It’s pina coladas all round at Neptune’s, as ITV’s hit comedy drama series Benidorm is set to return for a seventh series. The show, which follows the antics of a motley crew of penny pinching British holiday makers and stars Steve Pemberton, Sheila Reid and Oliver Stokes, is being filmed on location just now and is planned for UK broadcast in January 2015. The next season should be a scorcher too, as it sees the return of Johnny Vegas after a four season hiatus, back in the role of Lancashire pub quiz champion Geoff Maltby, aka The Oracle.
Benidorm is set in the fictional all-inclusive hotel resort of Solana where all of its characters stay. These scenes are filmed at the Hotel Sol Pelícano Ocas, 300 metres from Levanta Beach in Rincón de Loix, with its own Flintstones-themed adventure park and all-inclusive packages. The production crew often rent out a number of rooms here, so it’s a prime spot to stay if you’re keen to do some celeb spotting. The Solana’s reception is filmed in the ‘Pink House’, which used to be an artist’s studio, opposite the Benidorm Palace. Closed for most of the year, it comes alive during production, and even houses a mocked up mini airport arrivals hall, which stands in for Alicante Airport in the show.
Much of the action takes place in Neptune’s, the resort’s bar restaurant, where the show’s drunken gossip, petit rivalries and wife swinging frolics unfold. Neptune’s is filmed in Morgan’s Tavern, a popular pirate ship-themed cabaret bar which hosts regular cover bands, comedy and karaoke nights that would not look at all out of place in the show itself. Handily enough, it’s directly opposite from the Sol Pelicanos Ocas hotel.
Slightly more upmarket is the Benidorm Palace, a real life showtime hub, also in Rincon de Loix, with a large theatre-style stage and raised dancefloor. It accommodates 2000 punters who come for a regular programme of dinner and show galas, featuring glammed up exotic dancers in extravagant feather dresses. In Season 3 the Garveys pay a visit to the Palace, where we witness a typical example of the venue’s real live show.
The memorable scene where Geoff ‘the oracle’ Maltby meets his blind date Lesley (or just ‘Les’, as it turns out!) was filmed here in one of the resort’s most visited tourist viewpoints, a white painted pentagon of stairs, wedged between the Playa de Levante and Playa de Poniente beaches in the Old Town, giving perhaps Benidorm’s most spectacular views over the Med.
Have you spotted any Benidorm stars on your Costa Blanca holiday? Let us know your gossip in the comments below!