Barceló Asia Gardens, Alicante

0
Posted June 18, 2015 by in Spain
Asia Gardens

Rating

Value
8.0


Location
7.0


Sleep Quality
10


Cleanliness
10


Service
10


Room
9.0


Total Score
9.0

9/ 10

Price: €300 to €3600 per night
 
Country:
 
 
Hotel Type: , ,
 
Stars:
 

Pros:

Outstanding Asia-inspired design and decor, great natural setting, hilltop location, family-friendly amentiies.
 

Cons:

You'll need a car to explore the area. Closest beach is Benidorm, notorious for its rowdy crowd and commercialization.
 
Verdict

All in all, Asia Gardens make for an excellent escape whether you’re a couple seeking a romantic getaway or a family looking for a fun-filled vacation. The hotel definitely lives up to its family-friendly reputation, but at the same time, it manages to have an exotic, sophisticated character that entices even the honeymooners.

by Nellie Huang
Full Article

Perched high on the hills overlooking the beaches of Costa Blanca, the Barceló Asia Gardens is a unique resort designed to bring a taste of South East Asia to our doorstep. With a setting reminiscent of the lush tropics of Asia, this is easily the best place to go when craving far eastern exoticism close to home.

That’s why we chose this resort for our baby’s first trip away from home. With a three-month-old baby in tow, we were looking for a travel experience and a hotel that would make a destination on its own, without traveling too far. We wanted a hotel that was family-friendly and equipped with lots of amenities (so that we didn’t have to move round too much), but also something unique and different. Asia Gardens definitely met all our expectations — and surprised us with even more.

INTERIOR & DESIGN

With an outstanding design and characteristic decor, this resort isn’t your typical five-star hotel. Here, you’ll find lush tropical gardens and koi ponds, bamboo forests and thatch-roofed pavilions. Over 20,000 seasonal flowers fill its tropical gardens — from colorful frangipani to exotic birds of paradise and fragrant hibiscus. Walking through the gardens almost immediately transports you into the heart of Asia.

From afar, the rose-red hotel buildings resemble quaint terracotta houses that blend seamlessly into the natural surrounding. Upon entering the main lobby, the sky-high ceiling creates a wow effect, while the rattan fans, bamboo walls and antique furniture exude a zen atmosphere. Each of its 311 rooms is elegantly designed with white linen, grey granite tiles and high-end teak furnishing. Everywhere you go in the hotel, you’ll find Chinese calligraphy, paintings of tigers, Sanskrit scriptures, and Buddha statues. Soothing sitar music play in the background and the scent of jasmine flowers fills the air.

It’s easy to see why Asia Gardens won The International Design & Architecture Awards in 2012, offered by the magazine of interior design.

FACILITIES & ACTIVITIES

When we were planning our family trip, we wanted to stay at a resort that had all the amenities at our doorstep (as much as we like to explore, it’s not good for the baby to constantly move her from one place to another). Asia Gardens definitely hit the spot with its array of facilities, including seven restaurants and six swimming pools on the property itself. The pools are spectacular and each serve a different purpose — the iconic Angkor Faces pool is an adults-only outdoor heated pool, while the Zen pool is a family outdoor heated pool with an area for infants to frolic in. Most of the in-house restaurants serve modern Asian cuisine: Koh Samui serves up traditional South East Asian dishes such as Nasi Goreng and Beef Rendang in a stylish, romantic setting (although it is quite pricey); Palapa offers casual poolside dining and simple Mediterranean food; Udaipur is the most popular option, serving up buffet style international cuisine.

The Thai Spa that forms an important part of the resort is also worth a visit. Its signature treatment is the traditional Thai massage practiced throughout Thailand following the methods of a single school, the traditional School of Thai Massage at the Wat Po Temple in Bangkok. All the staff of the Thai Spa technical team were trained at this temple and provide some of the best holistic treatments in the world. Apart of that, the spa also provides daily activities on a complementary basis for all guests—anyone can sign up for the tai chi, yoga, and Virpana meditation sessions.

Part of the reason why we chose Asia Gardens was because of how family-friendly the hotel is. It was selected as Best Hotel for Families 2015 by the exclusive Condé Nast Johansens guide and is a favorite among people traveling with children. The hotel organizes plenty of activities everyday for kids — ranging from drawing contests to sports tournament and outdoor games. Its Mini Club is also great to keep the kids (from 4 to 12 of age) entertained while adults enjoy some time to themselves. While our three-month-old is still too young to enjoy any of the resort’s amenities for kids, we really appreciated having other families with babies around us.

LOCATION

In all honesty, Asia Gardens’ location puts it both at an advantage and disadvantage. The resort is located on the hills overlooking Costa Blanca, where over 200km (120 mi) of Mediterranean coastline stretches across the southeastern coast of Spain. It’s just a short drive to the beach which should be a major draw — but the closest beach is Benidorm, notorious for its ugly tall beachfront buildings and hordes of rowdy, young tourists. I would recommend heading to nearby Alicante coastal city or the quieter Altea and Calpe, which are surprisingly much calmer and less touristy. For families, you’ll love that Asia Gardens is right next to a major theme park, Terra Mitica, with a string of amusement rides, entertainment shows, shops and restaurants on offer.

OVERALL EXPERIENCE

All in all, Asia Gardens make for an excellent escape whether you’re a couple seeking a romantic getaway or a family looking for a fun-filled vacation. The hotel definitely lives up to its family-friendly reputation, but at the same time, it manages to have an exotic, sophisticated character that entices even the honeymooners.

One of the things I love most about this resort is the space — it’s spread out over such a big area that you get to enjoy lots of privacy and tranquility even at high season. Couples can enjoy the romantic ambiance of stylish restaurants and adults-only pool without being overwhelmed by families with children, and vice versa.

If I have to pick, the only shortcoming of the hotel is that you’ll need to hire a car to get to the resort and explore the area (although the hotel also offers airport transfers). I liked being away from the touristy coastline, but at the same time, I would have preferred to be closer to the sea. I know, what a paradox! That said, the resort is perfect for those looking for a quiet, private setting to get away from it all and enjoy some quality time with your loved ones.

The resort's Asian theme as displayed by the Angkor Wat faces pool

The resort’s Asian theme as displayed by the Angkor Wat faces pool

Family-friendly resort

The resort is great for families with babies

Lush gardens and koi ponds exude a tropical atmosphere

Lush gardens and koi ponds exude a tropical atmosphere

The VIP pool only for suite guests

The VIP pool only for suite guests

Beautiful white pavilions by the pool

Beautiful white pavilions by the pool

The Zen pool - perfect for families with children

The Zen pool – perfect for families with children

The Langkawi pool suitable for all types of guests

The Langkawi pool suitable for all types of guests

The hotel terracotta buildings blend seamlessly into the natural surroundings

The hotel terracotta buildings blend seamlessly into the natural surroundings

Outdoor lounge area

Outdoor lounge area in the hotel’s main building

The hotel's main lobby

The hotel’s main lobby

The Thai Spa

The Thai Spa is very popular with guests – so book early!

Spacious, luxurious rooms

Spacious, luxurious rooms

A different perspective of the room

Standard rooms have big double beds and a sitting area as well as a balcony

The enormous bathroom

The enormous, open-concept bathroom

Nasi Goreng at Koh Samui

Nasi Goreng at Koh Samui

Current starting rate is €296 per room, per night including breakfast and a daily supplement for the cot in the room. Price based on two people sharing a double deluxe room. To book or for further information, visit http://www.asiagardens.es/

Disclaimer: Our stay was hosted by Barceló Asia Gardens, but all opinions expressed above are our own.


About the Author

Nellie Huang

Nellie Huang is the co-founder and editor-in-chief of WildJunket. As a professional travel writer with a special interest in offbeat destinations, she has written for numerous publications including CNN, International Business Times, BBC, Wend, and Lonely Planet. In her quest for adventure, she’s climbed an active volcano in Guatemala, swam with sea lions in the Galapagos, played with lemurs in Madagascar and cruised alongside penguins in Antarctica.

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