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We stayed in some really nice hotels in Spain. None were expensive or overly fancy, but all were very charming and nice, and invariably pristine. Most had stone or ceramic tile floors that were washed every day. My own house is nowhere near as clean!
Los Omeyas in Cordoba was comfortable, reasonable, and not more than 20 meters from the Mezquita in the old part of town.
The Casa Capitel in Granada was wonderful. It was a stone's throw from the Plaza Nueva on a very tiny calle in the Albaicin. You rang at a big wooden door and stepped into a small, three-story open-air courtyard of stone and wood.
The very nice young women who worked there explained to us that up until just a few years ago, the building was ruined and deserted except for rats and occasional vagrants. Since then it has been thoughtfully renovated to be both comfortably modern and charmingly old-fashioned in style.
The rooms surround the courtyard, into which the rain freely falls. It was dry while we were there, but the night air was crisp and cold in the patio when we climbed up to our room at the end of each day.
In Ronda, the Hotel Don Miguel was right on the bridge, and in the hotel's diningroom we had one of the best dinners of the whole trip. Craig's was leg of lamb, mine was ox-tail stew, and we could not decide which was better.
The Hosteria del Laurel, on the ground floor, is a very popular and busy restaurant among the locals of Sevilla (with good reason!), so I was afraid our room above would be noisy. Not so. It was perfectly quiet and comfortable.
In Madrid, we stayed right across the street from the Prado in the Hotel Mora, which was also quiet, despite the traffic on the Paseo del Prado below. At left: the Paseo del Prado from the window of our room at the Hotel Mora.
I found all these hotels in Frommer's, reserved by telephone or e-mail in advance, and was in every case delighted when we got there.
These are not especially luxurious hotels. Taxis do not line up in front of them - taxis couldn't reach some of them! There were no bellhops. They didn't even all have elevators. Travelers like us arrived on foot, carrying their own bags. But the rooms were all extremely nice, and they were all right in the middle of the most interesting part of town. I recommend them all.
NOVEMBER 2004: SPAIN
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