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Unread 17 Feb 18, 10:57 AM  
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roxie2001
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Join Date: Mar 11
Location: Norfolk
The good,the bad and the tacky.Benidorm Feb 18.Day 1, Travel and loving life at the Sandos

Monday 12th February

A very early start of 1.30 am for me. We would have booked an airport hotel the night before but Matt had to work until 10pm on Sunday so we couldn't this time. I checked us in for the return flights for free, Matt and were separated so I had to go on the computer to change one of our seats as the app wasn't working. I was having problems changing Matt next to me, so I logged off and tried again. The seat next to me was now occupied so I changed my seat to sit near Matt. This was 10 and I had to do this for the outgoing flights. I am a fan of ryan air, but this did annoy me and I will now start paying for allocated seats when we book the flights.

I woke Matt and we got ready and left the house about 2.15am.
It was an easy drive, although I hate driving especially in the dark, luckily the terrible weather was gone and it was fine, we were pulling up at the jetparks barrier about an hour and a half later.
I booked with holiday extras and the email said I shouldn't take a ticket, but as I pulled up, the machine told me to take my pre booked ticket so I did that and put it with my conformation in case we had problems on the way out.

It was a long drive to the car park, which was zone W but had plenty of spaces to choose from. We saw a bus already at the stop so I quickly pulled into a space only for the bus to leave. I then drove into a space where we could see the bus stop from the car, and I could drive easily out when we returned and waited for the next bus which only took 5 minutes. We quickly grabbed our cases, made the short walk and got on the bus, which was full.
We had to stand, and we could hear this sound ringing until someone told Matt he was leaning on the bell! We did laugh and the rest of the journey was quiet. It took about 10/15 minutes to arrive at the airport and were dropped right outside.

It was really busy so we made our way to security. The line wasn't too bad, but Matt and I got directed to different lines. I was behind some young girls having a major problem with their toiletries. One girl was at the side trying to stuff 2 bags worth of stuff into 1 and the girl in front had to keep rummaging through her case to add to her clear bag. The security lady was lovely and jokey. I patiently waited, feeling smug with my bag of organised toiletries under 100mls. Finally my case and bags were on the belt, I walked through with no problems. Matt was waiting for me, but then I saw my handbag get taken for an extra search. My heart sank when I saw the line and gestured to Matt that I had to wait. Well, after watching cases being searched and 35 minutes later it was my little bags turn. It turns out I had left a small bottle of hand sanitizer in the front of my bag and completely forgot about it.
My toiletries were then checked and finally I was on my way. Matt was over the moon about this delay
Note to self, check every bit of handbag before airport checks.
We were peckish, but not too hungry so we shared a meal deal from WH smith, 3.99 for a sandwich, crisps and drink, along with papers and a golf magazine for Matt.
We went to the weatherspoons and had a soda and lime.

It wasn't long until our gate was showing. This was our first time with the new bag policy. I did notice more priority customers, but I have to say it made sitting down quicker with less people putting their cases in overhead lockers.
Our cases were labelled when we had our passport and boarding card checked and took off us just before we boarded.
When we got to our row, someone was sitting in the window seat which was actually the one I had booked. I asked Matt if I should ask her to move but he said he would sit on the aisle, something he regretted when he kept being bashed by the trolley and didn't have anything to lean when trying to sleep, never letting anyone take our seat again. We did try and sleep, but it was the broken uncomfortable sleep you have on a plane. (Well we do anyway)
We landed on time and had to take a bus to the airport. Matt and I were the first ones off the bus, and straight through passport control.
The belt number, which was next to passport control was already showing. Our cases were next to each other and among the first ones off so it was only an extra 5 minutes waiting.
We had a shared shuttle booked, but we got a little lost and had to ask someone where to go. For future reference, shuttles are downstairs. We were given a card and told what bay number. A few people were on the coach and we waited for a few more people before we left. The first stop was the Grand bali hotel, we actually stayed here with dd about 8 years ago. Its a lovely hotel in La Cala, but so far out, we didn't realise how far until we saw it on this journey. I think we had 2 more stops before the driver shouted our hotel, The Sandos Monaco and Spa (adults only) the journey was about an hour in total, and it was nice not hunting for the hotel.
First impressions were good, really clean. We arrived about 12 and although the room wasn't ready, we left our cases in the luggage room and had our wristbands given to us.
First stop was the bar for a much needed drink. Sangria and Cruzcampo beer.
Montecarlo bar, this is open all day and night and leads onto the outside area.


We had 2 of these, then went to check if our room was ready. It wasn't. Lunch is served between 1-3, so we went downstairs to the restaurant.
Wow. Food was delicious, and pour your own beer and soft drinks, wine was brought to the table.



Everything was cooked perfectly

The profiteroles were so good

After lunch the room was ready on the 13th floor, number 1313.

A double bed each, I loved this.







I unpacked, and then we had an hours power nap.
We went down about 5 and had a couple of drinks. We preferred to sit in the reception lounge rather than in the Montecarlo bar



The weather wasn't great, it had been raining, but we went for a little wander when it eased off.




The hotel was central, a 5 minute walk from the beach and close to English square.
As it was starting to rain again, it was back to the hotel for drinks. I tried a cocktail from the decent sized list.



At 7.30 the Metropole bar downstairs opens.


Proper Bacardi and diet coke


Matt and I like to eat late, so we made our way to dinner at 8.30.

The restaurant has lots of different parts, a buffet help yourself with salads and soups along with main courses, then a counter where a chef carves joints of meat or fish, (this is used for fried eggs and french toast in the mornings) desserts, bread selection, fruit counter and a whippy ice cream maker. Plus there is a small vegetarian and gluten free area.

I had a mix, and this is all mine!




Chocolate fountain



After our lovely dinner, we went back next door to the Metropole bar to see the entertainment. It was busy in there now, but we managed to get a table.

Another cocktail


The show was a mix of dancing and singing and was pretty good.

Tina turner

Audience being taught how to dance, the guy on the left was there for his 60th birthday.

Timewarp

The show finished about 11.30 and then music was played.
We headed upstairs, grabbing some biscuits and teabags from the Montecarlo bar on the way up.
We dont actually drink tea at home, but sometimes have one on holiday.

Brilliant end to a great first day.

Edited at 07:51 PM.
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Unread 17 Feb 18, 01:25 PM  
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Melbatb
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What a lovely hotel - the food looks delicious! Shame about the weather though!
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Unread 17 Feb 18, 03:53 PM  
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roxie2001
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Originally Posted by Melbatb View Post
What a lovely hotel - the food looks delicious! Shame about the weather though!
I loved the hotel, the food was great. Luckily we had better weather for rest of the stay.
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Unread 20 Feb 18, 08:56 PM  
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Taffy1959
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Hotel looks lovely and you did exactly what I would have done if the weather was bad, retire to the bar
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Unread 20 Feb 18, 09:16 PM  
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roxie2001
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Originally Posted by Taffy1959 View Post
Hotel looks lovely and you did exactly what I would have done if the weather was bad, retire to the bar
The hotel was great, the bar is always a good choice, especially with those Spanish measures.
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Unread 24 Feb 18, 09:35 AM  
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Smilesonfaces
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Hotel looks good as do the desserts ! Is this hotel adults only ?
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Unread 24 Feb 18, 01:08 PM  
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roxie2001
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Originally Posted by Smilesonfaces View Post
Hotel looks good as do the desserts ! Is this hotel adults only ?
It is adults only, for over 16s. It was as lovely as it looks, and my food photos dont do it justice.
There is also a spa downstairs.
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Unread 24 Feb 18, 02:31 PM  
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Smilesonfaces
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Originally Posted by roxie2001 View Post
It is adults only, for over 16s. It was as lovely as it looks, and my food photos dont do it justice.
There is also a spa downstairs.
I thought it was adult only. Maybe one for the future !
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