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The popular elephants on the roundabout in Benalmádena Costa. Karl Smallman
The herd of elephants on the N-340 road that has become a symbol of Benalmádena Costa, purely by chance
Tourism

The herd of elephants on the N-340 road that has become a symbol of Benalmádena Costa, purely by chance

Some twenty years ago, the original plan was to install the life-sized animals around the pool in Holiday World's beach club so that their trunks acted as water jets

Lorena Cádiz

Benalmádena

Monday, 24 June 2024, 18:24

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“They are strong, familiar, faithful, they always stick together…” This is how the advisor and partner of the Peñarroya group and general director of Holiday World, Mari Francis Peñarroya, defines elephants. When, twenty years ago, the company undertook the challenge of building the largest resort on the Costa del Sol, it needed a symbol, and thanks to these values, elephants were chosen.

Today, the Los Elefantes roundabout, located on the N-340 dual carriageway as it passes through Benalmádena Costa, has become a symbol of the area. A place favoured by residents and visitors (especially those seeking the perfect selfie), which, however, was far from planned. According to Peñarroya in one of the videos that Holiday World has produced to mark the resort’s twentieth anniversary, these elephants were originally to be installed around the pool in the hotel's beach club so that their trunks acted as water jets.

“The elephants arrived before the work was finished. We couldn't have them in the club area because they would surely have ended up damaged,” Peñarroya said.

Given this situation, someone suggested that it might be a good idea to place them on the roundabout that was being built on the N-340 to provide access to the complex. This was done and they stayed there for about three months, before the work on the resort was finished and it was time to install them next to the pool.

“This did not sit well with the people of Benalmádena because they had already made them their own,” recalls the general director of the hotel, who added that some people called the town hall complaining that “we had stolen the elephants”.

However, the town’s mayor, who visited the complex to see a new phase of the facilities, “asked us to put some elephants back on the roundabout”. This was done and they remain on the distinctive roundabout two decades later.

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