Hotel Don Juan, Benidorm 1977

Hotel Don Juan

We could have gone practically anywhere we liked, so long as it was within our restricted budget of course, but we choose to go to Benidorm on the Costa Blanca for two whole weeks and we selected the Don Juan hotel on Calle Gerona, just behind the Levante beach because Linda had been there some time before with her parents and had liked it.

Once in Benidorm we went through the tedious process of dropping people off at their hotels and as the Don Juan was at the far end of the eastern Levante beach we had to wait quite a while to arrive there.  Forty years or so later the Don Juan isn’t there anymore and I might be mistaken here but it might now be the refurbished Diplomatic Hotel.  It has a bigger swimming pool area and is dwarfed now by giant skyscrapers but it certainly looks similar and it is just about the right location.

The Don Juan was a typical 1970s Spanish seaside resort hotel with a cavernous reception and public area, a dining room that was little more than a school canteen and an entertainment room for evening activity.  The hotel was a six storey concrete and chrome building and we had a room on the front about half way to the top with a good view out to sea.  In the 1970s rooms could only be described as functional because these were the days before mini-bars, TVs, internet wifi access and complimentary cosmetics in the bathroom but it was nice enough and it was going to be our home for two weeks.

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Hotel Don Juan Multipic

16 responses to “Hotel Don Juan, Benidorm 1977

  1. lifeinkarolingston

    There is something about old hotels!

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  2. “these were the days before mini-bars, TVs, internet wifi access and complimentary cosmetics in the bathroom…” Which may have been a very good thing, Andrew. Am I an old geezer or what! 🙂 –Curt

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  3. When first seeing the picture I thought it was one of those cruise ships under construction, then realized it was an hotel.
    Which is the same thing I suppose except it doesn’t float

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  4. First went to Benidorm in 1971, Hotel Terremar, £58 for 2 weeks full board, also stayed at the Agua Azul, Pueblo (twice), Bali before it was the Grand Bali. Saw Slade at Cap3000 in 72, the disco outside the Pueblo was called Eva’s, 200 peseta to get in and drink all you like, drank mostly in the old town bars like the Colau (10 peseta for a very large Cuba Libre or 5 pesetas for a treble brandy), smoked Celtas at 5 pesetas for 20, went to the 007, Western Saloon, Drugstore Sol, Istanbul, spent a lot of time at Bar Rumba as it was owned by Dave Heath and his parents who were Newportonians like me, he also opened the Prince of Wales next door, I went on the Lemon Express stopping off at the “ranch” in the middle of what seemed like a desert, the Guadalest excursion with the donkey ride down the mountain (eek), the nights at the barbecue and the night clubs, the old Alicante airport which looked like a tin shed and was replaced inside a year with a brand spanking new one, Vincents bar, the Black Bull which had aircon (rare in those days), the boat trip out to the island, losing my Petri camera when rat-arsed, the guitar factory, the mini bull fight and the actual bull fight. So many great memories, so many great times.

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  5. I’ll add my favourite memory. It was driving from our last stop (always Tortosa), reaching the top of that hill outside Benidorm and looking down and seeing that glorious sweep of two sandy bays and a few large hotels (early days) and imagining the delights in store for the next week or so. Foot on the gas and then sheer happiness.

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