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Spain Hotels and Travel Tips

Spain continues to remain a bargain destination for the typical tourist wanting to experience a culturally and gastronomically fulfilling experience. The prices for a Spanish hotel for instance, one of the major expenses while on vacation, are overall quite reasonable. Plus, Spain hotels often offer better savings in slower periods such as summer and away from major "fiestas." Here are a few suggestions to consider when planning a vacation and booking a hotel in Spain. When phoning for a reservation, always ask for the room rate, and inquire regarding special offers. Check online at the hotel's website if they have one for internet specials. Hotels in large cities such as Madrid and Barcelona are around twice the price as hotels elsewhere in Spain. In general, late spring and late summer-early autumn are the best times for traveling in Spain. Fair weather is practically guaranteed, and the countryside is at its best.

High summer is hot in most inland areas, including Madrid and the inland cities of Andalusia such as Seville and Córdoba. Big cities, especially Madrid, empty during August, with many shops and restaurants closing, though a visit then does have advantages, such as light traffic. You might want to consider a hotel with a pool if you are staying for more than a few days since trekking in Spain's intense mid-summer heat will eventually wear you down. Summer weather is milder, although still hot, along the Mediterranean coast, but July and August in popular resorts such as the Costa del Sol and the island are best avoided unless you like major crowds. Summer along the northern coast of Spain, from the Basque Country to Galicia, can be very pleasant and is generally an area not heavily inundated with tourists. Winters along the Mediterranean coast are generally mild, but expect occasional heavy rains - alternating with long spells of glorious sunshine - any time between October and April. In inland areas, winter temperatures can reach below freezing and snow is not infrequent. Bear in mind Spain's fiestas when planning a trip - be it to go to them, or to avoid them. During major fiestas such as the San Fermin bull runs in Pamplona or the April Fair in Seville, hotel rates double and even so rooms, must be reserved months in advance. Tipping isn't obligatory in Spain though a gratuity can be paid in acknowledgement of good service, at your own discretion. Bear in mind that waiters, taxi-drivers, and other people in the service sector anticipate and rely on a portion of their income from tips, so if the service is reasonable or superior, a 10-15 percent tip is acceptable.

Interested in more information about Spain? Please check out our pages on Visitor Information and Moving to Spain.

Madrid Hotels

Hotel Palace
Located near Spain's Cortes (parliament building), this hotel opened in 1912 and combines stylish elegance with a great atmosphere. The splendid public areas are always lively, and the ground floor bar is a favorite meeting place. The spacious rooms were tastefully redesigned in 1997. The Hotel Palace has all the amenities, comfort and service that you would expect from such a grandiose hotel. Still, if you are on holiday and looking for true Spanish flavor, the Palace might not be for you.
www.palacemadrid.com

Santo Mauro
An intimate and elegant hotel in a turn-of-the-century aristocratic Neo-classical mansion which formerly housed the Canadian Embassy. The best rooms are in the main building although there are more rooms in the annex. Views vary; request a room with a terrace overlooking the garden. Rooms are generous in size and nicely furnished. If you like quiet, understated boutique hotels with superb service and rooms, this is the place for you. The staff is very friendly and accommodating, and the hotel is small enough to feel like you're staying at a private residence - a very plush private residence!
Calle Zurbano 36, Madrid 28010, Spain
Phone: 91/319-6900
Fax: 91/308-5477
santo-mauro@itelco.es

Santo Domingo
This comfortable hotel, opened in the mid-1990s, delightfully combines modern interior decor with classic architecture. It is centrally located on a square mid-way between Madrid's bustling Gran V'a and the Teatro Real opera house. An intimate hotel that blends the best of classical and modern design, the Santo Domingo is about a ten-minute walk from the Puerta del Sol, just off the Gran V'a. Rooms are decorated in soft tones of peach and ocher, and those on the fifth floor have views of the Royal Palace, thusÉask for a room on the fifth floor facing the Royal Palace. All rooms have voice mail and double-paned windows in order to keep out exterior noise. A friendly staff gives the place a personal touch.
hotelsantodomingo.com

Inglés
On an old street where every other house is a bar or a restaurant, this popular hotel is in the center of Madrid, not far from the teeming Puerta del Sol square, and offers comfortable if not especially elegant lodgings at a reasonable price.Virginia Woolf was among the first to discover this place, which is smack in the middle of the old city's bar-and-restaurant district. While the hotel is not quite the modern marvel that it probably once was in its heyday, it is very suitable for those looking for location and value rather than luxury. The balconies overlooking Calle Echegaray give you an unusual aerial view of the medieval quarter, with all red tile roofs and ramshackle gables.
chegaray 8, Madrid 28014, Spain
Phone: 91/429-6551

Jardin de Recoletos
This sleek apartment hotel offers great value in a quiet street close to Plaza Colón and upmarket Calle Serrano. The large lobby has marble floors and a stained-glass ceiling, and adjoins a café and restaurant where you can dine or just have drinks beside a tree-lined patio. The commodious rooms, decorated with light-wood trim, white walls, and beige and yellow furnishings, include sitting and dining areas plus well-equipped kitchens. "Superior" rooms and two-room suites have hydromassage baths and large terraces. Great value so book well in advance.
Gil de Santivañes 6, Madrid 28001, Spain
Phone: 91/781-1640
Fax: 91/781-1641

Monaco
One reason for the popularity of this hotel, aside from the prices, is its quirky location in what was once a brothel, where the kitsch decor hints at the former activity. It is situated in the heart of Chueca, one of Madrid's most lively (and occasionally rowdy) areas.
Calle Barbieri 5
28004 Madrid.
Tel. 34 915 224 630
Fax 34 915 211 601

Mercator
In the Atocha section of Madrid, near the train station and the Reina Sofia Museum, and convenient to the Prado and Thyssen museums. Rooms are comfortable and the hotel offers parking.
Calle de Atocha 123, 28012 Madrid.
Tel. 34 914 290 500
Fax 34 913 691 252

Ramón de la Cruz
This simple but clean and comfortable hotel is in a quiet location just off Plaza Manuel Becerra, near the Las Ventas Bullring, a 20-minute walk from downtown but well-connected by Metro.
Calle Ramón de la Cruz 94, 28006 Madrid
Tel. 34 914 017 200
Fax 34 914 022 126

Hostels Guide - Hostelz.com
Worldwide hostels guide with hostel reviews.
http://www.hostelz.com

Barcelona Hotels

Hotel Arts
The Hotel Arts is a luxurious hotel with spacious rooms and unbeatable views. Service is impeccable and this hotel boasts virtually every type of amenity that you can possibly think of. The hotel is situated in a modern high-rise overlooking the Barcelona's Olympic Port, which is just outside the city's center. If you are just passing through Barcelona and feel the need to be pampered, the Hotel Arts, which is part of the Ritz Carlton conglomerate is a good choice. However, if you are on vacation and are in Barcelona to experience as much as you can of the culture, the Hotel Arts is probably not your best bet.
www.ritzcarlton.com/hotels/barcelona/

Le Meridien
In a turn-of-the-century building, the Le Meridien is one of the best options in the popular Las Ramblas area of central Barcelona. Rooms are spacious, light and comfortable. Convenient to the Barrio Gótico and the Picasso Museum.
Ramblas 111, 08002 Barcelona.
Tel. 34 933 186 200
Fax 34 933 017 776
E-mail: lemeridien@meridienbarcelona.com

Claris
Not far from the center of Barcelona, this stylish hotel is in a former palace boasting old English-style decor, with hundred of valuable paintings, and a rooftop pool.
Pau Claris 150, 08009 Barcelona
Tel. 34 934 876 262
Fax 34 932 157 970

Condes de Barcelona
Perhaps Barcelona's most popular and well-known hotel, the Condes de Barcelona occupies two 19th-century buildings which are prime examples of Barcelona's Moderniste architecture. Some rooms come with a jacuzzi. Located in the heart of Barcelona's business quarter and ideal for the traveling executive.
Passeig de Gracia 75, 08008 Barcelona.
Tel. 34 934 882 200
Fax 34 934 871 442
E-mail: cbhotel@condesdebarcelona.com

España
The attractive public rooms are an example of Barcelona's Moderniste style and worth a visit in their own right. The rooms are large, and some overlook a central patio. Rates are very reasonable and the service and amenities are more than adequate.
Sant Pau 9, 08001 Barcelona
Tel. 34 933 181 758
Fax 34 933 171 134

Peninsular
A good option for the budget minded, the Peninsular is housed in a historical building which was a pavilion in the 1890 Universal Exposition.

Bilbao Hotels

López de Haro
Conveniently located not far from the Guggenheim Museum, Bilbao's highest-rated hotel offers stylish lodgings with classical decor in a converted 19th-century building, featuring 53 guest rooms. Expensive for Bilbao but still inexpensive compared to rates in Madrid or Barcelona.
Obispo Orueta 2, 48009 Bilbao
Tel. 34 944 235 500
Fax 34 944 234 500
E-mail: ercilla@hotelercilla.es

Carlton
Old world elegance is the dominant feature at this early-20th century hotel, modeled after the Carlton in London. Centrally located in the heart of Bilbao's Ensanche district.
Federico Moyoa 2, 48009 Bilbao
Tel. 34 944 162 200
Fax 34 944 164 628

Iturriena Ostatua
A charming small hotel in a converted townhouse in Bilbao's old quarter. Simple, but much more tasteful than what you'd expect for the reasonable room rate.
Santa Mar'a Kalea 14, 48005 Bilbao
Tel. 34 944 161 500
Fax 34 944 158 929

Granada Hotels

Parador de San Francisco
The is one of the most sought-after establishments in Spain's Parador chain of historical hotels. You can't beat the location as it is within the grounds of the Alhambra palace. The best rooms are in the older section which is part of a restored 15th-century Franciscan monastery. You have to book months in advance in order to ensure availability.
Alhambra, 18009 Granada
Tel 34 958 221440
Fax 34 958 222264
E-mail: granada@parador.es

Alhambra Palace
Fairly-tale hotel near the Alhambra, built in a neo-Moorish style in the early 20th century, with great views over the city and the valley beyond. Make sure you get one of the rooms with the view overlooking the city.
Peña Partida 2, 18009 Granada
Tel 34 958 221468
Fax 34 958 226404
E-mail: reservas@h-alhambrapalace.es

Reina Cristina
This hotel mid-range hotel is centrally located, not far from the cathedral in down-town Granada. The service is friendly, the rooms are modern and comfortable, and the restaurant is highly recommendable.
Calle Tablas 4, 18002 Granada
Tel 34 958 253211
Fax 34 958 255728
E-mail: clientes@hotelreinacristina.com

Seville Hotels

Alfonso XIII
This is the grand old hotel of Seville, opened in 1928 to coincide with the Andalusian city's Ibero-American Exposition. Old fashioned elegance, antiques, plush carpets and wood panelings are dominant themes.
www.luxurycollection.com

Los Seises
Ingeniously combining new and old design, this stylish hotel installed in a 16th-century palace opened for Seville 1992 Expo. As in many European hotels, rooms vary and this is especially true for the Los Seises. There is a rooftop swimming pool with a view of the Giralda tower. Don't miss the fashionable restaurant in the basement.
Calle Segovia 6, 41004 Seville
Tel. 34 954 229495
Fax 34 954 224334

Mercator
In the Atocha section of Madrid, near the train station and the Reina Sofia Museum, and convenient to the Prado and Thyssen museums. Rooms are comfortable, and there's parking, too.
Calle de Atocha 123, 28012 Madrid
Tel. 34 914 290 500
Fax 34 913 691 252

Ramón de la Cruz
This simple but clean and comfortable hotel is in a quiet location just off Plaza Manuel Becerra, near the Las Ventas Bullring, a 20-minute walk from downtown but well-connected by Metro.
Calle Ramón de la Cruz 94, 28006 Madrid
Tel. 34 914 017 200
Fax 34 914 022 126

General Hotel Guide for Spain
Looking for a great value hotel in Spain? Spanish Living has over 2,600 hotels in Spain to choose from with low rates and no booking fee. Each hotel has been reviewed by previous guests so you can see at a glance the best hotel for your stay.
www.spanish-living.com

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