Detailed review by micksheff
Sheffield, United Kingdom
I stayed at the Flamingo Benidorm Hotel in Benidorm, Spain for 7 nights between the 17th and 24th October 2006.
The Hotel is located about 800 metres inland from Levante Beach, and about the same distance from the Old Town. It is set in one of the quieter parts of the resort on a slight incline. It is not to be confused with two other Hotels in Benidorm that have similar names; The Flamingo Oasis Benidorm and the Flamingo Aparthotel.
From the outside this Hotel does not look anything special. It is a tall building, as are almost all of the Hotels in Benidorm with 25 floors. All of the rooms face eastwards towards the Sea and overlook the Swimming Pool below so if you want a Pool View then you are guaranteed to get one. The Sea was just about visible through the narrow gaps between the buildings in the foreground.
I suppose that it is fair to say that the Flamingo Benidorm is quite an ugly building. From the road you are immediately greeted by a set of double glass doors, but above and beyond this is more or less just concrete. The Swimming Pool is not really visible from the main road due to high hedges and shrubs.
The Grounds of the Hotel are quite small. There is a decent sized swimming pool, surrounded by plastic sun loungers, chairs, and tables, and at the side of this there is a small, shallow baby pool. These are both centred around an outside bar.
Looking upwards from the pool and outside bar area you quickly realise just how high this Hotel actually is, and the fact that it is rather ugly is quickly reaffirmed. Looking upwards the rooms are set out in 9 rows, each with its balcony painted a rather ghastly yellow colour, and the people on the higher floors look like little dots in the sky!
Walking into the Hotel through the main entrance the Reception area is located on the right hand side. Close to here there are four lifts that will take you to your room, or for the energetic there is also a set a stairs. Two of the lifts go to the even floors, whilst the other two lifts go to the odd floors.
The interior of the Hotel is very large and spacious with high ceilings that help to amplify its size. The lower ground floor level is taken up mainly by the Saloon Bar, which is housed partly within a glass extension at the back of the main building. From here there are a couple of small offshoot rooms. One that is a Children's Game Room with Pinball Machines, and Playstations etc. The other room is set aside as a Sports/Entertainment Room, which has a large TV Screen showing live Sports events, mainly from SKY TV. During the evening current movies are shown in this room.
The Restaurant is situated downstairs and there is also a Disco bar located down here called "Barbarella's" This remained closed however throughout my stay without explanation. Also closed during my stay was the rooftop swimming pool, which is for Adults only, and offers a retreat for those, wanting to get away from the screaming kids.
Our room had two separate rooms, one with two twin beds, the other with a single bed and a sofa bed. There were only 3 people in our room but it could have quite easily have slept four.
Within the room that had the single bed and sofa bed there was a TV, but the only English speaking channel that I found was SKY News. There was also a telephone.
The kitchen was quite small but nice and compact and there was a refrigerator, which was ideal for keeping bottles of water cool. Since this is now an all-inclusive Hotel the Cooker had been removed and the cupboards that must have once held crockery were now empty. There was however a large double wardrobe located within the kitchen, which may sound a little odd, but it was probably making the best use of an otherwise empty space. The bedroom with the two single beds also had a large double wardrobe inside it.
The bathroom was of an acceptable size and had both a bath and shower, as well as a sink and bidet. There was also a hairdryer fixed onto the wall.
The balcony had a white plastic table and four chairs.
THE BARS & RESTURANT
All meals and snacks are served in the large restaurant, which is located downstairs in the basement. Since this is an all-inclusive hotel food is pretty much available throughout the day.
All meals and snacks are self-service from a buffet. Breakfast is served between 8am until 10.30am and consists of both continental and full English style breakfasts. There is a machine for tea, coffee and juices, and a toasting machine to make bread.
Snacks are available between 11am until midday. These consist of things like sausages and beans, as well as cold meats and cheeses.
The main lunchtime meal is served between 12.30pm and 2.30pm when beer and wine are also available, as well as soft drinks.
Between 3pm and 6pm snacks are available again. The main evening meal is served between 6.30pm and 9.30pm. Main meals like chicken, and other cooked meats are always available. There is also a daily theme to each evening, these include an oriental night with Chinese and Indian dishes, a Spanish night with Paella etc.
Once the main meal is over snacks are once again available from 10pm until midnight.
There are two bars at the hotel. The outdoor pool bar opens from 10am until 8pm, whilst the indoor saloon bar opens from 3pm until 1am. All-inclusive drinks however finish at midnight.
The saloon bar is where the main evening entertainment takes place. This begins at 8pm with a couple of games of bingo (well, it is Benidorm and nothing is compulsory). This is followed by games involving children participation followed by a kid's disco until 10pm. After 10pm there is a show followed by an adult disco, which finishes around midnight.
The range of food available was quite wide and the quality of the food was consistently good. All drinks from the bar are local brands, these were all of acceptable quality, and the local beer Cruzcampo was more than adequate.
The hotel reception is staffed 24 hours and offers a money exchange service and all staff at the reception are either British or speak very good English.
There is Internet access close to the main reception with three PC stations. Internet access costs 1 Euro for 30 minutes.
Safety deposit boxes are fitted in every room and keys are available from the reception for a 10 Euro deposit. Additional room keys can also be obtained from the reception also for a 10 Euro deposit.
Check in is very easy and straightforward. We had booked the hotel direct so we were not a part of a package deal. The majority of the guests were either with First Choice or Thomson. Check in was however where we encountered our first problem.
We had requested a low floor since once of my friends suffers from vertigo and although this was never guaranteed we emailed the hotel on two separate occasions prior to our arrival and were told that this was not likely to be a problem. On arrival we were allocated the 17th floor. After some complaining we were re-allocated the 12th floor. The reception denied any email correspondence from us whatsoever.
To be fair, we made the best of our 12th floor room and made sure that we kept our vertigo-suffering friend well away from the balcony.
The only other main moan that I have is about the behaviour of some of the kids, or more particularly of their parents who allowed very young children to run riot. Despite signs in the lifts saying that children under 14 years of age must be accompanied by an adult the lifts were constantly breaking down due to the kids who constantly pressed every single floor button for hours at a time, without a parent in site. Yet when the lifts could finally take more and broke down it is likely that it was these kid's very same parents that were doing the loudest complaining at the reception. On one occasion all four lifts were out of action for a full day.
Overall however I would have to say that this is an excellent hotel and it was always spotlessly clean. There was a daily maid service to clean the rooms every morning, but even throughout the day you would see the maids mopping floors, cleaning windows, and wiping ledges etc.
Since we booked direct it is probably unfair to comment on the price, but I paid just £133 for 7 days all-inclusive. I think therefore that it is fair to say that I got more than my money's worth.
Thank you for reading.
Marconfort Flamingo Benidorm