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Naz samples the tropical paradise that is Barcelo Asia Gardens

Filed Under: Blog, Spain, Uncategorized

Posted on 07th Jun 2017

Spain has always held a special place in my heart and when I was offered the chance to stay at one of Spain’s finest hotels- The Barcelo Asia Gardens Hotel and Thai Spa, I jumped at the chance. This is a 5 star exclusive hotel with a South East Asian theme, and many celebrities have chosen this leading hotel of the world for their escape away from home.

I decided to take my partner along with me, who being Spanish himself, would be a helpful guide as well as a good companion. With only a two and a half hour flight from Luton airport, we arrived to Alicante airport in good spirits. We were met by our driver Javier who escorted us to our private car transfer, a luxurious Hybrid Lexus SUV. This was where our vacation really started with chilled mineral water and air conditioning, we drove in style and had a smooth 35 minute ride to our hotel, getting helpful tips about the local area from Javier on the way. We were advised that Altea which is only 15 minute drive away from our hotel was a very nice place to visit and very popular with guests staying at the Barcelo Asia Gardens.

As soon as we arrived at this very private retreat, our senses were greeted with the Asia/Thailand experience. We were met with sweet honey green tea and hot towels and a friendly smile. This hotel could be anywhere in South East Asia with staff clothed in Thai attire and greeting us with ”Namaste”. All our senses were brought to life as we walked about this beautiful hotel with its lush tropical gardens with more than 3000 species brought in from Asia. The beautiful water features, Asian artwork and the aroma of Asian incense made us feel relaxed and at ease, all this before we had even reached our room! On our walk, we noticed the oriental music, more flowers such as lilies and orchids and there were oriental statues everywhere. By the time we arrived at our room (Superior double deluxe with a patio and garden) we felt calm and revived.

After relaxing a little on the sun loungers in our private garden, we headed to the Palapa Restaurant for a spot of lunch. Overlooking some of the hotel’s beautiful swimming pools, of which the Barcelo Asia Gardens has seven – the Palapa offers a la carte dining with Mediterranean cuisine. We had a lovely 3 course lunch consisting of fried squid and gazpacho for starters, grilled salmon and steak for main and turon ice cream for dessert.

Asia Gardens 1 CROP

After lunch we decided to take a leisurely stroll around the hotel grounds. Although not on the beach, the hotel has 7 swimming pools, 2 of which are heated including Zen, a family heated swimming pool with jacuzzi that is next to the snack bar that serves drinks, light lunches and snacks.

The adult heated pool- Faces of Angkor – is the central part of the hotel and is a beautiful Balinese style pool that is heated to 30 degrees all year round and is exclusive to adults only. So beautiful and picturesque, we spent a lot of time here taking photos and just taking in our surroundings. The hotel is surrounded by tropical gardens and pools designed with a Feng shui principle.

Later that afternoon, I had a full site inspection of the resort where I had the chance to view the different room categories. They are all decorated in Balinese style from the standard double rooms, standard suites and special Lankowi suites in which room 6304 was the most special with a hot tub in the room.

The hotel has 4 themed restaurants serving a fusion of Asian, Mediterranean and international cuisine. The Udaipur buffet restaurant is included in the half board where breakfast and dinner is served and includes unlimited house drinks such as mineral water, soft drinks and house wine and beer. The a la carte restaurants include the Koh Samui Asian Restaurant and the stylish In Black fine dining gourmet restaurant where reservations are needed.

The kids ‘Pirates Club’accept children aged from 4-12 years and is complimentary. Children under 4 are also welcome but must be accompanied by a parent or baby sitter. It has a large playground and vegetable garden and is open late until 11pm offering various supervised activities such as mini discos and games, arts and crafts and film and popcorn nights.

The Thai spa at the Barcelo Asia Gardens has 2 private swimming pools with an indoor heated pool that leads to the outside pool, a Turkish bath, outdoor Tatami stilt huts for traditional Thai massage treatments in a relaxing ambience.

Asia Gardens 2 CROP

There are also daily programmes such as Thai Chi, Yoga, Martial Arts, use of the gym and personal trainer free of charge.

Overall what makes this hotel so special is how completely relaxed I felt after leaving. This was an experience as well as a hotel stay.

The hotel grounds/gardens and pool areas are absolutely breath taking. We had one night out in nearby Benidorm, only a quick cab ride away but I found myself itching to get back to the Asian paradise in the Mediterranean that is the Barcelo Asia Gardens. I will definitely be back.

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