For Olga or Maribel

Nov 15th, 2002, 01:10 AM
  #1  
Stacey
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For Olga or Maribel

You two are so knowledgable about Spain that I thought you could help me with my hotel dilemma. My family and I are spending 4 nights in the Sevilla area, after 3 nights in Granada and a week further east. From this Sevilla location we plan to discover Italica, Jerez horses, and Sevilla itself. We will likely only be in the city proper for one full day and parts of others. Since we need a car for the explorations, I am trying to choose between Cortijo Torre de la Reina and the Villa de la Palmera. Both have free parking, pool, garden (important w/ninos). Both would require a short taxi into the city center (I wouldn't drive in). Would you recommend one over the other for any particular reason? Villa Palmera says they are only 2km from the cathedral. I think we could actually stroll that but I'm not sure what kind of road it is. If you have any suggestions I'd love to hear. Thanks.
 
Nov 15th, 2002, 03:36 AM
  #2  
olga
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Dear Stacey,

Cortijo Torre de la Reina is lovely, I went to a wedding there and it is a beautiful country estate. The rooms are very pretty, too. The problem is that it´s out in the middle of nowhere about a 1/2 hour drive from town. The countryside where it is located is nothing special, very flat, and the only trees around are in the cortijo´s lush gardens.
The Villa de la Palmera´s decor is more luxurious, and it is within the city, only 10 minutes tops from the Cathedral by taxi, 20 minutes by bus -very good and frequent service, bus stop near the hotel- or about 40 minutes walk straight down an extremely pretty tree lined avenue, the last portion of which is by the Maria Luisa Park and its Plaza de America, one of the prettiest sights in town.

Maybe when Maribel returns from Spain her opinion will be different, I don´t know. She has stayed at more Seville hotels than I have, being a local.
 
Nov 15th, 2002, 03:38 AM
  #3  
olga
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Also, don´t worry about getting out of town by car for your daytrips, the same avenue on the opposite direction leads directly to the ringroad SE-30 with all the main exits coming out of it.
 
Nov 17th, 2002, 04:00 AM
  #4  
Stacey
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Thanks for your opinion Olga. I do hope Maribel will check in when she returns too. I am still debating this issue mainly because the Cortijo offers connecting rooms and Palmera does not. I really appreciate your help. Stacey
 
Nov 20th, 2002, 03:05 AM
  #5  
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Nov 20th, 2002, 04:44 AM
  #6  
Maribel
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Hi Stacey,
This is a tough choice, but as always, I agree with Olga (and am mighty glad to see her back posting again!).

As tempting as those beautiful country estate cortijos/haciendas surrounding Seville are like Torre de la Reina (El Esparragal, Aguila Real, Hacienda San Rafael, la Boticaria and Hacienda Benazuza are others but Torre de la Reina and Benazuza I think are the most gorgeous), I would choose the Villa de la Palmera in town for a long stay.

As Olga has told you, the countryside around the cortijos just isn't particularly pretty. Each is just a lovely oasis in the middle of very dry, flat land covered with olive groves. The upscale walking companies (like Butterfield and Robinson, Backroads) sometimes use the Torre de la Reina as their 2 night base. I've stayed in a cortijo outside Arcos and at a friend's hacienda outside Morón, and it's a great and unique experience for a night or 2, but I think that for 4, unless you're avid equestrians, there's not that much else to do but relax around the pool. I would certainly want to be in the city at night. And you can treat yourselves and your children to an evening carriage ride and stroll along the Guadalquivir or even take a little boat ride down the river. I think you'd be happier for 4 nights at the Villa de la Palmera.

And like Olga, I find the avenue where it sits to be Seville's most beautiful, plus you'll be close to the Parque de María Luisa, which your kids will love. I'm an avid walker, so I would enjoy the walk to the cathedral area (except in the searing heat of the summer-the Villa closes in Aug., I think). But with children, you can take the bus/taxi.

The Villa de la Palmera was my very first choice for our '03 Semana Santa stay, as I knew Casa 7 in the Barrio de Santa Cruz would be completely booked by Magic of Spain, but I just couldn't afford the Villa's "extra season" rates (265-350). I certainly intend to stay there some day though. Nick of Inns of Spain has recommended it highly. It's received other nice reviews in the intl travel press, including a recent one from the hotel critic of the El Viajero travel section of El Pais. It's a little palace built for the '29 Iberoamerican Exposition- has lovely gardens redolent of jasmin and orange blossoms, very aristocratic, very "Belle Epoque", filled with marble, crystal chandeliers, Baroque furnishings, it's private and best of all, quiet-and belongs to the Marquesa de Castilleja. But there's the problem of the lack of connecting rooms. (Would their luxury doubles accomodate all of you?) But it would be a much better location for your excursion to the sherry triangle, as the Torre de la Reina is 12 km north of Sevilla in the direction towards Mérida. As Olga says, there's just much quicker access to Jerez-Sanlúcar-Puerto de Santa María- Cádiz from the Villa de la Palmera.

Hope this helps you a bit more to decide.
 
Nov 20th, 2002, 05:46 AM
  #7  
olga
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Dear Maribel,

Thanks for your welcome back!
I always end up getting caught up after a few months'absence, don´t I ?

By the way, I'd love to meet you personally if you have time to stop by the hotel next Semana Santa, I'll be here all day Monday through Thursday, specially on days when the processions pass the Hotel's entrance.

 
Nov 20th, 2002, 06:17 AM
  #8  
Maribel
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Saludos Olga,
I've really missed your terrific posts! So glad you're back (yes, you do a splendid job of catching up), and I'd love to meet you too during Semana Santa. I'll call you at the hotel from Ronda on that Tues. I'll be back to Sevilla during Feria too (luckily I get to spend a month in Andalucía this time).
Looking forward to getting together with you.
 
Nov 21st, 2002, 03:53 AM
  #9  
Stacey
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Thank you so much for your helpful replies. We have decided to stay at the Villa Palmera for all of the reasons you mentioned. We will go with two adjoining rooms - not connecting. My youngest is 8 so I think we will be alright. Our total trip is for 2 weeks in April. The Sevilla nights will be just after Easter (planned that way purposely). For Easter Sunday we plan to visit the Nerja caves and El Torcal. We will attend some of the Santa Semana pre-Sunday festivities in Lorca and Murcia. Thank you so much for all of your help. I know this trip will be great.
 
Nov 21st, 2002, 07:20 AM
  #10  
olga
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You are welcome, Stacey. Your trip sounds great and since the Villa de la Palmera is a home from home type hotel, I think your kids will be just fine in the adjoining room to yours.

I was going to tell you not to miss the procession on Easter Sunday in Seville, but since you will see some in Murcia you´re fine.

The Nerja caves are outstanding, although I still haven´t made it to El Torcal, I hope to soon.

Enjoy yourselves!
 
Nov 23rd, 2002, 12:32 PM
  #11  
Maribel
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Hi Stacey,
You've very welcome as well. We'll just miss you in Seville, as we're leaving the next morning, after Easter Sunday.

I've never seen the processions in Murcia but have always wanted to after seeing (long ago) the Semana Santa pasos and the nativity scene (with more than 500 figures!) created by native Baroque sculptor Salcillo in Murcia's Museo Salcillo. They almost rivaled in beauty those of the Museo Nacional de Escultura in Valladolid (a few of which I just got to see in the special "Las edades del Hombre" exhibit at the Cathdral of St. John the Divine in NYC).

I bought a book by El Pais/Aguilar, "Semanas Santas con Encanto" to plan our Holy Week itinerary. Do you have it? It has a chapter on the Lorca "Blancos y azules" Thurs and Fri. processions, having to do with two rivaling religious orders, the Franciscans (way back when they dressed there in hábitos azules) and Dominicans (hábitos blancos). Apparently it took 20 yrs. to embroider the cloak of the Virgen of the "blancos"! These processions must be quite a spectacle with penitents dressed as Roman Emperors, Egyptian troops, pagan gods riding in chariots. I'll bet you're in for a treat. I just went to
www.semanasantalorca.com to read more.

There's another chapter in this book on the Viernes Santo "Salcillos" procession in Murcia (departing at 7 or 8 a.m., depending on the yr and the light). Both Lorca and Murcia get 3 (out of 4) stars. In the Murcia Good Friday procession they bring out all the principal Salcillo "pasos". They say the Last Supper float is really amazing to see. If you won't be in Murcia for Good Friday, you can still see those particular "pasos" in the chapel of the Iglesia de Nuestro Padre de Jesús next door to the Museo Salcillo, so this guide indicates.

Your trip sounds wonderful. Now you're making me re think our own itinerary to include Murcia/Lorca We were planning to do Málaga and Granada instead.

Have a great time!
 
Nov 25th, 2002, 03:27 AM
  #12  
Stacey
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I did do a lot of research regarding Santa Semana when I realized that the childrens' break would definitely coincide with Easter this year. My daughter's 12th birthday is actually on Easter Sunday (hence the caves - fun for a kid). They also asked for a beach since last year they participated in an intense 3 week trip in Italy during the same time period. Mar Menor will serve as the beach and Murcia/Lorca/Cartegena will serve as the historic/religious destinations that first week. The Lorca procession especially should be terrific (I spent a lot of time on that site a few months ago). I will also look for that book in the library Maribel. Thanks for the recommendation. Anyway we anticipate a very fun and educational trip all around. I wish you the same. Enjoy this winter holiday season first though. I hate always rushing things myself. I am trying to "live in the present" more. Ciao. Stacey
 
May 17th, 2003, 04:43 AM
  #13  
 
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Hi Olga: Thank you for your response about ther hotel amadeaus on another posting. I leave the US next wk going to Paris and then by train to Avignon.From Avignon, I think I can make my way to Barcelona. I thought I saw in one of the postings a hotel/train from Barcelona to Sevilla? Can Sevilla be where I can take day tours into Portugal. Other inexpensive hotels safe for a woman alon?? Many thanks!!! Johanna
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May 17th, 2003, 05:21 AM
  #14  
 
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Hope I can get in touch with you soon.

Thanks. Johanna
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May 17th, 2003, 07:11 AM
  #15  
 
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HELP!! The hotelalameida is booked.Can you refer another hotel in that price range that would have rooms. I leave in 5 days. Woman travelling alone. Able to communicate in Spanish. Thanks.
May email me directly at: [email protected] Johanna
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May 17th, 2003, 07:55 AM
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johanna,
You could try to Hotel Alcantara (you can book at www.innsofspain.com) or the Hosteria del Laurel, both inexpensive and in the Santa Cruz quarter.
www.sol.com/hotel/hosteria-laurel/
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