I stayed at the Marina to celebrate my birthday. My mother had stayed there earlier in the year and said how good it was. I have stayed all over Benidorm in the past and am well aware of what to expect. I feel the Marina is slipping down from a good four star to an average 3 star hotel, in my opinion anyway. I have already been to the Pueblo and Presidente this year for short break's and on both visits we frequented the lovely Secret Fountain bar which adjoins the hotel. We thought it would be great to stay at the Marina next time as we liked the look of the hotel and its great location.
We arrived on a Monday evening and were checked in to our rooms very speedily by cheerful reception staff. My room was on the 17th floor which is the top floor of the hotel, only the gym is any higher. Be aware that if you are given a room which has 01 or 18 as its last two digits, this room will not have a balcony. The rooms on the same floor as reception also do not. My mother was given one of the rooms without balcony and although the room was nice and large with big picture windows and seperate seating area, they felt it was not what they expected and it was not until the next day they got moved to another room with balcony.
The rooms are a good size, they have two double beds and still plenty of room. The furniture is a little dark and dated but the beds are comfortable. Good black out curtains and sliding patio doors keep out the sun and some noise. However even at 6am you can still hear the thump, thump of the music from the very nearby strip. The balcony's are very small and have glass panelling which isn't good if you are at all afraid of heights as you do feel like you are perched on a ledge. good views of the pool and also the sea are available to about 90% of rooms here. A stocked mini-bar was in the room, it was 2 euros's for a drink of soft drink, water or beer. TV had Sky News, Eurosport and True Movies in English. Plenty of wardrobe and drawer storage. Coathangers are the fixed type and we had enough for ourselves. Bathroom nicely tiled, large bath with shower over (water VERY hot!), bidet, toilet and sink with complimentary shampoo and gel's, shower-cap and comb provided, as well as two glass tumblers. There was an internal hardwood door between the door into the room and the sleeping area itself, which was good for providing extra protection from noise in the corridor at night. The best thing about the room was the excellent aircondtioning, very effective and quiet.
The lifts (we had four available to us) are slow and can stop at every floor during meal times, but this has to be expected, but it became annoying stopping even on the second floor as you made your way down. I did walk the 17 floors once, but would not advise it. The restaurant is below the main level of the hotel. Breakfast is served at 0800-1000, and I thought it was the best meal of the day. Delicious well cooked sausages and tasty hash-browns (which I love) and the eggs differed each day. Poached, scrambled, fried. What is missing from here is a show cooking area where perhaps eggs are cooked to order, I have had this in 3* hotels in the past and it would have been nice just to have an omelette instead of a full breakfast. The staff are fairly busy but as a plus point to this hotel they are very cheerful. As we were staying half-board we ate our evening meal between 1930-21:30. Drinks to have with your meal can be purchased when you enter. I found the evening meal to be lacking much in the way of choice and flavour. A meat, a fish and usually something else for vegetarians, like rice and pasta. The soup's were sort of watery looking and lacked taste, the desserts were just tasteless cakes with lots of air-ated foamy cream on them, or tasteless jelly, though the orange one tasted land smelled like a cat may have had a tinkle in it, no joke!
I feel the Marina is suited to the older Spanish clientele who are there in a abundance, and I don't begrudge them, it's thier country and they are entitled to their holidays too. some Welsh holidaymakers referred to them in the lift one day as "THE LEMON SUCKERS" referring to thier expession. Perhaps they just don't want to share thier hotel with loud and leery looking women. I never saw much rudeness from the Spanish to be honest, you are guest's in thier country and you need to remember that.
I did not watch any of the hotel entertainment. I used the Secret Fountain bar and the Marina corner bar which are not expensive and have a better feel than the surrounding louder more brash bars occupied by lareg same sex groups. The pool at the hotel was used only once, it was freezing cold. Ladders need to be used to access the swimming pool, I usually prefer steps but that is as I have said just a preference. There is a seperate childrens area which is quite large but I feel the pool and its lay out is a bit dated, and could do with sprucing up. Maybe the next time the hotel has an overhaul.
In this age I would also expect Wi-fi to be available across the hotel, especially a four star. Wi-fi was available only in reception and is chargeable at 1 euro an hour.
Can't fault the location, in the middle of everything, and close to the fantastic Levante beach, good access for disabled and scooter friendly, I just feel the food and some of the facilities could do with an update to keep up with competion in the area. I'd certainly return, it was not a bad hotel, but would not make it my first choice.
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- Also Known As:
- Marina Hotel Benidorm