The first hotel inaugurated in Benidorm

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Passion turned into reality

Mr. Pedro Cortés earned a living by sailing the seas enrolled in a company that would later give its name to his hotel: Navieras Bilbaínas. Working as a butler on board different ships, he discovered many different places but was particularly fascinated by one in particular: Valparaíso, in Chile. This made him wonder whether Benidorm could ever become such an idyllic place and that is what drove him to open the hotel.

With his savings from many years of work at Navieras Bilbaínas and the help from his wife Angelina, he began to build the first hotel in Benidorm in the 1920s, which he would later name Bilbaíno as a show of gratitude to the excellent treatment he received from the company.

Hotel Bilbaino

Golden era

The first official inauguration took place between 1926 and 1930, with the town’s mayor also in attendance. In any case, the most outstanding characteristic of that golden era was the way he managed the hotel. The Hotel Bilbaíno management stated that “We have tried to maintain a personalised service, adjusting to the different times, although it’s quite different from the early years, when the whole staff used to go to the door to welcome the guest or wave goodbye on his departure”.

Hotel Bilbaino
Hotel Bilbaino

The Spanish Civil War

Hotel Bilbaíno also endured the Spanish Civil War. “It was already opened at the start of the war and, of course, there were guests staying there at the time, especially businessmen from Alcoy and people from Madrid, who the hotel provided shelter to”. At the end of the war, the hotel continued with its business, receiving celebrities such as Mexican singer and actor Jorge Negrete.

Hotel Bilbaino

After the war

In the 1940s, the hotel continued with its rise. It hosted memorable cultural gatherings and talks such as “the living forces of the people to discuss its own future” and the boardwalk. Built slightly above the floor, it was made with wood and placed on the beach, where people drank coffee and soft drinks and enjoyed and danced to the music played by a band. Today, when there is a storm coming, you can still see two of the boardwalk’s posts, which previously used to be railway sleepers.

Hotel Bilbaino

From the 60s until today

In 1963, the hotel was rented for the first time to Pascual Pérez, who maintained its style albeit updating it with the times. The previous owners resumed the hotel’s management in the early 80s until 2004, when they once again rented it out, although still committed to a personalised service and the comfort of their guests.

Written by: Raquel López