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  3. History of Tourism in Benidorm,
  4. The Great Delfin Hotel
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The Great Delfin Hotel

Symbol of the first years of tourism in Benidorm.

Since 1963 and during the Franco years and the beginnings of democracy, the "Great Delfin Hotel", located in the Cala de Benidorm, was the most luxurious in the city. It was the "Sumptuous Hotel Delfin", as described by Ángel Laborda and was reserved for a very selected clients with "glamour".

That's where their uniqueness came from and the great admiration they aroused among residents and visitors. Personalities from the world of politics, music, bullfighting, journalism, cinema, etc., stayed in it when they came to the city for professional or leisure reasons.

Nowadays Benidorm has grown and its tourism has been transformed. The Hotel Delfin is no longer the most luxurious, although it maintains a tradition and a history that make it different from other hotels in the city despite having lost that character of exclusivity.

The symbol of this transformation was the decline of the 5 star category to that of 4 to 1995. However, it has an unquestionable merit: it was the emblem of the tourist city in the 1960s, 1970s and 1980s.

It all started in the summer of 1957 when Felipe Pastor spent the summer in Alicante and made a car trip to Benidorm. He was impressed by the Tossal de la Cala and when he saw a lot there for sale he knew what he had to do: "You are stepping on gold," he said to his wife and companions.

He was enchanted by the natural beauty of this cove, with a dilated beach of golden sand, blue horizons of sea and sky and palm trees by the sea that gave it a peculiar exoticism. A beach that thanks to the magic of cinema could be seen as a tropical paradise. And as such it was recommended by the propaganda of the time in some tourist brochures: "the Paradise of the Spanish Riviera". Also there was an arqueologic attraction; at the top of the Tossal, archaeological remains from the Iberian period excavated between 1944 and 1951 were located.

According to the first excavators, it was a settlement of the 2nd and 1st centuries BC. although investigations of the year 2013 showed that it was in fact a Roman fort of the 1st century BC whose remains can still be visited.

After many problems with the decision making for starting the construction of the hotel, thanks to the hope and tenacity of Felipe Pastor allowed the project to be carried out and the official opening ceremony of the hotel was held on July 20, 1963.

It was a risk because at that moment was already open 22 more hotels that most of them were located in the center of the town and on the Levante beach.. Only Palmeral and Delfin hotels were far away, although the latter much more, as it was located at the end of the beach.

A fact that although some saw it as negative, presented nevertheless a very positive aspect: it allowed its guests to enjoy tranquility and natural beauty far superior to other hotels. This location in an not crowded environment, enable a quiet and family tourism, with a beautiful landscape was one of the keys to the success of the Hotel Delfin that Felipe Pastor knew to see in his day.