Published Thursday, 05 April 2012
One of the resort hotels at Portaventura Resort in Spain has taken imagination to the next level and if you visit the 4* "Hotel Gold River"; you can totally immerse yourself in the Wild West experience.
The resort has over 500 rooms spread throughout eleven buildings and cabins set out in a replica of a genuine and unique town of the early 1800's.
The story behind the resort is that of a 'Lucy Callaghan' who, in 1800, discovered some glittering rocks in a river. The discovery of the gold leads to the foundation of the town of Sullivan, Colorado and in the replica town, visitors can find authentic log cabins, as well as a city hall, saloon bar, bordello and traditional mansion - all with themed bedrooms inside.
The streets are interspersed with Stage Coaches, Steam Engines and even Cattle to give that authentic experience. The designers who came up with the concept researched every detail of the plans, from the stories of the characters to the design of the buildings and used genuine historic documents and photographs to ensure authenticity. Indeed, it is like a large-scale Ulster American Folk Park (with added sunshine!)
The hotel resort's honorary Sheriff is the legendary Larry Hagman (JR Ewing in Dallas), and when he visited, he declared it was so authentic it reminded him of his younger days in Texas. 'For an old cowboy like me, Gold River is like stepping back into my youth,' he enthused. 'I'm sure it's going to be a bigger hit than J.R. Ewing.'
The Hotel Gold River has direct access to the Portaventura Theme Park, which, since is opening in 1995, has become an intrinsic part of any trip to the Costa Dorada. The theme park itself offers over 30 rides and attractions spread among 5 'lands'; allowing you to experience the sights and sounds of other areas of the world. From gravity-defying 80mph roller coasters to simple carousels; the park caters for all age groups.
The park also allows visitors to get up close and personal with some of their favourite cartoon characters, including Woody Woodpecker, Popeye and Betty Boop, as well as various famous faces from Sesame Street. The neighbouring Caribe Aquatic Park is just the place to go and cool down in the Spanish heat. The Caribbean-based Park creates hours of fun through it's various waterslides, lazy river and 'beach' with a very realistic wave machine.
However, if the Theme Park and Aquatic parks are a little too busy for you; a visit to the resorts own Beach Club might be the escape you need. With 7 swimming pools and direct access to the Mediterranean sea; the Beach Club is the ultimate in relaxation. The waterbeds; infinity pools and Jacuzzis are the perfect complement to the Spa treatments on offer.
A big part of a holiday is the food - and whilst in the Theme Park, you can get the usual fayre of burgers, fries and noodles; at the Hotel Gold River and the Lumine Restaurant at the Beach Club, you can savour some haute cuisine including local fish and shrimps; succulent steaks and stunning desserts (even a second helping, in my case!) washed down by some regional fine wines.
Portaventura is located in Salou, one of Spain's best known resorts, and only 60 miles from the city of Barcelona. So if you feel like seeing some more of the area, it is easy to get around and take some time out from the theme park. Getting there is easy too; the resort is 10 minutes away from Reus Airport, served by numerous operators including Ryanair and about an hour away from Barcelona Airport which can be accessed by rail or road from the resort.
Further details can be found at www.portaventura.co.uk