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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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"The Manfreds" coming to Benidorm Palace

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If you loved the hits of the 60’s then head down to Benidorm Palace where The Manfreds will be headlining this Sunday – with our very own local talent Pablo Bloom the support act for the night. He is absolutely delighted and honoured to have been asked to play – a venue he has dreamed about having been there a number of times. He has a fantastic repertoire with a particular fondness for 60’s icons such as Chuck Berry, Jersey Boys and Elvis, which will complement The Manfreds superbly.

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It's Stag & Hen season

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Benidorm is a popular destination for party go-ers and we are now entering traditional Stag & Hen season. Love them or loathe them, they are important to the economy of the resort and in general the vast majority behave. The resort is a magnet for those wanting a good time, where booze is cheap and bars are plentiful - many of the groups arrive on Friday and fly back on Monday, though somewhat more subdued than when they arrived! Boisterous behavior is tolerated to a point here but on the plane it is a very different matter as a group found out last week.

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Revival of the Selomar Hotel

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Rising like a phoenix from the ashes, the Selomar Hotel, located in prime position along the Levante promenade may soon have a new lease of life. The hotel, an eye sore on an otherwise pristine front has been closed and deserted since 2007. Originally built in 1973, the hotel offered 245 rooms across 8 floors and underwent a refurbishment in 1992.

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The Benidorm Legend retires

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Not only has it made the national Spanish press, with a headline "The queen of vaginal magic retires" but it has also made the UK tabloids today – the Legend of Benidorm, Sticky Vicki has, after 35 years announced her retirement. Some say long overdue, but at the age of 72, following a hip replacement and subsequent diagnosis that she is suffering with cancer, the grandmother has called it a day. In the last few years her daughter Demaria has been performing alongside her – not what many would deem a normal mother daughter collaboration, but one which appeared to work well for the pair.

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"Look Left" in Benidorm

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In order to assist the Brits, Benidorm City Council have embarked on a ‘safe crossing’ campaign in the predominantly British areas around the Rincon area. Each year numerous traffic accidents involving pedestrians are reported – as the Brits tend to forget that the Spanish drive ‘on the other side’. So the Council have started by painting the direction pedestrians should look at before starting to cross.

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It's all go for Benidorm series 9

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It has been officially confirmed that Benidorm series 9 will begin shooting in mid-March and have an extra two episodes – great news for all here. Pere Agullo, of “Filming Spain” – the production company used by Tiger Aspect in Benidorm has also indicated that they have provisionally been signed for series ten even though the current series 8 hasn’t yet been fully aired on UK screens.

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Travel Insurance - check what it covers

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Most that go on holiday are aware of the importance of taking out travel insurance – and in particular, declaring any pre-existing medical conditions. However, despite this there are still many that decide to take the chance, especially if just going for a long weekend, only taking their blue European Health Insurance Card (EHIC).Worryingly, it now looks like you also have to check your policy to ensure you are covered for just coming here to Benidorm, as a number of insurance companies EXCLUDE Spain from European cover!

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