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HOME FROM HOME IN THE MEDITERRANEAN

May 17th, 2010

One of the big questions I ask myself about Benidorm is “ Why does the Hotel Industry together with the Local Authorities always seem to have to defend the name of Benidorm?

Its incredible , that we still have to go out and defend a tourist destination that continues to be popular , that continues to draw the crowds all year round and is a holiday resort synonymous with a Hotel Industry that has an excellent price/quality relationship and convince the Tourism Industry that we are still a force to be reckoned with and that we can still attract people to come here in the 21st Century.

As I´m writing this ,its Easter Sunday, the temperature is 20ºC, the beaches are full, the street are lively , the shops ,bars and cafes all open for business . Basically this could be August!!

Benidorm is often though of as a predominantly British resort The truth is that over 50% of our visitors are Spanish. They continue to flock to Benidorm because of the atmosphere, the climate and the reassurance that they know what they are going to get. This is why we are virtually full this Easter.

I ,ve worked in many Spanish resorts through the years and my opinion is that Benidorm remains popular because it is still very Spanish. Its a town with history, has a working population with its fiestas , traditions, its own cuisine and yet has the knack of accommodating all nationalities, knowing what they need and ensuring that it keeps up to date with its Theme Parks and Safari parks and Water Parks ,making sure there is something for everyone.

You never feel that you are in a man- made soulless holiday resort . In Winter , Benidorm is not a deserted ghost town like other popular resorts. The two main palm tree lined promenades are still enjoyed by thousands everyday walking up and down enjoying the sun and soaking in the atmosphere created by the music coming from the bars and cafes .

Moreover, I,ve noticed a subtle change over the last few years . Its not just older people that come to escape the bitter winters of their homeland.. I ´ve noticed more younger people and couples who come and enjoy long weekends . Enjoy the Spas in the hotels, dine in the restaurants and enjoy the many walks around the area..

WHY?

Benidorm is just 3 hours flight away from Northern Europe and a few hours drive from Madrid or Northern Spain .It has climate that is the envy of other western Mediterranean resorts . It has over 2,900 hours of sunshine a year with an average temperature of 14ºC in the winter and 29ºC in the summer and air pollution is virtually nonexistent . For me winter is one of the main attractions that Benidorm has .

Our visitors feel they have escaped the everyday routine of home but are at the same time offered the reassurance of a place that feels like home but has a better climate, still feels foreign , is never boring and on top of everything else still has some of the best beaches in Spain .

Now I know why Benidorm is what it is. Its full of Spanish , British , Dutch, Belgians, Russians and other nationalities and they all feel at home. l When you walk the streets , especially in the old town you can hear all the mix of different languages . All these visitors and residents have one common purpose. To enjoy themselves in a sunny ,safe, Mediterranean environment.

Have I gone back to the old routine of defending Benidorm ? No.

I ,ve just explained and reminded myself why I´ve lived and worked here for over 19 years and decided to bring up my family in Benidorm .

I just feel at home.!




All inclusive package available

April 30th, 2010

We are pleased to announce that from the 1st of May we are offering an all inclusive package at the Hotel Levante Club & Spa , enabling our guests to choose which food plan suits their needs, half board, full board or all inclusive.

You decide. 




Closing of Benidorm’s gastronomic event in Hotel Levante Club & Spa.

April 22nd, 2010

Tomás Arribas, the prestigious chef with two michelin stars, together with his team,will be closing the Gastronomic event that was held in Benidorm with a special menu in the Hotel Levante Club & Spa on Sunday the 25th of April.
For reservations and more information please call 966 830 000.

Don´t miss the opportunity the sample a master chef  at work!





Low Cost Festival in Benidorm 2010.

March 24th, 2010
Low Cost Festival in Benidorm.

Low Cost Festival in Benidorm.

Low Cost Festival” will take place on the 23rd and 24th of July at the Parque de l’Aiguera in Benidorm with invited artist like Placebo, Los Planetas, Vive la Fête and many more.

The tickets are on sale at Servicam and are priced at 47 € for the 2 days.

Don´t wait until last minute to book your room in Benidorm. At the Hotel Levante Club & Spa we have rooms available for these dates, just check availability and prices on our main page.




Paulina Rubio live in concert on the 7th of May

March 22nd, 2010

The singer Paulina Rubio will be live in concert on the 7th of May, the tour is promoting her new work ” Gran City Pop “.
The concert will begin at 11 pm, at the bull ring and tickets are already on sale with a starting price of 20 euros. The singer with hits like ” Ni una sola palabra ” will present in Benidorm her 9th album.
The tickets are available at ticketmaster.es

Book your room now at the Hotel Levante Club & Spa for the concert weekend !




BENIDORM FALLAS 2010 PROGRAM OF EVENTS

March 15th, 2010

FALLAS 2010 AND THE 270 th ANNIVERSARY OF THE ARRIVAL OF THE VIRGIN OF THE SUFFRAGE TO BENIDORM

SATURDAY 13TH MARCH

12:00 h. Peal of bells.
17:00 h. Music Bands Parade and fetching of the Virgin of the Suffrage at A.C.R “La Barqueta”.
18:00h SOLEMN PARADE AND FLOWER OFFERING to the Virgin of the Suffrage.
ITINERARY: Parque de Elche, Paseo de la Carretera, Plaza de la Cruz, Alameda, Mayor street and Plaza San Jaime.
Afterwards, they will sing the traditional “Copletes”, and the Infant Queen 2009 will recite a verse in honour of the Virgin. When that ends, around 20:30 h, there will be a FIREWORK DISPLAY, at Plaza Castelar.

SUNDAY 14TH MARCH

12:00 h. Extraordinary Concert by “La Unión Musical de Benidorm”, in Plaza Mayor.
20:00 h. Concert by la “Rondalla de la A.C.R. La Barqueta”, at the Church of San Jaime.

Fallas in Benidorm Hotel.

Fallas in Benidorm

MONDAY 15TH MARCH

“PLANTÁ” (setting up) of the Falla:
Falla Benidorm: Plaza de la Hispanidad.
Falla Rincón: Av. Ametlla de Mar (opposite Burger King in the Rincón).
Falla Els Tolls: Tomás Ortuño street.

TUESDAY 16TH MARCH: Commemoration of the Founding of the Virgin.

05:30 h. At dawn, bell ringing and prayer to the Virgin of the Suffrage, at Plaza de San Jaime. Then there will be a procession of the Virgin around the Old Town and a visit to the beaches, to end with the traditional verse to the Virgin, by Mrs. Dolores Zaragoza Lloret. Afterwards,Thanksgiving Mass. When that ends there will be hot chocolate and cake for all the people present.
12:00 h. Peal of bells.
19:00 h. Parade of the Queens, and Major Fiestas Committee, to get to the Church of San Jaime.
20:00 h. Solemn Mass in Saint James Church, sung by the Agrupación Coral de Benidorm.

WEDNESDAY 17TH MARCH

08:00 – 08:30 h. “DESPERTÀ” (everyone will wake up with the sound of firecrackers), around Falla “Benidorm” and
Falla “Rincón de Loix” .
11:00 h. Parade of the Music Band, by the streets around Falla “Rincón de Loix”.
11:00 h. Parade of Falla “Els Tolls” around their quarter.
12:00 h. Parade of Falla “Rincón de Loix” to visit Falla “Benidorm” and “Els Tolls”. Parade of Falla “Els Tolls” around
their quarter.
17:30 h. Parade of Falla “Els Tolls” to visit Falla “Benidorm” and, afterwards, Falla “Rincón de Loix”.

THURSDAY 18TH MARCH

08:00 – 08:30 h. “DESPERTÀ”, in the streets surrounding the three Fallas.
12:00 h. Parade, of the three Fallas members, around their quarter.
18:00 h. FLOWER OFFERING to the Virgin of the Suffrage and Saint James, with the participation of the three Fallas
Commissions, that will meet at Av. Europa / Av. Mediterráneo.
ITINERARY: Av. Mediterráneo, Plaza de la Hispanidad, Gambo, Alameda, Mayor and Plaza de San Jaime.
There will be a BIG FIREWORK DISPLAY at the end of the offering.

FRIDAY 19TH MARCH: Saint Joseph´s Day

08:00 – 08:30 h. “DESPERTÀ” (everyone will wake up with the sound of firecrackers).
12:00 h. Religious service in honour of Saint Joseph.
Falla Els Tolls: Buen Pastor Church.
Falla Rincón: Nuestra Señora del Mar Church.
13:00 h. Religious service in honour of Saint Joseph at Saint James Church. Falla “Benidorm”.
14:00 h. Splendid “MASCLETÁ” (firecrackers sound show) at Falla “Benidorm”(Plaza de la Hispanidad), Falla “Rincón de Loix” (Av. Ametlla de Mar ) and Falla “Els Tolls” (C/ Tomás Ortuño)..
19:00 h. BIG PARADE OF FLOATS, with the participation of the three Fallas Commissions.
ITINERARY: Juan Fuster Zaragoza, Ametlla de Mar, Mediterráneo, Plaza de la Hispanidad and Esperanto.
23:00 h. “CREMÁ” (Bonfire) of the children Fallas: Benidorm, Rincón and Els Tolls.
00:00 h. “CREMÁ” of Falla Rincón de Loix.
00:30 h. “CREMÁ” of Falla Benidorm.
01:00 h. “CREMÁ” of Falla Els Tolls.




Hiking in Benidorm and surrounding areas

March 9th, 2010
hiking Benidorm

Hiking in Benidorm

 The Sports Council for the Benidorm Council has initiated a hiking route campaign, “hiking Benidorm 2010“, throughout the Alicante Province, which began on the 20th of February with the Castellets de Sella route.
These hikes will leave the Benidorm bus station every Saturday at 09.15 hrs.For all people who are able to walk 12 to 14 kilometres with intermediate rests and walking at a smoooth continuous pace.
To participate in these routes, you must make a prior reservation :
629.914.828 (From 11 – 20 hrs) or 619.352.677 (from 15 – 20 hrs).

The next meetings will be:

  • 13th of March (Cap de S.Antoni),
  • 27th of March (La Torre de les Maçanes),
  • 10th of April (La Vall de Laguart),
  • 17th of April (El comptador – Aitana),
  • 24th of April (Barranc dels Molins – Font Roja).

You can stay at the Hotel Levante Club & Spa or the Levante Club apartments.
To relax after your walk what would be better than a massage or a therapeutic and relaxing spa circuit that lasts 90 minutes in our Luxor Spa & Fitness Center.




The new Benidorm

March 1st, 2010

The other day I was talking to a friend from the North of Spain who I hadn’t seen for al long time and asked him when he  was coming to see me  in Benidorm after so many years.

His reply was: But its full of older people!

I then asked: When was the last time you were in Benidorm ?.

He answered : It must be about 15 years ago.

I then said: How can you say that if you haven’t been here for years. I don’t think you have a clue  what Benidorm is like nowadays.

It was then that I realized that as a destination we have been incapable of communicating to our tourists the changes that have taken place in these last few years. Large unproductive  amounts of  money have been  spent on marketing, press, trade fairs etc and people who have either not been to Benidorm or have not visited in years still use  adjectives , normally derogatory to describe Benidorm.  Those visitors who come here on a regular basis do not have the same opinion.

Although I am proud of the fact that we have “mature” tourists  who visit our Town, I don’t agree with my friend , as we have a wide variety of visitors, from older couples , young people and  families who are our most popular type of visitor. Therefore, I thought I would comment on  a few things that you probably don’t know about Benidorm.

Sunny days are guaranteed 350 days a year with a temperature that does not fall below 15 –18ºc .The beaches  are the same as ever but now have two promenades , the last one  was inaugurated a few months ago, they  both have fantastic walks to enjoy.

Did you know that we have no fewer than 4  Theme Parks. Terra Mitica , a park for everyone, Terra Natura  , a majestic superb animal park representing the five continents. Aqualandia, , a waterpark which is probably one of the most visited in Europe and Mundomar an animal park with a dolphin show.

We also now have two 18 hole golf courses and a pitch and putt, each offering spectacular views of the town and the Mediterranean sea. There are also 30 golf courses within one hours driving distance.

Not only do we have a large entertainment theatre called the Benidorm Palace  which seats over 1000 people and which puts on shows that match those seen in Paris but we also . all the bars and clubs  that put on their own shows and entertainment.

The construction of the new Benidorm Cultural Centre with a capacity for 700 people will be completed in 2011. We will therefore, also be a destination  for conferences and conventions.

We offer Hotels and Holiday Apartments that specialize in all types of markets , family, all inclusive , gay  and even hotels specializing in Holidays for couples like our very own Hotel Levante Club, the only hotel in Benidorm exclusively designed for adults.

Of course we can improve many things in our town, the urban landscape, our tourist offices, our clubs and discos that need updating, our urban transport system etc

However, do you know a place that offers all these things I mention above ?. Benidorm is often compared to other tourist areas without appreciating the fact that Benidorm is one single destination and not a few towns grouped together.

You may think that my comments are quite passionate but if you come and visit us you will see for yourself that I am right and that my friends views are completely wrong.

What do you think ?

I hope that I have been able to  show what Benidorm is today. Have a look at the video  that you can find in our blog about Benidorm.

Kind regards

Erik Devesa

Managing Director – Commercial Area

Grupo Centauro






Benidorm is No1 for Valentine’s breaks

February 12th, 2010

Benidorm has out sold Paris, Rome and Venice for short breaks over Valentine’s weekend, according to figures from TravelRepublic.co.uk.
The online travel agent said sales of February 14 trips have soared by 55% compared to this time last year, and the Spanish beach resort is the biggest winner.

Managing director Paul Furner said: “We’re totally gobsmacked by the fact that Benidorm has come out on top as the destination of choice for the Valentine’s weekend this year. 

“Demand has also been really strong for short, romantic city breaks, with Rome, Prague, Paris and Amsterdam following hot on Benidorm’s heels.”
Furner added: “We have some fantastic deals to the likes of Paris and Rome but things can get pretty expensive while you’re there. 

“You can understand why an off-peak trip to a fun resort town would certainly have an appeal for the more budget conscious couple.”




THE QUALITY OF THE HOTEL AND HOLIDAY APARTMENT SECTOR IN BENIDORM.

February 2nd, 2010

I have travelled extensively in the past few years all round Spain and also some areas of Europe, both for work and leisure. One thing I can assure you is that Benidorm and the Comunidad Valenciana in general  have an excellent Hotel and Holiday Apartment infrastructure difficult to beat because of the quality of the product and also the excellent price quality relationship.

I do not say this lightly. Even though its easier for Benidorm Hoteliers to judge and appreciate the quality that the sector has to offer , there are many good reasons that can prove what I m saying.

1-It s a fact that Benidorm is one of the Spanish destinations that has asked for less financial help from the  Spanish government for the renovation of the infrastructure of the tourist sector. This is due to the fact that Benidorm businessmen, aware of the strong competition  of other destinations , have been continuously renovating their hotels year after year adapting  them for the changing markets and  clients needs. As well as the effort made by the business community, the local authorities have also contributed in the improvements of our hotel sector with the creation of laws that have helped in the construction of excellent 4 and 5 star hotels.

2- As well as the national legislation, the hotels and apart-hotels of the “Comunidad Valenciana” follow a specific regional legislation much  stricter than in the other regions of Spain, in terms of fire inspections, public health, food hygiene etc… Many tourist destinations in Spain  only stick to the national legislation.

3-At present Benidorm is  one of the tourist areas with the most official Quality Plans in Spain , for example the  ISO 9000:2001”, and “Q” certificates  for quality tourism. There are also certificates for , “excellence in  kitchens”, quality plans for the environment etc. Moreover Benidorm Hotels have won many awards given every year by Spanish and international  tour operators in recognition of the high level of service and quality. Most of the hotels in Benidorm also have their own quality coordinators exclusively dedicated to the improvement of their establishments.

4- We constantly receive visits from external auditors sent by  the main Tour Operators that have customers in our  area.

5- It is one of the tourist destinations  that has the latest innovations in both energy and  water saving.

These differences are highlighted more  if we compare them to Hotels and Holiday Apartments in Europe. In many countries  tourism legislation is  light years away far from any Spanish Tourism legislation.

If we add to all of this  the high level of repeat business of our clients and  the fact that the hotel occupancy in Benidorm this year was 74.6% (Benidorm has been the only  Spanish municipality that  has been in the top 10 destinations with the highest Hotel occupancy  nine months out of twelve) it undoubtedly makes Benidorm a unique holiday destination.
Erik Devesa Sik
General manager- commercial area

Grupo Centauro




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