North and Northwest Spain

Old Aug 15th, 2002, 05:09 PM
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North and Northwest Spain

We are planning an October trip which includes Madrid, Burgos, Leon, Santiago de Compostela, Gijon, Santillana del Mar, Bilbao, and San Sebastian. Suggestions for hotels, sightseeing, or what have you will be appreciated.
Old Aug 15th, 2002, 06:20 PM
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Santillana del Mar= Casa del Marques, 942 81 88 88, new hotel , great location, in an old XIV cent ury house .

Leon : La Posada Regia, charming great rest. in the heart of the barrio humedo. 987 21 31 73

Paradores are also good in both cities.

Santiago : the Parador Nacional, or
Hotel San Carlos 981 56 05 05

Bilbao: Carlton, great hotel.94 416 22 00.

Madrid, Villa de la Reina, new four stars hotel. Very nice and reasonably priced.

It looks like a great trip, good luck.

Old Aug 15th, 2002, 06:41 PM
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In Santiago would recommend the Parador Hostal de los Reyes Catolicos.
Old Aug 15th, 2002, 08:35 PM
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My choices-

"Villa de la Reina" (agree, Graziella!)
On lower and much prettier, nicer, restored section of Gran Via. Just saw it thanks to Graziella's tip; belongs to very up and coming H10 hotels; snazzy refurbishment of a turn of century bank building, kept the original elevator and many other lovely touches. Or ...
"Villa Real", next to the Palace but more exp. But check for promos
Or "Palace" with Bancotel coupons!

Sanitago de Compostela:
other than the Parador,
"Casa As Artes"
"Virxe da Cerca"
Both charming, antique-filled, atmospheric and close to Cathedral square.

"Parador Gil Blas"
Newly restored. Book NOW. Still best in town, now better still. Even annex, now called simply Parador de Santillana, is very comfy and quiet. Stayed in both.
"Casa del Marques" didn't seem to me as good a value, desk staff not as warm & rooms/building not as oozing with charm or patina for price and its 5 stars, but an ok runner-up if both Paradors full.
Or "La Casa de Guela", cute, cozy, 10 rm B&B steps from Parador. Lofts for kids.
Please don't stay at the aging Altamira.

"Parador Molino Viejo", although modern, so no patina. Very comfy rms though. Quiet in this bustling, industrial city, in park overlooking pond with nice views Great value

5 star "Lopez de Haro"-just stayed there, small, private, superb, friendly service, great marble baths, expedia rate of $135. Or..
"Carlton" nice/pretty too on beautiful Plaza Federico Moyua. Historic. Pierce Brosnan/Pavarotti recent guests, so we were told.
The brand new, "cutting edge" Gran Hotel Domine across from Gugg left me cold, even if Sophia Loren and Diana Ross helped inaugurate it.

San Sebastian:
"Maria Cristina" if you want lux./Old World elegance-Belle Epoque
"De Londres y de Inglaterra", runner-up Old World, facing beach and La Perla spa.
(check Expedia for deals on both)

Outside of town: "Landa Palace"
Unique, tranquil, with Gothic style indoor pool. Book rm in tower. Or...
Intown: "Hotel Rice" Classy, small, Old World British decor

"Parador de San Marcos".
Magnificent, enormous, sumptuous public rms, an awe-inspiring museum, elegant dining, one of top 3 Paradors and not that costly out of season for its Gran Lux category. Or...
"Posada Regia" (agree Graziella, and tapas in Barrio Humedo!) if Parador is booked

Great itinerary in wonderful Green Spain!

Old Aug 16th, 2002, 05:32 PM
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Hi Jim, Hi Maribel, as usual I am learning from you Maribel. !!
When we stayed in Santilla del Mar the old Parador was being repaired the annex was full, we didn't know about the Casa del Marques, which later we visted and thought it was very nice, but I am taking note of your remarks.
So we stayed at the three stars
Altamira, being a last minute reservation ,we got a horrible room so I am reluctant to recommend this place, however the hotel has charm and the restaurant is VERY GOOD.
No elevator, and this was a minus because we had some lugagge.
So the Altamira might be a choice considering its handicaps .........frankly I didn t like what I saw of the annex to the Parador.
Ref de Villa de la Reina we stayed there last April and liked it very much the year before stayed at the Palace and for all its tradition and glamour we were more pleased with the Vde la R.
We did stayed at the Carlton in Bilbao a great hotel, got a fantastic room, huge, elegant, charming at a week end rate , great buy.
adios Graziella.
adios. Graziella.
Old Aug 16th, 2002, 07:58 PM
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Hola Graziella,
When we were in Santillana they were renovating the Parador and had cancelled our friend's room all together and moved us to the annex!
Our friends had a very tired, run down room at the very stale Altamira (it has seen better days, hasn't it?) and weren't too happy. Plus we arrived on June 28, the feast day of Santa Juliana. Since their room faced the Calle del Agua, across from the Casa del Marques, and people partied til the early morning hrs., they didn't get much sleep. They weren't used to the all night long Spanish fiestas as we are! The Altamira restaurant just may have the best food in the town, though, I agree.
The desk clerk in the Parador annex is a tough nut to crack, rather indifferent, and he exasperates the nice dining room waitresses, but we did have a lovely, spacious and quiet room with all those Parador amenities, and dinner was delicious, as usual. There were multiple wedding banquets there that Sat. night.
I really enjoy hearing about all of your Spanish travels. You and I seem to be attracted to the same beguiling destinations!

Hasta luego,
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