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Utell has expanded its Spanish portfolio to include the Hotel Selenza Madrid, a 44-room property close to the Prado, Thyssen and Reina Sofia museums. All guest rooms offer complimentary wireless internet, DVD player and MP3 player connection. Its Ramon Freixa Madrid restaurant has a Michelin star. ■ utellagent.com


Checking out


Hotel Villa Venecia, Benidorm With the ITT conference held in Benidorm this week, the region’s new and upmarket hotels have been thrown into the spotlight. The five-star Villa Venecia perches on the rocks in the Old Town of Benidorm


Rooms and furnishings The main draw of the rooms at Villa Venecia is undoubtedly the floor-to-ceiling window at the foot of your comfortable, king-size bed from where you can hear the waves lapping at the rocks below. The rooms lack a balcony but the open plan bathroom with hot tub and rainfall shower help make up for it. There are other nice touches including countless fluffy pillows and an Xbox – just in case the rain decides to pour for the first time in years. 9/10


Service and welcome


There was a bit of a fiasco when I requested a plug adaptor on the first evening, and I was left standing in reception feeling a tad sheepish. But other than that, all staff were friendly and I felt at home, which is the most important thing. 7/10


44 11.06.2010 Facilities and dining


The hotel bragged about the food in the Llum Del Mar restaurant, but I was a little disappointed. The cutlets I ordered were overcooked and the courgettes inedible. However, the restaurant had an inspiring sea view and a refined wine selection. The gym and pool are small and surrounded by a glass box, which doesn’t make the thought of exercising in midday heat appealing. 6/10


Value for money 70%


A week in a five-star hotel for £679 seems good value. That said, Medho- tels has another five-star property in Benidorm, the Gran Hotel Bali, with a week from as little as £187 half-board. 6/10


Overall


If you love the sound of the sea and want to be a short walk from an authentic old Spanish town, Villa Venecia fits the bill. If the restaurant pulls its socks up a little and the central bar grows in atmosphere, I could see this becoming an important part of Benidorm’s revamp in the future. 7/10


by Jonathan Watson


Book it: Medhotels has seven nights at Villa Venecia in September from £679 per person, based on two sharing, on a B&B basis. ■ hotelvillavenecia.com


The Kempinski Hotel Bahia Estepona on the Costa del Sol is offering three new golf packages. The “Luxury golf experience” costs from €2,585 and includes a round of golf and green fees at the famous Valderrama golf course, limousine transfer to the club and four night’s accommodation. “Time to golf” combines a two-night stay and break- fast with green fees at one of seven courses, from €336. Golf pro Olle Karlsson is also offering a range of clinics, with prices varying according to the group size. ■ kempinski.com/estepona


Vincci Seleccion Buenavista Golf & Spa opened on Tenerife earlier this year. The five-star property on the island’s north-west coast has 117 rooms and a spa by Vincci’s own Nammu brand. Vincci Hoteles has properties across Spain as well as Portugal, Tunisia and the US. ■ vinccihoteles.com


Artists performing at Ibiza Rocks Hotel this summer include Ian Brown (June 15), Maximo Park (July 13), The Prodigy and Rob Da Bank (July 20), and Florence and the Machine (August 24). At sister property Majorca Rocks, guests will be treated to performances by Calvin Harris (July 5), Dizzee Rascal (July 26) and more. Pete Doherty (pictured) performed at Ibiza Rocks Bar at a pre-season party on June 1. ■ ibizarocks.commallorcarocks.com


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