|Real Benidorm - Hotel Ratings Guide
Here you will find a guide to hotel star rating in
Spain and hostal or pension accommodation.
Plus the truth about Spanish Hotel Food!
|Four and three star hotels in Spain tend to be the establishments with the most disappointment when it comes to
customers expectations as these vary greatly from region to region and town to town. It is not unusual to find a three
star which customers review as a four star and indeed a four star which customers review as a three.
SPANISH HOTEL FOOD, MYTHS EXPLAINED ~ One of the biggest complaints in Benidorm hotels from British
guests is the food is not for the English and full English breakfast is not available. In reality of course the food is
great in most hotels, simply a different menu, in a different country, where fresh fish is common and expected by
Spanish guests who make up 64% of guests in the resort. So read with caution when guests review hotel food as not
good. It is usually simply not to their northern European taste. NOTE Food in Spain is usually served warm not
pipping hot as this is the way Spanish people enjoy their food best. Vegetables are not traditionally eaten with a main
course as salads are always eaten as a starter therefore do not be surprised when a main course is just meat / fish
and potato, this is quite normal. A willingness to try something new is needed in Spain as British food is foreign here!
To add to the confusion the official rating given to a hotel is not necessarily that which customers see, as most
hotels are booked online or through tour company brochures who have their own star ratings criteria ( or sun, crown,
key, moon, diamond etc ). It is also widespread for customers to have their own idea of what a classification actually
means based on the services and comfort of hotels in their own country. In Spain the service and especially the type
of food offered differs from that of other European destinations and or course is “ typically Spanish “ as you would
A rough guide to what to expect for a star rating in Benidorm.
1 Star Budget Hotels – Basic rooms some with a bathroom or shared facilities. Often no amenities such as lounge,
swimming pool, television, room telephone, safe or reception services. Generally small rooms most without balconies
or sea views. Although basic this can be a good option if on a budget holiday. You may be pleasantly surprised in
this type of hotel if you ask to see your room before payment. Expect dining to be simple Spanish meals with limited
choice sometimes only on a bed and breakfast rate or room only. Limited fire safety standards. A typical budget 1 star
in Benidorm is the Residencia Bristol very basic but actually quite popular - But hey a week full board starts at just 95€
2 Star Hotels – Basic comfortable acceptable accommodation with some rooms en-suite. Many will offer better
services and even perhaps a small swimming pool. Rooms may have a television, air conditioning, bigger restaurant,
better style of food with perhaps more choice usually on a buffet basis. Many two star hotels in good sea front
locations are unable to gain a 3 star due to restraints with the building but do offer a 3 star service with good quality
but smaller rooms. The Mar Blau Hotel and award winning Rio Park are very popular 2 star choices in Benidorm.
NOTE: 2 Star away from the Sea Front tend to be basic usually budget venues.
3 Star Hotels – Here you will get a larger hotel with better facilities such as T.V games room, pool and gardens or
sun terrace, 24 hour reception, lounge, separate bar. Generally with larger restaurant with a comprehensive choice
food served buffet style for breakfast through to dinner. Rooms will all be en-suite usually with full bathroom facilities,
TV, room safe, balcony, air conditioning, telephone and large enough to accommodate twin beds. Most do not offer
room service. Many three star hotels do now offer limited gym facilities. Better fire escape standards and better
equipment such as hoses extinguishers can be expected. One of the better 3 star hotels in Benidorm is the
Servi Group Hotel Calypso which tends to get great reviews. Also look at the Hotel Pueblo.
4 Star Hotels – Large formal hotels with well deigned ambient decor to public areas. Usually offer a choice of bars
and large restaurant with buffet service plus a´la carte dining choice in many. Most offer outdoor and indoor heated
pool with gym, sauna facilities too. Rooms are well appointed with balcony or terrace (unless city center based). All
will provide air conditioning, room service, large bathrooms with hairdryer and toiletries plus luxury towels. Many have
a mini bar or fridge but not all. Expect satellite T.V with a good range of channels and an in room telephone.
Concierge service to book theatres, car hire etc does tend to be available in most 4 star hotels. Most are now up to
the EU fire safety standards. Popular for location and with good reviews is the 4 star Avenida Hotel a good central
choice. For a new 4 star All Inclusive Hotel take a look at the new Villa Del Mar Beach and Monaco Sandos Spa Hotel
5 Star Luxury Hotels – These are the best offering a high level of personal service, luxury and high end premises
with landscaped gardens ( unless city center based). You will expect luxury rooms with mini bar, trouser press, fine
quality furnishings and specially designed luxurious beds and bed linen. Bathrooms will be of the highest quality and
large with luxury toiletries and towels. World T.V and pay per view films / games available. 24 hour full room service.
A selection of bars and dining areas with award wining food. Usually have a golf course on site or nearby and full spa
/ wellness centers. Expect a bell boy service and full 24 hour concierge. All will have good fire safety and evacuation
procedures in place. The newest 5 star hotel in Benidorm is the Barcelo Asia Gardens ideal for your Honeymoon and
celebrations. The newest exclusive Hotel in Benidorm is well worth checking out the 5* Hotel Boutique Villa Venecia
Hostels & Pensions (Guest House) Accommodation Benidorm
For the budget traveller you may also consider a Spanish one or two star hostel or simple pension. These are often
the cheapest with two star Hostals offering the best with en-suite shower rooms. Many have small restaurants or bars
which serve food. Most are bed and breakfast or room only and offer limited services with no pools or garden areas.
These establishments are similar to British seaside private small hotels. Some are actually very good and cheap too!
Pensions tend to basic with some en-suite shower rooms or shared facilities but they do offer budget room rates. Most
pensions do not offer food but some may offer bar snacks or a small continental breakfast. With these you do get
what you pay for so do not expect too much other than clean accommodation. Best suited to back packers or those
who just need somewhere to sleep in between all night partying. Best advice is too ask to see the room first before
deciding to stay. Pensions are similar to a British guest house.
The best in Benidorm is the Luxury Hotel Fetiche with excellent large luxury rooms all new in 2010.
Many of these older establishments do not offer a high standard of fire safety when compared to many countries. Not
many have separate fire escapes a point worth considering. However incidents are extremely rare.
Concerning food, service, expectations, safety
Generally hotels in Spain below three star will offer limited “international” food, which, if not important can be a good
thing depending on your taste and willingness to experiment. If however you want food “like it is at home” then you
would be best to go three or four star with four being the best choice for good quality international food. The thing to
remember is that Spain is Spain and you should be prepared to immerse yourself into the way things are rather than
come with expectations of a home from home. This way you will enjoy a much more pleasant stay. If you are
concerned about safety Spain does have an excellent record of fire safety and is a very safe place to be with violent
crime extremely rare. The plumbing is different, water tastes different but is safe, things are slower, service is – well -
Spanish and tomorrow is another day. Enjoy your visit to Spain and the large choice of Benidorm hotels.
|Hotel Star Ratings in Spain Explained
Having the right expectation is the key to enjoyment!
Can you expect all star ratings in Spanish Hotels to be the same?
The short answer is definitely NO. Each of the seventeen regions in Spain give official ratings according their own
criteria therefore making it impossible to make an informed choice ( based just on the classification alone ) when
deciding where to stay. The only common factor of all regions is that they rate hotels as one, two, three, four or five
star according to facilities offered.
In general five star hotels will usually live up to customers expectations as these are the luxury end of the market and
are mostly offered by international or national hotel chains who have a quality brand image to live up to. Being the
high end market they are of course only for those who can afford them a customer base with high expectations.
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