10-day luxury Spain: suggestions wanted

Mar 17th, 2019, 06:23 AM
  #1  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: May 2003
Posts: 268
10-day luxury Spain: suggestions wanted

Our visit to Madrid and the Basque Country last summer has prompted our interest to see more of Spain. (We visited Barcelona and environs many years ago.) In the early going, it was Europe on $5 a Day. These days, we're looking for exceptional surroundings and food to match. For this trip, we're thinking of two (max: three) destinations, most likely using Madrid as a gateway. For lodging, we prefer smaller places with a high level of comfort, ambiance, welcome, and service. For meals, a combination of well-done local cuisine (e.g. regional specialities, however humble the surroundings) accompanied by a few visits to temples of gastronomy.
Since we're thinking of late August, early September, that should be sufficient time to make reservations at most, not necessarily all, of the places we would hope to go to. Fancy, shmancy, is not our goal. Indeed, if jackets and ties are required, that's an absolutely no-no. We just want to enjoy. The cost is no concern.
nrwayne is offline  
Mar 17th, 2019, 08:40 AM
  #2  
 
Join Date: May 2005
Posts: 21,802
I can't think of any restaurants in Spain that would require jackets and ties, but perhaps there are some. I've not been. I would have more ideas for you if you were not limited to that time of year.

This is more or less the type of travel I do now, and I go to Spain every year or two. Just returned from Sevilla/Cadiz but it would be too hot in August in the cities, although there are plenty of highly rated restaurants along the Costa de la Luz/province of Cadiz.
Example: El Campero in Barbate which just gave me a taste of some of the finest fish of my life. If you can brave the heat in Seville, where the restaurants are among the best in Spain, you could then move on to Sanlucar for a few days followed by a coastal place in Cadiz province or in the Vejer.

https://www.aponiente.com/en/ 3 Michelin stars

El mejor atún rojo de almadraba



If that does not appeal, Cosa Brava is ann option although I would not want to be in Barcelona in August. But you sure could go to Rafa in Roses and the gastro temples near Girona.

I will mention one more place, the hotel of the Abadia Retuerta vineyard near Valladolid.
Many people consider this the best hotel in Spain and I would certainly put it right up there. One of the two hotel restaurants, Refectorio, has a Michelin star. And the temples of roast lamb are in the vicinity; there are several including Mannix in Campospero.

https://www.abadia-retuerta.com/en/hotel/



https://www.elnortedecastilla.es/cas...130304-nt.html

https://www.theguardian.com/travel/2...untry-asturias

Menu Restaurante Mannix Campaspero Valladolid



From there you might even consider going to Leon and then on to El Capricho for steak,


https://elcapricho.restaurant/en/


or skip that and head straight and on to Asturias, which I think is one of the most beautiful regions of Spain with some of the best food. It would be sublime in summer, both in the mountains and along the coast. I began a trip report but never did finish it....


CACHOPO, CABRALES & CARBAYONES Asturias..and "The Best Steak in The World"



Consider staying at PUEBLO ASTUR ECO RESORT,

Home - Grupo Nature


and visiting CASA GERARDO, LA HUERTONA, GUEYU MAR, CASA MARCIAL, CORRAL DEL INDIANU--all very highly rated among gastronomes in Spain.

Last edited by ekscrunchy; Mar 17th, 2019 at 08:44 AM.
ekscrunchy is online now  
Mar 17th, 2019, 12:25 PM
  #3  
 
Join Date: May 2016
Posts: 1,090
Dining in Spain

As ekscrunchy mentions, there are no places that I am aware of that require a coat and tie, but a number of the more upscale restaurants, or even the nicer mom and pop restaurants, as you to dress appropriately. Note that most Spaniards do dress up somewhat to go out and you will see businemess in a coat and tie at nearly every restaurant. Horcher (Restaurante HORCHER) is the only one I know of which ask men to wear a jacket.

The number of top restaurants, in all price ranges, in Madrid continue to grow almost daily. I could easily spend a few weeks in Madrid sampling some of the best cuisine in Spain and only touch the surface. Sevilla continues to attrack more top chefs, as has Málaga. We've dined recently at some excellet restaurats in Valencia and Alicante, but still find there are more choices in Madrid. Of course some of our all time favorites are in the Basque country and Navarra.

It was in the upper 60s to low 70s the last couple of weeks in Sevilla, Málaga, Valencia and Alicante, just as it was last year, so you can expect It will be very hot in late August/early September in the south, and probagly very warm along the North Coast. Madrid in late August can be like a furnace and a lot of restaurants will be closed, with everyone who can, heading to the beach, mountains or islands to excape the heat.

Here is a small sample of what you can have sitting at the bar at one of the top spots in Alicante, without dipping into your IRA. *Even the top Michelin star would have a problem beating these.



Clams and fresh artichokes at Restaurante Piripi, Alicante



Gamba rojo in a garlic sauce at Restaurante Piripi, Alicante
Robert2016 is offline  
Mar 17th, 2019, 12:37 PM
  #4  
 
Join Date: May 2005
Posts: 21,802
Robert! Oh, no...do I now have to add Alicante to my possibles for next March?? Any excellent hotels in the area that you might recommend? And what about the city itself? And nearby destinations as side trips?

I'm already torn between returning to the south, maybe to Sanlucar and Vejer, plus Madrid
OR
Mallorca, Palma plus one other destination for overnight

But now Alicante, where I have never been, has been thrown into the mix!
ekscrunchy is online now  
Mar 17th, 2019, 03:45 PM
  #5  
 
Join Date: May 2016
Posts: 1,090
Alicante

Alicante is interesting, a walkable city and good for a couple of days. We were there for Carnival and they also celebrate Fallas, but on a differnt date then Valencia. There is only one 5-star property in the city, the Hospes Amerigo, so not a whole lot to choose from. We stayed in an apartment/suite at Palacio Salvetti Suites.
Robert2016 is offline  
Mar 18th, 2019, 05:07 AM
  #6  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: May 2003
Posts: 268
Clarification

Although it probably makes little difference, the time period is usually the first half of September. We went to the Basque Country last year, using Madrid as a gateway. It was reasonably comfortable in Madrid and on the cool side in the Basque Country. This year, we're leaning toward the south, possibly Seville, Cadiz, etc. Having spent many years dealing with increasingly oppressive heat in NY and vicinity (hard to believe, but true), high temperatures in southern Spain aren't likely to bother us. Madrid will again be our gateway, though this time we'll probably head straight south from the airport rather than spending a few days in the city.
nrwayne is offline  
Mar 18th, 2019, 08:18 AM
  #7  
 
Join Date: May 2005
Posts: 21,802
If you do that Sevilla/Cadiz trip I can help you since I just returned from two weeks devoted to exactly those two places. I live in NYC much of the year (on the North Fork in summer) and I get you about the heat. You can manage if you time your days right, staying in during the worst of the heat. The coast near Vejer tends to be windy (nearby Tarifa is a windsurfing capital of Europe) so that willl mitigate the heat along the coast.

I highly recommend the Hotel Mercer in Seville, which is beautifully placed for walking to good restaurants. The rooms, however, are on the small side but if you can deal with that, this 12-room historic property located on a quiet street in the Arenal, would be ideal.

https://www.mercersevilla.com



Your other top option is the Alfonso XIII but the walk will be about ten-15 minutes longer to many restaurants. But the Arabesque Alfonso has a grand outdoor pool and lush gardens, while the Mercer has a small rooftop pool. It is now a Marriott and I've heard some negative comments about this; my sister stayed there last month and thought it had gone down since the changeover. But she will probably stay again next winter, so things could not have been all bad.

I've given some thought to returning to the area next winter and if you were to go there, I would recommend that you consider what I am thinking: Fly into Sevilla, train to Cadiz city. Stay 3-4 nights at the Parador, requesting one of the suites (rooms ending in 32 are very good, I believe) which are on the building corners and have wide sea views in two directions through floor-to-ceiling glass walls with electric blackout shades. You can walk anywhere within the city from there.

Rent car in Cadiz and drive to:
Sanlucar and spend two nights in a small hotel, having several meals along the riverfront at the sublime seafood meccas including CAsa Bigote.

Drive to the area around Vejar, either Vejer town or a place on the coast and explore the restaurants in that area along with sightseeing: Roman ruins on the beach at Bolonia, Gibraltar if you have the urge (I don't), Jerez if you have the interest...

fFy home from Jerez airport, via Madrid.

This plan brings you to a variety of excellent restaurants, from the three-Michelin-star Aponiente to the Two-Repsol sunned El Campero, to Restaurant Antonio, and of course to a plethora of wonderful traditional and modern nrestaurants in Sevilla.

Imagine how good my trip was if I am considering re-doing something almost identical next year!

Happy to help..

Do you have any interest in flamenco?

Last edited by ekscrunchy; Mar 18th, 2019 at 08:24 AM.
ekscrunchy is online now  
Mar 18th, 2019, 09:28 AM
  #8  
 
Join Date: Aug 2013
Posts: 6,207
You may consider staying at the paradores as the basis of your trip. Just beware of modern versions. Some of the more popular are Granada (probably the hardest to secure a room), Santiago de Compostela (one of the oldest hotels in Europe), Nerja, and Cuenca.

www.paradoresofspain.com
IMDonehere is offline  
Mar 18th, 2019, 09:49 AM
  #9  
 
Join Date: May 2005
Posts: 21,802
But he wants to go to Sevilla and the nearest parador from there is at Carmona, I believe.

The one in Cadiz is modern; I liked it. And the pools on the outdoor terrace have sea views and would be open at the time of your proposed visit.

Coming from JFK, I would advise flying into Sevilla, where you do not need a car. Rent the car when you leave the city. And drop the car at the end at Jerez airport, close to Cadiz.
ekscrunchy is online now  
Mar 18th, 2019, 10:04 AM
  #10  
 
Join Date: Aug 2017
Posts: 640
In Seville, we loved this 2bdrm/2bath apartment: https://www.homeathomes.com/eng/Casa...e-V/en/Sevilla

Our two favorite restaurants in Seville were:
San Marco Restaurante San Marco
and
El Pinton El Pintón - Sevilla.
The restaurant website wasn't working, so here's more info:
https://www.google.com/maps/uv?hl=en...activetab=main
MoBro is online now  
Mar 19th, 2019, 02:20 PM
  #11  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: May 2003
Posts: 268
The Seville/Cadiz combination seems to work and I quite agree with your suggestions about the Mercer in Seville and Parador in Cadiz. What I'm pondering is the how to structure to transportation issue. For our trip to the Basque Country, we started in Madrid and drove north so we could have a car in the countryside. Since we do our best to avoid "combination flights", I'm wondering if the drive from Madrid makes any sense or if we should just deal with the need to change planes at Madrid and then fly into Seville. With that said, unless you suggest otherwise, I'd prefer to rent a car in Seville and use it for the remainder of the trip, then reversing course to Seville/Madrid/JFK.
As city folks, we're quite familiar with oppressive summer heat. For a number of years, we spent the summers on the South Fork, but increasing traffic finally convinced us to seek a less troublesome back and forth. We spend weekends year `round in the Berkshires. Less than two hours door to door, lots of culture, plenty of good food, and room to sit back and breathe. Sad to say, as much as we enjoyed the East End, it's become too much of a hassle.
No, sorry, we're not big fans of flamenco. For us, a peaceful setting with superb restaurants nearby is what works. Mega-hotels with poolside Simon Says accompanied by nonstop noise does not. I'm sure you get the point.
nrwayne is offline  
Mar 20th, 2019, 07:51 AM
  #12  
 
Join Date: May 2005
Posts: 21,802
Take the flight to Sevilla from JFK with connections in Madrid. Then stay in SEville without a car, at The Mercer (remember, very small so book as far ahead as possible). Lowest category rooms are small; I was alone and that was ok but for two persons, take a category up if possible.

After Sevilla stay, take train or private car to Cadiz. Stay 3 nights at Parador. Then rent car and drive to Sanlucar (this can be done as a daytrip from Cadiz, too). Stay Sanlucar (no real luxury hotels but town is worth at least one overnight). From there, drive east to area near Vejer and stay either in or near Vejer or along that coast to have access to the great seafood restaurants. Finally drive to Jerez airport for flight back to JFK with change in Madrid.

OR, you could stay overnight only in Cadiz and Sevilla and do day trips by taxi to Sanlucar, Vejer, Barbate, Zahara, maybe Medina Sidonia.

This hotel caught my eye for proximity to Barbate and the coast; there is a top Angel Leon restaurant in the hotel:

https://www.melia.com/en/hotels/spai...restaurant.htm
ekscrunchy is online now  
Mar 20th, 2019, 08:48 AM
  #13  
 
Join Date: Jan 2019
Posts: 80
Originally Posted by nrwayne View Post
As city folks, we're quite familiar with oppressive summer heat
I read a lot of comments like that but what many Americans don't realise when they write such things is that for the most part they're driving around in their air conditioned vehicles, shopping in air conditioned malls and supermarkets, working in air conditioned places and returning to air conditioned homes. Unless you're labouring outside in the heat with no protection then there's no comparison.

Traipsing round ancient ruins, medieval towns, sitting in bars and restaurants with only an ineffective ceiling fan to move the hot air around and trying to sleep in an un-air conditioned room is a far cry from what most Americans are used to at home.

If I'm in Spain in August I'm by the water, either on the beach or beside a pool, I keep walking to a minimum so there's no way I'm doing anything in the way of exploring (I reserve that for when I'm visiting in April, May, October or December)
jc_uk is offline  
Mar 20th, 2019, 11:18 AM
  #14  
 
Join Date: Aug 2013
Posts: 6,207
I read a lot of comments like that but what many Americans don't realise when they write such things is that for the most part they're driving around in their air conditioned vehicles, shopping in air conditioned malls and supermarkets, working in air conditioned places and returning to air conditioned homes. Unless you're labouring outside in the heat with no protection then there's no comparison.
___________

So much for stupid stereotypes. I have been traveling to Spain since 1972, before the Costa del Sol was littered with pensioners. And the last thing I would do is waste my time on a Spanish beach being blinded by porcelain Brits. Spain is far too interesting to do that.

Oh yeah, my wife walked the 500 mile Camino and I don't think there was one albergue with A/C along the walk.
IMDonehere is offline  
Mar 20th, 2019, 11:30 AM
  #15  
 
Join Date: Jan 2019
Posts: 80
Originally Posted by IMDonehere View Post
So much for stupid stereotypes. I have been traveling to Spain since 1972, before the Costa del Sol was littered with pensioners. And the last thing I would do is waste my time on a Spanish beach being blinded by porcelain Brits. Spain is far too interesting to do that.

Oh yeah, my wife walked the 500 mile Camino and I don't think there was one albergue with A/C along the walk.
Well done you (and your wife) but what you failed to pick up on was the term 'most' not 'all' Americans. I've read so many posts from, mainly Americans, on travel forums where they expressed their surprise at how much the summer heat in Southern Spain took them by surprise, even those who hailed from the Deep South or Texas admitted they failed to appreciate how hot and debilitating it can be and that's because they live their lives pretty much surrounded by AC.

Now when I go to Spain in the summer I go to relax and get away from it all and that means relaxing by the beach or pool. I visit the country several times a year and in those cooler months I do my exploring. Why put myself through that miserable heat to see something when I know I can see it in a few months when the weather is much more amenable?

As for walking the Camino, I couldn't think of anything more clichéd, ironically the American equivalent of gazing at "porcelain Brits" on the beach.
*
jc_uk is offline  
Mar 20th, 2019, 01:09 PM
  #16  
 
Join Date: Aug 2013
Posts: 6,207
As for walking the Camino, I couldn't think of anything more clichéd,
____________________

More nonsense, as my FIL was born in small town within walking distance of Santiago. Let's see you walk 500 miles without the benefits of creature comforts. Oh yeah, my wife's companion was her 74 year old sister. Just another cliche.

I used to like Brits before Fodor's.

And please do not hide behind weasel words like most or many. If you are going to be a self-righteous tosser, own it.
IMDonehere is offline  
Mar 20th, 2019, 01:38 PM
  #17  
 
Join Date: Jan 2019
Posts: 80
Lol, get over yourself.
jc_uk is offline  
Mar 21st, 2019, 03:19 AM
  #18  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: May 2003
Posts: 268
Please confine this thread to helpful thoughts and avoid insulting commentary. Thank you.
nrwayne is offline  
Mar 21st, 2019, 04:21 AM
  #19  
 
Join Date: Jan 2019
Posts: 80
Originally Posted by nrwayne View Post
Please confine this thread to helpful thoughts and avoid insulting commentary. Thank you.
Apologies nrwayne, I do try to keep on topic but sometimes it's difficult to remain composed when addressed in the manner some posters think is acceptable.

Anyway, if you're considering heading south into Andalusia and particularly the Costa Del Sol then there's the great little village in the mountains called Benahavis.It has a well deserved reputation amongst foodies www.benahavis.net/

We eat there as often as we can when visiting the area and I've yet to have a bad meal, the difficulty will be on deciding which restaurant to choose.
jc_uk is offline  
Related Topics
Thread
Original Poster
Forum
Replies
Last Post
honeymooncr
Mexico & Central America
12
Jun 17th, 2008 01:51 PM

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are On


Thread Tools
Search this Thread

Contact Us - Archive - Advertising - Cookie Policy -

FODOR'S VIDEO

All times are GMT -8. The time now is 08:45 AM.