Hugely high-rise, vaguely Vegas and definitely dodgy, BENIDORM is king when it comes to package tourism. Sixty years ago, Rose Macaulay described Benidorm as a small village "crowded very beautifully round its domed and tiled church on a rocky peninsula". The old part's still here, but it's so overshadowed by the kilometres of towering concrete that you'll be hard-pressed to find it. If you want hordes of British and Scandinavian sunseekers, scores of "English" pubs, almost two hundred discos and club-bars, and bacon and eggs for breakfast, then this is the place to come.
The Playa de la Levante, Benidorm's biggest highlight, with its 2km of golden sand, is undeniably pleasant when you can see it through the hordes of roasting bodies. A little farther from the centre is the slightly more relaxed and less exposed Playa de Ponienete, which has slightly more Spanish flavour.
For tapas, follow the natives to La Tasca del Pueblo, c/Marques de Comillas, a checked tablecloth'n'antlers joint that nevertheless serves quality, reasonably priced platos. Posada del Mar, Paseo Colón, is a lively seafood spot, where you can tuck into freshly caught fish, prawns and the like. For a departure from the Benidorm crowds and cacophony, amble down to the quiet restaurant in the Club Náutico Benidorm, south of the teeming centre, on the waterfront on Paseo Colón, where you can sample fresh seafood on a breezy terrace with just the sounds of water slapping against the sides of nearby docked boats.
The Hotel Rio Park is located in central Benidorm: the tourist resort par excellence for people of all ages and from all walks of life where the common denominator is fun. The Hotel Rio Park ...