Refurbished within the last few years building looks fine, thankfully only 9 floors (I hate the real high risers), and adults only hotel. Situated in the new town just 4 hotels from the Solarno in Benidorm, (Sol Pelicanos). Its surrounded by bars/hotels and only a short walk to the Beach or the twice weekly (Wed & Sat) market. For Benidorm TV series fans the Neptune Bar is also very very close.
The rooms are adequate, if on the smaller floor area size, with a small balcony. Order a room number with an even number if you want the sun to grace your balcony as odd numbers are on the shady side of the hotel.
Each room is fitted with the standard wall safe but to use it will cost extra about 15 Euros a week.
Room internet is free, not secure and often fails. Typical Spanish answers when it will be fixed were maybe tomorrow or next week. (it took 4 days in effect, but the reception paid internet machine, (10 minutes 1 Euro charge) surprisingly never failed. !! (Across the road its 20 minutes per 1 Euro on their machines).
There are no kettle type facilities like available in UK 4 stars, although there is a small fridge.
The small outdoor pool is fine but the sun is impaired from visiting all day because of the nearby high rise hotels blocking it.
During my 2 month stay, (Dec-February), I estimate 95% of guests were British, 85% were above 60/65 years with further 10% above 50 years old.
The obligatory nightly Bingo commenced at 20.15 hours each night, and people soon got used to a Spaniard calling two fat ladies in a heavy Spanish accent.
Nightly entertainment 21.15 ish was provided (including twice weekly line dancing), but if you could walk a little the surrounding array of pubs/club acts were of slightly better quality, and the entrances are all free.
I walked around to the Red Lion to see the regular twice weekly show of the infamous Sticky Vicky magic act (she graces about 5/6 clubs a night), everyone back home had told me I must see. . Now I know I am too old for Benidorm, as looking at a naked 72 year old woman pulling razor blades from inside her not too private parts does nothing for me. Fortunately the shows are free. Now if she was 25 again that might be different.
Meals have a good choice,
Breakfast has Sparkling Wine to go with the fresh orange juice (Bucksfizz ?), various fruit juices, fruit, Meats & Caviar, as well as the full English options including Black Pudding & Chips. Meals, including breakfast all have chips available!, but my two observations re that the Spanish cook always over boils/cooks the vegetables into submission, (even the cauliflower collapse into a mush) and I wish the accountant had let the chef have free range eggs for the boiled ones at least instead of the insipid greeny yellowy small yokes laid by the battery hens. When will the accountant let him buy proper eggs at least for the boiled eggs section.
Lunch/Dinner, Paella or Pizza, good Salad Bar, Soups, Choice 4 selections at least of mains, Cold meat, cheese/bread board selection and puddings/sweets to die for. They even have a full size Mr Whippy type Ice Cream machine for your use, complete with 3 sauces and 3 types of sprinkles to add to the very tempting array of sweets. . There’s also a Vegetarian dish, and sugar free sweet options. A small selection of drinks available to pay as extras are reasonable, (although if you like the Estola Red wine at 11 Euros I suggest you buy your own from the supermarket across the road for less than 4 Euros).
The staff speak English and are extremely friendly and helpful.
I must mention the housekeepers who are very efficient and thorough at maintaining high standards of cleanliness. I had occasion in my 2 months to ring reception about my room card operated power/electricity unit playing up and a tradesman appeared within 15 minutes and sorted it. Most impressive.
The Benicaldea Wellness Centre, (as seen on Benidorm TV series), is housed in the associated groups hotel across the road from Riviera, The Ambassador Hotel. It is a great water spa facility complete with Gym, Sauna, Steam Room, Jacuzzi, Multifunction cold/hot spray showers, pool with variety of water jets and even a couple tanks of fish to put your feet in. It costs 5/10 Euros per 2 hours but is well worth the effort of visiting. (I joined for a month whilst I was there at discounted rate.)
The Benidorm City Tours by the red Tonka train and carriages is well worth the 4’5 Euro fees. There are 3 trips, 1- The Panoramic one that takes you part along the Levante Beach but then high up the hill, (I would never have made this hill walking ) for the best view of Benidorm beaches and its skyscrapers. Trip 2, I never took as I felt I had walked around most of Levante Beach, but Trip 3- starting at the Harbour area goes around Poniente beach etc. and again, an area I would not have walked around with great views. Both trips a must.
I took the local tourist bus looking like some old cable car but this was a poor part copy of the two trips above and frankly a waste of 7 Euros.
Take a No 1 bus to the Benidorm railway Station, then hop on to the Tram to either Alicante (spend as long as you like there, better than the free Blanket tours that give you only 2 hours max in a restricted place, say harbour etc,) or better still, a trip to Denia. (6.4 Euros adult return) is not only a bargain, but the tram views along this coast line are brilliant and well worth it just for the tram ride, (about an 75minutes each way).
No 16 Bus to Guadalest is a worthwhile trip. And it stays for couple of hours which is quite a reasonable time to enjoy the view/explore. There are also trips to here plus ride around the reservoir on solar powered boat for about 10/15 Euros.
Having tried the Blanket trips, I suggest if time is limited you go on the RoundTown, Fish & Sips Friday trip. The caves visit and Calpe fish market made it for me.
No 10 Bus goes to Altea, cost 1.5 Euros, adult single. Take it on a Tuesday, keep on till its terminus, next to the Market. If you’re a good walker go up the many steps to the church alternatively take a walk on its quaint seafront.
Benidorm market is held quite close to the hotel on Wednesdays and Saturdays. If you’ve got sunglasses, a watch, leather belt and wallet, and do not need any oranges/food it is difficult to find something different here but enjoyable just trying. Most of the goods are available in conventional shops at similar or less prices so beware.
Overall it was fine, and most people staying there vowed to return again.
For me it was fine, well located and not the impersonal high rise hotel so often found here.
I would have no fear of stopping again, but for me, I would prefer to check out similar Benidorm 4 Star hotels first to compare them.
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- Also Known As:
- Riviera Beachotel Hotel Benidorm