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#89 - 06/08/00 10:01 PM Best parador & hostals
PatM Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 06/08/00
Posts: 26
Loc: Maryland
Just learned about your site -- terrific!

Two of us (over 50) want to stay in a historic parador in October and want opinions from those who've stayed in some. We understand that they're pricey but want to treat ourselves to one NICE one -- going to Madrid, Granada, Ronda, Arcos de Frontera, Sevilla, Toledo.

Also appreciate hostal recommendations in all of those area. Thanks much.
_________________________
Pat in Maryland

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#90 - 06/09/00 12:06 PM Re: Best parador & hostals
El Boqueron Offline
Member

Registered: 06/09/00
Posts: 448
Loc: UK
The one in Granada is inside the Alhambra
complex (not the part you need to pay to get
into). I didn't stay there, but we had a look inside - it has a wonderful arabic patio with orange trees and fountains. There's a very nice bar with a terrace, though you can use it without being resident. It looks an amazing place to stay, and if you can get in, I'd recommend it.

The other one I've seen is in Ronda. It looked fantastic, with great views over the gorge and cliffs.

If you stay at any of these places, make sure you tell us about it when you get back!

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#91 - 06/09/00 08:39 PM Re: Best parador & hostals
PatM Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 06/08/00
Posts: 26
Loc: Maryland
El Boqueron,

Many thanks for the info. Be glad to report back when we return.
_________________________
Pat in Maryland

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#92 - 07/10/00 10:12 AM Re: Best parador & hostals
Brian Goldthorp Offline
Member

Registered: 07/06/00
Posts: 53
Loc: Toronto, Ontario, Canada
Hello, PatM -

I see you're going in October, so I hope it's not too late to get my two cents, or maybe dos pesetas, in.

I have a couple of suggestions, even though I didn't stay in any paradors when I was in Spain - how's that for presumption!

First, regarding the parador in Granada that El Boqueron mentioned - I spent the day at the Alhambra, and had lunch in the parador's dining room. It was fabulous. The food was amazing, it has a lovely view of the gardens, and the rest of the parador looked beautiful.

Second, I'd suggest you get two wonderful books that we used to book hotels all over Spain three years ago:
1. Fodor's Rivages Hotels of Character and Charm in Spain (it's on Madridman's All Spain Market!)
2. Alastair Sawday's Special Places to Stay in Spain. Bristol, UK: Alastair Sawday Publishing Co. Ltd., 1996. I don't know if this has been updated since then.

Third, we stayed at wonderful places in Todelo and Arcos de la Frontera, both of which we discovered through these books. They're not the paradors, but I was so enchanted with them that I want to share the info.

In Toledo we stayed at:
Hostal del Cardenal
Pasco de Recaredo 24
45004, Toledo
ph (9)25 224900
fax (9)25 222991
Price: 10800 for double.
(Info from "Special Places" so might be out of date.)
It is in a building built by the Archbishop of Toledo in the 13th century, furnished with beautiful antiques and set in wonderful gardens. Our room looked onto an interior patio, on which we had a glass of wine before dinner in the hotel restaurant which is supposedly one of the best in Toledo. We had dinner there and found it good but not spectacular. The restaurant is open to the public, but for the hotel guests there is a separate breakfast room which was also amazing. I think we took as many photos in the hotel as we did in the rest of Toledo!


In Arcos de la Frontera we stayed at:
El Convento
Calle Maldonado 2
11630, Arcos de la Frontera
ph (9)56 702333
fax (9)56 70233
Price: 5000-7000 for double
(Again, info from "Special Places" so might be out of date.)
This was a charming little hotel, in a former convent, perched on the edge of the cliff with the most spectacular view. Just make sure you get a room in the old, original section rather than the new building (was just opened when we were there in 97). In the old, original building many or most of the rooms have little balconies - make sure you get one of these. We arrived after a morning's travel from Sevilla, got a bottle of wine from the very helpful lady at the desk, and sat on the balcony gawking at the view for an hour or so before exploring Arcos. In the evening, watching the sunset from the balcony was breathtaking.
El Convento was also quite cheap, because it's only a one or two-star hotel - only because there were few of the amenities you'd get in a bigger hotel.
The parador in Arcos has the same spectacular view, and is right beside the town square.
Even if you don't stay at the hotel El Convento, you should have dinner at the restaurant El Convento. It's owned by the same people and is a few (labyrinthine) blocks away from the hotel, and not very far from the parador either. It has a reputation for having the best food in the area - order the asparagus soup, I still remember it!

We are going back to Spain in late October this year, and definitely staying at these hotels again. (Also going to Madrid, Segovia, Avila, possibly Salamanca - so if you have any hotel tips let me know!)

My only negative hotel experience in Spain was in another of your destinations - Granada. We had reservations at Hotel Reina Cristina (also listed in Sawday's book), but when we arrived they informed us that there were no rooms because a bus group was staying an extra night. They weren't too helpful in getting a room elsewhere for us either.

Hope the above is useful - enjoy your trip!

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#93 - 07/10/00 02:42 PM Re: Best parador & hostals
Diana Offline
Member

Registered: 06/18/00
Posts: 516
Loc: Pennsylvania, USA
Hi, PatM!

I'm going to follow Brian's lead and throw in my dos pesetas too, even though I also haven't stayed at a parador! (Have visited some, though...)

The info from Brian looks great. I just want to add another book title to the list he gave - Karen Brown's 2000 Spain: Charming Inns and Itineraries, by Cynthia Sauvage, et al. It's in bookstores and even the local library here in southeastern Pennsylvania. I've spent hours drooling and dreaming about another trip through Spain staying at the places they recommend. They put out a new edition every year, so the information is quite up-to-date, and their information on making reservations looks excellent. My parents are in Spain right now with their copy. Don't limit yourself to just paradores! There are lots of fascinating, beautiful, romantic, charming places to stay at in Spain.

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#94 - 07/11/00 06:24 PM Re: Best parador & hostals
Brian Goldthorp Offline
Member

Registered: 07/06/00
Posts: 53
Loc: Toronto, Ontario, Canada
One more peseta. Did you know there is a web site for the paradors? www.parador.es

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#95 - 07/12/00 06:08 PM Re: Best parador & hostals
PatM Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 06/08/00
Posts: 26
Loc: Maryland
Thank you all for you input. Your suggestions sound terrific, Brian, and I have visited the paradores websites. I want to stay in only one but a really GOOD one.

Where are you in SW PA, Diana? I'm from Washington Co.
_________________________
Pat in Maryland

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#96 - 07/13/00 12:53 AM Re: Best parador & hostals
MariB Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 07/13/00
Posts: 2
Loc: Fairfax, Va. USA
Have you visited the Paradores web site? It gives photos of all the Paradores in Spain.
The URL is www.parador.es

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#97 - 07/13/00 06:05 AM Re: Best parador & hostals
MadridMan Offline


Executive Member

Registered: 05/06/00
Posts: 10011
Loc: Madrid, Spain (was Columbus, O...
Hmmm... I think there's an echo in here.
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