Madrid Hotels Articles

August 4, 2010

Quality Tourism Accomodation- – Galicia and Northern Spain

An extremely wide variety of tourist accommodation can be found in Galicia and Northern Spain. Visitor accommodation can be found to satisfy all tastes and even the choosiest customer will find something to suit their needs.

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. Hotels are categorized and awarded stars 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.

Hotels usually have en-suite bathrooms or at least a shower in the room. Hostels and “Pensions” usually do not have en-suite facilities and have fewer comforts than hotels so as to be expected are slightly cheaper.

Don’t equate the number of stars on the outside door of the hotel to necessarily match the standards of the accommodation that is on offer and this is because in Spain the stars are allocated on the facilities on offer not necessarily the quality of the service. As is usual in most quality hotels the standard facilities on offer include air conditioning, televisions in each room, facilities for the disabled, Internet access and on-site parking.

Two or three star hotels are the most popular in this region and their rates vary on the season or time of year that you stay there. In some cases the hostels (hostales) and guest houses are more popular in this region primarily because they are cheaper. 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 biggest hotel chains in northern Spain are the Grupo Sol-Melia and NH with hotels in the main towns. Their facilities are of a high standard and include internet-access amongst other features. There are a growing number of small privately run hotels that have quite distinctive character and charm and can also provide a quite relaxing and memorable stay.

In Spain you’ll find an establishment called a Parador. These have classifications of anything between three to five stars in accommodation standard. There is now quite a wide network of Paradors throughout the country, the first one opened in 1928. The idea behind the hotels when they were setup was that there should never be more than one day’s drive from one Parador to another. In Santiago de Compostela you can find possibly the best known Parador in the area and this is the Parador de los Reyes Catolicos. Other Paradors can be found in monasteries, castles and other monuments. You will quite often find that there are a growing number of purpose built Paradors and these can quite often be found in either towns of historic interest or areas of spectacular scenery.

The local Parador might not be best hotel in town but it will usually deliver a predictably consistent standard of comfort. The standard from each Parador to Parador very rarely varies with comfortable spacious bedrooms to be found throughout. Quite often you will find that they offer outstanding samples of regional cuisine. It is usually wise to plan ahead and book your accommodation if you wish to use the network of Paradors. Bookings can be made either using the Central de Reservas which is a centrally based service based in Madrid or you can contact each Parador direct. Rates can be expensive it is worth looking for special deals especially in the high season but to be brutally honest this has to be the same anywhere you go.

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