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Go-Go Gadget Flahoola.
Member Name: Muffin_the_Mule
Date: 09/08/02, updated on 12/08/09 (37243 review reads)
Booking holidays is a stressful affair. It gets even more taxing when there's a group of you who all want different things from the holiday destination. At around November last year, My Friends and I (look mum - real good grammar!) decided that rather than get drunk at home or in our local pub, we would pay someone to fly us somewhere sunny and get drunk there instead, for a change.
By Mid-December, it had been decided that we would be going to Mainland Spain, and by January, I'd made them narrow it down to Benidorm on the Costa Blanca.
The crux of the decision was based on the fact that this years holiday would be the last a few of our buddies would be partaking in the "Lads only holiday" laws, as they had gone and got themselves "Girlfriends" and Benidorm was the scene of our very first lads Holiday together 6 years ago.
"A trip down Memory lane" really isn't the right phrase to use here, more of a "I'd like to see what I remember" or "I know I was there, because I've got the Flight Tickets still, but I really don't recall it".
Some of the people I tell this to shake their heads in disapproval at our antics, to which I tell them that it's exactly the same for the Older generation, and this explains why Benidorm is Popular with 20-somethings in Summer, and the Bingo-Brigade in Winter. We are both just making sure we've definitely been here before.
And at some point in our holiday, we might wet the bed and forget where we live.
With Country and Resort agreed, the next hurdle was accommodation. We were instantly limited in our choices because I work for a Tour Operator and was getting a fairly attractive Discount for us all.
This helped in a way, as it meant there was less scope for arguments about which Operator we were going with.
Primary Criteria was Clean, Close to the Action, Pool and 24 Hour Bar next door.
In the end, we settled for a compromise and booked into "Estudios Benidorm" or "The Benidorm Studios" for the Speak-Loud-and-Slow tourists. Which was next to a 24-hour bar. 1 from 4 is ok we thought.
The Benidorm Studios are situated (Estate agent word) right in the centre of Benidorm Old Town.
For the unaware of you out there, Benidorm is essentially 3 different towns. We have Poniente Beach, for the more Posh folk (complete with golden sands, a 53 story hotel and flowery Dove Park loveliness full of Albino Pigeons [Doves, Sorry, Doves])
Then, on Levante Beach, which is amongst the worlds top 10 beaches (Travel Agent Speak) we have the Ironically Spanish, Old Town. We're in Spain, and there are people who're complaining that there are too many Spanish. Honestly.
15 Minutes stroll down the beachfront promenade, and you're into the Originally named Benidorm New Town. Less Spanish people, although still around in abundance, and more Touristy people, Lobster-hued shoulders, short skirts and big sunglasses with pointlessly clear lenses.
Levante Beach is narrow even at low tide, but it is absolutely enormous. I mean it's ridiculous. You will never have the excuse not to find a space to lie down on your towel or sun-lounger, even if the entire population of China converged there for the bank holiday weekend.
Back at our Accommodation, which was a jaunty 45 minutes coach Transfer from Alicante airport, we are shown our rooms by the portly Spanish Hotelier, Juan, or Carlos, depending on which badge he was wearing. Mine and my roommate for the forthcoming demi-month of debauchery are in Room 505. On the fifth floor.
The rest of the group are on the fourth floor. Unfairness in the fact that it's a full 18 more steps up, and 18 more steps down for us every time we leave our room. Unless we get the lift, which is so "Compact" I think it used to be a dumb waiter.
Overall however, we were happy with our apartments, being that we'd expected something like a scene from Trainspotting. We had 2 single beds, plenty of storage space with hangers left by previous guests, like it was some sort of ritual. I hung my shirts on Dorothy Perkins size 14 hangers, and Ethel Austin sponsored my trousers for a full 2 weeks.
In the bathroom, there was a dwarf-pleasing pseudo bath, and shower. And also a toilet-Bidet configuration that meant you didn't have to stand up if you wanted to us the Bidet - for entertainment purposes only. Of course.
Our Balcony was the size of a small welsh Village, and would become the focal point for our days lounging in the sun, as there was no pool to get thrown in.
Daytime in the Old Town is a bustling affair, with the beach only 50 metres away, Swim wear is the order of the day to peruse the numerous novelty souvenir shops, sweet shops, and even the odd Sex Store.
Interestingly, all round the streets of Benidorm, there are road signs that direct you helpfully to the Airport, to the Beach, to the nearest Pharmacy, but also curiously, also the nearest Sex Shop. There are lots of Scandinavians in the Resort. No link, I'm sure.
The majority of our daytimes on holiday were spent firstly recovering from the previous nights excesses, then preparing our bodies for the next nights excesses, a sort of catch 22 situation with fringe benefits.
On the first day there we stumbled across an English Pub (not difficult, trust me) on the main road between the Old and New Towns called The Duke of Wellington.
If you are anywhere near Europe in the next lifetime, I heartily recommend calling in for a reasonably priced bite to eat and a drink, followed by Big-Ball Pool. And it's not just because I fancied all the Barmaids.
We ate there twice a day, every day for 14 days.
Night Time is when Benidorm really comes alive.
The Beach Front in the Old town is lined with Bars and Pubs that are popular with the locals, and I'd suggest learning a little of the local language before going into a few of them, San Miguel was 1.80 Euros, Budweiser was 5.00 euros. If you asked the eternally famous Spanish phrase
"Dos Cervesas por Favor" (you know - the one everyone tells you to say when ordering beers)
You'll get 2 Budweiser and part company with nigh on £6. If however, you say in a Spanish accent
"Two San Miguel Please Guv'nor."
Then the rounds are cheaper, only less tasty.
After sampling the way the local like to party, it's time to hop into a taxi to the New town, 4 euros fare, and start the nights frivolities.
There is one main road in the New town with the majority of the bars on, and then half way down, you can take a short diversion round the corner to bars like "Gigolos" and "Top of the Pops".
The usual route would be to start out at around 11pm at the top of the main Street in the ever-present Lineker's Bar, then next door into Sumatra's, Right at the cross roads into Red Dog (the place to be if you want to meet a Rep - Red Dog is a Rep-magnet), Gigolos and Top of the Pops follow, making our way back to the main street was a thirsty 2 minute yomp, so it would be tempered with a beer in Loch Ness. Back on the main strip it becomes a free for all for whichever bar looks busiest and whichever PR is offering the best drink deals. Incidentally, most* (* disclaimer: MOST not ALL) of the PR's will follow their line of "Come to XYZ bar, free shots?" with the tag line "Hash, Charlie, Pills. Pills, Hash, Charlie?"
This is not to say Drug Abuse is rampant, but it's certainly not covert.
That Said, should any of the local constabulary, who are stood in every doorway, see any illegal transactions taking place, they will make sure that the nurses in the Hospitals can practise stitching you up by giving you a hefty thwack with a baton.
Evening Entertainment is plentiful in the New Town, and ranges from Family-Friendly Cabaret, through Adult Hypnotists, and ending with the Worldwide Phenomena that is Sticky Vicky.
Sticky Vicky is an Adult Entertainer. Very Very Adult.
She stands on centre stage, Black cloak and light effects flashing, in the dark.
Her Theme tune plays and the lights come up. The room takes a sharp intake of breath as they all realise she is the experienced side of 60. They gasp further when she drops the cloak and stands legs at shoulder width apart, totally naked. Flahoola et al.
Her breasts are all of 5 years old, the rest of her frame looks like a contour map of K2.
During her show, Our Vicky will astound you with first class illusions like the float-a-ball-on-a-tea-towel trick, intertwined with pulling razor blades out of places where the sun has well and truly set, never mind Don't shine.
In fact, the nearest the Sun comes to shining is when she turns on a light bulb with a formerly intimate part of her anatomy.
If Sticky Vicky doesn't appeal, you can always track down Sexy Sophie, Sexy Barbara, Juicy Lucy...
And then there are the lesbians...
And then there are the men...
It seems that if you work at night in Benidorm, you'll either serve drinks, sell drugs or get naked.
The main aim of the nights out however, were to go to the various bars and have a good time, which can easily be done and continue on through the night until closing time at 7am.
It is a proud boast of mine that the latest I got home was 2.30.
I wasn't very well and didn't eat much for the rest of that day. But I did have lots of fun.
A full fortnight in August was spent laughing heartily and drinking heavily, all for a reasonable amount of cash. A heavy night would cost no more than 35 euros, which is less than £25.
The weather was as hot as we could have expected, although one thermometer did place the temperature at 36 degrees, regardless of the time of day or night. I do know that the hottest day whilst we were there was 38 centigrade.
We flew with Britannia Airways from Manchester Terminal Two. The flight lasts approximately 1hour 50 minutes and my luggage was the last off the Carousel both times.
It was so good that I'm going back again next month. Holy Overtime Batman.
Summary: I wonder why so many reads?