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Las Damas Apartments

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Photo of Las Damas apartments as viewed from the beach

Las Damas Apartments

I just wanted to write a quick post about my most recent holiday to Benidorm. It was just a quick visit really rather than a proper holiday as I was only over there for 4 nights. After searching briefly around the web I found a pretty good deal on accommodation. I knew that I wanted to stay somewhere on the sea front on the Levante beach side of Benidorm. I was also looking for an apartment rather than a hotel because I had made plans to eat out every night with friends. As luck would have it one of the first results I uncovered was the Las Damas apartments right on the promenade in Benidorm.

After checking a couple of reviews, my worries about the height of the building were put to rest once I was assured that there were four lifts from the ground floor. After paying for the full stay upfront, I printed out my accommodation voucher and booked a flight with Jet2 from Blackpool to Alicante. Obviously transfers were not included and I was not in the mood for driving so didn’t want to hire a car at Alicante airport. I decided to book with one of the online airport transfer companies that operate the Alicante to Benidorm route. I found a pretty good deal with a company called Resort Hoppa and they seemed familiar to me because I have seen their coaches all across the Costa Blanca on my previous trips. To be honest I was a little disappointed with the service, my transfer to the resort went quite well (even though I was told I would have to run to the coach I had been booked onto because he was just leaving, even though my flight had not been delayed at all and I had cleared arrivals in about 5 minutes with my one suitcase.) and I was dropped off at the correct apartment building. I walked down the promenade to collect the keys from the travel agent (Fincas Benidorm) on the corner as there was no 24 hour reception at Las Damas and it all went very smoothly. Sadly, four days later when I tried to confirm my pick up by ResortHoppa, I was disappointed to discover that I had to get to the other side of Benidorm (near the motorway) to get picked up at 7AM. I phoned the help line to double check that this was correct because I felt sure that this would not be the nearest collection point (with other companies the furthest I have ever had to go to was a nearby hotel) but was assured that this was the only was I could get collected. I set off walking at 6AM the next morning but gave up after about 20 minutes and hailed a taxi. I got the taxi to drop me off at the collection point and it cost me 6 Euros.

Resort Hoppa offered a great price but I probably won’t use them again as it was just too much messing about and it’s not worth risking getting mugged by some Eastern European gypsies or missing your flight home. Anyway, all in all, Las Damas was an excellent apartment, one of the best I have stayed in in Benidorm. It was very clean and quiet with good facilities and the view was out of this world. I could see Peacock Island from by bed each morning, you can’t ask for more than that can you? In case you are wondering what it cost me, I paid £90 for the four nights and I was very pleased with this price. If you get the opportunity in the future to stay at Las Damas then I recommend that you take it. It might not be the best place to stay in the height of summer as not all apartments have air conditioning (mine didn’t but another guest said theirs did) but in the Winter they are perfect.

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When you go to Benidorm – sometimes nicknamed Beni York because of its skyscrapers along the shoreline – the superb and elegant adventure will delight and amaze you with its grace, beauty, and multicultural ambiance. Your splendid vacation is all due to Pedro Zaragoza Orts. This little biography will explain his role in Benidorm’s tourism industry. Often referred to as “the man who made it all happen,” Orts was mayor of Benidorm from 1950 to 1967. Before continuing, you must remember that in the 50’s and 60’s, cheap accommodation Benidorm had not been founded and even finding a hotel or apartment to stay in was very difficult.

Born in 1922, he was a young man when he took over the sleepy village of Benidorm. It had a population of around 3,000 people ad tuna fishing was the main enterprise. In 1956, under Mayor Orts, a the Plan General de Urbanismo was established. This city planning document was design to, among other things, control how new buildings were constructed. The land was primarily farmland where olives and citrus fruit were grown. The city plan, really a town plan, provided for some of the green space to be saved when new buildings were constructed.

This kept Benidorm apart from the fate of so many European cities that became concrete jungles. Although Benidorm is not really considered a particularly built up area today, there is still lots of cheap accommodation in Benidorm and cheap hotels in Benidorm are probably only going to increase in number over the coming years. The big step that Orts took that put Benidorm on the map was wage the War of the Bikini. Already aware of the beauty of Benidorm beaches, Orts was making serious gestures to lure more tourism to the area. In the 1950s, the two piece bathing suit known as the bikini exploded on the fashion world and women started appearing on beaches in the itsy-bitsy bikini. When the bikini brigade started showing up in Spain, the reaction to it was harsh and swift.

Spain was a very Catholic country and the bikini was considered way too daring by most of Spain. Orts however, instantly saw that in order to have tourists and attract more tourists, Benidorm needed to embrace the tourists and make it a pleasant place to visit. When the government and some of the residents viewed the bikini as a tool of the devil, Orts resisted. Then one day a British tourist wore a bikini into bar and was told by a Guardia Civil officer that the bikini was not allowed in the bar. She hit him and received a huge fine. Orts got into the fray. He rode his Vespa to Madrid to see General Franco about the bikini laws. Franco made the decree that bikinis were allowed in Benidorm streets and plazas and so became the first Spanish town that allowed bikinis.

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