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SUN IN BEVVYDORM
Hotel Melia (Benidorm, Spain)
Member Name: proxam
Hotel Melia (Benidorm, Spain)
Date: 27/12/11, updated on 24/12/12 (131 review reads)
Advantages: Good quality hotel. Comfortable
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.
Summary: Sol Melia in Benidorm