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Hotel reviews Segovia, Sevilla, Granada, Madrid

Hotel reviews Segovia, Sevilla, Granada, Madrid

Old Mar 14th, 2010, 01:50 PM
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Hotel reviews Segovia, Sevilla, Granada, Madrid

I got most of my recs on hotels from reading various posts here and of course Maribel's Spain guides, so thought I'd give a quick review of where we stayed on our quick trip to Spain, March 2010. I am the sort who "agonizes" over where to stay, looking for just the right location with a friendly/helpful feel for a moderate (under $200/night) price for 2 (husband and self). We also had friends join us from London for the weekend in Madrid so I really wanted to choose the right place for the 4 of us.

Segovia -Hotel Infanta Isabel - upon arriving in this wonderful town and seeing our great hotel location (right on the Plaza Mayor) we immediately cancelled planned next night in Toledo and stayed here for 2 nights. We originally had one of the rooms with a balcony and view of Plaza Mayor, but they had to move us for the 2nd night - which was fine as it ended up being a much larger room, we didn't use the nice balcony anyway as the weather was freezing (literally), and the new room was at the back so there was NO noise at all from people on the Plaza. I thought this was a very charming older "inn", nice helpful staff, and good help yourself buffet breakfast at the attached bar/cafe.

Sevilla - Hotel Amadeus - more upscale B&B type hotel in a townhouse in the Barrio Santa Cruz neighborhood. Great shower, adequate breakfast (weak coffee), good location. As you may already know, it is truly impossible to drive in Sevilla. We parked in a lot near the river and took a cab to the hotel. Though I do recommend this hotel and had no problems at all, I wouldn't mind exploring other hotels in Sevilla next time.

Granada - Carmen del la Alcubilla del Caracol - our FAVORITE hotel for our trip. This was THE most charming, well located inn - just the kind of place we really enjoy staying. Manuel is a wonderful and gracious host, fabulous views of the city lay below you, and the Alhambra is a short walk above. Good cold breakfast with the BEST coffee (a good espresso maker with foamy hot milk), fruit available (no cost) anytime, including oranges from the trees in their garden that were the best oranges I've had in years. You are really staying in a home and Manuel lives in another home next door. After touring the Alhambra we came back and sat on the terrace, well insulated from the wind, reading, looking at the city, relaxing. It was great for those with a car as we avoided the downtown but I don't think they have access to things like a laundry, so they may not be right for everyone. We LOVED it - can't say enough nice things about them!

Madrid - Hotel Catalonia Las Cortes - this was the one I worried about the most as there were so many choices. I finally decided on this hotel, located near the Prado and other museums, and I would definitely stay here again. I really liked the location, close enough so that we could pop into the Prado when it was free (after 6:00 pm) in order to "kill time" while we waited for our friends to arrive. We walked everywhere, good restaurants nearby, and by far the best breakfast (even at the high hotel price of 16 euros each). Very friendly for a "city hotel" and our room was HUGE! Fair warning - they are doing street construction in front of the hotel but of course none of this occurred on the weekend so I don't know if it is early and loud, but we slept very well.

Final comments - Free wi-fi at all of our hotels, breakfast was included on some rates, not on others but we chose to eat the hotel breakfast each morning as, with the late Spanish nights, we were up late and really didn't feel like trudging off to find something else. And also, I DO like my coffee so I appreciate multiple refills of LARGE cups. Overall we really enjoyed our first trip to Spain, the Alhambra was as spectacular as you think it will be, we liked Madrid MUCH more than we thought we would - very lively city, wonderful museums, great wine. Thanks to all the prior trip reports and to Maribel for great restaurant recs!
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Old Mar 14th, 2010, 01:58 PM
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Hi AtlTravelr,

nice succinct reviews. I'm sure that other users of this forum will find them useful. thanks for posting.

isn't the alhambra wonderful? we went in november a few years ago, and I was really surprised how lovely the gardens of the generalife were. what were the gardens like in March?

regards, ann
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Old Mar 14th, 2010, 02:57 PM
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Yes the Alhambra is very fine. But on my recent trip I found the Alcazar in Seville almost as impressive, and in certain respects better preserved. Great gardens too.
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Old Mar 14th, 2010, 04:09 PM
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Hi Atltraveler.
I wonder if the staff at the Amadeus watered down you cofee in order to make it "americano?" I too like good strong cofee.

I agree two nights in Segovia for me anytime!

As for the Catalonia Las Cortes, did you find the rooms very small?

Did you have any special meals you would like to share?
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Old Mar 15th, 2010, 10:43 AM
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The gardens weren't out that much at the Alhambra, as you might imagine at this time of year. We really only peeked in a bit so maybe there were other parts that were nicer, but we had spent SO much time in the Palacio Nasarid (well worth it of course) that we didn't go in search of much after 3-4 hours!

And we were VERY surprised with how fabulous the Alcazar was - didn't expect it to be so wonderful, definitely a high point. We walked the gardens there and found them very peaceful. There was a "make your own cappucino" machine at the Amadeus that we could have spent 1euro on, but the weak coffe was still okay.

Our room at the Catalonia Las Cortes was VERY large - well, by my standards for a city hotel anyway. There was a small "entryway", our bed was the typical 2 beds pushed together but they were larger than the other twins/doubles we had in other places. We actually did spend 1 night on one side of the bed - just happened to fall asleep that way and didn't need more room! The bathroom was also very large, there was desk and 2 stools at the end of the bed to put your suitcase on and there was still an aisle way. I never looked at our friend's room and they did say that ours was larger but I didn't think it was that much bigger. We initially were a bit worried because our room was at the front of the hotel, right on top of the automatic sliding glass doors. We could hear it opening and closing all night but it actually was a sort of peaceful sound - like waves on the ocean. Other than that we only heard street/people noise one of the 3 nights, something I am sensitive to, so I did really like the quiet, off the busier roads location.

Best meal by far of our trip - a Maribel rec - in the Triana area (Sevilla) - was Los Cuevas. It was definitely away from the tourist route and our waiter was wonderful. We converesed with my poor spanish, but basically it was a matter of me just saying "si, si!" to his suggestions, not really sure what we would get. Ended up with several different plates but not TOO much and it was excellent. Didn't hurt that we had a bottle of wine, then I explained my husband needed a liquor for his cough and he brought something (who knows?), but then, AFTER we had paid he brought 2 more after dinner drinks for us - caramel, whipped cream - on the house. We felt like old friends by the time we left.
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Old Mar 16th, 2010, 05:56 AM
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Thanks for the review. Maribel's info was super-helpful for our trip to Spain a few years ago. I can't wait to get back, and check out your recommendations.
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Old Mar 16th, 2010, 08:05 AM
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Thanks, I've always wanted to stay at Carmen de la Alcubila and one day we will!
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Old Mar 17th, 2010, 01:36 AM
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It´s a common thing to offer a complimentary shot on the house in many restaurants, but of course they don´t do it to everybody, just to those they like.

I like your "my husband needed a liquor for his cough"...that´s the medicine I really like!!
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Old Mar 18th, 2010, 03:25 PM
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