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The Changing Face of Benidorm.

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Brighton, United...
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The Changing Face of Benidorm.

A group of us 1970’s workers visited Benidorm in early April 2011, it was fascinating looking what my old work places had become, The Western Saloon has become Richards New Look Bar, the Istanbul Disco looks like a store for the Hotel Diplomatic and Tramps Disco is now a lap dance bar. Some of the other places where I socialized were still there, but Bar Calou in the old town is now a sex shop, the Ex Bar is bricked up and Jack’s Scottish Bar is now a Tile shop. Benidorm is ever changing, the big clubs are out of town and the noisy late night bars are mostly located in what’s now known as ‘The Square’ but there are still plenty of themed bars dotted around old and new Benidorm.

As old friends from the 70’s chatted, we all agreed that Benidorm has still got a special feeling about it; we walked for hours around the old and new town amazed at how big modern it has become. There is something about eating paella in Aitona’s, nibbling tapas down the alley, sitting on the point with a cold beer in the early evening and even just plain people watching that makes Benidorm special. I’m sure we will be back next year for another reunion, hopefully with an even bigger group, we will all take in and enjoy the new Benidorm as well a reminisce the old.

Has anybody any thoughts and memories on some of the changes from 60’s to 90’s Benidorm, to what it’s become now.

Jettyman

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united kingdom
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1. Re: The Changing Face of Benidorm.

Love all your old stories keep up the good work ..mazza

Benidorm, Spain
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2. Re: The Changing Face of Benidorm.

Benidorm is still a fantastic place even though 40 years have passed since we first arrived here in 1971. Places have changed but Benidorm is the place to be. Thanks Mr. Jettyman for getting this going.

liverpool
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3. Re: The Changing Face of Benidorm.

yes. i agree with mazza. love all the old stories. keep them coming.

Brighton, United...
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4. Re: The Changing Face of Benidorm.

As I was walking around Benidorm recently, one thing that struck me is how many of the hotels had reinvented themselves. I remember the old Hotel Titanic with its multi coloured walls, with purple and orange. Now it’s the Hotel Marina with a fine lobby looking like four star quality, Hotel Diplomatic which was the Don Juan is also looking very smart. Other hotels like the Venus and Monaco have not changed their names but have upgraded to a similar standard. Having lived and worked in Benidorm in the 70’s, one thing has not changed is the value for money that Benidorm gives. Benidorm seems to have its own micro-economy, I read recently that the modern metropolis of Benidorm with all its amenities, was better value for money than holidaying in Bulgaria. Have any other holidaymakers or workers with a long affiliation with Benidorm, any thoughts and memories on how the resort has changed.

cornwall uk
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5. Re: The Changing Face of Benidorm.

keep up the posts jettyman, I enjoy reading them. your memory of benidorm is great.you must have fond memories of beni, and been suprised by the way it has grown.

Newcastle upon...
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6. Re: The Changing Face of Benidorm.

The first holiday I ever went on with mates was to Benidorm in June 1978 and went back in 79 and 80. While browsing the internet I came across an excellent topic about Benidorm memories, and so many recollections came flooding back. Sometimes it is best not to go back to a place that holds a lot of memories in case you are disappointed, but for some reason I had to see how much (or how little) my old friend Benidorm had changed, so I went back in 2010. Here are some of my thoughts and memories past and present.

In 1978 overseas holidays were usually a fortnight once a year if you could afford it. We were unable to fly with Thomson’s from Newcastle, and had to get an overnight bus to Luton - home of the package holiday! I remember in those days it was the tradition to applaud the Captain on landing! Now there are a couple of flights each day from Newcastle and the applause is no more!

The hotels I stopped in were the Bristol Park, Orange Park, and the Pueblo. All are still there today and have the same names. I also remember the Titanic, which looked like it had been built from gigantic Liquorice Allsorts. It was the butt of a lot of comedians jokes, but a great landmark when you were walking home drunk! I also remember that there were very few hotels at the far end of the resort - there seems to be hundreds now. One I think one was called the Tropicana Gardens, and holiday makers on Thomson Square Deals (where accommodation was allocated on arrival) used to hope they didn’t get that one due to the steep gradient to it!

1978 was probably the height of the disco era. Staying at the Bristol Park we used to start the night at the Old Town. I remember the Pig and Whistle, the Ex Bar, and the Commodoro were all close to each other. If you stood outside, the music from each of them seemed to mix together along with the different accents of the people into this cocktail of excitement and anticipation of the night ahead. To this day if I hear ‘Hot Legs’ by Rod Stewart I am back in the Pig, and ‘Rumour has it’ by Donna Summer back to the Ex. The Pig and Whistle is still going strong, however the others are no more.

The next part of the night was on to the club. Which one you ended up in had a lot to with how far you had walked, how drunk you were, and more importantly the persistence of the Prop you encountered! I remember 007, Amerika (with its Statue of Liberty), Eva’s, Istanbul and Tramps but there were hundreds more, some of them connected with a particular hotel. They all seemed to be underground, as it was cooler (no A/C in those days) and more sound proof I assume. Often wonder why they all closed? Were they too small, go out of fashion, or were they a fire risk with being underground? The clubs in town now seem to be focussed on entertainment/cabaret followed by disco or karaoke and are all at street level.

In the late 70’s the last day of your holiday also seemed to be spent spending whatever money you had left shopping for souvenirs. Although there still seems to be loads of souvenir shops in Benidorm, no-one ever seems to bring anything back these days! I remember standing at Luton on return watching all these fluffy donkeys of differing colours coming onto the conveyor belt wearing 'Paddington Bear style' name and address labels. These were then claimed by someone wearing a huge sombrero! Castanets, those spouted wine pourers, and straw beach mats (that never got used again) were also popular! Now a lot of people just take hand luggage only.

Well that’s a bit about my Benidorm experience past and present. The ‘Wanted’ poster from the Western Saloon, the T-Shirt from Tramps, and the bottle of champagne from the Limon Express are long gone, but the memories of the place will live on forever! Going back later in the year so should have some more for you then!

cornwall uk
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7. Re: The Changing Face of Benidorm.

Brilliant post ged002,

Brighton, United...
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8. Re: The Changing Face of Benidorm.

Nice post Ged, lots of great memories. Talking of Tramps Disco, when I was in Benidorm in April, I went in there out of curiosity. Having worked in Tramps in the 70's I wanted to see if it had changed much inside. The place is now a pole/lap dancing club called ‘Top Show’. The bar is in the same place, the dance floor is about half the size with the pole in the centre. The dance area was surrounded by tables and chairs and there were some private booths along the back wall. As I don’t frequent these type of establishments, I didn’t know what to expect, but it was pretty much as I imagined. I was asked to stay for a drink by a pretty girl; but I made my excuses and left. As my friends were waiting outside they can vouch that I was in there only for 2 or 3 minutes…lol.

benidorm
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9. Re: The Changing Face of Benidorm.

I remember staying in the Titanic when it was called the Hotel Estay - that's going back a bit!

Brighton, United...
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10. Re: The Changing Face of Benidorm.

What year was that masBenidorm, I've only ever known it as the Titanic. Strange to call the hotel the same name as a ship that sank on its maiden voyage........I bet they were all worred on opening night and nobody ordered ice with their drinks!!!!!!!!

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