Romantic Places in Spain
Madrid & environs Located in the center of the Iberian peninsula, Spain’s capital city is home to the great Prado and Thyssen art museums. Casa de Madrid Arrieta, 2 – 2† 28013 Madrid T: +34 91 559 57 9. 7 room b&b. US$ 190- www.casademadrid.com Owned by an art curator/interior designer, this luxuriously romantic hotel is located on a floor of an 18th century building next to the Teatro Real and the Palacio Real in the heart of Madrid. Valdepalacios Torricom Spain T: +34 925 46 75 34. 27 rooms. US$ 450- www.valdepalacios.es You can horse ride, fish and enjoy dining overseen by one of Spain’s celebrity chefs, Santi Santamaria of Barcelona’s Can Fabes restaurant. Located in farmland 90 minutes outside Madrid, it is reminiscent of a chic English country house hotel. Andalucia A land of white mountain-top villages, bougainvillea, sidewalk cafes and romantic hotels. Remnants of Moorish civilization are still evident along the miles of Spain’s southern coast. Major cities include Granada, Cordoba and Seville. Casa No. 7 Virgenes, 7 Seville T: +34 955 422 158. 6 room b&b. US$ 168- www.casanumero7.com Tasteful small mansion located next to the old Jewish quarters in the heart of Seville. Corral del Rey Corral del Rey 12 Seville, Spain T: +34 954 227 116. 6 rooms US$ 410- www.corraldelrey.com This 17th century house with small stylish rooms is only a five minute walk from the cathedral. Hacienda Benazuza Virgen de las Nieves Sanlúcar La Mayor T: +34 955 703 344. 44 rooms. US$ 408- www.elbullihotel.com This luxurious hotel set on a hill overlooking the small village of Sanlúcar la Mayor—15 miles outside Seville—oozes Moorish sensuality with fountains, canals and gardens. The hotel is a joint venture with famed Catalán chef Ferran Adrià.
Parador San Francisco (also known as the Parador de Granada) Alhambra Granada, Spain T: 34 958 22 14 40. 36 rooms. US$ 350- www.paradores-spain.com/spain/pgranada.html This parador started life centuries ago as a luxurious guest residence on the grounds of the Alhambra. Castilla y Leon Castles, gothic cathedrals and vistas ringed with mountains. Major cities are Salamanca (European City of Culture 2002), Toledo and Segovia. Hotel Infanta Isabel 1 Calle de Isabel la Catolica, Segovia, Spain T: +34 921 461-300. 27 rooms. US$ 64-. www.hotelinfantaisabel.com Located right in the heart of the Old Quarter, you can almost touch Segovia’s cathedral–Spain’s last major Gothic building and embellished to the hilt–from the windows of this 19th century stone town house. Rooms are simple and snug. Hostal del Cardenal 24 Paseo de Recaredo, Toledo, Spain T: +34 925 224-900. 27 rooms, US$ 60-. Dinner for two, $60-. www.hostaldelcardenal.com In the 18th century Cardinal Lorenzana built this stately residence on lands fortified by medieval Muslims and gifted by the conquering Alfonso VI to the cardinals of Toledo. Decorated with ceramics, woods and an old coffered ceiling, it possesses an excellent restaurant. Galicia Spain’s rugged northwest coast has scenic bluffs, coves and inlets. It is known for its seafood, wines, Celtic heritage, and the "End of the Way" pilgrim destination, Santiago de Compostela. Located north of Portugal’s border, cool, misty Galicia is one of—and the least well known—seven Celtic nations. Hotel Reyes Catolicos Santiago de Compostela, Spain T: +34 81 582 200. 137 rooms. US$ 220- www.paradores-spain.com/spain/pscompostela Along with Rome and Jerusalem, Santiago de Compostela is one of Christendom’s three principal pilgrimage destinations. This magnificent parador, formerly a pilgrim’s hospital, is located in the plaza near the cathedral.
Asturias Located in northern Spain between Galicia and Cantabria, rural Asturias has beaches, farms, quaint fishing villages and mountains. In the late 19th century Spaniards who made their fortunes in the New World—nicknamed "Indianos" from the Spanish name for the Americas (Indias)—returned here to build lavish mansions, a few of which are now charming hotels. Palacete de Peñalba Calle Granada Figueras del Mar T: +34 985 636-125. 22 rooms. US$ 120- (low season) www.hotelpalacetepenalba.com An art deco house built by a disciple of Gaudi for a wealthy Argentine Indiano. Located in small town on the border of Galicia, it has a lovely garden and river views. Girona Mid-way between Barcelona and the French border is the beautiful medieval town of Girona, capital of the province of Girona. The province includes picturesque fishing villages, beautiful beaches and the Costa Brava, a dramatic rocky west Mediterranean coastline. Surrealist Salvador Dali was born and lived much of his life here. Mas de Torrent 17123 Torrent Girona, Spain. T: +34 902 550 321. US$ 600- www.mastorrent.com This Relais & Chateau hotel is a beautifully renovated 18th century country house estate. Ask for a room in the original cozy farmhouse. Catalonia Located between France and the western Mediterranean, Catalonia is a proud region with a rich heritage. Its capital, Barcelona, is known for its century-long love of innovative architecture from Gaudi’s Modernisme to the present day Gehry and Meier’s musueums. Barcelona has two mountains and a beach. Few cities can rival the medieval atmosphere of its Gothic Quarter.
Hotel Do Plaça Reial Plaça Reial 1 08002 Barcelona, Spain T: +34 934 81 36 66. 18 rooms. US$ 300- www.hoteldoreial.com Chic boutique romantic hotel and restaurant in a 19th century building renovated by architect Oriol Bohigas and decorated by Lázaro Rosa-Violán. Rooftop terrace with small pool. Overlooks the liveliest plaza in Barcelona and within walking distance of many favorite sites.
Catalan Pyrenees This rugged and beautiful high mountain range separates France from Spain.
Hotel El Castell La Seu d’Urgell, Spain T: +34 97 335 0704. 38 rooms. US$ 270-www.hotelelcastell.comBuilt beneath the ruins of a 17th century fortress, the country inn features a fine restaurant and stunning mountain views. Extremadura Bordering Portugal and still undiscovered by tourists, the landscape resembles an undeveloped Provence or Tuscany. Important towns include the pilgrimage site of Guadalupe and the capital, Merida, with its well-preserved Roman ruins. Hospederia Convento de la Parra 16 Calle Santa Maria La Parra, Extremadura, Spain T: +34 924 682-692. 21 rooms. US$ 90 www.laparra.net Located in a small whitewashed village, this former 17th century convent was recenty converted into a romantic and stylish hotel. Guadalupe, Extramadura The "soul of Spain"; a Spanish pilgrimage site second only to Santiago de Compostela. The town is dominated by a 14th century working monastery. This World Heritage Site is filled with relics, illuminated manuscripts and valuable works of art.
Parador de Guadalupe 12 Calle Marques de la Romana Guadalupe, Extremadura, Spain T: +34 927 367 975. 40 rooms. $US 70- www.paradores-spain.com/spain/pguadalupe.html Portions of this intimate and romantic hotel date back to the 15th century. Located across the street from Guadalupe’s monastery.
Majorca Bypass the packaged tour crowd and drive to the stunning setting of Deiá, a clifftop village overlooking the sea. Ca’s Xorc Carretera de Deiá Soller, Majorca T: +34 971 638-280. 12 rooms. US$ 200- www.casxorc.com A former olive mill, the rustic inn boasts panoramic views of the valley and sea. Soller is a short distance from the arty, bohemian village of Deiá.
La Residencia Deiá, Majorca T: +34 971 639011. 63 rooms. US$ 415-, high season. www.hotellaresidencia.com Unpretentious luxury inside two 16th century manor houses. A quartet of stone manor houses featuring oak beans, terra cotta rails and local art. On-site pool has views over the town’s lovely nest-like perch and the breath-taking Mediterranean coast beyond. The restaurant is set in an old olive press.
Canary Islands Christopher Columbus lodged here on his way to the New World. Near-perfect climate and beaches; lush volcanic mountain scenery. Parador de la Gomera 38800 San Sebastian de la Gomera Santa Cruz de Tenerife T: +34 922 87 11 00. 58 rooms.US$ 150- www.paradores-spain.com/spain/pgomera.html Arrive by ferry-boat from Tenerife to the mountain island, Gomera. This Castillian manor house-style hotel overlooks the picturesque village of San Sebastian and neighboring Tenerife Island.