I would say that Altea is probably one of my favourite towns in Alicante. Only an hour and a half drive south of Valencia it’s a town with a lot of character and relaxed surroundings, quite surprising as it’s only a 15-minute drive away from the vibrant atmosphere of Benidorm.
After visiting Altea more than a dozen times, last year we decided that it would be a great place to stay for a few days and to explore more of this beautiful town. It’s been a while since we had a long holiday with the children, with our the teens living and studying back in the UK, it was nice to finally get together and spend a few weeks with them during the summer.
I don’t know about you, but I usually base my hotel choice by reading reviews on Trip Advisor. I’m a sucker for good reviews and SH Villa Gadea seems to have ticked all the boxes. We wanted something relaxed, stylish and something different from a packaged family holiday.
The SH Villa Gadea Hotel was awarded the Trip Advisor Certificate of Excellence in 2016. The hotel was opened back in 2005 and they have architecturally integrated its surroundings reflecting the traditional style of the nearby historical village of Altea, which is only 3 km from the hotel.
The brass and glass revolving door gives the hotel a very spacious and elegant appearance which continues throughout the large lobby with its shiny marble floors, tasteful decor and numerous comfortable sofas situated around the reception area. The classic metal and wooden balcony just above with hanging plants give the hotel a really warm, relaxing and welcoming feel.
The hotel has 31 standard rooms, 127 superior rooms, 24 deluxe rooms, 19 junior suites and 1 presidential suite. We booked two Superior Double and Triple Rooms with an excellent view of the sea and poolside side.
The rooms are very spacious, tastefully decorated with large and comfortable beds. Our rooms benefited from the features that you would normally expect from a four-star hotel; LCD flat-screen satellite TV, telephone, minibar, safe, air-conditioning, anti-mist mirrors, showers, bathrobes, slippers, hairdryers and Rituals bathroom products. The housekeeping was also done on a daily basis and the hotel grounds and rooms are always spotlessly clean!
The Spa & Leisure
The hotel also boasts as a Thalasso Spa Centre with almost 2,000 m2 of health and well-being facilities including whirlpool, Turkish and Roman baths, aromatic showers, sauna and relaxation areas. They offer an extensive list of beauty and health programmes which my husband and I took advantage of, leaving the big kids to babysit the youngest one as we escaped for a two-hour body massage. Heavenly!
However, if you fancy something a little more active, the hotel also has a gymnasium and padel tennis courts. Facilities for water sports and open-air activities are not on site but if you ask reception they will be able to point you to suitable facilities available nearby.
We chose the half-board option as we wanted flexibility on where we can eat during the day. The breakfast buffet option was great, there was a lot to choose from, from seafood, cereals, cold meats, pastries to cooked breakfast, the hotel certainly catered for everyone. This was the highlight of our day!
Dinner time buffet was also a treat. Different nights would have a theme, for example, Tuesday was Asian Night. So you can expect the typical Asian food theme and so on. As well as hot food, cold buffet and different types of salads were also served. In the 7 days we were there, the food was always excellent and fresh in quality.
My only gripe was that we had to pay for our drinks in the evenings, personally, I think this should be included in the package, after all, with our family of 5 and 7 days stay this adds up and in the end can prove quite costly.
Villa Gadea’s gardens and spacious terraces are really quite impressive, which also makes it more special is the three-section swimming pool that runs along the side of the hotel just overlooking the sea. The kids and I especially loved the Oasis Bar situated in the middle of the pool. A lovely place for me to chill out and drink a cocktail (or three).
The Lobby Bar also offers great solace if you are looking for something quieter. They offer a wide range of cocktails, wines as well as hot and cold beverages. You can enjoy your drink on the terrace overlooking the pool and gardens.
Overall our week’s experience in Hotel Gadea has been great. It was exactly as I expected. It’s a little bit out of the way from the historic centre of Altea, but 3 miles is not that bad there is a regular bus that stops just right outside the hotel if you fancy to venture out further. Taxis are also available upon request from reception.
We went on the first week of July and we found the hotel fairly quiet, but I can imagine that it can get full during peak seasons. There is access to the beach from the back of the hotel, but bear in mind that beaches in this part of Altea are pebbly, so make sure you bring suitable shoes! The beach was not ideal for sunbathing, so we had to travel to Calpe to enjoy time on the beach with the kids.
I was impressed with the cleanliness of the hotel as well as the range of food they had on offer. Everything was fresh and the staff were always attentive to our needs. It was also our anniversary and the hotel staff were nice enough to send us a bottle of champagne and chocolates. A very nice touch and well appreciated.
SH Villa Gadea is a lovely place to stay if you’re looking for somewhere relaxed and not too near the centre. A beautiful and serene hideaway tucked away in a privileged location on the Costa Blanca. Ideal if you’re looking to get rid of the stresses of modern life but still have easy access to the main attractions and entertainment that this part of Alicante has to offer.
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