My girlfriend and I stayed at Explanada Hotel for 3 nights during our visit to Alicante in October 2013.
We booked our stay through www.booking.com and paid £33 per night for a standard double room with no breakfast included. Our booking was a special rate based on it being non-refundable; payment was taken in advance on the day that we made the booking.
We chose the Explanada Hotel because of its very central location. It is located on Calle San Fernando, just one street back from the palm-tree lined seafront promenade of Explanada de Espana.
We were able to walk from the hotel to Alicante Marina and Playa del Postiguet beach in around 3 minutes. Continuing along the seafront, we were able to walk to the lift that transports visitors up to Castillo de Santa Barbara in a little over 5 minutes.
We arrived in Alicante on the C-6 bus from the airport. We alighted at the Plaza Puerto del Mar stop (outside the Melia Alicante Hotel, adjacent to the start of Playa del Postiguet beach) and walked to the hotel in just 2 or 3 minutes.
There were plenty of places to eat within a few minutes walk of the hotel; dozens of tapas bars in the surrounding streets and a selection of seafood restaurants, pizzerias and international fast food chains stretched out along Explanada de Espana. Within 5 or 10 minutes walk, we could get to pretty much anywhere in the centre of Alicante; for example the hundreds of small tapas bars in the Barrio Santa Cruz district, the bustling La Rambla street (part of which is literally a few metres from the hotel) and a great cluster of good value tapas bars on Calle San Francisco (a 5 minute walk from the hotel).
In terms of transport, there are plenty of buses to various destinations within Alicante and further afield that stop within a 2 minute walk of the hotel. We preferred to use the tram to explore the coastline (there is a tram that goes from Alicante to Bendorm in 1 hour 15 minutes, from where you can then connect as far as Denia). We could have caught the 4L tram from Puerta del Mar (a few minutes walk from the hotel), but this only goes as far as Sangueta (just 2 stops further on) and we'd have then had to connect to the main L1 tram. We found it easier to walk to the stop at Mercado (near the market building; less than 10 minutes walk from the hotel) and catch the L1 tram directly from there.
Our double room was fairly basic, but contained everything that we needed for a short stay.
The double bed (not two singles pushed together) was comfortable. At first glance, I thought it looked a little short, but it was fine and we slept well throughout our stay.
There was a small flat screen TV mounted on the wall at the foot of the bed. It picked up around 20 channels, including the English-language Sky News.
Wi-fi was free within the room and throughout the entire hotel. We didn't make use of it during our stay so cannot comment on the speed or reliability.
There was a bedside cabinet on one side of the bed and a small table (with a pull out computer shelf) and chair on the other side. There were plenty of electrical sockets for charging phones and batteries overnight.
The room contained a large wardrobe with plenty of space. There was a safe inside the wardrobe, but we'd have had to pay extra to obtain the key for it, so we didn't bother to use it.
A small fridge/mini-bar was provided. It contained a selection of (overpriced) water bottles, soft drinks, beers and snacks, but there was enough space for us to put our own drinks inside as well. There was a notice on the front of the fridge stating that if we wished to use it as a fridge, there was a €10 charge and the staff would remove all of the mini-bar items. We just kept our water bottles in there overnight and took them out during the day, avoiding any charge for using the fridge.
Our room was advertised as a double room "with balcony". Technically, that was true. The doors opened out onto a tiny balcony; not large enough to sit out on and barely wide enough even to stand on. I think it would be termed a "Juliet Balcony" and its presence seemed to be more for aesthetic rather than practical purposes.
The remote controlled air-conditioning system was very effective. So much so that we resorted to taking the extra blanket out of the wardrobe and putting it on the bed.
The en-suite shower room was reasonably spacious and very clean. The shower was powerful and hot water was always available when we required it.
Shower gel/liquid soap was provided in the shower cubicle and besides the washbasin. Fresh towels (one large and one small per person) were provided each day and a hairdryer was also provided.
There is a lively music bar, "TriBeCa", attached to the hotel. Despite the fact that our room was practically above the bar and the bar was open until 3:00am at weekends, we never suffered from any noise disturbance during our stay.
The friendly staff spoke English very well and were happy to answer our queries and to furnish us with a free city map upon check in. There are plenty of fliers and information leaflets for local attractions and restaurants available to pick up in reception.
Had we chosen to have breakfast at the hotel it would have cost €6.90 per person, per day. We opted instead to have breakfast in local cafes where a coffee and a pastry would generally cost somewhere between €1.50 and €3.00.
Check out time was midday. After checking out, we were able to store our luggage in a secure storage room, free of charge, until we left for the airport later that evening.
Prior to our trip, we had considered the possibility of staying in the Playa San Juan, or even El Campello, areas of Alicante. This would have been more convenient for the best city beaches, but would have meant a 20-30 minutes bus or tram ride into the centre of Alicante. With the benefit of hindsight, we are glad that we chose to stay so centrally and would certainly do so again if we ever returned to Alicante.
We found Explanada Hotel to be a very good value, very centrally located hotel. Our room was clean and comfortable and we could walk to most attractions and hundreds of eating places in just a few minutes. We would happily stay there again in future and would recommend it to others without hesitation!
Directions: Located on Calle San Fernando, just one street back from the Explanada de Espana and just a few minutes walk from the marina and Playa del Postiguet beach.
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