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since 16/10/2009


Portaventura Park, Spain 21/10/2009

Under the Spell of PortAventua at Halloween

Portaventura Park, Spain Halloween at PortAventura My partner and I have recently returned from a trip to PortAventura where the Halloween season had just begun. We have been to the theme park a couple of times before at other times of the year, and having already visited Disneyland Paris during the same period I was interested to see how PortAventura compared. As the park and it’s rides have already been reviewed elsewhere, I’m only going to cover the Halloween events in this review. The Park: The story goes that back in the late 70’s Spain was considered among several other countries by Disney for the location of their new European park, but they finally decided on Paris due to its more central location for the principal population centres of Western Europe and better existing travel links. PortAventura was created as a response to this disappointment. The park was opened in 1995 but the name has been modified several times as ownership changed hands. It has grown into a complete resort comprising 4 hotels, a beach club, water park, convention centre and golf course and it appears further development is planned, perhaps a ‘City Walk’ style area with shops and cinemas. The park is most famous for it’s six roller coasters, particularly the notorious Dragon Kahn. Though PortAventura cannot match Disneyland Paris (or any of the Disney parks) in the quality of rides such as Pirates of the Caribbean and Phantom Manor, what PortAventura does really well is shows, and every area has several performances ...

Portaventura Gold River, Salou 18/10/2009

A trip back to the old west at Hotel Gold River, PortAventura

Portaventura Gold River, Salou If you loved the idea of the film 'Westworld' but don't fancy getting shot at by a malfunctionuing robot this resort could be for you! My partner and I visited the new Hotel Gold River in late September 2009 for two nights, as we had stayed at a couple of the PortAventura hotels previously (El Paso and Caribe) and were keen to see the latest addition to the park complex, a themed hotel created to resemble a western town. It is a 502 room hotel set in several acres backing onto the PortAventura theme park and was opened in July 2009 in a ceremony performed by the actor Larry Hagman, famous for his role as JR Ewing in the 80’s TV series ‘Dallas’. Arriving by car, the western motif is evident as soon as you leave the main road that continues to the park entrance, with an impressive sculpture of the fictional town’s founder and the approach to the hotel studded with cacti, ornamental grasses etc., which are as it happens perfectly at home in the climate of this region. The front of the hotel is dominated by another huge sculpture of a stagecoach, where the friendly concierge offers to take your luggage and directs you into the car park. Parking: Perhaps not important for many British visitors, but we were concerned about parking faculties after past experiences at another hotel at this resort. At this hotel the car park was hidden from the main road by landscaping and the whole complex has a gatehouse with a barrier. Though it was apparently unmanned when we arrived at 15:00, ...
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