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At the last count Benidorm offered visitors a choice of over 500 hotels and apartments to suit all tastes and budgets. The leading trade organisation for the resort, which represents almost 80% of these establishments, is the Asociación Empresarial de Hoteles de Benidorm y de la Costa Blanca, which is often abbreviated to the HOSBEC.
As with any holiday, it is certainly worth while checking the location of your chosen accommodation before booking, which hopefully the resort map pages of this site should be helpful. If your chosen accommodation is towards the rear of a resort, it may also be worth checking if they provide a courtesy bus service into the town centre.
Most banks are open from 9am to 2pm Monday to Friday. Always remember when exchanging any form of money to take along your passport, check the exchange rate before dealing, and collect a receipt before leaving the premises.
For those who feel nervous about carrying large sums of money and their passport around together, most hotels will also gladly exchange money at perhaps a slightly lower rate.
Most banks also have hole in the wall type cash machines where you can withdraw money using either your credit or debit card. Don't forget that the official currency of Spain is now the Euro.
There is a wide variety of bars throughout the resort, most of which either offer live music, karaoke, Sky Sports, or videos of films not yet released in the cinema.
You can always spot a chemist shop by the green cross they all display. Outside of normal opening hours, a notice on the door will always give the address of the nearest duty chemist.
If you require urgent medical assistance, 24 hour English speaking doctors are available throughout the resort.
The voltage in Spain is 220 volt. Most British items will work with the correct adaptor from the UK standard 3 pin to European 2 pin socket.
The Euro is the name of the common currency of the 12 countries forming the European Monetary Union. Since January 1999 Spain has been a member, and the UK has opted out at this time. Euro notes are issued in 5, 10, 20, 50, 100, 200 and 500 denominations and are identical in all member countries of the EMU.
The designs symbolise European architectural heritage but not royal or national monuments. The coins are issued as 1, 2 and 5 cents and are copper in colour, 10, 20 and 50 cents yellow in colour and finally 1 and 2 Euros white and yellow in colour. Although all the coins have a common European face, each member state is allowed to stamp their own motif on the reverse face.
European Health Insurance Card (EHIC)
The European Health Insurance Card, which is often abbreviated to EHIC, replaced the old E111 Form on 31 December 2005, and entitles British citizens to reduced cost, or sometimes free, medical treatment that becomes necessary while you’re in a European Economic Area country or Switzerland.
The EHIC is normally valid for three to five years and covers any medical treatment that becomes necessary during your trip, because of either illness or an accident. The card gives access to state-provided medical treatment only, and you'll be treated on the same basis as an 'insured' person living in the country you're visiting. Remember, this might not cover all the things you'd expect to get free of charge from the NHS in the UK and you may have to make a contribution to the cost of your care.
Although the EHIC also covers any treatment you need for a chronic disease or pre-existing illness, it won't however cover you if getting medical treatment is the main purpose of your trip.
If prior to 31 December 2005 you ticked the relevant box on the E111 application form, an EHIC would have been automatically sent to you during January 2006, however, for new applications they are also available from the Department of Health web site, by calling the EHIC Applications Line on 0845 606 2030, or alternatively by completing an EHIC application pack from any local Post Office branch.
Restaurants in Benidorm cater for a wide range of tastes. In the larger resorts you can get anything from a traditional English breakfast to a Chinese take away.
For those visitors on self catering breaks, the resort has a number of Spar type supermarkets, which, in recognition of the high number of British visitors, stock readily recognisable UK branded goods, although in many cases the prices charged may be considerably higher than those you would expect to pay at home.
The underlying principle of consumer choice was once explained by a local shopkeeper as, "if you don't like the price, you don't have to buy", however, the stark reality is unless you are prepared to travel out of the resort to the nearby hypermarkets "you do have to buy", which of course the local shopkeepers are only too aware of.
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