Madrid Hotels Articles

June 23, 2010

Paradors and Luxury Hotels in Northern Spain

Spain is no different to any other modern European country when it comes to tourism and the quality of its hotels. You will find all ranges of accommodations and almost anything and everything to suit whatever budget you may have at your disposal.

If it is luxury that you are after then the best advice should be to head straight for the exclusive hotels and “Paradors” but to be honest even the basic family “casas rurales” are extremely good value for money. The region is dotted with mountain refuges with stunning views not to mention that in the coastal areas you can find quite a few campsites.

The standard of accommodation in the area is extremely high as you would expect from Galicia and Northern Spain. The categorisation for the hotels is awarded on a star system and these are allocated by the regional tourist authorities. The local tourist Authority awards between one and five stars for each hotel and the status of the hotel can be found by looking at a blue plaque near the hotel door.

You can usually find en-suite bathrooms or at least a shower in each Hotel bedroom. You may well be surprised but it is unlikely that these sorts of facilities would be found in the smaller hostels and “Pensiones”.

Don’t assume that just because you might be forced to stay in a one or two star hotel that the quality of the service is inferior to a five star hotel because in some cases it might actually be better because the stars are allocated for the facilities the hotel can offer not the quality of the service. The more exclusive hotels offer all kinds of extra facilities, such as air conditioning, on-site parking, internet-access and rooms with televisions as well as facilities for the disabled.

The cost of accommodation as in most cases varies from season to season therefore it is wise to plan in advance. A popular option available in all of the autonomous regions of northern Spain are hostels (hostales) and guest houses (pensiones) which are cheaper than hotels. These are usually small family-run establishments offering just a few beds.

This area of Northern Spain otherwise known as Green Spain claims to have a total of 92,000 beds registered over 1,500 Hotels, Hostels and “Pensiones”.

The largest hotel chains in the area are called Grupo Sol-Melia and NH. The quality of these hotels is extremely good. There is also now a growing number of small individually run hotels with a distinctive character and charm, for a memorable and relaxing stay.

Throughout Spain you’ll find in key areas tourist accommodation known as Parador’s. These are classified from between three to five stars. The first Parador opened in 1928 and there is now quite a comprehensive network throughout the country. The theory behind them was that they should never be more than a day’s drive from one to another. The Parador de los Reyes Catolicos in Santiago de Compostela, located in a former royal hunting lodge is possibly the best known Parador in the area. Other Paradors can be found in monasteries, castles and other monuments. Some Parador’s have been purpose built often in spectacular scenery or in towns of historic interest.

A Parador might not necessarily be the best hotel in town, but it can be counted to deliver a predictably high level of comfort. The standard of each Parador is extremely consistent with comfortable and spacious bedrooms all furnished to the same high standard. Quite often you will find that they offer outstanding samples of regional cuisine. It might be wise to book in advance if you are planning to visit the area either during the high season or if you wish to stay in one of the smaller Paradors. You can either call each Parador direct or use the Central booking service based in Madrid called the Central de Reservas. As with most areas if you travel in the high season you will find accommodation can be quite expensive but if you are able to shop around you can quite often find special deals available.

Related posts:

  1. An Introduction to Hotels and Paradors in Northern Spain and Galicia ... to reserve the room. Bookings can be made either using the Central de Reservas which is a centrally based service based in Madrid or you can contact each...
  2. Guest Houses, Inns and Hotels in Northern Spain ... your accommodation if you wish to use the network of Paradors. Paradors can be booked through the Central de Reservas in Madrid or by calling each Parador direct....
  3. Good Visitor Accommodation Can be Found in Northern Spain and Galicia ... bedroom. You may well be surprised but it is unlikely that these sorts of facilities would be found in the smaller hostels and “Pensiones”.

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