Loret de Mar, Spain

Whilst pregnant with Finn, we decided to have an impromptu break away with Josh on the cheap. Beard was in the process of changing jobs and we had just finished renovating our first home so money was tight.
Searching online, the best value for money was coming up as Spain – the good old fail-safe Brits abroad destination, Loret de Mar in Costa Brava being among the cheapest of the bunch. On the website it was sold to us as “a natural paradise brimming over with life, unspoilt nature between heaven and earth.”


Now, we aren’t snobs, far from it. We are more than happy with a budget holiday, in a budget apartment, on a budget complex, but our home for the next week or so was diabolical. On arrival at *unfortunately, the hotel forced us to remove their name from this review* we were greeted by a reception with a receptionist who was a dead cockroach, and just a note asking us to call a number. On calling said number, a rather aggressive man answered and said he would be with us in half an hour… an hour and a half later a sweaty man who was either a murderer or a butcher, rocked up with blood smothered across his apron to throw us our keys, wave his arm to the left and say “your room that way” before stomping off again.


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The complex, in principle, looked ok, but when looking closer there was litter amongst the gardens and a lovely puddle of vomit next to what looked like a derelict bar area.
Our room was even worse. The balcony door didn’t close, and the barrier between sitting out there, or falling to certain death, had a gap so large that Josh could potentially fall through. Of course, any parent can imagine the prospect of this was terrifying, so we had to push the sideboard across the doors whenever we were in the room to stop him from wandering out there.

The cot provided looked like it was previously a cat little tray, however, we had no other option as the previous one supplied (and of which we complained about, was equally just as horrendous).
The bathroom was no better, with mould all over the tiles, the shower was more of a drip and the scum in the tray meant you had to wear flip flops through fear of getting some disease where your feet would fall off instantly.

Sadly, we were stuck in hell, as we didn’t have enough money to transfer hotels, so we soldiered on, as we always do and vowed to have an enjoyable holiday despite the accommodation.

That evening we decided to get an early night after travelling, but the person next to us thought it might be a good idea to either have sex with the wall all night (there was 100%, not another person in there – and if there was, they were definitely dead). After their wall shag, they then proceeded to shout down the phone at full volume, possibly to another non-existent person, or sing from the edge of “death row balcony” (oh how we wished…) to the drunk people outside throwing bottles and urinating over each other.

Josh, at this time, was a very heavy sleeper, but even he noticed the noise and permanently had cotton wool shoved in his ears to drown out the sound.

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The first morning Beard woke up to make himself a cup of tea from the facilities provided – the kettle lead had wires poking out from the plug and from the kettle itself, the mug had red lipstick smeared on it and the biscuits were already open, so he skipped that. Luckily I’m not a morning person so I stayed in bed – which I can categorically say was not any more pleasant.

We ventured on, in true British style and got ready for a day at the beach, although that was more of a cigarette and bottle top graveyard than a beach. Paddling wasn’t much better, I think the dirty nappy lapping at the shore was the part that put me off. Or was it the turd next to the sandcastle that did it? I can’t remember if I’m honest…

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Loret de Mar could be a lovely place. It’s got little coves and inlets with picturesque rocky terrain and historic landmarks with beautiful gardens that could make for a charming holiday. However, instead, it’s a real-life shithole showcasing what a minority of people can do to a place and make its reputation stick.

When we returned home, my parents wanted to hear all about our holiday. We told them it was hell and we needed a holiday to get over the holiday – and even then, possibly counselling. Yet they said what a fabulous holiday they had in Loret de Mar was when I was a little girl!
Apparently, it was stunning!!!

Either they had very little expectations, or things have dramatically changed. But now, it’s a very different story.

The streets are littered with rubbish, men strut around as red as a lobster and with tan lines that only a true Brit could wear and feel proud of. The quaint square, at night, is nothing but lager louts and “women” shouting obscenities at other groups of women before catfighting or peeing/pooping/throwing up* in the nearest plant pot/kerb/side of a restaurant/own shoe*. *Delete as appropriate.

The streets that could be meandered through are now neon signs of SEX SEX SEX and people trying to lure you in with free shots of what looks like urine. Oh, and the sheer, utter lack of any kind of consideration for anyone from other guests in the hotel is phenomenal! NEVER have I been on a holiday where people actively state that they do not give a sh!t and then decide to make your holiday even worse, by throwing things at your window and making even more noise – even after being asked politely to keep the noise down.

NEVER have I been on a holiday where we were dining (during the day) and someone has run past our table and grabbed a handful of chips from my son’s plate as he was eating his dinner… Then the cretin ran back to our table, laughed and showed us the contents of its vile mouth.

Despite all of this, we are the type of family that always see the positive in everything, and the one good thing going for this place is here…

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The Orient Express restaurant was our saviour. We had breakfast, lunch and dinner here every day for a week! The staff were always so cheerful and friendly, the food was divine, the cocktails (so Beard told me) were fab and above all, it was a family-friendly, cosy place where we felt a world away from what was going on outside. At the time we didn’t know Josh was Autistic, we called it quirky, but the staff dealt with his crazy ways with such ease it gave us a break to just enjoy some home-cooked good food. The restaurant is set out like an old train carriage, I think this is why Josh loved it here so much.

Sadly, apart from this restaurant, Loret de Mar isn’t for us.