Reminiscent of a scene from Wacky races or a Carry On film, a video uploaded to You Tube of the daily sunbed sprint at the Flamingo Oasis hotel here in Benidorm has caused much amusement worldwide.
It has even made headlines in the daily papers – but rest assured, sadly this is not an isolated incidence, which only occurs there! It is probably replicated in most of the hotels here in Benidorm. The Brits even put the Germans to shame, historically renowned for bagging sunbed at the crack of dawn.
With not enough sunbeds for all hotel guests at the All Inclusive Flamingo Oasis, where around 90% are Brits, the only guarantee is to queue up every morning – and hotel staff have confirmed that some start up to 45 minutes before the allotted 8:30am start time.
Sadly it is not the fault of the hotel but I do wish that those in the video would take a look at how silly they look. Sensibly the security guards tend to give it a wide berth, keeping a safe distance not to get knocked over in the mad stampede but on hand to diffuse any raised tempers. What the staff must think of these mad Brits is anyone’s guess – but it is not only restricted to the hotel pool side.
Walk down to the Levante beach at say 7:30am and you’d be shocked at how many parasols and chairs have already been planted on that prized front line position – I kid you not! And the main culprits – retired Spaniards. But one of the opposition parties here – Compromis, have raised a motion to stop this unfair practice by fining people who leave their unattended items hogging spaces with no intention of returning until much later in the day.
This has already been introduced to the beaches of Torrevieja and Valencia and will be discussed at the next plenary session on Monday 29 August. It also causes much friction with the sunbed rental companies, who have to maintain a 5 metre clearance of the water line yet the same rule does not appear to apply to private individuals.
Last summer the beach police had to intervene on a number of occasions when tempers mimicked the temperatures – hot and steamy over reserved spaces. In the middle the Levante is extremely wide and there is more than enough room for everyone to spread out. I personally can’t see what the fuss is all about, wanting to be right at the front where you get people walking up and down right in front of you and children splashing and screaming in your ear… but then each to their own!