Updated: Nov 9
We recently spent a last minute, all inclusive week away in Benidorm! A lot of people seemed to react like we were going to the worst possible place but we had a great time, and now sadly it's back to reality.
We stayed at Hotel Regente, which is part of the Medplaya group. I’m going to give the overall hotel a rating for 4. It was clean, the staff were friendly and there was plenty of entertainment and activities. My favorite part of the hotel was the pool. The temperature was just right and it was good size and depth. We spent a lot of our time here. There were plenty of sun loungers, but there wasn’t a lot of shade which isn’t ideal if you burn easily. There is a stage by the pool where the nighttime entertainment is shown, and a bar area where you can get drinks and bar snacks such as burgers, chicken nuggets, chips and ice cream among other things, which is particularly good if you’re on the all inclusive.
You can also access the solarium/sun terrace from the pool side (you can also get to the bar from here) which is great if you just want to sit in the sun but aren’t bothered about the pool.
The restaurant was nice, but quite basic. It was a buffet restaurant, where you could get your breakfast, lunch and tea. For breakfast you had your choice of cooked breakfast, cereal, fruit, meats and cheeses plus hot drinks and juices. The breakfasts were delicious.
The lunch meals varied, and we tended to stick to the bar meals anyway but what saw of them were tasty but weren’t strung together very well. I found this with the evening meals too, although they were quite tasty. For a lot of it you would get lasagnas, fish dishes, stir fries and those sorts of things.
The bar was big, and a nice area to chill out in. The drinks choice was pretty basic – San Miguel on tap, wine, sangria, and local spirits. They also did a cocktail of the day, which was actually a slushi based cocktail. It was all very tasty!
Because we did all inclusive there wasn’t much to our room – a bedroom with a TV, desk and couch; a really nice bathroom and a balcony with two chairs, a table and washing line. It did it’s job and I really liked it.
The hotel also provided a packed lunch for days out, something which we took advantage of one day. In this packed lunch we each had the following –
1 tin of tuna
1 tin pate
1 little carton of butter
2 slices of bread
2 mini slices of toast
1 huge bread bun
1 huge peach
1 huge apple
1 small unidentifiable fruit that tasted a bit like a nectarine
1 bottle of water
I was quite impressed with this tasty packed lunch!
The hotel offered nightly entertainment that included live performers. During the day there were various activities such as archery, air rifle shooting and pool based games. They even had a cinema viewing every day.
Things to do
I think a lot of people think of Benidorm as a place to go for touristy bars and nothing else really. There's a bit more to it than that. There are water parks, animal parks, theme parks, bus trips all over, boat rides to different places, a whole number of shows, bars and restaurants, two beaches, the old town and all sorts of different things.
We had a couple of trips to the beach, but we didn’t actually sit on the beach for long because we didn’t want to pay for the sun-loungers etc when we could get them for free at the hotel. We even went into the sea which is was great! I must warn you though – be careful, there were a lot of sharp rocks! There are a wide selection of bars and restaurants on the beach front too!
We had trip out to Mundomar Animal Marine Park which is in walking distance of the hotel. This was money well spent. It had amazing views of Benidorm, and the beautiful, interesting animals. We saw a dolphin show, which was incredible and you also have the option to see a parrot show and a sea lion show. It really was amazing.*
We also went to the Fonts De Algar which are beautiful natural springs and waterfalls. It’s surrounded by beautiful foliage. You can swim in the water, and there is a bit where you can dive into it – I didn’t do it, but my boyfriend did. I did go in the water however, and trust me when I say it was FREEZING. There were plenty of places to picnic and eat and because we went as part of a tour we got free sangria at the end of it!
We didn’t eat out often, as seen as the food was all free at the hotel. We ate one night on the beach front, which if you’re trying to save money I don’t really recommend. Most places on the beach front offer the same kinds of food, at quite high prices. They are tasty but there are better places to eat. Of course you don’t get the beach view at many other places!
We had a night in Old Town, where we went to Bar El Quijote. Here we had a really delicious paella and sangria. It was a really beautiful night and a great restaurant. I 100% recommend it. For the quality for the food and the area, it was very reasonably priced.
My favorite place – and not just from Benidorm, but one of my favorite restaurants I’ve been too – was located on a strip of bars and restaurants to the right of the hotel. It was about 5 minute walk, called Red Apple. It was Thai restaraunt and if you like Asian food you have to go here. The service was amazing, the sangria was the only freshly made stuff that I had the whole time I was there and it was delicious. The food – for us, the set menu – was some of the best Asian food I’ve had. A spring roll to start, shredded duck with fresh made pancakes – waiter came out and shredded the duck at our table – then a chicken curry dish and a garlic prawn dish followed by your choice of ice cream, sorbet coffee or tea. I had a pot of Chinese tea and was delighted by it. I would go back to Benidorm for this restaurant alone! It really was amazing.
After visiting the restaurant we went a few stops along to a bar called Rock and Roll bar. It was great, exactly my kind of place. Loads of Rock n roll memorabilia, I loved it!
The only day we actually ate out for lunch was the day we flew home. We decided we try a place called Yorkshire Pride. It had been recommended to us and we just wanted something easy going. It wasn’t far from the Red Apple restaurant. The staff we friendly, it was shaded, and the food was lovely! An egg mayo sandwich for me and a HUGE burger for my boyfriend, followed by apple pie for me and chocolate fudge cake for him, plus a Tia maria coffee! It was delicious!
I really loved our trip to Benidorm. The old town is beautiful, the weather is amazing and the people are friendly!
*I would just like to note that as of 2021 while I am editing posts, I no longer tend to agree or feel comfortable at animal parks of any kind unless they have a mission of protecting endangered species. It has been a long time since we were here, and so I can't really comment at this moment on how I feel about this place, or if I would still recommend it today.