Our Excursion To Torrevieja Chapter One Part One

When the taxi driver pulled up outside a hospital, I thought oh well,, perhaps he´s got a personal emergency situation going on here. The likes of a boil that needs lancing, or an ingrowing toenail that needs a good clipping back. So being as he was in the area he´d call in on the way. It was obviously a hospital because of the massive letter “H” on the roof and the fact that it looked like one. Except it wasn´t,, it was our hotel…

Took a while for the brain to accept,, especially when it looked like a hospital INSIDE too. I kid ye not, pristine as it may be, the place was one step beyond, as in truly clinical. Imagine a “Superior” Premier Inn with a faint smell of bleach, and shiny wall to wall, ceiling to floor tiling. There´s no such thing in the UK, but there is here. To be honest I´d have preferred a bit of dirt with a lot of characterful architecture…

So we checked in at the appointment desk for assessment service desk, and went up in the lift to our ward room. It was almost what we expected, except without a balcony which was expected. It´s the norm. But never mind, the bathroom was huge, as was the bed, which is a good thing because Dave has legs that sort of wander into unexpected places. I thought our king size bed at the house was more than ample, but at least in this one there was no chance of finding a toe up my nose.

Downside (not in the promo photos) was one of the busiest roads I´ve seen and HEARD in Spain, the CV95. Oh my god, we just aren´t used to such a racket anymore, and even worse there was a speed bump in a direct line with our room. Now to be fair the windows were sound proof, but there´s times when you want them open, no chance. Even the N332 and the AP-7 main roads are empty in comparison, and I mean empty. It was weird, so many buses and trucks on a one lane road (either side) when you hardly ever see such huge vehicles anywhere else in this part of the world.

After unpacking, we went for a nosy round (like you do). We´re fully aware that this is the “off season,” but weren´t aware of just how switched off this particular hospital hotel was. Why don´t they state winter hours for each different feature in the brochure??? Well, the answer is obvious, “get ém in THEN tell ém what´s off limits.” And another thing, if you wanted to use the gym, (appointment necessary) spa, (appointment necessary). Even indoor pool, forget the designer costume. Wetsuit, hair cap, nose plugs, earplugs, and it all cost extra!!! So:  

  • Spa with massage parlour SHUT.
  • Indoor swimming pool, gorgeous photo in the brochure, but they´d turned it into a pool for school kids to learn to swim in. With Jacuzzi´s next door to it, a relaxing experience it would not be. 
  • The Gym had every kind of workout equipment you can think of. Also SHUT. Looked good though all lit up like a Christmas tree.
  • Several bars and restaurants, most of which were open but empty, except for one. The “cheap” option that served “cheap” food at “cheap” prices. But did it? Most people just went there for a drink, they knew better. We tried it once, Dave asked for beef lasagne and got fish lasagne (?) I asked for spag bol,, the spag bit was stone cold, and a magnifying glass would be required to find the bol bit. We complained and were hoping for a refund – no chance.
  • “Free Wi-Fi” well it´s always a priority for everyone these days. Except… It didn´t work in the room. When I went down to ask about it I already knew the answer, but it was even more pathetic than that.

Me: “Why doesn´t the Wi-Fi work in our room???”

Him: “Ahh, well, it doesn´t work in any room.” {Embarrassed titter}

Me: “So I can use it in the lobby then?”

Him: “Ahh, yes it works down here. We have a problem with service provider at the moment!!!!!”

Me: “Is the lobby open, or do I have to pay a fee for use of the chair?”

However there was one saving grace on our first day, we went up to the rooftop swimming pool and it really was like something from a film set. Massive it was, with top quality bar and truly spectacular views over the two lagoons and beyond. So we sat up there Monday afternoon, cocktails, the full works. Very pleasant indeed — except we found out on Wednesday that it´s only open Monday and Tuesday. Bye bye rooftop delights…

We also tried the (empty) posh restaurant one night and found some rather odd things on the menu. The best stupid one I can remember was steak served with chocolate. I mean ON IT not as a desert. Yours for only 30 euros. Yuk, just reading it was enough to make you puke. We walked away… It was obvious everyone else had too. Must´ve cost them more to keep the staff on (stood at the side of the rather large bar on smartphones) than keep the place open.

Fortunately we found a “hidden gem” down a country lane. Swimming pool, tennis courts, bowling green etc. It could hardly be seen from the main road and there were lots of regular customers. It was more like a little community, mainly local expats and Spanish. What a lovely atmosphere it had, and the food was excellent too. First time we went, we thought it might be a bit of a run down affair, quite the opposite… Clean and cuddly and friendly and nice.

Of course to get to the bar with a welcome mat, we had to cross the manic road. On the positive side, speed bumps here are about 30 foot long and not very high, (no suspension damage, unless in excess of five miles an hour). Also fortunately, some clever road designer from the dark ages thought about putting zebra crossings either side of them. It´s the same everywhere here, traffic has to slow right down to a crawl, so why not make it a safe place for people on foot to cross? Hence slow moving cars stop for walkers like us all the time. Simple.

Well as I write this, I confess we´ve come home early, and none of the above gripes are the reason. They might be off-putting, but not enough to checkout! We´d found our little niche away from clinical out-patients, but ironically, we´re both ill. So please make allowances for any typos or exceptionally naff grammar cock ups.

Tomorrow, if I´m OK enough to crawl out of bed, I´ll post some of the stunning photos I took. There´s only 60 of them. The hotel and the services it didn´t have to offer were more than made up for by the views…

On our second day (rooftop closed for duration) some very special blogger friends came to visit us in the afternoon. What a good laugh we had, will post photos of us all together in a couple of days. I’ve noticed Paul’s already put them on his blog, he’s working in real time! Meantime, well, I’m trying to do a catch up thing, whilst caught up in a feverish state.

That night we went to a pub quiz at the “hidden gem,” teamed up with another couple and won!!! Came back with some apple gin type stuff. It doesn´t appeal to us, but if it sounds good to you just let me know, and for a small fee I´ll pop it in the post…

The next day was when illness stopped play. Sort of crept in and took us by surprise, never been so ill here… Right I´m off to gob a pint full of the Spanish equivalent of Lemsip down, can´t flippin well breathe…

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