels right on the beach

benidorm-beach-hotels

It does not get better than this…….

PLAYA LEVANTE – HOTEL BRISA 4* Avenida Madrid 1

If you enjoy a modern bright and totally refurbished hotel directly on the beach our first choice (if you can get a room!) is the superb hotel Brisa. Located opposite the cable-ski at the far end of the Playa Levante this smart hotel offers a quality break, yet only a short walk for all the late night cabaret venues.  Renovated in 2011 you can expect funky rooms, sea views and a hop and skip to the beach.  From 40€pp Book Now

PLAYA PONIENTE – GRAN HOTEL DELFIN 4* Vicente Llorca Alós, 19,

This was one the first purpose built hotels in Benidorm way back in 1963 before Alicante airport opened when a 7 night stay including your flight and four hour transfer from Valencia airport cost only 45€!  Now under new ownership, a hotel located at the far end of the Poniente Playa, ideal for couples who want attentive service, Spanish cuisine, enjoy dressing for dinner and want a quiet location second to none.  A very well kept hotel with an old world 1930′s feel.  Set in 7,000 sqm of mature gardens, a secluded pool and tall shady palm trees. Oh! And that huge beach, right in front of you. From 50€pp Book Now

CALA FINESTRAT – HOTEL LA CALA 2* Avenida Marina Baixa 10

This first thing to know is that this is no ordinary 2* hotel, the service and customer care is 5*.  Nothing is too much trouble in this beach B&B.  Breakfast is served until noon which you can take to your room and enjoy on your balcony.  Pay the extra for a sea view here, you can almost dip you toe in the sea!  The hotel La Cala could not be closer to the beach or better located for a beach break and is only a 15 minute Bus journey into central Benidorm running every 10 minutes. A bonus too is easy and FREE street parking even in high season.  We love this hotel, everyone does!  From 35€pp Book Now



A traditional Chiringuito near Benidorm

A traditional Chiringuito now open all Summer

Very chilled beers at the shack on the beach

 


The origin of these little Summer beach bars is South American, coming from a sweet coffee and sugar cane drink enjoyed by farm workers, labourers and those looking for a coffee kick to keep them going, a “Chiringo”. Added to hot water and sold by vendors from little shacks on the side of the road which became known as Chiringuitos.

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The bars first appeared in Spain in the early part of the 20th century and really took off in a big way in the 1950´s as tourism bought crowds to the Costas and in the 1960´s as the Hippies arrived on Barcelona beaches, in Ibiza and the Canaries. Originally just small rustic shacks serving a few cold drinks and maybe some basic tapas, perhaps offering fresh fish lunches cooked on open fires. Today many of these bars are in reality large restaurants taking big money, not really in the spirit of the original beach shacks.

Benidorm (sadly) has never allowed, Chiringuitos (until this year) and nor will you find one in neighbouring Albir or Villajoyosa. However, for the last few seasons an original “shack” style beach bar has opened during summer months. Located few kilometres from Benidorm at Raco Conil Nudist Beach. Just off the Villajoyosa road (take a left at the old Casino past the Crematorium). This is a true Chiringuito with no mains water, no mains electricity and only offering (very) cold beers, drinks, some snacks and Ice Cream. Exactly what it should be, a chill-out bar open all day until dusk (very ate in high Summer) where you can relax for a few hours with good friends, take a dip in the sea, enjoy the sunshine and all in a lovely unspoilt location.

Chiringuito Raco Conil is enjoyed by couples (some gay some straight), families, a few singles and the odd wrinkly bottom too. It is after all a nudist beach! You will meet all sorts of people at this shady beach hut, which really is in the spirit of the “Chiringuito” from days before mass tourism and before all the planning regulations. Pop over to Benidorm one weekend this summer and enjoy the shack on the beach, it will not be around forever and must close after September, it is after all a Summer bar!



Costa Blanca Walks

Sunday calorie burn high above sea level with a hike in them hills…

Costa Blanca Walks

The mountain (or is it a big hill) above Sierra Cortina and behind Terra Mitica offers a relatively easy to moderate climb and superb walk with some of very best views of Benidorm.  The climb to the top takes about one hour on a rough well used loose stone path. A few parts are quite steep.  This is a walk for those who enjoy walking, not for those who prefer a Sunday stroll with a pub at the end of it!  But, the rewards are panoramic (take a camera) scenes that very few people ever get an opportunity to view.

To start this lovely walk, take the Finestrat road (CV767) from Benidorm until you reach the roundabout where the entrance to the Sierra Cortina resort is, turn right  (Calle Isla Gran Canaria) and park up 100m along the road where you will see a verge and a few trees on the left with a rough path heading upwards (obviously).  Start you climb here.  Do take lunch, water, first aid kit and wear decent walking footwear.

Holidays in BenidormOnce at the summit you can choose to simply enjoy the view or continue along the path for a further 5kms or so along the top and back again.  The path across the summit is easy to follow and an easy to moderate walk.  From here you can look down on Benidorm, Terra Mitica and take in the views as far as Alicante and Calpe.

You do not need to be very fit, 20kg overweight, an ex-smoker (50 a day) and 52 years of age still allowed me to get to the top of this little mountain.  You will likely not be alone along the way.  I met among others, three muscled cage fighters, three Hungarians with scary shotguns, various dog walkers, serious hiking folk and assorted tourists in various states of advanced sunburn!  Perhaps not for everyone, but the calorie burn must exceed 1,000 and the idea of doing something different rather than the usual tourist stuff does appeal and is well worth the effort on a Sunday to finish of your Benidorm weekender. Come see us soon, why not book the hotel La Cala in Finestrat beach near Benidorm for a long relaxing weekend today!

 


Benidorm Entertainment

 

Calle Gerona Benidorm For Entertainment & Cabaret Bars

Calle Gerona ALL day ALL night -  The street that never sleeps

Running parallel to the Playa Levante from the long established (quality) Spanish restaurant “El Meson – Cruz Blanca” in the south of the street not far from the old town, all the way to Morgan´s Tavern the famous cabaret bar, made yet more famous by that ITV comedy series and located at the far north end of the street in the Rincon de Loix.

Calle Gerona is without any doubt the street that never sleeps. For the weekender intent on eating big breakfasts, English lunches and drinking more than you know is good for you, then the street that cuts right through the centre of Benidorm´s Levante is where you will find it all, both day and night.

One half (North) offers a guaranteed lively break with show bars, sports bars and disco bars favoured by the British visitor looking for great value drinks plus home from home cooking all of which is available in abundance from 10am until 5am 365 days of the year. A pint costs from 1.25€ to 2.50€ depending on where you are and what is on offer, such as the superb and free entertainment. A belly busting plate of fish chips and mushy peas or an everyday Sunday roast will set you back little more than 5€.

For a quieter option where a big choice of dining options are available then the other half (South) of Calle Gerona will be your best choice. Here you will find superb long established Italian Pizzerias, fine Indian cuisine, quality Spanish restaurants and speciality grills for lovers of steaks. A world of food awaits you.

Staying on Calle Gerona to make the most of your weekend in Benidorm could not be easier with every type of hotel right on the street. Prefer to be hop from the lively bars, book into the very busy 3* Ambassador Playa or opposite the start of the street the new 4* Hotel Flash. Prefer to be nearer to restaurants, closer to the old town and away from the “package” holiday hotels? The traditional little 3* Los Alamos is ideal as a base and will not break the bank or for a 4* try the Diplomatic, quality from servigroup.

Holidays in Benidorm

When time is short and you only have a few days break then staying in the hub of Benidorm either on or near to Calle Gerona will ensure that you enjoy what Benidorm is famous for. Fantastic value, plenty of choice, late nights and of course those stunning beaches to sleep of the night before!


 


Benidorm Cross

 That famous Benidorm Cross on the hill

Benidorm Cross

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Why is the Benidorm Cross on the hill?

Everyone who visits Benidorm will, already know of the famous cross on the hill overlooking the Playa Levante, or will soon notice it as it lights up at dusk.  One of those Benidorm myths with many a story told of how it got there, none of which are usually based on fact!

The first cross appeared on top of the Sierra Helada in 1962 and was the culmination of a mission by local Catholic monks to prove that the village had not lost it´s “soul” from the terrible “frivolous” Bikini wearing tourists.  Deemed to be committing a terrible sin by wearing such clothes, or lack or clothes!  Indeed, at the time despite having permission direct from Franco to allow the Bikini on beaches, Benidorm was not as frivolous as it is today.  Just two years earlier the Bishop of Orihuela, Alicante threatened the then Mayor, Pedro Zaragoza that he would place signs on roads into the village stating that the Mayor and residents would likely go to hell for allowing the wearing of these “garments of sin”.

Today, visitors will see a large metal Cross erected in 1975 from parts of railway tracks.  The original cross made of wood erected in January 1962, carried on the shoulders of the entire village from the famous blue domed church of San Jaime located in the old town.  The day became known as the “day of forgiveness” for the villagers, whom, by their very participation had proved that they were indeed spiritual and religious, unlike the tourists flocking in every increasing numbers for the sins of fun, sun and other such fleshy pastimes.

The cross is a must visit and is now popular as a spiritual icon and place of remembrance to scatter ashes or loved ones and those who loved Benidorm.  It is a romantic place, or simply a superb place to see Benidorm from high above the highest buildings with a nice bottle of chilled wine. We recommend you take a one way Taxi to the cross, sit a while and enjoy the views then take the easy walk downhill all the way back to the Rincon de Loix, Levante beach and enjoy all that frivolous fun that Benidorm offers you.  Come see us for a few days we are only a short bus or car journey along coast, the perfect low cost weekender!

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