Bordered by the Bay of Biscay, the Mediterranean Sea, and the Atlantic Ocean, Spain is the ideal place to hit the sand and soak up some sun. But it’s more than a country of beaches. With Portugal to the west, France to the north, and Morocco to the south, Spain is also a place where rich culture abounds.
It’s a country you can fall in love with in two days, two weeks, or two months. You don’t even need to go beyond a weekend trip to know that Spain offers a special kind of holiday for travellers of every kind.
While culture, cuisine, history, and spectacular views are guaranteed on your adventure in the Mediterranean nation, carefully selected accommodation is what will take your holiday to the next level. From antique Parador hotels to contemporary wine resorts, we have rounded up some of the most beautiful hotels in Spain.
Let’s begin in luxury. Abadia Retuerta LeDomaine occupies the Abbey of Santa María de Retuerta, founded in 1146, a prominent Romanesque structure in the Valladolid province of central Spain. This 5-star luxury hotel is based on a 700-hectare estate, with the Michelin-star Refectorio restaurant serving contemporary creative cuisine.
The historical integrity of the building was skillfully maintained during the renovation, with renowned Swiss-Italian architect Marco Serra leading the redevelopment. In fact, the hotel rooms were previously the monks’ cells. Despite the curious origin, the rooms are airy with plenty of space.
If you’re not feeling up to leaving your gorgeous suite - we wouldn’t blame you! - take full advantage of the 24-hour butler service. However, if you do feel like trying something new, the hotel also offers an enticing range of experiences involving food and wine, culture, art, wellness, and nature. You will not be bored during your stay.
Nestled in the mountains of the Guadalest Valley is VIVOOD Landscape Hotel. An adults-only paradise, the accommodation makes the most of the sprawling natural surroundings with the villas featuring floor-to-ceiling windows, a private balcony, an indoor rain shower, and an outdoor shower. A night at VIVOOD is like resting in the trees, only on an incredibly plush bed.
The natural theme continues outside the minimalist yet well-appointed villas, with the spa featuring organic massage oils, a salt-water float tank, and a traditional steam bath. Arrive at VIVOOD run down, and leave with lifted spirits.
The highlight of VIVOOD is its year-round infinity pool. A dip in the water will offer stunning views of the surrounding mountains and views out to the glistening sea. It’s the accommodation where you don’t need to leave the site to have an exceptional holiday experience.
VIVOOD also has an on-site restaurant serving fresh ceviche, Iberian pork terrine, salt-cured duck carpaccio, and red tuna tartare. Vegetarian options are also available. Each day a buffet breakfast is served at the restaurant or you can enjoy breakfast in bed and dine in-room. An á la carte lunch and dinner menu are also on offer at the restaurant.
Ever been curious about what it’s like to stay in one of Spain’s Parador Hotels? The iconic string of monumental, historic hotels are small, locally-owned accommodations which each provide an immersive way to experience Spain’s culture. Newmarket Holidays offers a dedicated Parador hotel tour which will allow you to have enriching experiences in three elegant Paradors, including Parador de Limpias, Parador de Vilalba, and Parador de Lerma.
Everyone’s first Parador experience should involve a palace. Parador de Lerma is a beautiful 17th-century palace, fitted with all the modern touches. It will take your breath away. Once used by King Felipe III, the site features spacious bedrooms with antique decor and intricate tiling. A highlight is the hotel’s central, communal courtyard, which is fringed by dramatic columned galleries. It’s a stay fit for royalty.
Fortunately, the hotel has managed to retain many of its original elements, including its lofty ceilings, stone columns, and spiral turrets, so you might feel as if you have been transported back in time.
Parador de Lerma is a fantastic base to explore Lerma, a well-preserved northern Castilian town known for Collegiate Church of San Pedro, the charming old town, and numerous monasteries.
For one of the most unique luxury hotels in Spain, consider a few nights at Hotel Marqués de Riscal. Designed by American architect Frank O. Gehry, the ribbon-like steel and titanium facade of the contemporary building is eye-catching indeed. Nestled between the vineyards and the medieval village of Elciego, the striking purple of the undulating roof is an ode to the humble grape.
The vino theme continues at the hotel’s spa, Vinothérapie SPA Caudalie Marqués de Riscal, which offers a delectable range of grape-based treatments. It’s a therapeutic experience like no other. Take a relaxing dip in the indoor pool, breathe deeply in the Finnish sauna, or sweat it out at the fitness centre.
There are two fantastic restaurants on-site, with the Michelin-star Marqués de Riscal Restaurant offering meals based on Northern Spanish cuisine and the 1860 Tradición Restaurant serving locally sourced Spanish meals with a contemporary spin. You will not be leaving the hotel hungry.
While you can take in the sprawling valley views from the zig-zag window seats in one of the 61 guestrooms and suites, you can also head to the rooftop library and bar for a spectacular vista of the surroundings.
Cap Vermell Grand Hotel is one of the best hotels in Spain. This five-star property is perfectly picturesque. Cap Vermell Grand Hotel is located in the beautiful Canyamel valley on the east coast of Mallorca, a holiday destination that needs no introduction. Situated in a reasonably undeveloped part of the island, the gorgeous accommodation offers guests views of the Balearic Sea and the surrounding valley.
Formerly known as Park Hyatt Canyamel, the glitzy accommodation is an elegant homage to the small-town charm and architecture of Spain’s hillside villages. At the hotel, you will find stone facades, sand-toned buildings, terracotta roofs, and alleyways.
The hotel is a little larger than the other accommodation sites on our list, offering 142 guest rooms and 16 suites. It’s also great for families, with babysitting services and educational activities available at the hotel’s children’s club.
Now here’s one for the bucket list. Perhaps one of Parador’s most unique hotel offerings, Parador de Villalba is a hotel inside a 15th-century defence tower and is another site you can book with Newmarket Holidays.
The four-star hotel is the legacy of medieval Galicia, with the fortified structure once belonging to the Andrade dynasty. There are six guest rooms in the medieval tower, all offering a unique historical experience, but the restaurant, bar, and bulk of the guest rooms are located within a newer structure built using traditional stonework. All rooms feature the essentials: a private bathroom, safe, satellite television, mini bar, and telephone. There’s also a tranquil outdoor space and garden in which guests can unwind.
The hotel is located in Villalba, a small town on the Camino de Santiago, a network of pilgrims' pathways that culminate at the shrine of the apostle Saint James the Great in northwestern Spain. So it’s an ideal stopover point for walkers looking to rest their weary feet. The region is also famed for its relaxing spas and cleansing hot springs, so be sure to check these out if you have the time.
For more information about planning your trip to Spain, check out our other travel guides.
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If you’re dreaming of a stay that offers ample opportunities for cultural and historical enrichment, as well as variety (but not overwhelming variety), start your holiday planning with Spanish accommodation group Parador.
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