Hotel chains in spain??

Old Jul 10th, 2024, 11:06 AM
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Hotel chains in spain??

Hola to all, but this is directed mostly at Maribel and is not an urgent question. But, when I choose hotels for a visit to Spain, there are a lot of chain hotels that pop up.

I usually discount any type of chain-type hotel but may well be in error. Even in some other Spanish-speaking countries, Spanish chains are prominent. (Cuba, for example, probably a poor example)

Is there any kind of ranking order between Melia, Eurostars, Barcelo, AC etc???

Do any of these, or others, have a great reputation or are they the equivalent to, for example, Marriott, the chain that seems to be eating Europe and Asia , and Hilton, Radisson and all of the other often mediocre US/Canda-based chains which I would normally stay away from?

It makes me sad that Marriott has taken over some formerly wonderful properties in Spain including Maria Cristina in Donostia....which we adored, before the change...

Should I avoid all of those?

Many thanks for all opinions. Again, this is for the future, no response needed right now..

We've already booked the ONLY YOU in Valencia, which is a chain, as far as I know..(??) for a visit in November. Maribel has stayed there so I have no qualms...


Last edited by ekscrunchy; Jul 10th, 2024 at 11:09 AM.
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Old Jul 10th, 2024, 11:11 AM
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We stayed at a Eurostars in Porto, Portugal and absolutely loved it. I'm not sure which US chain I'd compare it to, as I don't often spend time in US chains either (other than Hyatt).
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Old Jul 10th, 2024, 11:18 AM
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Thank you!

We just stayed at the Eurostars LA TOJA in Galicia and it was MARVELOUS, so maybe that is one chain not to avoid.......
I could not recommend this hotel more highly!!!
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Old Jul 10th, 2024, 12:25 PM
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Hi eks,
As you know, because of my "day job", over the years I've stayed or toured many Spanish chain hotels as well as independent boutique properties.

As to AC, they vary widely and most are "cookiie cutter" corporate for a reason. We know the founder, Antonio Catalán very well (he also founded the NH chain), along with his family, as we stayed for 19 years in his first, original AC hotel, his home in Pamplona, as we used it as our "base of operations" during San Fermín. It's now closed,

When it became a Marriott brand, some amenities disappeared such as his famous free mini bar, and Bonvoy top tier members complained that it didn't have a concierge level. None of the AC Spain hotels have one.

When the Palacio de Santa Paula became a Marriott Autograph Collection, its ratings dropped, so there's that. And as you remember, the furniture was standard AC even in the palace convent section. And my recent experience with the Alfonso XII in Sevilla service left a great deal to be desired (wasn't staying there, just went in for afternoon tea).

The one exception, Antonio Catalán's pride and joy, still totally owned by him, is the Palacio de Santo Mauro in Madrid. It has for many years been home to celebrities (Paltrow, Beckham), aristocracy, members of the Franco family (a bit of Hola gossip) and jet setters. It's now a Marriott Luxury Collection, but doesn't have that Marriott feel at all. It's recently been redecorated (out with the cookie cutter AC furniture) and is gorgeous. When we rented across the street, we would often go over for wine and tapas in the serene outdoor terrace. Very friendly staff. I would say that it's on par with your lovely Orfila but slightly larger and higher rates.

In Pamplona, we're staying this San Fermín at the Eurostars, which has recently been taken over from the (slowly diminishing) Alma chain, and amenities there have been removed--indoor spa & pool, the Michelin-starred La Biblioteca restaurant, the morning shuttle for the running...That said, the Eurostars is a solid mid-market chain. But I know you loved the La Toja, as I did, which isn't at all mid market but deluxe.

The Eurostars top tier level are its Aurea hotels, which are more "boutique-ish". Fodorite studenttobe stayed at the Aurea Catedral in Granada and enjoyed it. The Aurea Convento de Capuchinos in Segovia is also lovely. We recently looked at one for YOU, the Aurea Palacio de Correos, in Logroño, which is now the city's best hotel.

As to the Meliá group, founded in Mallorca long ago, they also vary widely. Its best Madrid properties are the Meliá Gran Fénix at Plaza Colón and the Gran Meliá Palacio de los Duques near the Teatro Real. The latter, BTW, is a Virtuoso member and just received a "key" or "llave" from the Michelin guide. I know both, but knowing your preferences, I would stay with your favorite. Don't move!
The Meliá ME on the Plaza de Santa Ana is somewhat of a "party spot" because of the popularity of its rooftop terrace. Again, these Meliá properties run the gamut.

As to Barceló, founded in Mallorca, I've only stayed in one, the lovely boutique Barceló Emperatriz in the Salamanca district of Madrid, near where I used to live, before it became a Barceló, but many Barceló properties are found in coastal, beach resort areas (Lanzarote, Tenerife, Mallorca) and are large. Their city properties aren't particularly well located, like the Barceló Costa Vasca in the Antiguo section of San Sebastián. OK, but there are far nicer properties in SS.

The newer H10 properties (based in Barcelona) I like a great deal. We stay regularly at the H10 Casa de la Plata in Sevilla, away from the hordes of Santa Cruz and studenttobe stayed there recently. We also stayed recently at the "wedding cake looking" H10 Palacio de Colmera in Córdoba, which we also liked, as the Hospes was beyond our budget for pre Holy Week. Our room had plenty of amenities: Nespresso machine, robes, slippers, toto toilet, small dip pool in the garden, lovely but small roof top terrace facing the Plaza de las Tendillas in the heart of the modern city. But it doesn't have a Roman spa like the Hospes but the front desk was right on top of restaurant recommendations.
I really like their newer Barcelona properties, especially the H10 Casa Mimosa and the H10 Metropolitan.

The Hospes you know. We've stayed in the Hospes in Valencia but in the annex, not in the palace section, which I wouldn't repeat. Nor would I switch to the Hospes Casas del Rey de Baeza in Sevilla from the Kaizen group's new Casa Palacio Don Ramón, as I know what you like and its equally gorgeous like the Maria Luisa in Jerez.

The Cool Rooms group (really dumb name) has very boutique-ish properties. The Cool Rooms in Sevilla is the former Alma Palacio de Villapanés. There´s a Cool Rooms on Atocha in Madrid.
I liked very much the Cool Rooms 5 star GL Palacio de Luces in Asturias, again before it became a "Cool Rooms" and is still a Relais et Châteaux. It's almost on the par with our Pueblo Astur, which we both loved, in terms of amenities.

Hope this helps!

Last edited by Maribel; Jul 10th, 2024 at 01:19 PM.
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Old Jul 10th, 2024, 12:34 PM
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We have stayed at Melia hotels in Spain and Cuba. Nice rooms and locations.
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Old Jul 10th, 2024, 01:28 PM
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I don't give a fig if a hotel is part of a chain or not, I just care if I like the hotel room/amenities, its location and price. In fact, if you get to know certain chains, if you travel on the fly, you can't go too wrong but just checking the internet to see if they have hotels and where in your next location and book it last minute. I do that in France with Accor hotels. Lots of chain hotels are nicer than nonchain ones and often what you get is more predictable, I like that. ANd a lot of chains have various levels of hotels (cheaper to deluxe), like Accor and many in the US.

In Spain, I like NH hotels. They have some in Mexico, also. I also stayed in an IMG hotel I really liked a lot in Seville, but that's a local "chain" that only has 3 hotels, I think.
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Old Jul 10th, 2024, 02:36 PM
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Yes, NH is another one I forgot to mention.

We stayed at an NH in Oviedo (very nice but not more than that; forgettable' good location) and probably in other places, but for me, the ones I know (very few) have a 'chain feeling...

I've shied away from NH since then but who knows..to each his own, right, Christina?


There are a few NH hotels in Mexico that gets nice reviews but again, I've not been back in about 4 years, so......

Depends a lot on one's budget....
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Old Jul 10th, 2024, 02:38 PM
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Yes, NH is another one I forgot to mention.

We stayed at an NH in Oviedo (very nice but not more than that; forgettable' good location) and probably in other places, but for me, the ones I know (very few) have a 'chain feeling...

I've shied away from NH since then but who knows..to each his own, right, Christina?


There are a few NH hotels in Mexico that gets nice reviews but again, I've not been back in about 4 years, so......

Depends a lot on one's budget....

Muchas gracias, Maribel!! Yet again!!!

I'll give another rave here for the Eurostars GH La Toja.....I'd be happy to spend a month in summer at that hotel!!!!
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Old Jul 11th, 2024, 09:46 AM
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eks,
I do also know the NH hotels because Antonio Catalán, the founder of the AC chain, first created the NH hotels before selling them and forming his AC group, now branded by Marriott.

In Burgos you may have stayed (??) at either the AC or the NH Collection Palacio de Burgos, which are the two top hotels in this city.

The "top tier" level of the NH group is their "Collection" hotels, which have more amenities like in-room Nespresso machines, robes, slippers, late check out, etc. and its own loyalty program.

In San Sebastián, when rates have soared during the Donosti Cup, Jazz Festival or Film Festival, we've stayed at the NH Collection Aránzazu near Ondarreta beach. .
While we don't mind the upmarket Antiguo neighborhood, filled with lovely Neo-Basque architecture, it's a longer walk to the Old Quarter, but a beautiful one strolling along the La Concha beach promenade. And the bus system in SS is first rate and gets us to Boulevard in under 10 minutes.
It's been a money saver for us in high, high season (July through September) and has an easy garage and quick "get out of the city" for our day trips.
I don't mind at all staying in one of their "Collection" hotels in provincial capitals where there isn't a Parador that I like or a really nice independent boutique hotel.

The one where you stayed in Oviedo wasn't an NH Collection.
The "top" Oviedo hotel is the classic Grande Dame 5-star Eurostars Reconquista, where the Royal Family stays when attending awards ceremonies. We were (not so) politely asked to leave when wanting to revisit the year when Woody Allen and company were in residence during the filming of Vicky Cristina Barcelona long ago. It's been declared a National Monument and reminds me of an historic Parador in feel.

The one in León is a Collection and sits on the Plaza Mayor. We stayed there when the Parador Hostal de San Marcos was undergoing its two-year long renovation.

During the pandemic "lock down" in Madrid, we were sent for 4 nights of confinement to the NH Collection Eurobuilding, where David Muñoz has his DiverXO (he just raised the price of his tasting menu, starting in Sept. to €450/p).
It was one of the few hotels open to guests in that first confinement period. The superior rooms are huge; we had two sit out balconies, thank goodness, for our confinement; the location in the northern business section in Chamartín isn't at all handy.

The NH group, as you know, has now hotels in other European cities as well as in Latin America, the Middle East and Asia.

The IMG hotels that Cristina refers to are the 3 in the Barrio de Santa Cruz: the Fernando III, Posada del Lucero and Alfonso X.

Last edited by Maribel; Jul 11th, 2024 at 10:00 AM.
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