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Six spectacular landmark hotels in inland Spain

Spain’s interior is littered with grand retreats to add to your hotel wish list, from urban palaces to spectacular paradors — state-run hotels often set within ancient monuments.

Published 8 Jun 2021, 08:00 BST
The Parador de Trujillo slots cleanly into the stone structure of the former Santa Clara Convent ...

The Parador de Trujillo slots cleanly into the stone structure of the former Santa Clara Convent — a grand building that centres around two cloisters.

Photograph by Parador de Trujillo

1. Four Seasons Hotel Madrid, Madrid

Spain’s first-ever Four Seasons opened in September 2020 after a monumental construction project that fused seven 19th-century former financial buildings at the centre of the capital. The luxury amenities list is equally extensive; there’s an in-house mall of boutiques, a multistorey spa and a roofline restaurant run by internationally acclaimed Andalucian chef Dani García. Accommodation-wise, even the standard doubles are a pretty sumptuous offer. Doubles from €550 (£475), room only.    

2. Hotel Torre del Marqués, Teruel

An Aragonese farmhouse from the 18th century has been recast as the sustainable, rural hotel of the future. Built around a stone tower, it’s largely run by solar power and has at its heart a ‘kilometre zero’ restaurant, stocked with produce sourced from nearby. It doesn’t seem like much of a challenge, given the ethereal landscape of gardens, farms, olive groves and vineyards that guests can survey from the dining patio or outdoor pool. Doubles from €234 (£202), room only. 

3. Parador de León, León

For a compact provincial capital, León is so wall-to-wall with medieval and Renaissance facades that it’s no surprise its main state-run hotel is housed in the 16th-century former San Marcos Monastery. The building reopened at the end of 2020 after a three-year renovation that partly restored the original stone carvings, cloister and plateresque frontage while refitting the rooms in decadent style. Doubles from €200 (£173), room only. 

Junior Superior Suite at Hotel Bodega Tío Pepe in Jerez de la Frontera. The rooms feature high-ceilinged guest rooms set in former workers’ quarters of a 19th-century bodega (winery).

Photograph by Paloma Pacheco

4. Joya del Casco, Seville

Portugal’s Shiadu hotel group opened this small, simple boutique property in late 2019. Fifteen fresh rooms are spread across a pleasingly sharp-angled interior, and bold-coloured canvases and mustard-yellow furnishings add pops of energy. Location-wise, it’s hard to beat: the sun terrace and small rooftop pool look directly onto the Giralda belltower of Seville’s mammoth cathedral. Doubles from €62 (£54), room only. 

5. Hotel Bodega Tío Pepe, Jerez de la Frontera

True sherry can only be made in one specific region — the so-called ‘Sherry Triangle’ of Andalucia — and in one corner of it, there’s a dedicated sherry hotel. Respected winery González Byass put impressive thought and effort into converting this 19th-century bodega. Several in-house bars and restaurants use the bodega’s superb sherry for meal pairings and signature cocktails. Doubles from €165 (£143), B&B. 

6. Parador de Trujillo, Trujillo

The hometown of conquistador Francisco Pizarro stands as something of an outpost, dominated by a medieval castle. Its new parador slots cleanly into the stone structure of the former Santa Clara Convent — a grand building that centres around two cloisters, one of which retains its original Renaissance columns and arches. There’s an outdoor swimming pool in the courtyard and a scholarly calm prevails throughout. Doubles from €80 (£68), room only.

Read more stories and travel guides for Spain

Published in the June 2021 issue of National Geographic Traveller (UK)

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