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Santiago de Compostela accommodation

Old Oct 24th, 2003, 04:27 PM
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Santiago de Compostela accommodation

Opinions of the Parador Reyes Catolicos seems to vary. Is it worth the money? Has anyone stayed there recently or has an opinion of this or other accomodation in Santiago?

Thanks
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Old Oct 24th, 2003, 04:40 PM
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I for one have posted a semi-negative post. It was really a great place, but I expected it to be the true "flagship" parador and it wasn't. It wasn't nearly as nice in my opinion as the one at Leon where we stayed just a couple nights before, for example.
Don't get me wrong. I can't imagine a much better place to stay there, but it just wasn't as spectacular as I expected -- particularly the dining experience.
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Old Oct 25th, 2003, 02:00 AM
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IMHO the Parador de los Reyes Catolicos in Santiago is over-rated. The famous Buffet breakfast is about on a par with what one may find at any Marriott or Hyatt in the U.S.

I have stayed several times at Hostal Hogar San Francisco (a 'working' Friary). Rooms are quite spartan except for one special room named for a carbonero who helped Francis build the place. It has one large double bed (Queen size?) and a sofa someone could sleep on. The price of the 'special' room is comparable to the Parador but I think it is nicer.

http://groups.msn.com/gettoknowalittlefromspain Click on 'Photo Album' for some of the Photos I took in Santiago in '99 (an Anho Jubilar Xacobeo, as is 2004)
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Old Oct 25th, 2003, 04:32 AM
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When I visited Santiago de Compostela in 1999, the Hotel Casa de Artes was getting the final touches. Just two doors down the Parador, the location is outstanding and the hotel looked very, very nice. I made a note and this is where I would stay if in Santiago. Check out their website: http://www.asartes.com/ At the time I had the conversation, the rates were been printed at $60/double (again this is 1999). Check them out. Have a great time!
 
Old Oct 25th, 2003, 06:02 AM
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Ranald,

We stayed at the As Artes last year and loved it. It is just steps away from the Cathedral and across the street (kitty corner) from the Parador. It is run by a married couple (can't think of their names) who are very friendly and helpful. I just found my receipt and we paid 74 euros for the Picasso room which was small but lovely and had a beautiful bathroom. The breakfast served was, again, delicious and served and prepared individually. The proprietors even helped us get a few loads of laundry done by sending it in with the hotel laundry! We enjoyed a glass of wine or night cap in the small bar/breakfast room in the evenings.

I can't recommend more highly the place and it's proprieters and it certainly is a value compared to the parador where we did enjoy a lovely meal one evening.

Maria
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Old Oct 25th, 2003, 06:29 AM
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ranald,
I, too, wish I had a "definitive" answer to your question. It's been a very long while since I've stayed there. At the time it seemed absolutely palatial to me, our enormous room had canopy beds, and the marble bathroom was truly vast.

But on our last trip to Santiago, on the advice of Spanish friends who were guides for Camino Tours (who always housed their clients at the Parador), we booked elsewhere, at the Virxe da Cerca, a Pousada de Compostela, recommended in a Gourmet mag. article. These guides didn't enjoy dealing with the Parador management.

And when we did go into the Parador for coffee/pastries in late June, we saw what a bustling place it was. Everyone wants to take a peek (like us!) so there's constant coming and going downstairs. It's a cultural "must see" in itself. The four ornate courtyards were off limits to non guests, but there was an art exhibit open in one of the chapels.
From our recent look at the public rooms, to us it just didn't compare to León, where we have stayed fairly recently. We feel as Patrick does, that León is the real "flagsip" of the historic Paradors. And the dining there is elegant and with great service.

But that said, I've had highly favorable recent reports on the Reis Católicos from Fodorite friends who have tried both and also from a recent article in the Long Weekend section of C. N. Traveller (British version).

If you want to throw all caution to the winds, the suites at the Santiago Parador are gigantic. The Royal Family stays in #301 when they visit, and the #203 and #309 are equally grand. The "Cardenal" suite is measures 100 square meters.

Because the Reis Católicos is so busy all the time, they can't close it down for a year for a stem to stern refurbishment as they do other less famous Paradors. so they have to do redecorating piece meal. So they've started now; some of the areas will be refurbished from Sept. 30-Jan. 31, but the Parador itself will remain open.

The other new 5 star hotel in Santiago is the AC Palacio del Carmen. It's housed in the old convent of Las Oblatas, but that's the extent of its "historic" part. The interiors, as in all new ACs, are strikingly modern and with a spare, clean, "hip", minimalist look. It's a totally different feel.

As the Casa as Artes, a cozy, friendly and inexpensive B&B, has received lots of kudos here from Fodor friends.
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Old Oct 25th, 2003, 06:34 AM
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ranald,
Oops!. didn't see Maria's post while composing mine. There you have a perfect testimonial to the Casa as Artes from an expert!
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Old Oct 25th, 2003, 04:17 PM
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We stayed at the Parador Reyes Catolicos this September and enjoyed it. it's obviously not a small inn but a fairly large, bustling hotel. Our room was nice, the staff helpful. Would definitely stay there again.
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Old Nov 5th, 2003, 03:44 PM
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We stayed at As Artes this summer for three nights. Was about 80 Euro (breakfast additional) for the Guadi room, one of their bigger ones. Very friendly couple own the place, very comfortable, and very well located. With that said, we stayed there only because the "Galician Escape" promotion (4 star Melia Santiago for 56 Euro) did not have the nights we needed. It did seem a little expensive compared to some of the hostels that we could have stayed at, but the location was certainly great, and the owners were very friendly and helpful. We stopped in for a drink in the parador, and rented a car from the Atesa counter at the parador on our way out of the city, and the public areas were impressive.
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