Spain - Costa Blanca Discussion Forum

Discussions regarding holidays in the Costa Blanca.
Hi JK - it does indeed bring back memories. 1971 was our first holiday abroad and we stayed at the Torre Dorada on full board for the princely sum of 39pounds each for 2 weeks. We had to have 2 separate rooms as well as we weren't married then :o The food was awful but, to be fair, we weren't used to paella or bean stews then and don't know what we've have done if we hadn't stumbled across Vincents bar. You were only allowed to take in 50pounds then and I think we spent more than half of that in Vincents.

We had a night flight from Manchester Ringway on a rickety DanAir plane to be met at Alicante by General Franco's armed policemen - we'd never seen real guns before. I remember the long drive to Benidorm passing through what seemed to be shanty villages and I really thought we were heading for the back of beyond. But the next morning when I saw the beautiful Poniente beach from 'our' balcony I thought I was in heaven.

We had a couple more holidays after that to the Rio Park and La Pena, but nothing compares to that first time. Last October we went back to the Torre Dorada (after 32 years of marriage) :D but I had to do it DIY as it doesn't feature in the brochures now. I couldn't believe how the place had grown, but we had a great time (apart from Vincents bar which was a big dissapointment).

Thanks for bringing back these memories.
Sanitscully wrote:
I remember the long drive to Benidorm passing through what seemed to be shanty villages and I really thought we were heading for the back of beyond

I remember when the transfer from Alicante took you along that country road which I much prefer over the new 'motorway' route'. What was Alicante Airport like in the 70's please? I first went to Benidorm in the early 1980's, so I will not have any recollections myself.

But it is very interesting to note what the prices were like way back then. Something tells me this thread is going to prove to be very interesting. I hope so as I like to look back on things and how they used to be. As a matter of interest does anyone know when the first High Rise Hotel was constructed in Benidorm, and if so which Hotel was it? Is it still there today?

Alicante airport was like a shack back in the 1970's.

funny you mention that because we was only talking about that at the weekend! my father came over to england in 1966!

also as a young girl in the 1970's/80's i remember landing at alicante airport and walking down the steps to catch the bus to the terminal!!

i also remember having my photo taken by a professional photographer and somewhere my parents have a picture of me and my brothers walking down the steps! (and yes my teddy bear was there aswell!! ) on our return to alicante they used to have boards with loads of photos on! taken either 1/2 weeks earlier and you could purchase these photos hence the one we have somewhere at dads !!

lou x
Thanks for reminding me of the transfer route BenidormHereICome! :D

I remember that on the way you used to drive a lot nearer to the bull on the hilltop than you do now.

The drivers went faster, the roads were narrow and precariously near 100 foot drops into the Med and the coaches were...interesting...shall we leave it at that :lol:

Vincents' is a bit disappointing to what it used to be (The Corner Bar in Old Town) but its probably just time going by

I can remember being there when they were building that circular cream building on the Levante front, but no idea when that was.

The Torre Dorada is in the brochure, but its not called that, its called something else. Have to dig it out,
JKKne wrote:
I remember that on the way you used to drive a lot nearer to the bull on the hilltop than you do now.

Yes I remember the big black 'Bull' Billboard. I think it is still there actually, you can just about make the back of it out as you pass it by on the motorway.

I also remember the Airport Photographers and I have several photographs of me walking down the steps as I was leaving the aircraft. They don't seem to do that anymore, do they? I wonder why. But times have changed I guess. At least I have my memories which are very precious to me.
As a matter of interest does anyone know when the first High Rise Hotel was constructed in Benidorm, and if so which Hotel was it? Is it still there today?

Not found out the first High Rise one as yet, but apparently The Hotel Bilbaino at Old Town end of Levante c/virgen del Sufragio was built in 1926, but its only has 38 rooms so certainly not high rise. The Hotel Paca, Avenida de los Almendros, was built in the early 60s.

Best Regards - Taggy :)
JK - the Torre Dorada is still called that. If you look up to the hotel Bali from the beachside, its just in front. The La Pena has changed its name, but I can't for the life of me remember what to. Its near to the Cafe du Paris, which is where I tried Stella for the first time.

I can't recall the photographer, but I do remember the airport being little more than a shack and the coach that smelled of Lola cigarettes.

Oh, happy days.
What memories!!!

I am going back to Benidorm in March 2007 for the first time since 1971!!! We stayed at a hotel called the Sol y Sombre and it was the pits!!!! I have noticed that it no longer features in any brochures but you can book it direct.

We flew on a Clarkson's flight with Cosmos!! If I remember right, Clarkson's went out of business a couple of years later. It was the first time we have flown and my sister and I were terrified.

I too remember seeing the "Bull" on the way into Benidorm. I also remember that the hotel was constructed in such a way that you had two hotels inside each other (i.e. when we opened our bedroom window, we looked directly into the room opposite).

Cannot remember much about the holiday but do remember it was a very long walk down a steep hill to the beach which like sintscully I thought was heaven.

We too had our picture taken when leaving the plane and then on the return journey. And guess what me and my sister were holding on the return flight ------ donkeys!!! And wearing Sombreros!! Sad or what. I also remember buying my first "foreign" doll in Benidorm. She was dressed in a bright blue flamingo dress!!

Happy days. What memories this thread has evoked. Long may it last.
In case you haven't seen them before, you can access some fantastic old photos of Benidorm via THIS topic.

David :wave
Have a look at this site
It shows a lot of the skyscrapers in Benidorm and the year of completion, as well as those in constuction and those planned.
The oldest tall one I can find is Iberia on the Levante front...from 1964!! it's older than me :shock: (although a lot of the buildings don't have a date given,so it's prob not the first one)

The Sol Costa Blanca dates from 1952!! Which is not quite as old as Hubby... :P
This is a brilliant site with great photographs and lots of interesting information.
The member who started this thread is certainly bringing out some real memorabilia, something I find really interesting.
We are going to Benidorm for our tenth visit in October and our first was in 1992 so it is good to hear about earlier holidays.
The Sol Costa Blanca dates from 1952!!

It does indeed....
There is a plaque inside the hotel, that ironically I filmed a few days ago. :wink:

Sanji x
The area in question has come to me!

Officially known as the Armanello District.

I googled it and it led me to a thread on this very site. It answers most of the questions
At the start of this conversation you said you had found an old benidorm brochure from 1970s?, do you still have this brochure and what was the name of the travel company it belonged to? . I am researching the language of travel brochures from the 1950s to 1970s compared to the present day. I need to find travel brochures including benidorm from 1970. Any ideas where I can get one?

I went to Benidorm in the late 60s and early 70s with my parents for holidays. We stayed at a camp site, an old olive grove just outside the town, maybe 5 mins walk or so from the north end where the electric water ski was. I have very fond memories of Benidorm as a child. Indeed I had a 10 shilling note which I took to a local fish and chip shop with a friend and exchanged it for some food and bottles of coke - no idea what it was worth in pesetas.

I returned to Benidorm with my sister and two young nephews in 1989 but did not like the experience. However I went there for a few days with my sister and friends for St Patrick's night which coincides with my birthday. I was really impressed with the old town which I can't recall ever seeing before! The hotel had photos on the walls of Benidorm in the 1960s and 70s - wow, how it has changed.

My sister now lives in Spain in the Murcia region about an hour and a half south from Benidorm. We will be back soon for another trip.

Apologies for the rambling.
I also went with my parents a couple of times in the 70s. Our hotel looked on to an olive grove and a farm and was next to an open air theatre. I would imagine it is right in the middle of things now! I returned to Benidorm in the early 80s and found the old town then. Very pretty.
The Pontinental Torremolinos which is now the Marconfort BeachClub found this blog an interesting read stayed at the Sol Principe in 1989 and walked through thethe fields to the railway station now itis all built up.
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