This hotel is situated several KM outside of Alicante town centre. Initially it appears like the worst remnants of some Benidormesque construction nightmare; a tasteless apartment block with poorly lit entrance ways and a lack of proper pavements. Don't however, permit first appearances to prove conclusive; the hotel itself is reasonably well appointed, clean tidy and was very busy when we visited. Staff in the main were ok, although the reception team could perhaps use further training in additional languages, as despite my own Spanish proficiency, they struggled to understand absolutely anyone who didn't speak the lingo The reception desk was frequently unmanned, and when someone did arrive to help, their attitudes were best described as less than welcoming, something fellow guests frequently alluded to.
The facilities at the venue are reasonable too. The bar/restaurant is nicely set out, though their menu variation and choice is very limited and very over priced compared to what you can buy locally. The restaurant staff are hard working and efficient, although there's a young bearded waiter who permanently looks like he's had a big suck on a sour lemon, and seems to hate absolutely everyone and everything. It got so bad I told him he looked unhappy and he just shrugged. Great way to be served dinner! The housekeeping staff were always cheerful and pleasant, and more than happy to assist with any additional services that might have been requested during our stay, so I hope they got the nice tip we left for them!
You'll notice a local mini-market as you approach the hotel; it's staffed by what is possibly the rudest Chinese man on the planet, who besides his own tongue, claims to know no language at all, not even Spanish. I spoke to him in 5 languages, only to hear him call an elderly Dutch lady a profane name in English, something I promptly addressed with him. His approach to pricing regularity is equally rubbish, so make sure you know how much he's charging when you go in; he does speak English and he does understand you, other wise he'll just make it up when you reach the till. Beware!
There's also a fewf intimate seafront cafes and bars just 5 mins walk from the hotel; their menus are varied and reasonably priced, the staff pleasant and attentive. They're well worth a visit, as is the hotel sea front beach-hut bar which is open each evening until late. The staff members there are young (compared to us anyway!), but chatty and charming and willing to help; I;d recommend it for a night cap. It's also a nice way to meet and chat with others from around the globe, which we love doing, so much so that our regular night cap session involved new friends from England, Scotland, Ireland, Germany and Italy.
If you're not able bodied, or need wheelchair access, then I think this hotel might prove a problem. My partner and I saw no obvious wheelchair access to the place, and there are steep inclines to be negotiated both to and from the hotel. This said, for any traveller, there is a fast, frequent and affordable tram line which runs next to the hotel, the station just 5 mins walk from the entrance. You can easily get to Northern Valencia for around 6 quid; it really is that cheap, the service superb. We chose to walk into Alicante each day, which takes around 30 mins, although the pavements to be negotiated along the way are narrow and the driving standards truly scary at times, so please do be careful! The tram service takes you straight to the Marina zone of town too, which is great for access to all you'll need in the town itself. Alicante is big on shopping, but there's little you won't find anywhere else in Europe; the prices actually seemed much higher for luxury items than they are here in the UK.Again though, there are some gems to be found with great service and unique goods. Alicante also has a rich arts and cultural scene, and you'll find lots of info posted on notice boards around town, or check out one of the city's dedicated tourist websites for info. I'd avoid the tourist info office however; the staff seem appalled that you might dare to interrupt their day spent doing nothing with an actual inquiry. They seem more content to text away on their mobile phones than actually help their queuing customers. Strange attitude in a town in a country which is more dependent on our tourist Euros than ever.
In summary, I'd go back to the Albahia as a last resort. It's not situated in the most accessible area; the staff are a bit dodgy and hotel is situated within a domestic apartment block. This means lots of arguing couples, screaming children, and flying fag ends launching from balconies. The pool opens when it seems the staff feel like they want to open it, the bearded man in the restaurant is not a fan of people, and the access is rubbish if you're not able bodied. Then there's the local shop keeper to consider...
Alicante is brilliant, but there are better places to stay. The tennis courts are good though!
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- Also Known As:
- Albahia Hotel Alicante