All the novelties of La Cocina de Mencey in this month of May

This summer has plenty of important novelties in respect of La Cocina del Mencey Classroom and the Iberostar Grand Hotel Mencey in Santa Cruz de Tenerife, the lovely Canary Island

When there is good weather, we feel like enjoying with friends and family, out of doors, in a unique environment, and of course, we want to find the best place.

Mencey Lounge

Mencey Lounge

This exclusive gastronomic hotel in Santa Cruz de Tenerife has, among its facilities, The Mencey Cookery Classroom, Los Laureles and Los Menceyes Restaurant, Casino Bar and Iballa Cocktail Bar. The last mentioned offers interesting novelties on its way of becoming one of the most sought-after spots in this summer in Tenerife.

This month of May, the Mencey Lounge Season begins, in the Iballa Cocktail Bar, where the cuisine becomes especially important along with the live music.

The season starts on Friday May 2th with a barbecue and a tasting of Canary Islands cheese and omelettes. The dinner will be accompanied by a large variety of products and by a selection of the best white and red wines of the Island. The music is a must, and will be presented by the known DJ Sergio Le Canarien.

The next meeting will be on Friday May 16th. In this case, the dinner will consist of a barbecue with a tasting of different salads, a surprising salad bar and many more surprises. DJ David Manso will be in charge of the music.

You cannot miss these nights in the Mencey Lounge, a luxury for the senses, where you can enjoy an excellent dinner and the best music and company in the Islands.

For further information, do not hesitate to visit the official website of Mencey.


Sun and party in La Pineda

La Pineda is a small town very close to Salou that has turned into a tourist destination in itself. It has a quieter and more peaceful atmosphere than Salou, although it also has beautiful beaches with fine golden sand and a beautiful landscape. Additionally, it has a select offer of luxury hotels in La Pineda, giving to the area an air of distinction.

It is located 1 km away from Salou and belongs to the Vilaseca municipality, in Tarragona. One of its main attractions is its extensive beach with more than 3 km of sand, accompanied by a 2.4 km promenade, one of the longest of Costa Dorada.

 El Tiempo photo

But, besides enjoying its beautiful beach, you can do many other things in this tourist destination. Water sports and activities, excursion and guided tours by the surrounding places of interest, or tours by the especial towns of Costa Dorada, among others.

In addition, La Pineda has other points of interest such as the known Acuópolis water park, Torre den Dolça or Ermita de La Pineda. And for those who are looking for party in La Pineda, there is the Pacha disco where you will find important national and international DJs.

Gran Palas Hotel

All this make of La Pineda an important tourist area of Costa Dorada where there is a big quantity of family apartments. There are also a few hotels in La Pineda, such as Palas Pineda Hotel, Palas Hotel Conventions, SPA & Wellness, two exclusive hotels in La Pineda beach, specially designed for guests that love good taste and quality of services.   

Reinventing hotels… and surprising

The hotel trade is in full reinvention. It seems that nothing (or almost nothing) offered before works now if you want to compete with the most profitable guests, those who increase the average expense and try it all, those that, although they book an All inclusive hotel in Benidorm, go out to dinner, discover and buy.

The firsts to bet on changing their offer are the family hotels in destinations such as the Canary Islands, Andalusia and Majorca. They have understood that today’s couples with children are not only looking for a hotel where to spend some days, to enjoy the nearby beach and to eat all they can and more. Today’s families want a place to share with their children without giving up to the dream holidays. This is how hotels designed like theme parks have arisen, with swimming pools full of water games, teams of high level professional instructors and services for children conceived of to allow the parents to freely enjoy their time with complete calm.

Ole Olivina Lanzarote

Ole Olivina Lanzarote

Other pioneers that have contributed to start these necessary changes have been the urban hotels in Madrid and Barcelona, trend followed in the last years by the hotels in the centre of Seville, in Palma de Majorca, Malaga and Valencia. They all have bet on concepts such as boutique hotel and hotel with charm, with the idea of turning each accommodation into a unique space, worth visiting and being lived, as if it were another monument. Good examples of this are the hotels such as the Petit Palace Museum and the Ópera Garden, both belonging to the Basque chain Petit Palace, main exponent of this renewed image of the urban hotels in Spain.

Business hotels, usually dedicated to this innovative spirit, seem to have found the suitable pattern and show few changes beyond small interior redesigns, with the intention of creating spaces more focused on wellness, rest  and relax treatments. It is possible to find business hotels with chill out area in Seville and spa and golf resorts in Majorca, specialised in business guests, as is the case of Iberostar Son Antem, near to the Balearic capital.

Regarding recent reinventions, there is a hotel in Benidorm and an Only Adults resort in Playa Blanca, both belonging to the Marconfort chain, which have transformed their offer specialising it in a very specific public directly related to the destination. Actually, in Benidorm, during May will be inaugurated the refurbishment of its Benidorm Suites Hotel, now turned into a hotel for music lovers, specially targeted at thirty somethings.

Most of the changes are in the services, with a design oriented to a particular sector (families, couples, children, friends…) and its trip motivations: sport, relax, adventure, culture, celebrations…

In this way, we see more and more hotels with spa and golf in destinations such as Majorca, Costa Blanca and the littoral of Andalusia, while beach resorts in areas such as Fuerteventura, Benidorm or the Catalonian coast are opting for including small facilities in order to offer a distinguishing plus: gym, rooms refurbishment, creation of spaces for business guests and special areas for adults in family hotels, etc.

Iberostar Fuerteventura Palace

Iberostar Fuerteventura Palace

The most outstanding and drastic changes are being carried out by Melià, one of the most important hotel groups in Spain that, since some years ago, have started a complete remodelling in its most mature destinations and hotels. Its concept of Beach House, in Calvià, stands out and serves as an example, adding new trip and leisure alternatives always linked to their hotels in this area of Majorca.

One of its last novelties is the star-up of Café del Mar in Majorca, emulating its neighbour in Ibiza, after the agreement between Melià and the brand. It will be opened this summer and promises to be one of the essential meeting points for any self-respecting trip.

Another of the great exponents of this trend of hotel reinvention is the Fiesta group, owner of hotels such as Fiesta Hotel Cala Nova or Club Palm Beach in Ibiza, with so clear examples of undeniable success such as Ushuaïa and Mallorca Rocks, both related to the young public, from 25 to 35 years old.

Visiting the theme parks in Benidorm

Theme parks are a sensation and, actually, quite a few people organise trips only with the aim of visiting them. Benidorm possesses 5 different theme parks attracting thousand of visitors each year.

One of them is Terra Mítica, a theme park where the visitor can know during the tour the history of ancient civilizations such as Egypt, Greece, Rome and Iberia.

Terra Mítica Photo

Funfairs fans will have a good time in Terra Mítica, where is placed the longest wooden roller coaster in Europe, and “The Flight of the Phoenix” with 60 metres height.  And not only that, they will be fascinated with two of its most famous attractions, Infinito and Infierno, where strong emotions are more than guaranteed.

Nature lovers will enjoy a walk by Terra Natura, a 320.000 square metres park with recreations of natural habitats hosting 2.500 examples of flora and 1.500 animals. Among them, you can contemplate some endangered animals such as the first Indian rhinoceros born in captivity in Spain.

In addition, animal enthusiasts could also visit Mundomar, a marvellous park with sea and exotic animals such as flamingos and parrots. The dolphins shows are a real wonder.

VisitBenidorm Photo

There are also two important water parks in Benidorm: Aqualandia and Aqua Natura. The former is the largest water park in Europe. There we can enjoy all kinds of water slides and swimming pools. And Aqua Natura does not lag behind with more than 1.000 metres of dizzy water slides: a challenge for the most courageous.

Five theme parks for all tastes where the entire family will definitely have fun, either in an amusement park to get the adrenaline going, in a water park where you will have a good time and cool yourself off, or in a wildlife park to discover species.

Recommended hotels in Benidorm:

–          Agir Benidorm Hotel

–          Perla Residencia Hotel

–          Gran Hotel Bali 

Nature parks in Huelva

Huelva has the privilege of having an extensive natural area where we find important nature parks, prevailing, both in size and in number of species, the Doñana National Park.

The Doñana National Park takes up an area of 185 329 acres of marshes and 66 718 acres of dunes. It is located in an incredible enclave in the Guadalquivir marshes, housing hundreds of species of flora and fauna, besides being the biggest wetland in Europe.

Andalusia Nature Parks Photo

This big nature park covers the municipalities of Almonte, Aznalcazar, Pueblo del Río and Hinojo. Additionally, the Doñana National Park is a great tourist attraction because visitors not only contemplate its flora and fauna, but also enjoy different activities such as hiking, horse riding, excursions by Jeep, for example.

Marismas de Isla Cristina is another of the natural lures in Huelva. It is placed in the mouths of the Guadiana and Correas rivers and covers an area of 5300 acres. This park includes different municipalities such as Ayamonte and Isla Cristina, among others. It is worth mentioning that this park is situated between tidal marshes with a high ecological value where you can watch the birds living, breeding or staying in this area for periods of time.

On the other hand, Marismas del Odiel is another of the nature parks in Huelva, declared Biosphere Reserve by the UNESCO. This park, with an area of 17 754 acres, has the most important tidal marshes in the Iberian Peninsula and is the second most important wetland in Andalusia, after Doñana. One of the recommendations if you visit this park is enjoying the sunrise or the sunset from there, as well as seeing the mouth of the Odiel and Tinto rivers bordering the city.

Junta de Andalucía Photo

Sierra de Aracena and Picos de Aroche also deserves a special mention for the extensive natural area it covers, nothing less than 454 673 acres.  It covers 28 towns, among which are Jabugo, Cumbres, Mayores and Cortesana. In this mountain range are very common the stream beds. Besides, it is an area very frequented by the hikers and mountain bikers.

Recommended hotels in Huelva:

–          Dunas de Doñana Golf Resort Hotel

–          Flamero Hotel in Matalascañas

–          Sensimar Isla Cristina Palace Hotel

Hotels for couples for the St John’s Eve

The magical evening is close and this year we bring you the most romantic proposal to enjoy it. Therefore, we have made a short selection of hotels specialised in couples where you can live the St John’s Eve with your better half… or, why not, with a good friend.

Under the Jandia sun

If you have the good fortune of living in some of those cities or towns where the St John’s Eve is holiday and you can take some days together with the weekend, our first recommendation is to fly to Fuerteventura: one of the best hotels for couples is in Jandia beach, where, besides the wonderful and almost pristine beaches, you can enjoy the spa, All inclusive, Only Adults VIP area, Chill Out and romantic dinners… A more than affordable price for the quantity of services and attentions you will receive.

Iberostar Fuerteventura Palace

Iberostar Fuerteventura Palace

Magical Malaga

To enjoy the St John’s Eve in the south of this peninsula, we have chosen a flirtatious hotel in the centre of Malaga, one step away from the beach but boasting all the charm of a urban hotel for couples getaways. There, besides rooms with state of the art services and hydromassage shower, you will find an impeccable attention, daily buffet breakfast, free wifi and bicycles to enjoy romantic routes by the entire city and its beaches.

 St John in Ibiza

The white island is almost at full performance and, among all the evenings, the St John’s Eve has always something special in Ibiza: in addition to the typical parties in the big discos, the most secret and most distant coves offer a hiding place perfect for enjoying a romantic dinner on the banks of the Mediterranean. In this case, we have chosen an Only Adults hotel in Es Canar beach, with an excellent price-quality relation.

Essential, Minorca

If there is a destination in Spain where the St John’s Eve is a really historic event, it is Minorca. It is the best party of the Island and receives a so large number of visitors, that there is no room for a single soul in the Ciutadella and Mahon streets or in its most famous beaches. Even so, it is worth visiting it at least one time and experience this incredible meeting with the Minorcan tradition. For enjoying as a couple, we recommend you exclusive villas in Cala d’en Bosch, where you will find from hydromassage bath to private pool and car park.

Petit Palace Plaza Malaga

Petit Palace Plaza Malaga

Valencia and fire

There is nothing like an evening of bonfires and magic in the city of Fallas. Valencia is a place to mix, like in Malaga, all the charm of the beaches with all the so varied and amazing experiences offered by a city full of life and dynamism. For this purpose, we have chosen an accommodation next to the Valencia’s city hall, a small boutique hotel right in the centre, designed to make the most of the Valencian evening without giving up nothing.

Romantic Jerez

With its wine routes, its traditions and its cultural offer full of Andalusian essence, Jerez is one of the star cities in this 2014. Hotels for couples in Jerez can be found in the centre of the city and in the outskirts. We have chosen for this list the Barceló Montecastillo Golf, a 5 star resort in Jerez, one step from the best beaches of Cádiz, with luxury facilities for adults: spa, gym, pools, golf… And pets are allowed.

St John in the moon

Lanzarote with its matchless moonscapes, where even Star Wars’ scenes have been filmed, is one of our more original proposals for enjoying a 2014 St John’s eve as a couple. It is a destination that, like Jandia, requires a couple of extra days along with a weekend, since the trip takes at least 2 hours and a half by plane. But it is worth it. For accommodation in Lanzarote, we have chosen luxury villas in Montaña Roja, in one of the most lovely areas in Playa Blanca with an incredible Chill Out area on the sea, where you can drink a toast to the best St John of your life.

Illetas, St John in the paradise

Illetas, just 15 minutes away from the centre of Palma de Majorca, is one of those places where a celebration like the St John’s eve has especial connotations: it is a small coastal spot that has everything, from exclusive terraces with romantic restaurants and lively lounge bars at the water’s edge, to a small sand cove from where you can enjoy the moon. For staying in Illetas, we propose the Illetas Albatros Hotel, one of the best Only Adults hotels in Majorca, with spa and even DJ sessions.

Amadores beach for couples

Gran Canaria hides a small area, next to the Mogan lake, where holidays as a couple are a real classic. It is a very quiet destination, one of the favourites of the Nordic tourism, with access to a big sand beach and comfortable services that will allow you to enjoy a long weekend celebrating St John’s Eve in style. For accommodation in the Amadores beach, we have chosen the Palmera Mar Apartments, which offer a good price-quality relation, fitting every budget. You have no excuses…

San Juan with views of Barcelona

Barcelona is always a wise choice, especially if you choose an accommodation as we propose: a hotel next to La Boquería, in the Ciutat Vella neighbourhood in Barcelona, one step away from Las Ramblas and to the Catalonia Square. Petit Palace Boquería Hotel has turned in the last years into a unique meeting point in Barcelona for travellers from all over the world looking for a place to rest and enjoy every minute of the city. Its exclusive design make it one of the most singular hotels in Barcelona.

A weekend in Guadalajara

Guadalajara is a perfect destination for a weekend getaway thanks to its central location and the attractions of its capital. The city preserves important monuments, has beautiful gardens and a good leisure offer that make of it a very attractive place for visitors.

It is easy to arrive to the Capital, as well as find hotels in Guadalajara, both in the city and in the outskirts, such as the Elegance Azuqueca Hotel which belongs to the Elegance Hotels & Resorts chain.

In general, the entire Guadalajara province has places of interest where you can go and enjoy the beauty of its landscapes and the charm of its villages. As for the capital, it is also plenty of attractions.

El Digital's photo

A “must ” if you visit Guadalajara is taking a stroll by Calle Mayor, right in the heart of the old quarter, where you will find some of the most emblematic buildings of the capital, such as the city hall, the large houses surrounding the Plaza de los Dávalos and the old Mendoza’s Palace.

There are also many other outstanding monuments in the city that you must visit. Probably, one of the most important is Alcázar Real, built in the 9th century and preserving the old surrounding walls of the city.

Wikipedia's photo

The Palace of Infantado, that dates from the 15th century, is also one the emblems of the city. It has a Gothic and Renaissance style. Among the religious buildings, it is worth noting the Church of Santiago El Mayor, built in the 14th century with a combination of Mudejar and Gothic styles. Another place of importance is the Santa María Co-Cathedral, with a Mudejar, Renaissance and baroque style.

But, besides monuments, Guadalajara also stands out for its beautiful parks. It is very agreeable to devote some time to walking by them and enjoying its typical peacefulness and serenity. For instance, we could mention Parque de la Concordia and Parque de la Constitución.

Our selection of Barceló Hotels… Sea, city or mountain?

With the thought in mind that everyone could organise their holidays the way they like it and in advance, we have prepared a short selection of our favourite hotels around the world.

As an appetizer, we start with 3 hotels belonging to the Barceló chain, one of the most important in the Spanish tourist industry owning 140 hotels in 17 countries in the world. When doing the selection, we restrict ourselves to the accommodations the chain has in Spain and Europe, in cities such as Rome, Hamburg and Prague.

Sea holidays: Barceló Corralejo Bay

In the Corralejo town, with its spectacular dunes and infinite beaches, we find one of the most complete beach resorts in Fuerteventura of the Barceló chain.  Specialised in Adults Only, we have chosen it thanks to its exclusive cuisine and spa services.  The hotel stands out for its location, since it is just 9 km away from the famous Grandes Playas in Corralejo. Nowadays, in the official website of the hotel, you can find holiday offers in Corralejo with a 10% discount and special wellness packages.

Barceló Corralejo Bay

Barceló Corralejo Bay

Nature holidays: Barceló Montecastillo Golf

Getting away from it all and hiding in one of the paradises of Andalusia, surrounded by countrysides and small towns with a long cattle raising tradition… Barceló Montecastillo Golf is perfect for those who love peace, good cuisine, wines and, in general, the culture of authenticity. Although it also stands out for being a hotel next to the circuit of Jerez offering a really interesting experience to discover Jerez de la Frontera and all that this region could offer. Modern, full equipped and with 4 star services, it offers an ideal accommodation especially for those travelling with family or partner.

Barceló Punta Umbria Mar Hotel

Barceló Punta Umbria Mar Hotel

City Breaks: Barceló Renacimiento

Isla Mágica, Seville. One of those destinations where city, leisure for all ages and nature converge. Here is situated the third hotel of our list: Barceló Sevilla Renacimiento. It is a top level accommodation in Seville with an spectacular exterior design that remind us the works of the American architect Frank Lloyd Wright with wide and impeccable interior spaces. Services are designed for all kinds of travellers, especially business travellers or cultural tourists: free wifi, top level cuisine, gardens, car park, free gym…

Barceló Renacimiento Hotel

Barceló Renacimiento Hotel

Barcelona never disappoints

Book holidays at the last minute is never a good option if you want to save… Even so, if you are running out of time and have lost the opportunity of getting a good discount in your hotel by earlybooking, there are always destinations that, whatever the time of the year, combine a complete leisure and rest offer with more than affordable prices, both in transportation and accommodation. This is the case, for example, of Barcelona.

Barcelona never disappoints when you plan to organise holidays without room for budgetary manoeuvre. The Catalonian capital has a so wide variety of proposals that is ideal for all kinds of travellers, there converge the most multifarious motivations: seeing a certain exhibition, attending  a music festival or a special concert, having a party weekend with friends, going with the children to PortAventura…

Hotel rooms in Barcelona

Hotel rooms in Barcelona

Barcelona, besides its infinite plans offer for all tastes and ages, has the advantage of offering good connections and accommodations that, despite not being the cheapest, provide a very interesting price-quality relation, in particular, as regards hotels in the centre of Barcelona, where the competition is ferocious, making the hotels in Ramblas and Ciutat Vella to offer really attractive discounts.

Choosing your coast opens up a world of possibilities. Beach hotels in Pineda de Mar, Calella or Santa Susanna are good and cheap accommodation options in Barcelona that, besides offering access to the best beaches for family holidays, boast complete services at surprising prices. The ideal transport would be by own car or you can travel to Barcelona by plane and rent a car there.

These coastal towns are perfect for escaping and getting lost in the most sea-essence of Barcelona, where tradition, cuisine and beach are the main figures. If you travel with children, booking a hotel in Calella, for example, is one of the best options, since it is quieter than the city and offers very varied out of doors leisure possibilities.