San Francisco Hotel Monumento, Santiago, Spain

Located approximately three blocks from the Cathedral in Santiago de Compostela, Spain, San Francisco Monumento is a great base to explore the town and all it has to offer. I spent three nights here, in a room on the top floor that looked like this:

Room on the top floor at San Francisco Hotel Monumento, Santiago de Compostela, Spain.

Room on the top floor at San Francisco Hotel Monumento, Santiago de Compostela, Spain.

There’s wasn’t much of view because the windows were actually more like skylights. But no worries because I spend very little time in the room, which was comfortable in every other way. The bathroom was spacious:

Bathroom at San Francisco Hotel Monumento, Santiago de Compostela, Spain.

Bathroom at San Francisco Hotel Monumento, Santiago de Compostela, Spain.

In fact I had to take a second photo in order to show the entire bathroom:

Bathroom at San Francisco Hotel Monumento, Santiago de Compostela, Spain.

Bathroom at San Francisco Hotel Monumento, Santiago de Compostela, Spain.

There’s plenty of room there to spread out and keep your things organized while you’re getting ready for a day or night out on the town. The hotel also has ample parking, a great breakfast buffet, and cheerful staff that will do whatever they can to make your stay a pleasant one. Don’t forget the swimming pool:

Swimming pool at at San Francisco Hotel Monumento, Santiago de Compostela, Spain.

Swimming pool at at San Francisco Hotel Monumento, Santiago de Compostela, Spain.

There’s also a hot tub just out of the frame in the photo above. That was a blessing after all day walking the streets of Santiago. I can recommend this hotel as a great base of operations. While we were there, we also noticed a number of business functions and weddings happening, so it may be that you need place for either of those purposes. Enjoy.

Hotel Castillo Bosque de la Zoreda, Spain

Located near Oviedo, Spain,  Hotel Castillo Bosque de la Zoreda, ensconces you in the kind of upscale experience that you will never forget.

Hotel Castillo Bosque de la Zoreda, Oviedo, Spain.

Hotel Castillo Bosque de la Zoreda, Oviedo, Spain.

The building is a modern interpretation of a castle with all the modern conveniences.

Hotel Castillo Bosque de la Zoreda, Oviedo, Spain.

Hotel Castillo Bosque de la Zoreda, Oviedo, Spain.

From the moment you enter the reception area, you know you are in a special place:

Central foyer Hotel Castillo Bosque de la Zoreda, Ovideo, Spain.

Central foyer Hotel Castillo Bosque de la Zoreda, Ovideo, Spain.

My stay was in a standard room that was far and above standard.

Room at Hotel Castillo Bosque de la Zoreda, Oviedo, Spain.

Room at Hotel Castillo Bosque de la Zoreda, Oviedo, Spain.

The bed in the photo above is one of the most comfortable I’ve ever slept in. The bathroom you see next came with Bulgari toiletries.

Bathroom at Hotel Castillo Bosque de la Zoreda, Oviedo, Spain.

Bathroom at Hotel Castillo Bosque de la Zoreda, Oviedo, Spain.

The double sink makes it easy to get ready for that special evening out. On the main level you’ll find several dining rooms, including this one:

Dining room at Hotel Castillo Bosque de la Zoreda, Oviedo, Spain.

Dining room at Hotel Castillo Bosque de la Zoreda, Oviedo, Spain.

As well as a very pleasant bar:

Bar at Hotel Castillo Bosque de la Zoreda, Oviedo, Spain.

Bar at Hotel Castillo Bosque de la Zoreda, Oviedo, Spain.

Perhaps the most enticing feature is the spa where you can enjoy all the body rejuvenating treatments you’d like or just relax in the pool:

Spa at Hotel Castillo Bosque de la Zoreda, Oviedo, Spain.

Spa at Hotel Castillo Bosque de la Zoreda, Oviedo, Spain.

Staff here are professional in every way. They gave me excellent directions into the center of Oviedo, including the best places to park as well as suggestions for sights to see and restaurants. The information was spot on. Since this hotel is located just a few kilometers away from Oviedo, please follow the directions carefully. It is worth the short journey for a charming experience.

 

 

Hotel Villa de Ábalos, Spain (2014)

Hotel Villa de Ábalos has been among my favorite places to stay in Spain. It is located in the center of a small village with tiny streets and an almost medieval atmosphere.

Facade of Hotel Villa de Ábalos, Spain.

Facade of Hotel Villa de Ábalos, Spain.

However, the hotel is decidedly modern within its historic shell. You’ll have all the modern conveniences in every room. Here’s a look:

Room 12 at Hotel Villa de Ábalos, Spain.

Room 12 at Hotel Villa de Ábalos, Spain.

The bathroom features everything you need to be comfortable:

Bathroom of Room 12, Hotel Villa de Ábalos, Spain.

Bathroom of Room 12, Hotel Villa de Ábalos, Spain.

You’ll also find inviting common areas where you can gather with fellow travelers to relax and share stories from the journey:

Second floor common area at Hotel Villa de Ábalos, Spain.

Second floor common area at Hotel Villa de Ábalos, Spain.

And another similar space on the ground floor:

Salon at Hotel Villa de Ábalos, Spain.

Salon at Hotel Villa de Ábalos, Spain.

I stayed at this hotel four years ago, and it was a pleasure to return. They added a small bar in the reception area where you can enjoy a glass of wine and various tapas. Locals from the town stop by and it was fun to chat with them, learning a bit about life in the Rioja area. The owner of this hotel makes his own wine, which is not yet available in the United States. While there, you definitely want to try it because it is among the best I’ve had in Spain. I’ll post more about that and the meals at Villa de Ábalos soon. Check back frequently so you don’t miss anything.

Hotel Claris, Barcelona, Spain

Hotel Claris offers plenty of options for the stylish traveler. In the first place, you’ll find yourself in an upscale neighborhood with high end shopping only a few blocks away. There’s also a number of great restaurants nearby. However, the hotel itself puts you within the lap of luxury, offering regular rooms, “duplexes,” and a number of amenities such as a rooftop pool that make your stay that much better.

At check in, the desk clerk informed me that I received an upgrade to one of the duplex rooms. What an excellent surprise! And what a dramatic space to stay. Here’s the lower level where I did most of my sleeping:

Sleeping area of a duplex room at Hotel Pau Claris, Barcelona, Spain.

Sleeping area of a duplex room at Hotel Claris, Barcelona, Spain.

Beside both sides of the bed, you’ll find an outlet as well as switches for the lights. The outlet comes in handy for charging your smartphone while sleeping. Note the railing on the right side of photos. There’s a staircase there that takes you up to the second level where you’ll find a couch, chair, TV, and minibar as seen here:

Entrance to and staircase inside duplex room at Hotel Pau Claris, Barcelona, Spain.

Entrance to and staircase inside duplex room at Hotel Claris, Barcelona, Spain.

Now for a look at that upper level, see the next photo:

Upper level of duplex style room at Hotel Pau Claris, Barcelona, Spain.

Upper level of duplex style room at Hotel Pau Claris, Barcelona, Spain.

Of course, a fantastic bathroom is part of this room:

Sink and shower in duplex room at Hotel Pau Claris, Barcelona, Spain.

Sink and shower in duplex room at Hotel Claris, Barcelona, Spain.

Marble and granite in the bathroom match the woodwork in the rest of the duplex.

Bidet and toilet in duplex room at Hotel Pau Claris, Barcelona, Spain.

Bidet and toilet in duplex room at Hotel Claris, Barcelona, Spain.

Finally, but also importantly, there is a nicely designed closet complete with safe, drawers, and racks for your clothes:

Closet in duplex style room at Hotel Pau Claris, Barcelona, Spain.

Closet in duplex style room at Hotel Claris, Barcelona, Spain.

Staff at Hotel Claris do a wonderful job making your stay pleasant and productive. They are true professionals, right down to the laundry service, which delivered my cleaned, pressed articles in a lovely basked like this:

Laundry perfectly cleaned and pressed at Hotel Pau Claris, Barcelona, Spain.

Laundry perfectly cleaned and pressed at Hotel Claris, Barcelona, Spain.

And there’s more! Hotel Claris has rooftop amenities that including a swimming pool, bar/lounge, and gym. I’ll put them in another post. Please check back frequently for more updates from Spain and around the world.