The ¨Magic Natura´ holiday resort, based alongside Terra Natura Wildlife Park in Benidorm is now open. It was a little over a year ago that construction started on the brand new concept – the first in the region and part of the Magic Costa Blanca hotel group. I popped along over the weekend to have a look around and WOW - to say I am impressed is an understatement. From the minute you enter the Polynesian style complex you´ll be hard pressed to fault anything.
As you check in at outside reception area you are greeted with a welcome drink, which you can sip while relaxing on a shady daybed before being transferred to your room by a golf style buggy. The Polynesian style wooden lodges come with one, two or three bedrooms and each has its own private terrace area – absolutely perfect for families.
The two and three bed ones come with two separate bathrooms and all lodges come with a fridge and microwave, televisions in the bedrooms, aircon and have stunning views overlooking Benidorm. The resort is all-inclusive which is ideal as there is nothing else nearby, so you are not affecting any local businesses and there are laundry facilities available for you to use - meaning you don´t need to pack too much as it can be washed.
There is a large restaurant with two self service buffet areas plus an exclusive a la carte for evening dining, a lounge bar and a separate bar near the swimming pool, which has a chill out area overlooking the wildlife park. What better way than to be sipping on an ice cold drink and watching the elephants and wildlife roaming around in front of you.
As part of the all-inclusive offer you also have unlimited access to both Terra Natura and Aqua Natura – which is a massive saving on the entrance fees. The adult price is €29 or €35 for a joint park ticket – multiply that by 7 and it comes to €245. You can pop to either as often as you like and as I was in the reception area I spoke to a family who were just coming back for the wildlife park.
Ian and Carla Morgan had booked 11 nights with their 3 children – Shyla aged 11, Nela aged 5 and Kay aged 2 who were both fast asleep in their buggies. The family, from Benfleet in Essex had never been to Benidorm before – in fact, they told me that it was their first time to Spain, but will definitely be back again following their positive experience here.
Normally a holiday with three young children would be struggle in a hotel room but having a two-bedroom lodge was absolutely perfect for their needs. There was entertainment in the evenings, games plus a kids club – but they had not tried it as there was so much to do to keep the children entertained. They spent each day at an alternate park and there was also a free hourly shuttle bus that went down to the beach – a taxi would be at least €10 each way. The added extras alone was a massive saving and if they hadn´t been staying a Magic Natura they would probably only be able to afford to go once during their stay.
The resort is on Whatsapp so you can send a message to reception over your smartphone requesting a buggy to come and collect you to go to the wildlife park. The staff all appear very well trained and smile and greet you as they pass – something not normally associated with the Spanish and a refreshing change. The grounds are all beautifully maintained, with exotic plants around each of the lodges and generally has a wonderfully peaceful and tranquil feel about it.
Terra Natura is great to visit – with or without children, but make sure that you wear comfortable shoes as there is a lot of walking – the park is divided into three zones, Europe, Asia and America which is set in 32 hectares. There are a number of shows and demonstrations throughout the day and you can pick up a leaflet at the reception to plan your day accordingly around those.
Another perk of booking at the all-inclusive Magic Natura is that you can take advantage of the ´Night Safari´ around the park for a special discounted rate, which starts at 10:30pm until around midnight – certainly an experience you won´t find elsewhere. It is both a fun and educational holiday for children, which ticks all the boxes for parents.
Next door to the Wildlife Park is the Aqua Natura water park – especially popular with children. It is open from 10:30am until 7:30pm and full of slides, plumes, a dedicated children’s area, daily foam party and a free sea lion show – which is on twice daily. I managed to talk to another Magic Natura client there – Tim Dorgan from Cork, who had booked a 9 day holiday with his wife and 7 year old daughter.
He told me that he would definitely come back again – one thing that astounded him, in a good way was the fact that there was a dedicated bar there which could be used as part of the all-inclusive deal to get drinks and freshly made snacks instead of either going back to the resort or buying them. Tim said that the sunbeds, which are normally €4 each were also free for them to use – another substantial saving.
They had taken the free bus into Benidorm and spent the day sightseeing and on the beach – he couldn´t speak highly enough of the resort and concept, waking up in Benidorm yet surrounded by wild animals. Overall the families I spoke to only had positive things to say and said what a novelty it was for the children in particular, with all saying they would return with no hesitation – think they´re onto a winner there. You can also visit any of the other hotels within the Magic group and take advantage of the free shuttle bus. Shortly they will also be opening a camper park for those that come on holiday in their caravans or motorhomes in a sectioned off area of the carpark.