Following is a wrap-up of the hotels we’ve stayed at during our trip. Hopefully it helps any future travelers – and also helps me remember what we enjoyed!
We started and ended at Villa Real in Madrid. A travel agent and also the friends we were visiting in Blanca recommended the hotel to us. It’s in a great location to visit the ‘Big 3’ museums, which was the focus of our time in Madrid, so it worked out well. The rooms are spacious enough and affordable for a European city hotel. There were some odd misses in service, including giving us a room that hadn’t been cleaned yet, but they quickly fixed that. I’d definitely return. Ask for a room that overlooks the square. The view we had is pictured below.
Hotel Casa 1800
Next up was Hotel Casa 1800 in Sevilla. I had originally booked a B&B (where our friend Debbie L. had stayed years ago!), but I kept reading good things about Casa 1800 so decided to upgrade.
I’m glad I did. The hotel is a restored 19th century mansion-palace with rooms surrounding a soaring courtyard. We were given welcome drinks while we checked in and received our city map. Very civilized. The hotel is right next to the cathedral and Alcazar and easy walking distance to everything a tourist would want to do in Sevilla, so it’s a great location.
As Jim posted earlier, we did something we don’t usually do, which is take advantage of the hotel amenities. We sat by the pool one day and had tea in the courtyard the next. The hotel also made water and soft drinks available at no charge all day, essential in the Sevilla heat.
The ‘miss’ at this hotel was pretty big. The air conditioning went out our second night. It made sleeping a little difficult, but not horrible since obviously the sun was down. But just spending an hour or so packing the next day was unpleasant, and I’m glad we were headed out. Hopefully that is a rare event, because otherwise the hotel is a delight.
Then it was on to the really high-end portion of our stay, which was recommended by our friend Monika. Jim and I have already posted about Finca Cortesin, but I’ll add a few things.
Again, we were given a welcome drink and left to lounge on the patio until we were ready to check in. The grounds, common areas and rooms are beautiful. I was surprised at the spotty service at breakfast our second morning, and a couple other small annoyances that I would only think about because it’s such a high-end hotel.
But overall, a fun splurge and a good ‘intermezzo’ between visits to small, historical towns.
Santa Isabel de Real
Which brings me to Santa Isabel de Real in Granada. This is a small B&B in the old, pedestrian-only part of town. I covered this interesting transition in an earlier post.
My first choice, also a B&B located in an historic building in the old town, wasn’t available for our dates. And although I enjoyed having a view of the Alhambra, the hotel was a little dreary after all those fabulous places.
Airbnb in Blanca
Finally, we headed to Blanca, the reason for trip. There aren’t many (any?) hotels in Blanca, so we went with an Airbnb just out of town. As the pictures below attest, it was an idyllic setting, looking out on olive groves and traditional Spanish country houses while enjoy warm sunshine and no humidity.
It’s the kind of setting that entices Brits or Americans to ditch their dreary weather and set up camp in southern Spain of France. As it turns out, the owners of this and an adjoining property had done just that.
They were Brits who moved to Spain about 20 years ago and have bought and renovated ‘several’ homes in the area. They were kind enough to give us a ride into town one morning.
The property was a perfect size for us. The two downsides were the thin IKEA mattresses and the quirky water heater that only provided cold or really hot water. Not a problem for a couple days, but I wouldn’t want to sleep on those mattresses for a week.
One last photo of our intrepid blogger hard at work. Until the next trip!