Jonesing for a trip to the tropics but not prepared to commit to the long-haul? The Asia Gardens Hotel is a tantalising taste of East meets West, a verdant oriental paradise but with a more convenient location.
An exercise in contradiction, the Asia Gardens Hotel is an opulent, upmarket hotel in Benidorm; a lush tropical garden on an arid coastline; an Asian-themed hotel in the heart of the Mediterranean. Yet the incongruous nature of its existence only adds to the surprising delight of a stay here.
Little more than thirty minutes from Alicante airport, but a stone’s throw from bustling beaches and towering concrete blocks, there’s a tropical oasis hidden in Benidorm’s back streets. An Instagrammer’s paradise: the hotel features no less than seven beautiful swimming pools and nine restaurants nestled within a dense, green rainforest of over 200 species of plants and trees – eighty percent of which are of Asian origin.
As you enter the hotel’s grand and cavernous atrium you are immediately transported thousands of miles by the Balinese-style interior – where lofty wooden beams meet sumptuous furnishings. The staff are impeccable and greetings are warm and polished with any number of staff available and waiting to cater to your every request.
The hotel rooms are spacious and comfortable, each with their own private balcony overlooking the gardens (some even have a sea view). The beds are large and sumptuous and despite being somewhat of an insomniac I enjoyed several blissful night’s sleep.
The hotel does have a somewhat displaced, otherworldly vibe: like a kind of Disneyworld for adults. The pools are overlooked by large totem faces, cascading waterfalls and there are koi carp ponds nestled between trees and restaurants. There are lovely private sunbathing nooks dotted around the pools, perfect for the more discreet traveller, while there are also no end of photogenic backgrounds for the more social media savvy. Every pool has a distinctly different feel and vibe, so you’ll definitely want to take the opportunity to explore each one.
Although children are welcome at the hotel, it definitely has more of an adult vibe. Splashing and jumping is not permitted at any of the pools and Spanish children are impeccably behaved at dinners and at the poolside. If you are travelling with kids, make your way directly to the Pirate Kids Club which has an outdoor play area and a children’s activities team who can entertain the kids while you enjoy some quiet-time in the adult only pool. The team there can also organise family excursions such as horse-riding, kayaking or a number or nearby theme park attractions.
With nine restaurants to choose from you needn’t leave the hotel at all for meal’s or entertainment. I highly recommend Palapa for tasty Mediterranean cuisine, or Ko Samui for an evening meal and commitment to the Asian theme. The buffet breakfasts are decadent – almost every breakfast fare imaginable is on display, while chefs cook up hot dishes to order.
The hotel has its own spa on-site, offering a large selection of Asian inspired treatments. The spa has an indoor pool, gym and relaxation activities, all available within the peaceful confines of the facility, which is housed in a separate building within the hotel gardens.
The Asia Gardens Hotel is a luxury hideaway that has carved itself a unique offering amidst the bustle of a thousand other Costa Blancan resorts: if an Asian destination holiday is not quite within reach then a stay here is certainly worth the effort of a short haul flight.
Review by Clara Maidment