Housed in an 18th century palace built by the former Viceroy of New Granada, this extraordinary hotel overlooking the Plaza del Consejo is one of the most celebrated buildings in Pamplona. It is even rumored that Queen Isabela II once stayed in the palace. The interior of the property, including the comfortable and ornate rooms, is a museum through and through, and boasts a excellent restaurant and courtyard café plus a central location with Plaza de Castillo and Pamplona Catedral just a short walk away. Palacio Guendulain offers guests a chance to live and breath the aristocratic history of Pamplona whilst enjoying the lavish comforts of a luxury hotel.
The hotel’s common areas and courtyard are considered a public sight in the city, so even if you aren’t staying here, it’s worth popping in for a look and a drink out on the terrace.
Every one of the 26 sumptuous rooms is unique in floor plan and décor. But guests can expect classic, comfortable settings, and whether the view is the plaza out front or the courtyard out back, you can’t lose. Deluxe rooms and suites increase the square footage and even feature original furniture and antiques. And don’t worry. Though everything else in the hotel may be from the 18th century, the Wi-Fi, flat screens, and AC are most definitely not.
The hotel offers a family room that features a single entry into a hall that branches into two separate hotel rooms: perfect for families and groups that also appreciate a little space.
Bathrooms are equally elegant with stone floors, clean designs, and rainforest showerheads. Standard rooms do not have baths but deluxe and suites feature separate tubs for those who like to soak.
Guests know they are in for a treat as the bellman opens the doors and they pass under the palace’s ornate stone seal and into the Rococo splendor of the interior. The centerpiece of the reception area is the decadent 18th century horse-drawn carriage, restored in all its colorful and gilded glory for guests to marvel at. Rich tapestries, Enormous paintings, and aristocratic designs are ever-present through the maze of common areas and imperial staircases running through the hotel.
A second floor salon, hidden away in the former armor room, makes the perfect place to read the paper or relax in the morning surrounded by the restored original designs and even an enormous Goya copy painted by one of his former students.
Housed on the second floor of the palace, the Bono Regalo Restaurante invites guests to a formal dining experience in the former ballroom of the palace surrounded by impressive paintings and private views of the gardens below. And yes, the food is very good too.
Tucked away on the ground floor, the Salón Bar was designed to be the opposite of a typical Spanish café, its plush leather chairs, low lighting, and baroque designs evoking the contemplative lounges of old. Both the coffees and the cocktails here are worth the time spent in the relaxing space.
During the summer months, guests can take their drinks on the terrace that flanks one side of the Palace’s gorgeous courtyard and gardens.
One of the highlights of the hotel is the palace garden, a royal courtyard with stone fountains and a medieval chapel running along one side of the square. At the far end of the gardens is a collection of vintage cars, which formerly belonged to previous Counts of the palace.
The hotel is well situated in the old town, with major attractions like the Pamplona Catedral, the Church, and the Plaza del Castillo–the center of the Festival de San Fermín—just a short walk away. An offsite garage nearby is used for guests arriving by car, and the accommodating staff is always happy to help arrange for transportation for those in need.
The lovely folks at Palacio Guendulain tipped us off to Restaurante Anttonenea (2-minute walk), just down the street in Pamplona’s old town and one of the best kept gastronomical secrets of the city. Parties of two will want to make a reservation at Rodero (10-minute walk), an eternally romantic Michelin-star restaurant just down the road from the infamous bull-fighting ring.
Just a few minutes walk away is Saint Nicholas Street, where guests will find the busiest collection of bars in the old town. While here, stop into Casa Otano (3-minute walk), an establishment in the bustle of Saint Nicholas Street that has been dishing out local food and drinks for three generations.
WHY WE LIKE IT
Old-world luxury, history, and comfort all come together at this spectacular hotel that is sure to leave an impression with all those who stay. Children may find the hotel a little bit like Grandma’s china room – gorgeous to look at but off-limits to play in—but travelers, older families, and especially couples will find this romantic hideaway in the center of the city an absolute pleasure worthy of an extra splurge in price.