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AC Hotel Alicante by Marriott in Alicante, Spain [In-depth Review]

Christine Krzyszton's image
Christine Krzyszton
Christine Krzyszton's image

Christine Krzyszton

Senior Finance Contributor

311 Published Articles

Countries Visited: 98U.S. States Visited: 45

Christine ran her own business developing and managing insurance and financial services. This stoked a passion for points and miles and she now has over 2 dozen credit cards and creates in-depth, deta...
Edited by: Juan Ruiz
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Juan Ruiz

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Juan has extensive experience in writing and editing content related to credit cards, loyalty programs, and travel. He has been honing his expertise in this field for over a decade. His work has been ...

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It’s no secret I’m a fan of Marriott’s AC hotel brand. I’ve stayed at several, mostly in Spain, where I’ve found exceptional value for my travel dollar and for my Marriott Bonvoy hotel loyalty points.

My previous AC hotel destinations in Spain have included Málaga, Valencia, Seville, Madrid, and Palma, Mallorca.

Today I’m excited to share my experience during my stay at the AC Hotel Alicante.

Will this stay be as enjoyable as my previous AC Hotel stays in Spain or is my winning streak at an end?

Here’s how my stay at the AC Hotel Alicante played out.

Flying to Alicante

One prime objective of booking a flight to Alicante was to use up my expiring Delta Air Lines Global Upgrade Certificates (GUC) acquired by reaching top Diamond Medallion status. In order to accomplish this, I decided to purchase a Delta Premium Select fare ticket on Delta using my American Express Membership Rewards points.

By booking the flight via AmexTravel.com using The Business Platinum Card® from American Express, I would receive a 35% Pay With Points rebate on any premium flights booked with Membership Rewards points. For ~120,000 Membership Rewards points, I could book the ticket and receive 42,000 points back as a rebate, for a net cost of 78,000 points.

I purchased the ticket and then called Delta to apply my upgrades. All was good and I was off to Alicante via Amsterdam, with flat-bed seating both outbound and return.

DTW AMS Flight
It’s always a good feeling when your upgrades clear. Image Credit: Delta Air Lines

Booking the Hotel

I’m a big fan of Marriott’s fifth-night free benefit that gives you a free award night when you book 5 consecutive award nights using Marriott Bonvoy points. When searching for a Marriott property to book for my November 2022 trip, I found a 5-night stay at the AC Hotel Alicante for just 49,500 Marriott Bonvoy points.

We value Marriott Bonvoy points at 0.7 each which translates to using ~$347 worth of points for my stay.

AC Hotel Alicante Booking
With Marriott’s fifth night free, I was able to book a 5-night stay for less than 50,000 Marriott Bonvoy points. Image Credit: Marriott

The cash rate for the nights of my intended stay came to ~$500, so using Marriott Bonvoy points to book the stay was a much better deal.

AC Hotel Alicante Cash Rate
I always check the cash rate and compare redeeming award points to determine the better value. Image Credit: Marriott

Hotel Location and Transportation

Location

First, let me show you where the city of Alicante is located.

You’ll find the city northeast of Spain’s Costa del Sol in an area called Costa Blanca. The area is known for its beaches and 300+ days of sunshine each year. It’s the perfect spot for a winter getaway. In late November 2022, the time of my trip, the highs were about 65 to 68 degrees each day.

Alicante on map
The city of Alicante is on Spain’s southeastern coast. Image Credit: Google Maps

The AC Hotel Alicante is not located directly in the city center but is adjacent to it and just 11 kilometers and 12 to 15 minutes from the Alicante Airport (ALC).

You can reach the city center from the hotel in about 20 minutes of walking.

AC Hotel Alicante Location
The AC Hotel Alicante is located slightly outside the city center. Image Credit: Mapcarta

Transportation

There are a few options for securing transportation to the hotel, including private transport, taxi, or city bus.

First, arranging private transport such as a van, limo, or private car will cost between $35 to $60.

Because it was late at night and I had no idea what neighborhood I’d be going through to get to the hotel if I took the bus, I opted to hail a taxi. And, after 3 flights, little sleep, and a long layover, I was fine with paying the €18.90 (~$19.68) fare to expedite my arrival.

I had the option to take the line C-6 bus to the central bus station from the second level of the airport. It runs about every 20 minutes and takes 35 minutes to get to the hotel. A ticket from El Altet (the airport) to the central bus station costs €3.85 (~$4). The hotel is a short walk from there. I did take the C-6 bus back to the airport for my return flight at the end of my stay.

Note that Uber does not operate in Alicante but there is one other possible option worth checking — the Cabify app. For the transport I needed, Cabify gave a quote of €20.68 (~$21.45). With plenty of taxis waiting, I asked a cab driver for an estimated fare and he said around €20 (~$20.75), so I went for it.

Arrival and Check-in

There is no designated driveway or covered entrance to the hotel but the taxi was able to drop me off close to the front door.

AC Hotel Alicante Approach
A taxi can’t pull up directly to the door of the hotel but it can get close.

The taxi driver immediately knew the hotel when I told him my destination before leaving the airport.

Check-in was prompt and courteous. I arrived at about 9 p.m so my room was ready. I was offered 500 Marriott Bonvoy points or €10 per day in food and beverage credits. The 500 Marriott Bonvoy points are worth about $3.50 so I chose the food/beverage credits for my 5-night stay.

Breakfast was not included in my room rate so I was asked if I wanted to add it at the rate of €12.65 (~$13.17) per day. I chose to make the decision later as I wanted to assess the breakfast situation the next morning. My Titanium status was recognized and I received an upgraded superior queen room.

AC Hotel Alicante Reception
There was a slight language gap at check-in.

I wasn’t provided any information about the hotel, amenities available, or restaurant hours, etc., perhaps due to a language gap. I decided to just forgo any discussion until I got some rest. I would find out everything I needed to know in the morning.

If I would have had to wait for my room, there was plenty of lovely seating in the lobby.

AC Hotel Lobby Seating
Lobby seating was both comfortable and separated from lobby traffic.

There was a nice touch for those arriving — a bowl of lavender was provided with natural cloth baggies in which to put the lavender. I grabbed an already-filled bag of lavender for my pillow.

AC Hotel Alicante Lavender
Ah, sweet-smelling lavender at check-in. Nice touch.

Amenities

After a good night’s sleep, I set out to explore the hotel. I’ll share my room experience shortly, but first, let’s look at the amenities I discovered during my stay.

The Pool Area

The pool area had stunning views of the city and ocean. While small in size, it was appropriate for the size of the hotel.

AC Hotel Alicante Pool
The pool area leads to a nice rooftop bar at the end.

The view from the rooftop pool is beautiful as you can see more of the ocean from this height. There are also a lot of seating areas near the pool due to the rooftop bar. I’ll share more about the bar area and offerings later when I talk about food/beverage experiences.

AC Hotel Alicante Pool View
The pool area, because of the rooftop bar, had a lot of seating, perfect for enjoying morning coffee, too.

Fitness Center and Sauna

The fitness center, located on the sixth floor of the hotel, is a 2-story space with a hot tub and sauna on the first floor and a workout area on the second floor.

Both areas were open from 7 a.m. to 10 p.m.

The best feature of the hot tub area was the view. It’s the perfect spot to watch the sunset.

AC Hotel Alicante Hot Tub
A hot tub and sauna are located on the first floor of the fitness center.

The sauna was not in service when I was there, unfortunately, so I did not get to take a pic.

The workout area above the hot tub and sauna area was compact, but with floor-to-ceiling windows, the space was very pleasant.

AC Hotel Alicante Fitness Room
Time will pass quickly when you’re working out with this view.

The fitness area had plenty of clean towels, a flat-screen TV, a water cooler, and sanitizing supplies.

AC Hotel Alicante Fitness
The fitness room also had an installed air purifier.

Business Center

The business center was located in a delightful corner near the restaurant and around the corner from the reception desk.

AC Hotel Business Center
The business center area had a nice desktop Apple computer.

Meeting Rooms

Whether you wish to celebrate a family event or hold a business conference, the AC Hotel Alicante can handle the entire event from setup to catering.

The hotel has a total of 178 rooms to accommodate attendees.

With 6 meeting rooms, the largest holding 250 attendees, the hotel can host a large meeting and have additional breakout rooms for smaller sessions.

The hotel provides meeting equipment and services, high-speed Wi-Fi in every room, and can cater for any event. Additional staffing such as photographers, security guards, or AV technician services can also be provided.

AC Hotel Alicante Conference Area
The common area of the conference center.

While I was at the hotel, there were preparations in progress for a wedding that evening. Fortunately, I was able to sneak a peek at one of the event rooms.

AC Hotel Alicante Meeting Room
I very quietly tip-toed in while the room was being set up for a wedding to sneak a pic.

Parking

The hotel has plenty of on-site parking available for €13 per day.

AC Hotel Alicante Parking
The hotel has 2 underground floors of parking space.

Additional Amenities

If you need an accessible room, there are several available, even through online booking.

Pets are not allowed in the hotel but service animals are allowed. Advanced arrangements are advised.

Official check-in time is 3 p.m. and checkout is at noon, however, early check-in or late checkout may be available on request.

My Room

Now to see what my room looked like.

Approach and Entrance

The hallway approaching my room — #719 — was pretty standard, but it’s always nice when it’s clean and fresh.

AC Hotel Alicante Room 719
When there’s a nice long blank wall next to the room door, I always anticipate a spacious room.

On the inside, I found a full-length mirror on the back of the entry door.

AC Hotel Alicante Door
While the entryway was quite narrow, it led to a spacious room.

Welcome Gift

I received a welcome letter from the manager and a jar of fruit candies.

AC Hotel Alicante Welcome Gift
A standard welcome gift was waiting for me when I arrived.

The Living and Sleeping Area

One noticeable feature of my room was the large floor space.

AC Hotel Alicante Room
My room was large, well-lit, and had a lot of floor space.

I received a queen bed, which I prefer, and it was extremely comfortable. I had booked a standard queen room and was upgraded to a superior queen room.

AC Hotle Alicante Bed
I’ve always found Marriott bedding to be very comfortable.

Floating glass-topped nightstands were located on each side of the bed.

AC Hotel Alicante Left Nightstand
Personal lighting is always nice to have.

Each nightstand had central lighting controls, electrical outlets, and sanitizing wipes.

AC Hotel Alicante Right Nightstand
There were 2 bottles of complimentary water on the right nightstand along with the TV remote control and room service menu.

The flat-screen TV, I would say 46 to 48 inches, had 78 channels (some without signal), of which approximately 6 were English-language channels. Below the TV was a luggage bench, coffee station, and small refrigerator with a stocked minibar.

AC Hotel Alicante TV and Fridge
The mechanism below the TV is a fully functioning air purifier.

The coffee station was fully stocked with a Krups coffee maker, coffee pods, assorted condiments, bottled water, and takeaway cups.

AC Hotel Alicante Coffee Station
The coffee station had everything I needed for 4 full cups of morning coffee.

The chaise lounge seating was so comfortable I could take a nap on it. In fact, it would be suitable for an extra person to sleep there.

AC Hotel Alicante chaise lounge
The chaise lounge was very comfortable.

One side of the closet contained the safe, robes, laundry bags, a water kettle, condiments, and takeaway cups. The other side held the iron, ironing board, hangers, and storage shelf.

AC Hotel Alicante Closet
I used the closet to easily store all of my belongings.

The Bathroom

The bathroom was modern, fresh, and very clean.

AC Hotel Alicante Bathroom
As with other AC Hotels, the bathroom is fully tiled and well laid out.

The vanity had lots of room for my personal toiletries.

AC Hotel Alicante Vanity
The vanity was spacious with the hair dryer handy on the wall.

On a small rolling cart under the vanity, there were AC-branded amenities, including a shoe shine sponge, shower cap, dental kit, shaving kit, and comb.

AC Hotel Bathroom Amenities
Real glasses were provided and extra towels were plentiful.

The shower had a rain shower/wand combo and also a bathtub. The glass partition opened making for easy access.

AC Hotel Alicante Shower Tub
I really enjoy a shower/tub combination.

Korres-branded full-size shower gel, shampoo, and conditioner were mounted on the shower wall. All had a nice fresh citrus fragrance.

AC Hotel Alicante Shower Amenities
Some travelers don’t like the full-size amenities but I’m fine with them.

Work Area

The work area was more than sufficient and I appreciated the comfortable chair.

AC Hotel Alicante Work Area
The work area here at the AC Hotel Alicante was better than some previous AC Hotels.

Internet speeds varied, but I was able to download and upload images without a problem.

AC Hotel Alicante Internet Speed
Image Credit: Speedtest.net

Views

I’ve been quite spoiled with the views from my rooms at the AC Hotel Málaga Palacio and the AC Hotel Ciutat de Palma, both of which are also in Spain. Since I’m paying the equivalent of just $70 per night for this room, however, I’ll just be happy with my city view.

AC Hotel Alicante Room View
My room came with a city view, but at least I could see palm trees.

If I thought I was missing out on a spectacular ocean view, I soon learned that the views from the front of the hotel, although they did include the ocean, were also less than spectacular.

AC Hotel Alicante Front View
The ocean is there, but off in the distance.

Food and Beverage

The dining venues at the AC Hotel Alicante were modern, well-decorated, had nice lighting, and were comfortable. Plus, the expansive dining areas combined cover most of the entire first floor of the hotel.

AC Restaurant

Breakfast is served in the spacious AC Restaurant from 6:30 a.m. to 10 a.m. on weekdays, and from 7 a.m. to 10:30 a.m. on the weekends.

Earlier, when I checked in, I was offered the option to add breakfast to my room at a discounted rate of €12.65 (~$13.17). I decided to add it for 1 day, just to try it out and share my experience with all of you. I wanted to have the choice to skip breakfast or have it outside of the hotel on subsequent days.

The breakfast buffet normally costs €16.50 (~$17) when purchased in the restaurant.

Here’s how my breakfast experience unfolded.

AC Hotel Alicante Breakfast Seating
Seating areas are numerous with nice decor and comfortable furniture.

The restaurant was modern and expansive. You could select from 4 different sections for seating. Located in 1 section was 1 of the 2 coffee stations.

And, while the buffet was clearly self-serve, there were plenty of attendants ready to bring me additional coffee, take my egg order, and remove my used dishes.

AC Hotel Alicante Breakfast Area
One area had high-top seating and an additional coffee station.

Starting out, I grabbed a coffee and sparkling water and requested cooked-to-order eggs, which were included in the buffet price.

There were milk and milk alternative options including whole, skim, lactose-free, soy, oat, and almond milk available. A nice selection of juices included mixed berry, orange, apple, peach, and pineapple juices.

AC Hotel Alicante Coffee Juices
There were several juice choices as well as still and sparkling water.

Fresh whole oranges and apples, plus sliced pineapple and melons, headed up the fruit, meat, and cheese section. The meat and cheese choices were many and included several local kinds of cheese, plus Spanish meats and sausages.

AC Hotel Alicante Meats Cheeses
The meats and cheeses went quickly but were always replenished promptly.

Hard-boiled eggs were available, as well as something I saw at every breakfast in Spain: the tortilla de patatas (Spanish potato omelet).

AC Hotel Alicante Potato Omelet
The potato omelet was still warm.

In lieu of more potatoes, there were cooked mixed vegetables and baked beans. Hot items also included sausages and bacon.

AC Hotel Alicante Hot Items
I appreciated having cooked vegetables as a choice.

A wide selection of fresh bread was available for toasting. I especially liked the finely chopped tomatoes perfect for making my new favorite, tomato toast.

AC Hotel Alicante Breads
There were several fresh bread choices to eat as-is or for toasting.

The hotel didn’t forget those who needed products that are gluten-free, and yogurt toppings were plentiful as well, with seeds, fruits, nuts, and more.

AC Hotel Alicante Yogurts
Gluten-free selections were provided.

A few common cereal options were available, as well as cookies, cake with fruit, pancakes, and lots of fresh baked goods. Notice the additional seating surrounding the buffet.

AC Hotel Alicante Sweets
The baked goods selection looked yummy.

The breakfast at the AC Restaurant was plentiful, tasty, and good value for around $13.

AC Lounge and Bar

Before dinner, I opted to visit the bar for a cocktail and to watch the World Cup (U.S. vs. England).

AC Hotel Alicante Bar
The bar area was much livelier in the evening during the World Cup, as you can imagine.

The bar area is split into 2 sections, one more lively and suited for having drinks and bar food (above), the other quieter and more suitable for dining. Each section had a wide-screen TV for enjoying the latest sporting event.

In the middle of the 2 bar area sections is the actual bar, and it’s quite impressive.

AC Hotel Alicante Bar
The bar had a nice ambiance. You’d expect to pay $15 for a drink here but a glass of wine was less than $4.

The drink menu was 6 pages long so I won’t try to duplicate it here. Let’s just say that all drinks were affordable, from €2 to €10 (~$2.08 to $10.40)

AC Hotel Alicante Drink Menu
The drink selection in the bar was extensive.

You can have dinner in the quieter section of the bar or dine in the AC Restaurant, the same area where breakfast is served.

AC Hotel Alicante Bar Seating
This section of the bar was a bit quieter, perfect for dining.

Dinner is served beginning at 8 pm. Prior to that, you can order a sandwich or snack in the bar. Here is the full dinner menu:

AC Hotel Alicante Menu
The full dinner menu.

For dinner, I decided on a local fish dish, sea bream with vegetables and black couscous, for €15 (~$15.62). A glass of Spanish Rioja wine was €3.50 (~$3.65).

AC Hotel Alicante Dinner
While not the most beautiful piece of fish, it was tasty and cooked perfectly.

I had one other dinner meal during my stay, a seafood paella. It looked so bland, all one reddish color, that I did not take a pic of it. However, it was so delicious with every bite containing tender shrimp or octopus. It was seasoned well and way more than I could eat. The server explained to me that it was a traditional way of preparing the dish and more of a comfort food. Note to self — never judge a Spanish dish by what it looks like. All for €13 (~$13.50).

Piscina Rooftop Bar

While the rooftop bar is only open in season, I could use the phone to order a drink if I chose to enjoy a cocktail and take in the view or the sunshine from up top.

AC Hotel Alicante Rooftop Bar
Enjoy the rooftop bar no matter the season.

Surrounding Area

Bus and Train Stations

The main bus terminal is just a 5-minute walk from the hotel, while the train station is around 10 minutes. It’s easy to take the bus or train to nearby towns such as Murcia (1.5 hours) or Valencia (2 hours), plus, you’ll spend less than $10 each way.

Dining

While the food at the hotel was good, there is no reason to eat many meals there when there are so many spectacular eateries throughout the city. Tripadvisor points out some of the dining options near the hotel.

City Center

I walked for about 20 minutes from the hotel to reach the city center, the beach, and Plaza del Mar. It wasn’t possible to walk along the water all the way due to construction and industrial structures, but overall, it was a pleasant walk.

I spent time in the old town, along the beach, at the Central Mercado, and more, but here’s the full list of options so you can make your own list of places to visit in the city.

AC Hotel Alicante Promenade
Once I got closer to the city center the walking environment improved greatly.

Supermarkets

A Carrefour Express supermarket is less than 2 blocks away and I found everything I needed there. However, for a larger market, Supermercado Dialprix is just 3 blocks further.

Central Mercado

Even though I was not interested in purchasing fresh fish, vegetables, or meats, the visual pleasure of being at the central market was not to be missed. I did enjoy a nice fresh empanada snack.

AC Hotel Alicante Mercado
I was glad I made the trip to the Central Mercado.

The Beach and the Castle

The main beach in Alicante is about a 25-minute walk from the hotel (or less than a 5-minute drive) and is right next to Plaza Del Mar. It’s also very close to the lift that can take you up to historic Santa Barbara Castle. You can see it at the top of this pic. The castle dates back 1,000 years or so and is free to enter. The lift will cost around $3.

AC Hotel Alicante Beach
Follow the beach to reach the lift that takes you to the castle.

Book a Tour

Tours are very affordable and some pick up at the hotel. Tours also pick up from the central Plaza del Mar area. Check out Viator for some ideas on excursions from Alicante.

Service

The front desk service was fine, not special, but as I mentioned in the beginning, that may have been due to the initial language barrier. Service in the restaurant and bar area was excellent.

The housekeeping staff was very friendly, and although I declined service most days, they happily brought me more water and coffee and exchanged towels for me.

I’ve had much friendlier service at other hotels but there was nothing wrong with the service at the AC Hotel Alicante.

Final Thoughts

Although I received excellent value for my Marriott Bonvoy points, the next time I’m in Alicante, I might consider a more centrally-located hotel. While the hotel was beautiful and comfortable with good service, it still required a 20 to 30 minute walk to many places, or waiting for a bus at the nearby bus station, to arrive at the heart of things. Obviously, there’s usually a trade-off between price and location.

Bottom line, for a budget place to stay in Alicante, the AC Hotel Alicante checks all the boxes and delivers a pleasant experience in every measurable way. If someone was renting a car to explore the area, the hotel may be a perfect choice, especially with affordable and plentiful parking available.

Frequently Asked Questions

Is the AC Hotel Alicante located on the ocean?

No, the hotel is not waterfront but you can see the ocean from the hotel. It is also just a few blocks away, although the area between the hotel and the water is quite industrial.

Does the AC Hotel Alicante have a pool?

Yes. The hotel has a nice rooftop pool with lovely views. There is also a rooftop bar located at the pool that is open seasonally.

Does the AC Hotel Alicante allow pets?

No. The AC Hotel Alicante does not allow pets. Service animals are allowed but it is suggested to let the hotel know in advance.

Does the AC Hotel Alicante have an airport shuttle?

No. The AC Hotel Alicante does not have an airport shuttle but the hotel is a short taxi ride (15 minutes) or bus ride (30 minutes) from the airport.

Christine Krzyszton's image

About Christine Krzyszton

Christine ran her own business developing and managing insurance and financial services. This stoked a passion for points and miles and she now has over 2 dozen credit cards and creates in-depth, detailed content for UP.

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