“ Address: Avenida Severo Ochoa 1 / 03500 / Benidorm / Alicante / Spain / Tel: 0034 96 6813710 „
My partner and I stayed at the Melia Benidorm in June 2012 for a week all-inclusive.
The Melia Benidorm is described in the Thomson brochure as being located in an area named Rincon de Loix close to Benidorm, and so I believed that it would be in a nice little town within walking distance of Benidorm, which we could venture into for a bit of shopping etc. However, once there we realised that this hotel is pretty much in Benidorm itself. If you want to be very close to Benidorm then this hotel is therefore in a good location, with the shops and bars within very short walking distance, and a beach only about a 15 minutes walk away. Unfortunately I cannot comment on what the beach is like during the day, as we loved the pool area at the Melia and so stayed at the hotel in the daytime, but it looked decent enough when we walked next to it in the evenings. I have to say that my partner and I really didn't enjoy holidaying in Benidorm. We were aware it was probably going to be quite tacky and full of bars, but it was worse than we were expecting, and we were disappointed that the only shops we could find seemed to sell fake designer goods and naff souvenirs. However, I know that a lot of people do like Benidorm, and so this hotel would be very well located for you, if you want to be close to the action. The Benidorm Palace is also within close walking distance, and so it would be very easy to get to if you wanted to watch a show here. However, the old town of Benidorm is much further away; it is within walking distance but it isn't exactly round the corner.
First impressions of the hotel were great, as the lobby area is quite impressive, being quite big and airy with lots of plants, and a nice lounge with a piano on your left as you walk in. However, we had to wait in a huge queue to check-in for nearly half an hour, which isn't what you want after travelling for a few hours. As well as the passengers from our coach, there were many other travellers that arrived at the same time as us, and so maybe we just had bad luck with our timings. Once we were finally able to check-in it was a fairly quick process, and so I don't why it had taken so long for everyone else in the queue before us, and the gentleman who checked us in was polite and friendly enough. I feel it is important to note that the hotel does provide a safe in the room, which is something I always feel necessary when taking passports, plenty of currency etc. on holiday, and we had to pay a deposit for this and possibly a small fee.
Our room was a reasonable size with a balcony that overlooked the lovely pool area. However, we weren't impressed with the cleanliness of the room, as the inside of the wardrobe was a bit dirty and the bathroom didn't seem to be overly clean either. The bathroom had a bath and a shower located over the bath. I tried to have a shower but found that the water kept going from cold to hot and wouldn't stay at the right temperature, and so eventually I gave up and resorted to having a bath every day instead. The room had air conditioning, which worked fine. There was also a small fridge in the room, which was handy for keeping bottles of water nice and cold. The TV was a very good size but unfortunately there weren't many English channels available to watch. My partner and I tended to mainly watch the music channels, as we struggled to find anything else to watch and it was nice to listen to music whilst getting ready to go for dinner. We really struggled to have a decent nights sleep, as we were only about the fourth floor up and could hear the live music entertainment really loudly. Also, on the last couple of nights that we stayed there the hotel got packed with big groups of males and females (obviously on stag and hen dos etc) and we could hear them shouting and screaming as they came back to the hotel, and we could hear people stomping around in the rooms next to us too. This lead to an unpleasant day of travelling to get back home, as we had hardly any sleep all night. When I look back now I realise that we should of asked to move rooms in order to try to get a decent night's sleep, but at the time we didn't want to make a fuss. If it's a quiet and relaxing holiday you're after, then I don't think this hotel is the best for this, as it will always attract stag and hen parties, due to it's location.
Food and drink:
My partner and I felt that the food at the Melia Benidorm was OK. We didn't particularly enjoy dining here, as it felt more like a canteen than a restaurant, although I believe that many resorts offering all-inclusive packages have the same issue. I felt that the best meal at this hotel was breakfast, as there was always plenty of choice, with fruit juices and hot drinks, cereals, doughnuts, fruit and hot breakfast, although I'm not sure that some of the sausages had been cooked properly, and my partner said the same. The food at lunchtime was usually fine, some days were better than others for choice, and a favourite of mine was the salad bar, as on most of the days it had a good range of salad plus cooked meats and cheeses. However, I found it to be a bit hit and miss at dinner times. I'm not a very fussy eater but I did struggle sometimes in the evenings to find something nice to eat. There were usually some types of meat, and plenty of fish, however there also some more bizarre items, such as pigs trotters, which I really didn't feel like trying! There was also an Italian corner providing pizza and pasta, which was useful to fall back on if I was struggling to find anything in the main buffet area. There were always a number of desserts on offer every day and ice cream and sauces. In terms of drink, included in the all-inclusive package were bottles of water, certain types of beer, soft drinks, wine and certain cocktails. I have to say, the barmen certainly didn't hold back on the alcohol when making cocktails, they were rather strong! You could also have ice cream from the pool bar for free if you showed your all-inclusive band.
The pool area was definitely the best part of this hotel, as the pool was huge and it was a lovely well-kept area, with palm trees to sit under if you wanted some shade. The great thing about sitting around the pool at this hotel was that, unlike in many hotels where the beds are all in a line, here the sunbeds were dotted around in different areas, and it was nice to lie in a fairly secluded spot where you could spend the day looking at palm trees and grass rather than at all of the other holidaymakers! We found it OK getting sunbeds for most of our trip, but as the hotel got busier towards the end of the week, we had to get up early to get a bed before people reserved all of them with their towels, but this is a problem you encounter in many hotels. There was also an indoor pool that could be accessed through the spa reception. Unfortunately, I can't comment on the spa, as I didn't have any treatments during my stay. However, I also wasn't able to use the indoor pool, as the staff at the spa reception advised us that you had to have a swimming cap in order to use it.
The live entertainment in the evenings wasn't great, with the singers singing many songs that my partner and I didn't know, as they were quite old songs. The best entertainment was the flamenco dancing, which was something a bit different. The hotel offered entertainment for children, which I think may of been every other night, which usually comprised of a few games and singing and dancing. Every evening, the piano located in the lobby lounge was played live, and it was nice to sit and listen to it after dinner with a cocktail from the lobby bar.
We found the staff in the hotel were OK most of the time, however my partner mentioned that one member of staff was very rude when he went to get a drink from the pool bar and so he wasn't very impressed. I think it's fair to say that some members of staff were friendlier than others.
The best part of this hotel in my eyes was definitely the lovely pool area. However, I won't be going back due to the negatives I've listed. It's probably a good hotel if you are with a big group of friends and want to go on a drinking holiday, and if you like Benidorm then this hotel is very well located. I personally wouldn't recommend it if you are a couple who want a peaceful and quiet holiday.
Benidorm. Is there anywhere better to enjoy that authentic Spanish experience? Well yes, there is. But where else can you keep up with the latest rubbish going on in x factor while eating pie and chips and drinking mugs of (proper) tea from a union jack mug? Fingers crossed, nowhere.
You may deduce from the previous paragraph that I'm not a huge fan of the place. Well you'd be wrong. Benidorm is fine. It's some of the people who go there and the estalishments catering to them that I'm not impressed with. But that's another story.
The reason we decided to go to Benidorm to celebrate our anniversary was that at that time of the year (Oct/Nov), you can guarantee that everything is open and the resort doesn't have that end of season deathly hush about it. Plus, there's a good chance that the weather will still be OK.
There's certainly no shortage of hotels to choose from in Benidorm - from doss house to 5 star luxury but in the end, we decided on the Sol Melia, a 4 star hotel in the Rincon de Loix area.
Location and Surroundings
As you obviously weren't paying attention I'll repeat, it's in the Rincon de Loix area which is at the far end of Levante beach. The hotel is a good 10 minute walk from the sea front and about as far as it's possible to be from Benidorm's old town. It's hardly the middle of nowhere though. Step out from the hotel and the road down to the front is lined with restaurants, bars and shops - some good, some not, but lots of variety.
The beauty about this hotel's location is the fact that the bus stop is literally right outside the entrance. Almost every bus that passes will take you to the town centre (1.30Euro) and of each of the 8 or so different routes appear at 5-10 minute intervals so you rarely have to wait more than a minute or so for a bus.
On reading reviews about this hotel I'd noticed that a lot of the negativity was about the check-in process being slow and unfriendly. Although it wasn't exactly express service, I can't say I thought it was particularly slow in any way and the person dealing with us was polite and friendly. The only delay was when a guest returned with her keycard saying that someone was already occupying the room she had been allocated. Oh dear.
The reception area is massive boasting a 5 story atrium with panoramic lifts to the first 5 floors and a bar/cafe with a large outdoor terrace. The ground floor is where most of the conference facilities are with a large staircase leading down to a lower floor with more space available (there was some darts tournament going on when we arrived). This lower floor is where you'll find the dining room, indoor swimming pool and spa facilities. It's also the level which the outdoor pool and gardens are located.
ROOM AT THE TOP
Not quite. The hotel has two towers of 23 floors and we requested a room on a high floor. They gave us the 19th. I would always ask for a high floor in Benidorm - you get more sun on the balcony, you get great views, and the noise from the rabble down below doesn't carry as well. Another plus point is the privacy, you can walk around bollock naked without getting the young ladies hot and bothered.
The room was of a good size and well furnished although the furnishings were a little dated - all in good condition though. The twin beds were comfortable enough if a little on the firm side and we also had a sofa bed...more like a chair bed as it only folded down to a single. We had a 32" flat screen TV with around 50 channels although for some reson a lot of them weren't working...we still had around 30 though. Only two were in English - the horror channel and CBS action.
The decor and soft furnishings were clean and the room was bright. There was individually controlled air conditioning and heating - AC woked well but we didn't bother with the heating.
The balcony was secluded and very private. Furnished with a couple of reclining chairs and a table and as already mentioned, it had great views.
Actually, the bathroom WAS bog standard. No problem with that. It's not as if you spend more time than you need to in there anyway. Everything was clean, it was roomy enough and it all worked well...what more do you need to know? Towels were huge and fluffy and the bath was big and deep. The shower door wasn't the best sealed in the world (or probably even in Benidorm) so there was always a bit of a wet floor...well, that's my excuse.
SCRAN & BEVVY
There are various eating options available at the hotel, none of which we tried. No, I tell a lie, we had a bag of crisps at the terrace bar one day and very good they were too. The hotel mainly caters for all-inclusive guests, which we weren't, but we did have breakfast there. I had read reviews of the hotel and many were less than complimentary about the dining options stating food was not always warm, was a little too Spanish (WTF?) and the dining room was chaotic especially at breakfast. Well, I can't verify the accuracy of these statements regarding lunch and dinner, but breakfast seemed fine to me. Sure, the first morning was a little chaotic, but it was the weekend and in a hotel of 500 rooms which is pretty much fully booked, you'd expect it to be a tad busy. The other two mornings we breakfasted were much more sedate.
The breakfast was something to behold. I won't list the options available, but suffice to say the choice and quantity was almost overwhelming. The quality was good too.
LEISURE & FACILITIES
The hotel has 2 lagoon-style swimming pools with waterfalls set in the beautifully landscaped gardens. There's also extensive spa facilities, gyms and saunas. We tried none of this. The hotel is also big on conventions and while we were there, some big darts tournament was going on which managed to avoid.
In conclusion, this is a pretty decent hotel. it might not be at the heart of the action, but it's hardly in the middle of nowhere and the excellent public transport means that nothing is too far away. It's probably a good place for a family holiday or boring old farts like what we are but maybe not for the 18-30 crowd.
we paid £170 for three night B&B at ebookers which turned out to be great value for money. I wouldn't have a problem staying here again.
In choosing the right hotel for our trip to Benidorm I had visions of the show 'Benidorm' where chavvy Brits sit buy the pool and shout at Spanish waiters. So when looking on the web we found the Hotel Melia, a four star hotel situated not right on the beach, but ten minutes walk up the road.
The hotel is a huge building with a large lobby and swimming pool to boot. Upon arrival we took a quick scout around, the lobby is huge with large ornate flower arrangements and a man who plays a grand piano in the evenings. Downstairs there is the large dining hall and the entrance to the spa, as well as a large conference hall and pub. Outside is the large swimming pool that is split in several alcoves. There is also a café outside and bar, so you are never too far away from a beer! If the weather isn't too great there is also a very large indoor heated pool with two Jacuzzis.
I think it was a good idea for us to go half board on our recent holiday. I hate having to search the streets of whatever city you are in for the best (and most reasonable) restaurants. Having the food there for us was definitely a bonus and I would certainly go for that option again.
The breakfasts were your traditional English fare - hash browns, fried eggs and sausages but with an obvious 'Spanish' taste. The great thing about the breakfasts was the ability to help yourself to as much or as little as you wanted - so if you had a little too much sangria the night before and you couldn't quite face the prospect of staring at a fried breakfast, then you could go straight for the coco-pops.
The dinners were a little strange. The quality of the food was excellent, but it just wasn't things I would usually eat. There was a lot of fresh fish and meat available, but then there were odd options like rabbit and pigs trotters that kind of put me off a little. However, if you were happy to bypass the odd selections then the food was certainly good.
Our room was situated on the fourteenth floor and had a fantastic view over Benidorm. All the rooms had their own balcony with chairs and table which was nice to sit out on balmy evenings. The room also came furnished with a large flat screen television which had access to a multitude of channels (nearly all in Spanish).
The beds were comfortable, if a little hard. The air conditioning worked which is always a bonus. The room also came equipped with a small fridge - perfect for storing water and other essentials (beer).
In choosing a hotel in Benidorm it is very difficult to know exactly what you are going to get and I suppose its like that in most places. It is a little more important though when you want to spend time at the hotel getting some sun by the pool and generally relaxing. We were recommended the hotel by my girlfriend's parents who had stayed there before, so it made perfect sense to see if we could get ourselves in there.
We were really pleased with the overall experience, however the evening meals left a lot to be desired and could have been a lot better. This was a shame, as the rest of the stay was excellent and top notch.