Fancy Dress Day is BACK!

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Today (Thursday 18 November) is deemed “Brit Day” and Benidorm is certainly a magnet for those that like dressing up. British Fancy Dress Day always takes place the day after the end of the official Benidorm fiesta - which closed with a spectacular firework display last night. Calle Gerona was a throng of revellers in an array of outfits showing Benidorm is back in business!

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Benidorm is BACK!

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It´s been a long slow road but it certainly feels like the resort is getting back to some semblance of normality… albeit sadly with a number of restrictions still in place, namely the 1am to 6am curfew, no dancing and max 6 per table inside or 10 on an outside terrace. This was extended and will remain in place until September 6 but certainty hasn´t appeared to deter everyone as was feared. The neon lights that illuminate calle Gerona and the square have come back to life and live shows are back on in most places.

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Slowly waking up

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Many parts of the resort are at long last finally buzzing albeit not with the Brits we so want and need. Over half the hotels in Benidorm have re-opened but others are waiting for the UK government to give the go ahead for Brits to travel to Spain. Sadly it looks like it may take longer than initially hoped with a new revised date of July 19 now being announced for "Freedom Day" – strange that is 3 days before parliament goes on summer recess!

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New build on beach front

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How many of you, especially those that have been holidaying here in Benidorm for many years, admired the old rambling villa that once stood on the Levante beach near the cable ski?

Now after many years a new maritime information centre is due to be constructed on that prime 1,445 m2 plot, between the relatively new Oasis Beach Club bar and Hotel Brisa.

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Armageddon hits Benidorm

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The much promised and talked about renovation project of Benidorm´s infamous strip is underway. Resembling the aftermath of an earthquake – or as some amusingly said “a good Saturday night partying by the Brits”, the much-needed works have started. By the time international holidaymakers return to Benidorm many may well be pushed recognising the place they last visited some 12 months previously.

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Benidorm looking more lively

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Although by no means anywhere near ´normal´ every week there seem to be more bars, cafes and restaurants opening up. Sadly St Patrick´s Day on the scale that we are all accustomed to didn´t happen, although the few Brit owned bars in particular that were open did make an effort with bunting and balloons for the locals, with many even dressing up. However, to honour the occasion, Benidorm town hall illuminated the Mirador up in green at night, looking especially spectacular. Let´s all just hope that 2022 is the start of what we know and love and that calle Gerona will once again become a green zone, with plenty of shamrocks and leprechauns!

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Benidorm is waiting for you!

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With the current travel restrictions in place many are wondering if and when they will ever be able to take a holiday. It will happen – it´s just a matter of time. Benidorm is literally crying out for people to return, after all, their economy only really survives thanks to tourism. Hotels, restaurants bars, taxi drivers, theme parks and all those businesses associated with supplying them are on their knees, not only here but across the world. However, for resorts such as Benidorm, there is no other industry to fall back on. We want and need you but realise as much as we want you here and you wanting to be here, it cannot happen until it is safe to do so. One things for sure, once restrictions are lifted and international travel back on, there will be one hell of a party!

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The end to a strange year

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Christmas greetings from Benidorm… and what an unusual one it is for everyone this year.
The sad reality of this current worldwide pandemic is that the resort should have been bustling, but instead, it is a sad shadow of its former self with only a handful of hotels open. Despite this, many have still made the effort to decorate their facades and entrances for those that are walking past, to put a little festive cheer on their faces. There are also lights, decorations and Christmas trees dotted around the resort and although in the daytime temperatures are still lovely, come sunset the thermometers plunge and it is definitely cold.

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The fiesta that never was

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This weekend would have marked the start of the Benidorm fiestas, a massive deal financially for the resort. Hotels, restaurants, bars all benefit – not forgetting the florists who supply the thousands of bouquets of flowers for the floral offering, decorating the outside of the San Jaime church up in the old town. The entire process takes absolutely hours to complete but the end result is pretty amazing. Sadly all events except a couple of religious masses have been cancelled which also includes the British Fancy Dress Day - although this isn´t actually an official event.

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The show must go on

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The lockdown and its aftereffects have hit Benidorm particularly hard – a resort reliant on tourism. Media scaremongering - both from UK tabloids and even those here in Spain do little to help the situation either. Sadly a number of bars, restaurants and hotels still remain closed, realistically waiting until the UK´s 14 day quarantine is lifted and more airlines start bringing holidaymakers here. Aqualandia and Mundomar opened, but last week regretfully announced that due to poor visitor numbers that it is unviable to remain so and therefore will be closing their doors early on Sunday 23 August. It almost felt like the final nail in the coffin…. but like a knight in shining armour Benidorm Palace, the jewel of our crown reopened last Friday night.

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No reservation - No entry onto beach

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The long awaited online booking system for Benidorm beach will be up and running on Thursday, although at the moment only applicable for Levante and not Poniente or Mal Pas beaches. It is free - apart from the sunbed section, which still have to be paid for as normal. So from Friday 17 users will only be able to access the Levante beach if they have pre-booked a slot. It means a little bit of organisation is required but does ensure that everyone has there own allocated socially distanced space.

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Benidorm is ready and waiting for you

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As holidaymakers slowly return to Benidorm, there is an audible sigh of relief from local businesses who only last month feared that they would be forced to remain shut and write off the rest of the season. The resort is reliant on tourism to survive and many are geared up for the British, who last year made up 41.3% of the market which equated to 4.8million people – only just beaten by the domestic Spanish market at 45%. However, it is the spending power of the British that sustains virtually all of the bars and clubs in the Rincon de Loix area.

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The beach is OPEN!

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After 13 weeks of lockdown, Benidorm´s beaches were finally allowed to re-open this morning, albeit with strict social distancing rules. They have been divided up into 3 zones – green for over 70´s, blue for everyone else although over 70´s can use these too if accompanying a family group, which are marked out into 4x4 meter squares and free for users. The third area is the sunbed rental zone which remains at the same price, 5€ sunbed and 5€ parasol. Spaces have to be pre-booked, however, rather embarrassingly, the booking app, which has reportedly cost €700,000 isn´t yet ready.

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Beaches to re-open June 15

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One of the main attractions to Benidorm are the stunning golden sandy beaches and along with the fantastic weather, helps to keeps Benidorm at the top of the holiday destination list for the Brits. Unlike others, Benidorm is blessed with 4 separate sandy beaches, in addition to a number of hidden rocky coves – so there is something for everyone. Sadly, despite entering phase 2 of de-escalation this coming Monday, June 1, Benidorm´s beaches will remain shut for a further 2 weeks until June 15, a real disappointment for the locals here.

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