Getting a cheap flight in the summer can be nigh on impossible, yet after a week or so of looking I came across a Ryanair flight from East Midlands Airport (Nottingham) to Valencia for only 24€ ($28). Add to that another 5€ for selecting an aisle seat and the price was still remarkably cheap for a two and a half hour flight.
The only downside and of course there had to be one for that price, was that the aircraft did not arrive in Spain until nine o’clock at night, which meant there was no way for me to get home to Alcoy until the following day.
With flights to my nearest airport at Alicante all costing in excess of 100€, a hotel for the night in Valencia was still going to work out cheaper.
While scouring through the prices on several hotel booking websites and then checking the reviews on TripAdvisor I came across Zalamera B&B a small refurbished Art Nouveau building close to the train station and Xativa Metro station.
With Xativa station on the main line into the city from the airport, it meant I could take the Metro from the airport and then walk the rest of the way to the hotel.
On arrival, I had to clear customs and then with the 20-minute ride into the city I was not going to get to the hotel until around 10 pm. The hotel manager Alejandra told me that no staff would be on duty but that I could get into the hotel using a code on a keypad next to the entrance.
Everything went to plan with me arriving at the time I had predicted to find a nice note with my name on it at the reception desk. In the note, Alejandra told me where my room was and gave me the password for the Wi-Fi pointing out that I needed to check in the following morning.
The room was as it appeared on the website, very small with a single bed and a place for your clothes. Some people might find it a bit Spartan but for me, it was perfect as I had plans to go out and get something to eat before going to bed.
An added surprise was that the hotel was located in Valencia’s China Town a couple of blocks of restaurants and Asian stores that I never knew existed despite having been to Valencia on numerous occasions.
After walking around China Town looking for a place to eat, I finally decided upon Whenzou based on the fact it was full of young Chinese all with Hot Pots on their table. Being alone, I ordered a plate of noodles with meat from the menu which was absolutely delicious. A beer and noodles for only 5.90€ ($6.88) how can you beat that?
The next morning it was tough getting out of bed as I was so comfortable but I wanted to do a little shopping before getting the bus home. Downstairs in the hotel, they have a nice little bar that serves breakfast out on the first-floor terrace. I skipped this, however, and just had a coffee with a bottle of mineral water.
Before checking in and checking out I asked the guy at the front desk if he knew of a really good Asian food store as I was looking to buy tamarind concentrate. He said, “Yes there is one around the corner called Hiper China they sell everything.”I thought to myself yeah right! “They sell everything.”
No word of a lie this store had every kind of Asian food you could think of including what appeared to be over 100 different types of soy sauce.
It took a lot of searching but I eventually found three types of tamarind to select from so left happy already planning on what I would buy next time I was in Valencia.
In fact, I was so impressed with the hotel and the Chinese restaurant I am already planning my next visit for some shopping and a night out on the town.