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Meeting Educational Trip to Alicante by Alice Kendall – April 2018

Melia Hotels kindly invited me to their FAM trip to Alicante. This was my first FAM trip and what a one to start with!

We all met at Gatwick airport in the morning before flying off to the beautiful City.

We first stayed at Melia Villaitana Hotel, greeted with Champagne on arrival, we checked into our fabulous rooms with the most unforgettable views of the hotels grounds, seas and the buildings of Benidorm.

We did a grand tour of the hotel which gave us an understanding as to why they call the hotel a village. The hotel has 25 individual buildings with two of them having more than 100 bedrooms in them – one building being 5* the other 4*.

The meeting spaces has something for everyone! With a maximum capacity of 1,200 and 17 meeting rooms, you can have it all – from reception drinks on the pool side, gala dinners in the church dome or boardroom meeting with plenty of daylight and views out to the grounds.

After the site visit, we went to a gin and tonic master class while being served fresh sushi. They showed us ways to make the perfect gin even from your home (top tip – pour the tonic from the top of a spoon, don’t pour the tonic straight into the gin. It surprisingly tastes a lot better).

After having a few abnormally large glasses of gin, we made our way into a private restaurant where we were served the most filling 6 course meal. We were accompanied by a saxophone player who played non stop for 3.5 hours making the atmosphere very welcoming and relaxed.

The next day, we signed out of the Villaitana Hotel and started our bus tour of Alicante. We stopped off at the ADDA Auditorium. This is a great venue if you are looking at hosting a large scale event with the ADDA able to hold a total capacity of 5,000 people.

After a short bus journey, we climbed up the Santa Cantera Castle which is one of the largest medieval fortresses in Europe giving us beautiful views of the city. With our personal guide, we learnt a lot about the castle as well as the city. The Santa Cantera Castle can be hired out for late evening receptions with the lights around the balcony and views of the city it is a definite WOW factor venue!

In the afternoon we had a roof terrace lunch at the La Cantera Restaurant looking out over the blue sea and with weather over 20 degrees, it was the perfect day for it. We had unlimited drinks, canapes and 2 different types of Paella.

After the delicious lunch we checked into the Meila Alicante Hotel. The rooms were very modern and with every room with a balcony and sea views, you couldn’t go wrong.

Once we settled into the hotel, we met in the hotel lobby to start our bike ride tour. We cycled along the sea front then visited the busy town centre. The bike ride lasted around 25 mins and we ended at a cocktail bar were we had a selection of cocktails, wines, pastries and cake!

After putting back on the calories we had just lost, we walked back to the hotel and did a short site visit. The Melia Alicante has 12 meeting and banqueting rooms with a capacity for 6 to 470 people (meeting) and 550 (banquet). With space outside on the pool side or in rooms full of natural daylight, it’s the perfect venue with sea views in almost every room.

After the site visit, we went back to our rooms to start getting ready for another 6 course meal! For this meal we ate in a private dining room with celling to floor windows across the sea front bringing in huge amounts of natural daylight and spectacular views of the clear blue sea.

We were sadly on our last day in Alicante and it had to be the sunniest day (typical). We signed out of the hotel and started a museum tour at the Volvo Ocean Race museum. This was very interesting finding out how the sailing world race works, how they live for months on end and actually being able to board one of the boats that sailed the race in 2015 – defiantly something different to do for a corporate event.

The Alicante weekend sadly had to end. We all boarded the plane and we were back in the UK at around 17:00.

This trip will definately be a hard FAM trip to beat – Thank you Melia !!

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