MADRID – Dive into the world of the Parador Hotels and imagine yourself a lord of the castle in times long gone or stay in the present, let yourself be pampered and bubble away in a SPA or play a round of golf.
Enjoying the most spectacular locations, the most interesting monumental buildings, and the tastiest authentic regional dishes, it’s all possible in one of the 93 Paradores spread over the Spanish mainland, the Canary Islands, and soon also in Ibiza.
Anyone who visits a Parador Hotels is treated to a beautiful view of Spain in all its endless variety.
Parador at the Alhambra
Although making a choice is rather difficult, a favourite of many is the Parador de San Francisco in Granada. It is located in a monastery built by the Catholic Monarchs. This is next to the world-famous Alhambra and on the site of a Nazarí palace.
The combination of the Moorish Alhambra with splashing fountains and the melancholy Granada against the backdrop of the snowy peaks of the Sierra Nevada is irresistible, the couple explained in the magazine of the hotel chain.
Parador hotels are always located in historically very interesting buildings. Such as palaces, monasteries, castles, or fortresses, or they are located in very special locations.
The combination of a monumental building in a special location is of course also possible. Moreover, the Parador of Ronda, located in the old town hall on the edge of the famous gorge, proves this.
Historical and Artistic Heritage
The Spanish state owns the chain, which aims to restore historical and artistic heritage if necessary. And, furthermore to preserve it for future generations.
Before the first Parador hotel opened in 1928 in the mountains near Gredos, Spain barely had a hotel infrastructure. However, once the first Parador was established, an organization was formed. Furthermore, the organisation was charged with finding hidden monuments and special sites to make them accessible to tourists.
Those who choose to stay overnight in a Parador can count on quality service. However, the number of stars may differ in each one. Moreover, the chain’s only five-star hotel is the Parador in Santiago de Compostela.
All other hotels have a minimum of three and more often four stars. They range from small, with fewer than ten rooms, to large with more than a hundred rooms. However, feeling like royalty in some palace is not cheap. Consequently, prices for a standard double room are between €100 and €400 per night.
The Parador.es website shows that the Paradors are managed by an extremely professional and partly governmental organisation. It once even received the prize for the best website from the Spanish Association of Journalism. On the website, you can find detailed information about all Paradores locations. You can even find beautiful online movies of each Parador.
Via the website, you can also order your dinner in advance. Furthermore, you can count on quality food which is always made with an eye for local ingredients and traditions. With an interactive map of Spain, future guests can determine which hotel suits their desired vacation.
If a stay in one Parador is not enough for you, the company has also set out thematic routes along with various Parador Hotels with three or seven overnight stays.
Because it is difficult to choose from the 93 beautiful Parador hotels, InSpain.news selects three of each of the following;
- near the Spanish coast
- special and monumental buildings
- beautiful places in the middle of nature
NEAR THE WATER
Parador de Aïguablava – Girona
The Parador de Aiguablava is located on top of a spectacular sea rock, the Punta d’es Muts in Girona. From all rooms, the view of the azure blue waters of the Mediterranean Sea can be seen. This is combined with the rugged rock formations that are so typical of the Costa Brava. Furthermore, the area behind the hotel is wonderful for walking. In Addition, nearby are the most beautiful bays to enjoy the Mediterranean climate in peace.
Parador de Mazagón – Huelva
In the southwestern corner of Spain, the Parador de Mazagón is located in the middle of a pine forest on the vast white sandy beaches of the Atlantic Ocean. And, if that wasn’t perfect enough, it is also in the middle of the national park El Coto de Doñana. This is the European breeding ground for migratory birds. Therefore, interesting excursions can be made through the protected landscape with extremely special flora and fauna and walking dunes.
Parador de Baiona – Vigo
Another ‘must see’ Parador is the one in the cosy, coastal town of Baiona in northwestern Spain. This is just north of the border with Portugal. The hotel is housed in a walled medieval fortress amid the splashing foam of the Atlantic Ocean on the Monterreal Peninsula in Galicia. From your room, you have a splendid view of the Isles of Cíes. As a guest, you feel like you are at the end of the world and a descent down the majestic wooden staircase in the reception hall is an experience in itself.
BUILDINGS WITH A STORY
Gradually, the Paradores to which it applies are transformed into museums to share with their guests the historical, architectural, and artistic richness of all locations and to preserve it for posterity. However, one does not necessarily have to spend the night there to take in all the splendour.
Parador de Santo Estevo – Ourense
The first hotel that can also call itself a museum is the Parador de Santo Estevo in Ourense. It is located in an impressive Benedictine monastery from the sixth century. In 1923 it was declared a historical and artistic monument. Guests can admire a wealth of Roman, Gothic, and Baroque elements, both inside the three long cloisters and on the outside of the building. This is attractively surrounded by old chestnut trees in the Ribeira Sacra Natural Park.
Parador de Santiago de Compostela – La Coruña
The oldest hotel in the world is considered to be the grand Parador Hotel Santiago de Compostela. This is in the former Hostal de los Reyes Católicos. Furthermore, in 1499, the Catholic Monarchs inaugurated this building. Moreover, it was to accommodate the large numbers of pilgrims already visiting the city at the time after completing their arduous journey to Santiago Cathedral.
This five-star hotel offers a mixture of history, art, and tradition, with several cloisters of exceptional beauty and luxurious accommodations with special architectural details. Staying in this hotel means staying in a real museum. Enjoy the views of the famous Plaza de Obradoiro with the cathedral or the paintings of former monarchs, or see antique furniture. Alternatively, you can listen to the moody bagpipe music entering your room from the streets of this buzzing pilgrimage town.
Strolling through the overwhelming arched galleries and sitting down on one of the cosy terraces for a ‘pulpo a la gallega’ and a cider is a real treat for all the senses.
Parador de Oropesa – Toledo
Those looking for a royal touch will certainly feel at home in the castle-palace de Los Álvarez de Toledo in Oropesa (Toledo) from the fourteenth century. Construction was initiated by the Dukes of Oropesa during the twelfth century, on the remains of an Arab site.
From the nineteenth century, celebrities such as writers Gerald Brennan, Graham Green, singer Frank Sinatra and kings Carlos I and Alfonso XIII also enjoyed the views of the Sierra de Gredos from the castle walls. The hotel has been in existence for more than eighty years.
Parador Cañadas del Teide
The hotel chain has subsequently reserved the most opulent corners of Spain. The Parador Cañadas del Teide, for example, is located on the flank of the highest mountain in the country, the volcano El Pico del Teide (3715m).
In the middle of the natural park that includes the volcano, the location of this Parador provides magnificent views of the snow-capped volcano top in wintertime. Furthermore, you can study the Island´s exceptional flora and fauna because it is dotted with hiking trails of varying difficulty.
Parador de Vielha
Mountain enthusiasts will also get their money’s worth in the Parador de Vielha, in the heart of the Valle de Arán in the Pyrenees. Moreover, the valley is of unparalleled beauty. And many shades of green can be seen interspersed with the wintry white of the snow-capped mountains.
Waterfalls, mountain lakes, forests, hiking trails, and ski slopes provide visitors with unprecedented opportunities to spend their time in nature.
Parador de Cazorla
Not in the mountains but hidden deep in the forests of Spain’s largest protected nature reserve, Sierras de Cazorla, Segura y las Villas, you will find the Parador de Cazorla. This is close to the source of Andalucia’s largest river, the Guadalquivir. The river passes through the cities of Córdoba and Seville on the way, you can enjoy true nature and the largest contiguous forest area in Spain.
Furthermore, the hotel’s ‘Aula de Naturaleza’ provides detailed information about this beautiful natural park and its furry inhabitants. The hotel is named ‘Parador Verde’ (green Parador), therefore sustainability is a top priority. So, with this initiative, the organisation aims to operate all Paradores fully sustainable about the consumption and reuse of water and electricity.