We took advantage of a double Groupon deal and bolted a 2-day stay to a 3-day stay. At the start of each period we were presented with a bottle of bubbly. This was our first visit to Valencia and we found it a beautiful city.
The visit presented us with several challenges to keep us on our toes. Even before we left home we couldn't find the hotel on Google maps, and we now know that it is located at the north end of Vincente Beltran Grimal - not 1/2 mile away at the south end where google locates the hotel street address.
We had been advised, correctly as it turned out, that a car would not be necessary in Valencia - parking is difficult, most streets are one-way, and the long wait at traffic lights at most junctions would test anyone's patience (Valencians appear to be extremely tolerant drivers). The hotel has a bus stop across the road which is served by 6 bus routes, so you can go around the city or to the beach with ease - at €1.50 a trip on the bus or better to buy a "T" card which allows unlimited bus travel around the city. These passes come as 1 day, 2 day or 3 day versions, but don't go as far as the airport, for which you will need a metro ticket (taxis are exhorbitant). We started with a single metro ticket from the Airport to Ayora station on metro line 5 (€4.90 from the ticket machine at the airport metro station) and walked 1/2 mile to the hotel.
Understanding the ticketing system is quite a challenge as there are so many variants. On our first day we walked to the Tourist Information office, tucked away on the east side of Plaza Reina, and marked with a very small sign over the door (nearby you will also find the best Pinchos style tapas). There we were given a city map and pointed at a tobac where we could buy a "T2" (tay dos) 2 day bus pass. We also bought a 72hr Tourist Pass which allows bus and metro travel (including to the Airport) and gets discounts into various attractions. In retrospect, we would have done better to refresh the "T2" because we only needed the metro to return to the airport (we could have bought another single ticket), and we never needed to use the metro because the stations were not in convenient locations in the city.
As you might expect, the Tourist style map of Valencia we were given was in Spanish - unfortunately, all the street names are in Catalan (or Valencian ?) so getting around is another challenge (I later asked another tourist office for a Catalan version, but was told that there isn't one!). Another time I would try Stanfords in London before setting off. From the Tourist Office we also bought a book of walking routes around the city, which proved another interesting challenge in trying to decipher the curious style of the translator, and the total lack of any concept of scale (distance or time) to the routes, but we persevered with it and criss-crossed the city many times finding lots of interesting places.
Now armed with dubious maps and a nearby No2 bus stop at the hotel and our T2 bus pass, we were able to traverse the city or get to the beach (frequent buses each a 20 min ride) and begin to enjoy our stay. Our hotel room was on the 4th floor (all non-smoking Executive rooms, which was a surprise as we expected a standard room). The room was huge with a firm bed as long as it was wide, a small fridge loaded with soft drinks (€1.50 each if you used them), and a safe (at no charge!). The bathroom was excellent - spacious, clean and a powerful shower. The air conditioning purred gently and unobtrusively. The flat screen TV included the BBC World News channel. The WiFi required a 24hr access pass (available free from reception), and my phone app said it was 11Mb/sec - you can pay for a faster channel if needed, but we had no problems on phones or ipad (you need a separate pass for each equipment using the WiFi). The only downside was that every time the phone went out of range such that the WiFi link dropped out, you have to re-enter the user name and the password. Very tedious, but I was assured by the management that they are aware of this and are looking to make the initial access available for the complete period of client's stay without needing to reboot.
Staff were friendly and helpful, breakfast is buffet style unlimited and covers almost everything from healthy cerials, yoghurt, fruit to eggs (three ways), sausages and bacon via cheese, croissants, cakes and sweets
One last comment on Valencia - the Oceanografico part of the City of Arts and Sciences really is worth a visit even at €27 each, if you have never seen trained dolphins. The routines of 8 dolphins performing individual and synchronised displays is quite extraordinary, and just when you think it's all over - it isn't!
A great Hotel and a great trip.
Four stars for now, once the WiFi is sorted I would give it 5 stars.
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- Abba Acteon is 5 minutes' walk from Valencia's City of Arts and Sciences. This design hotel, which includes a gym, sauna and squash court, offers air-conditioned rooms with satellite TV and free Wi-Fi. The spacious, soundproofed rooms feature carpeted floors and large windows. They have a work desk, minibar and safe. The private bathroom with bath comes with a hairdryer and a hot towel rail. The Acteon Hotel restaurant serves Mediterranean cuisine and there is a cafe-bar with a piano. It offers a daily breakfast buffet, and room service is available. Guests also receive a free apple and drink on arrival. Buses to Valencia city centre, 5 minutes' drive away, stop in front of the hotel, and Ayora Metro Station is 650 metres away. Playa de La Malvarrosa Beach and the Juan Carlos I Marina are about 3 minutes' drive away. Aqua and El Saler Shopping Centres are 5 minutes' walk away. There is a 24-hour front desk, and you can hire a car or a bicycle. On-site parking is available for an extra charge. ... more less
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- Also Known As:
- Abba Acteon Valencia
- Hotel Abba Acteon