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"I-CONS" feature at Benidorm Palace

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It’s approaching that time of the year when the resorts premier entertainment venue, Benidorm Palace, changes its show. The launch date is fast approaching - April 27 and the new show for 2016/17 is called “I-CONS”. I met with Artistic Director David Moore to see what is in store for us this time and managed to watch the dancers rehearsing some of the new routines.

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The Benidorm Elvis fiesta 2016

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The three Day Elvis Fest kicked off in Benidorm today and hundreds of fans have flocked from across the globe to enjoy the extravaganza, dedicated to their idol. This is the sixth successive year that the event has taken place, growing bigger and better with each year. For the first time local artist Tachi left the crowds speechless with a live demonstration, painting a 2 metre tall face of The King of Rock & Roll to tremendous applause.

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Hold your Bets in Benidorm!

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There was a co-ordinated police raid on five bars in Benidorm on Saturday afternoon by a police unit from the National Police of the Valencian government – in a crackdown on illegal gambling. There had been an undercover surveillance on the establishments – all British and Saturday, the day of the Grand National was payday!

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British police in Benidorm?

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Last week there was much coverage in the Spanish press regarding British police coming over to help patrol the streets of Benidorm – something that was witnessed in Magaluf last year. At a meeting held in Benidorm with business owners on February 25, the British Consul Sarah-Jane Morris was asked the question about this possibility. The consuls visit to the resort was a follow up to the protest rally held in November – which was organsied by Karen Cowles, regarding the escalating security and safety issues here. Her response then was quite unequivocal saying “It is not possible and not going to happen despite the speculation. It is Spain’s responsibility to police their streets”.

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Benidorm bike lane fiasco

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The old adage “if it aint broke” springs to mind on hearing that expansion plans for the controversial bike lanes in Benidorm have been put on hold. Even before completion of the bright red lane in the middle of Avd Jaime 1 in the Old Town, many were already expressing concerns about the logistics and safety, which caused ridicule on social media at the beginning of the year.

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Spanish anomalies

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Holidaymakers often assume that the laid back and somewhat bizarre working hours here are all to do with the heat – two hour lunch breaks and working until 9 or 10 o’clock at night. But Spain is unique in that respect – other Mediterranean countries such as Greece, Portugal and Italy work what Brits would deem as ‘normal’ hours… so why here?

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Easter Parade in Benidorm

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Last night – Good Friday, the main Easter procession took place in Benidorm – and it appeared as if the entire population came out to line the streets. The resort is exceptionally busy, with many domestic tourists from Madrid flocking here for the long weekend break. The parade started at the San Jaime church at the top of the Old Town, winding its way down the tiny cobbled street, carrying the magnificent “Pasos” - extremely heavy floats with sculptures depicting the Sorrows of the Virgin Mary.

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Port Benidorm Hotel - A breath of fresh air

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Sitting a stones throw from the Levante beach, the old Hotel Dalmatas – very popular with the Brits, is undergoing a major renovation. In fact, the entire building has been virtually gutted, leaving just the walls but is now well on its way. It is on schedule to re-open on June 24 and will be renamed the Port Benidorm Hotel.

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End of the Benidorm Fallas

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The Benidorm Fallas went up in smoke last night to the delight of spectators – but bewilderment of holidaymakers! Although a long established tradition, many are still aghast that so much effort and money is put into building these beautiful structures, which are only on display for 4 days.

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Benidorm does St Patrick's

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What a turnout in Benidorm today - if you can’t get to Ireland then the next best place has to be here.

The sun shone and the crowds turned out for the annual St Patrick’s Day celebrations, which seem to be getting bigger and busier each year. From around 12 noon people started gathering, dressed in a variety of outfits, with the common theme being green!

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Magic coming to Benidorm Palace

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Benidorm Palace will host its first ‘Magic Gala’ this coming Sunday, March 20. For those that have been to see the show there, you will already be familiar with the multi talented illusionist – David Climent. Last year he was awarded the prestigious Merlin Award by Tony Hassini, the Chairman and CEO of the International Magicians Society - who flew over from New York especially to present it to him and it is the equivalent of an Oscar or BAFTA in the film and television industry.

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Party week in Benidorm

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Benidorm is in full party mode this week with not one but two major events taking place – St Patrick’s Day, predominantly for the Brits and the Fallas. Both are fantastic but culturally miles apart and if you can, then try and get to see both.The green day has even made it onto the official Benidorm Town Hall fiesta calendar this year, proving what an important (economic) event it is!

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Syd Little comes to the Costa Blanca

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Syd Little – one half of the former comedy duo Little and Large is currently here on the Costa Blanca where I caught up with him ahead of his appearance at the 2 day 'Homes, Gardens & Lifestyle Show' taking place at the Denia Marriott hotel this Friday 11th and Saturday 12th March. Last year he appeared on Celebrity Masterchef, where he made it through to the quarterfinals. Cooking is certainly not his forte he told me – that is his wife’s domain, though not in a derogatory way – as she actually runs a restaurant, appropriately named 'The Little Restaurant' in Fleetwood.

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Helicopter tour of Benidorm

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For a totally unique way to add a thrill to your day, how about a helicopter tour over the Benidorm skyline! One local couple – Trish and Bill have just been up and despite the somewhat grey overcast day it certainly didn’t detract from the experience they said. The heliport is located just beside the Terra Mitica theme park, from where it has been operating for the last 10 years.

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Located in the Old Town

Grupo Aurrera is Tapas Alley

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News Snippets

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    Nestle are opening a factory in Japan to keep up with demand for exotic flavours of Kit Kat. Around 30 varieties have been introduced there including wasabi, soy sauce, green tea, custard pudding & ginger and sake rice wine. But you'll be coughing up substantially more than you do in the UK - these alternative ones cost around $13!
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    From next January, rip off card fees imposed by many airlines and shops are to be banned - and also include American Express, Apple Pay and Paypal transactions. It will hit local authorities such as DVLA, who charge a £2,50 flat fee to use a credit card, which in 2010 generated an estimated £473 million! Currently Flybe charges 3%, Swinton Insurance 2.5% and Ryanair 2%
  • Parents be warned! +

    Schools across England & Wales will be issuing fines to parents of children who are persistently late for school. This follows on from fines issued for unauthorised absences such as taking holidays during term time. Some have already introduced the scheme, which offer a 50% discount if paid promptly otherwise doubled then prosecution could follow.
  • BA fees +

    British Airways - once dubbed Britain's favourite airline have enraged travelers by following in the footsteps of the low cost carriers. In order to guarantee sitting together, which includes families with children, customers are having to pay for seats - £7 for short and £20 for long haul flights. They have already done away with free refreshments... maybe they are having to claw back the millions it cost when the complete BA system failed recently!
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  • Rip Off fees +

    Brits using their debit or credit cards abroad are losing around £60 per person for each trip by opting to pay in £ sterling rather than euro's - ALWAYS pay in local currency. Third party currency exchange providers add on between 6-10% per transaction then on top of that, your bank will charge a fee for using their card abroad. Over £20 billion is spent on debit and credit cards and a further £2 billion of foreign currency is bought back each year.
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