by Clara Scheepens, the Netherlands, 2022
Living at Ciudad Patricia is “a new way of living” for people in the golden years. Because of this, we offer the opportunity to make a ‘trial living’ before you decide, allowing you to experience for yourself the facilities, services and apartments at Ciudad Patricia. In 2022, Clara Scheepens spent a week living at Ciudad Patricia. She kindly shared here experience which we are happy to share. These are Clara’s words and images, we hope you enjoy reading them as much as we did…
“A beautiful old age is, ordinarily, the reward of a beautiful life”
– Pythagoras of Samos, Greek philosopher and mathematician.
You can live comfortably and carefree, quietly enjoying everyday life. That is my conclusion after spending a trial week in Ciudad Patricia, a luxury residence for retirees of various nationalities.
During one of my stays in Benidorm, I read in a local newspaper about the trial programme of this unique home. I knew right away that I had to experience it and I had the opportunity to do so in the spring of 2022. I would like to share with the reader my impressions of my short stay and my participation in the open day in autumn 2022. At the same time I would like to express my gratitude to all the employees for the warm welcome and the opportunity they offered me to savour the atmosphere in this residence.
As the pictures show, it is a beautiful residential park situated in one of the healthiest regions of Europe, on the slopes of the Sierra Helada, just outside Benidorm. It has several swimming pools, one of which is heated, gardens that are maintained daily and a restaurant with a terrace from which you can take in the breathtaking views of the mountains. It is also a great place to meet people, both residents and visitors.
I was curious about the history of Ciudad Patricia and read a little about it. I found out that it started more than thirty-five years ago, when a Spanish investor built this resort and named it after his daughter, Patricia. Today the residence consists of a central building, five residential buildings and a rehabilitation centre. There are 190 flats in the Elisa, Flora, Gardenia, Hortensia and Iris buildings, where residents can live independently.
The other flats, which complete the complex, belong to the Spanish Ministry of Defence which uses them as holiday homes for its retired personnel.
Why was I interested in Ciudad Patricia?
Firstly, I wanted to find out what it would be like to live alongside like-minded people and secondly, I had a long-cherished dream of returning to the Costa Blanca where I worked and lived in the 1970s. Recently I am discovering what a life in Spain would be like today.
When I was there I was never bored. Living in Ciudad Patricia has many advantages, for example, residents can go and have lunch in the restaurant, stay in the rehabilitation residence in case of serious illness or use the shuttle service that makes a round of the park several times a day.
Every morning I enjoyed the park and had a cup of coffee on the terrace of the cafeteria with an amazing view. I could also use some of the facilities such as the heated swimming pool or go for a walk. I especially loved listening to the residents telling me why they decided to move to Ciudad Patricia and how their lives had changed since then.
Sitting on the terrace of my apartment in the Elisa building, I watched the squirrels jumping from tree to tree every day, smiling and feeling immensely happy.
I also met people who live in Ciudad Patricia. Some stay in the residence all year round but there are also residents who spend part of the year in their home country.
I was lucky enough to talk to some of them and some of the staff about life in the resort. What I remember most is that the residents appreciate the freedom and independence in Ciudad Patricia. They feel safe and secure, carefree, knowing that medical care is available if needed.
I chatted pleasantly with, among others, Adriana, Nancy, Mary, Margaret and June. Each has her own life story and different reasons for living in Spain. So, we found common topics of conversation. On Friday I went together with some ladies in the car from the park to the supermarket in Albir. On the bus I met Juan, the nice driver of the resort. After shopping, we met for a cup of coffee together.
The complex is within walking distance of Benidorm and you can reach the centre by bus which has a bus stop in front of the central building. There is another bus stop at the bottom of the road, about ten minutes walk away, which takes you to Alfaz del Pi, Albir and Altea. Excursions to the surrounding area are regularly organised, for example to visit the almond blossom trees in the beautiful Costa Blanca interior.
In short, Ciudad Patricia is a wonderful place to enjoy the final phase of life without worries, on the Mediterranean coast and with a healthy climate.
I need some time to get used to the idea of what it would be like to live there, but it is certainly an option in a few years time.
It is important to think beforehand about how much independence you want and how much time you are going to share with the residents. On the one hand, certainly for me that is essential, because I have lived all my life independently and alone. On the other hand, it is comforting to know that Ciudad Patricia offers a range of services and it is up to you to choose whether you want to use them.
If I live in Spain longer in the future, I would also like to continue to travel around the country. That way I can enjoy the best of both worlds, the Netherlands and Spain.
‘A person does not grow old when his skin wrinkles, but when his dreams and hopes wrinkle’.
If you would like to find out more about living at Ciudad Patricia, or to enquire about a trial living, please contact us today