A tiny fishing village until the 1960s, now Benidorm, Spain, is known worldwide as a fantastic holiday destination, complete with exciting nightlife, excellent food, and Brits arriving by the bus load.
Benidorm promises around 300 days of sunshine per year, which is one of the main reasons British people are so drawn to it.
According to Statista, the UK is home to some of Europe’s gloomiest cities.
Indeed, the UK’s three largest cities, London, Birmingham and Manchester, average around 1,400 hours of sunshine per year, which is approximately 58 days.
Understandably, the abysmal track record of British weather prompts Britons to pack their bags and board flights to Benidorm year after year.
So it’s clear why Britons initially seek out Benidorm, but why do they keep returning?
Roger and Sue are just one British couple who see Benidorm as a home away from home, with the added bonus of sparkling sunshine.
The documentary showed the couple enjoying their 45th stay at the Rio Park Hotel to celebrate their 51st anniversary.
They love it so much that their friends at home even refer to them as Mr and Mrs Benidorm.
Staff at the Rio Park Hotel, many of them British expats themselves, are the reason people like Roger and Sue keep returning to the sunny resort.
Welcoming and friendly, the staff build a rapport with the guests, and develop personal relationships when they see them year upon year.
They “like to think of the guests as extended family”, and therefore see Roger and Sue as “part of the furniture”.
The British couple explained what makes Benidorm so special to them, with Roger stating: “We’re two different people at home.”
He even joked that while his wife shouts at him at home, she doesn’t shout at him in Benidorm, suggesting that the warm climate, beautiful beaches and flowing drinks is enough to make people forget about their worries and stresses from home.
Sue added that “this is where me and Roger can be just us”, away from the responsibilities of parenthood and everyday life.
“That’s why Benidorm is so important to us.”
Of course, the balmy climate helps: “When you’ve got sunshine it makes all the difference.
“We know it’s absolutely throwing it down with rain at home, but look where we are.”
Another member of “fanclub Benidorm” is regular Peter, who comes to Benidorm a whopping three times per year.
As well as the “friendships you gain from the staff”, the baking hot Benidorm weather keeps him coming back.
“The welcome is warm, the temperature is warm – I like it.”
And while Benidorm allows Britons to enjoy a snippet of sunshine in their otherwise gloomy year in rainy Britain, visitors can also enjoy their home comforts.
A chef at the Rio Park Hotel revealed that the most popular foods at the hotel restaurant are British favourites bacon, sausages, mushrooms and potatoes, with Peter even enjoying a pork wellington in Benidorm.
This means that “creatures of habit” Britons can still experience a piece of home whilst enjoying the sun and social atmosphere, according to the documentary.