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Busy Benidorm: Spain's 'anti-hipster' hotspot

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Busy Benidorm: Spain's 'anti-hipster' hotspot
Is Benidorm the epitome of anti-cool? Photo: 8mm and other stuff/Flickr
12:58 CEST+02:00
It may not have the glamour of Barcelona or the cultural cache of Madrid, but "anti-hipster" Benidorm keeps pulling in the crowds.

The Costa Blanca resort of Benidorm is not full of quirky shops and interesting bars. It can't boast of a single great museum or even cutting edge architecture.

But the people keep coming — in droves.

Benidorm is not only Spain's camping capital — it clocked up 1.5 million overnight stays in 2012 — but also tops the nation's year-round hotel occupancy rates with a staggering average of 64.8 percent.

So what's the secret to its success?

Beyond the cheap prices and the sun for everyone philosophy, it's the town's anti-hipster vibe, says Spanish culture magazine Jot Down, which recently ran a long article on the town just north of Alicante.

Jot Down describes a town full of English breakfasts, erotic shows, and karaoke nights where "uncool" people belt out Michael Jackson and Lady Gaga tunes.

It's also a place often used — wrongly — to signify the destruction of Spain's coasts, Jot Down says.

But the cultural journal also defends the town, saying its destruction has been "efficient" and means the town keeps drawing in tourists and money.

"Benidorm has something for everyone," Jenny from the resort's Round Town Travel told The Local.

"You've got family fun with the fun parks and water parks, and then the groups of 18 to 30-year-old chaps and girls who enjoy the nightlife.

"Then the slightly older crowd come and stay out for a few months in winter and use Benidorm as a base to explore the Costa Blanca and further afield."

The travel agent also stressed prices were a key factor in the resort's popularity.

"A lot of hotels, maybe around 90 percent are doing all-inclusive details," she told The Local.

"This is particularly appealing to family who want to know exactly what they are going to spend."  

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