Benidorm Guide: Where To Stay
If you've been to Benidorm before you will probably know about the many attractions of the resort and where you want to stay, so this information is mainly for the benefit of first time visitors.
The original fishing village and most typically Spanish part of Benidorm is the Old Town. To this day many of the original population prefer to live in this area and most of the shops and businesses are aimed at the local resident population.
Of interest to visitors is that the heart of the Old Town is a series of narrow lanes crammed with tapas bars, cafes and restaurants which make it a great place to drink, eat or simply walk around.
To the west of the Old Town is the Poniente Beach area. And just beyond Poniente Beach, is La Cala, or La Cala de Finestrat to give its full name.
To the east of the Old Town is the Levante Beach area and beyond that the Rincon de Loix.
The Levante Beach area, also referred to as the new town, is where most of the pubs and clubs are. The promenade on the front is usually busy from mid morning to about midnight throughout the year. There are bars and restaurants all along the front - several of which will have live music. You will also see many people sunbathing and even swimming most days of the year. The road parallel and just behind the seafront, the wide Avenida Mediterraneo, is mainly a shopping street with many clothes and tourist oriented shops. This road is only busy with people during the day, but as a main thoroughfare, will have traffic most of the time. Although not particularly heavy traffic. Benidorm is a remarkably easy place to drive in, as most people don't arrive by car, except in peak summer.
The next street back from the beach is Calle Gerona, it is the beginning of the main entertainment area in Benidorm, often referred to as The Square.
Calle Gerona has many cheap eating places, British style pubs and some of the well known nightspots hosting live acts, such as Morgan's Tavern, Stardust and Broadway, The Square is a big nightlife draw.
At the eastern end of the town is the Rincon de Loix. If you look at a map and see a main road, Avenida Ametlla de Mar, that goes inland from the beach, everything to the right of it, and part to the left of the road, is the loosely defined Rincon de Loix. It is worth bearing in mind that everything to the right of Ametlla de Mar is on a hill, and that, generally speaking, the hills nearer the sea are steeper than the ones further back. Avenida Ametlla de Mar and the streets that lead in to it are very well served with all kinds of shops, bars and restaurants, and the indoor market is in this street. Also, along this road, about 1 km. back from the beach, is the Benidorm Palace, where there are nightly dinner shows.
On the western side of the the Old Town is Poniente Beach. The beach is nice and it has a new promenade, but there is little reason why you would want to stay there. There are a few bars and restaurants along the front at the old town end, but they peter out the further west you go. And inland from the promenade it is all just residential.
Beyond Poniente Beach, about 3 kms. from the the Old Town, is La Cala de Finestrat. This is a bay with a nice wide beach separated from Poniente Beach by a promontory. A lot of new buildings have gone up around here in recent years and there are ever more shops, bars and restaurants to support it. There is a frequent bus service into the centre of Benidorm. If you want a quieter location you could consider this area, but otherwise you would be better off in the old town/Levante Beach/Rincon de Loix area.
So, in conclusion, if the beach is your main interest, consider the beach front apartments along Levante Beach. Alternatively, the apartments along Avenida Mediterraneo or up the hill a bit at the eastern end of the beach which are only a short walk from the beach and are likely to be cheaper. If the idea of staying in an area that feels more Spanish appeals then it has to be the old town. If being near the night life is the most important criteria, then the nearer you are to the "Square" the better, but anything from the eastern side of the old town to Ametlla de Mar is only going to be a maximum of 15 mins. walk. And anything a little up the hill in the Rincon de Loix is still not very far, particularly since you will be walking along well lit streets. And finally, if you want a quieter holiday, choose La Cala.
Of course, apart from location, other important factors are likely to be the quality of the apartments, facilities offered, and price. You may like to see details of Our Grading System which will give you an indication of the respective qualities of the apartments.
Wherever you decide to stay you will find that the area is clean and well kept. Benidorm is very well managed by the council. The beaches are cleaned every morning, the streets are swept and rubbish is collected daily. There are no "no go" areas and there is very little trouble, even in the area around the The Square in the early hours of the morning.
Worth mentioning, is that when you see photos of the Benidorm skyline it looks like a mass of skyscrapers. In fact, when you are there you realize that there is plenty of space between the buildings. This is because most buildings have a swimming pool and maybe a garden, a tennis court and some parking space.
Also there are usually some low level buildings such as shops or restaurants in between the blocks. The tall buildings punctuated by low rise buildings give an overall feeling of space.
Surprisingly, through a combination of good planning, the gentle rise of the land from the coast and the large spaces between buildings, the sea is often visible from quite deep into the city.