A hidden gem that often gets overlooked by travellers merely passing through the airport to the resorts of the Costa Blanca, Alicante offers some of the best beaches in Spain, traditional architecture and a Mediterranean atmosphere – far from the ‘Brits abroad’ carnage of nearby Benidorm.
Tucked away just one block behind the promenade and two minutes from Postiguet beach, the five-star Hospes Amerigo is a luxury design hotel housed in a renovated 17th century Franciscan monastery, complete with arched windows.
The hotel is easily accessed from the airport, within around 20 minutes on the Alicante Airport bus, and stops on the Rambla de Mendez Nunez, just around the corner from the hotel.
On arrival we were greeted with an ice cold glass of aromatic home-made lemonade and were offered a complimentary upgrade to a Deluxe room (room 125).
The bedroom was absolutely stunning and included a king-size bed with sumptuous Egyptian cotton sheets, a mezzanine seating area with designer furniture (we have the same Eileen Gray side table at home), a cool digital screen print, an LCD TV and DVD player, a stylish writing bureau and a juliette balcony overlooking the atrium.
Behind a Japanese-style door partition was the marble bathroom with the longest bath I’ve ever seen, a fantastic shower, separate toilet and Korres toiletries, including Guarana Exfoliating Body Soap, Rice Protein Shampoo and the most gorgeous Vanilla and Cinnamon Bath and Shower Gel.
The philosophy of the hotel is to provide the best possible sleep and on the coffee table, there were two hard-back books dedicated to the science of sleep. The beautiful, soft sheets, fluffy pillows, powerful air con, lack of noise and good food and wine also contributed to us drifting off easily (admittedly pretty late) every night.
If you’re really serious about tackling your sleep issues, the hotel can provide a full DIY programme and suggest methods of relaxation. However, not all guests were staying at the hotel for its soporific benefits and were dressed in their finest for a night out in the Old Town.
The hotel really pays attention to small details to make the stay more enjoyable, such as a complimentary DVD library, a laptop with free internet access in the lounge, realistic wardrobe hanging space and extra beach towels on request to use at the roof top terrace.
Each morning after a late breakfast, we went up to the rooftop solarium-terrace and baked under the sun on the chic wooden, cushioned sun loungers with a drink (two Coronas from the bar came to 8 Euros) and relaxed in the swimming pool.
While the pool was too shallow for a proper swim, at a depth of under one metre, it had excellent hydrotherapy facilities – three spa water jets and two jacuzzi sections. The only heating seemed to come from the sun, but once you acclimatise to the temperature, the pool is very refreshing and relaxing.
The rooftop terrace offers panoramic views over the city and the imposing 16th century Castillo de Santa Barbara, perched on the top of the Mount Benacantil.
One the first night, we ate at Monastrell, the tapas bar and restaurant connected to the hotel and had a few plates of excellent tapas and chilled Spanish rose wine…but more about that later.
We didn’t have breakfast at the hotel, but we found a great cafe/ice cream parlour called Antiu Xixona, just a few steps away from the hotel on the promenade, where they served a breakfast menu for just 3.80 Euros. It consists of a coffee, freshly squeezed orange juice and a cake, pastry or a toasted baguette with a choice of toppings.
My magdalena cake came with a pot of melted dark chocolate and on the second day, the lovely waitress brought us a complimentary cup of melon ice cream.
It was an absolute delight to stay at the Hospes Amerigo and with such excellent facilities and well-designed room, it was much more than just a base for going to the beach or exploring the city.
The Hospes Amerigo offers affordable luxury, superior service and an unbeatable location, with rates from 100 Euros per night in the high season and depending on the room type.
We booked a Dreamers double room at Hospes Amerigo through a Private Sales on Tablet Hotels and got an excellent rate of just 250 Euros for three nights.