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Spain hotels

Hotels in Spain range from indulgent old-world palaces to ultraminimalist boutique accommodations, from quaint bed-and-breakfasts to grand villas. For atmosphere, you can't beat the converted convents, castles, and manor houses that dot Spain's cities and countryside, including those run by the government's Parador Hotels (www.parador.es), with period decor, picturesque settings, and restaurants with an emphasis on regional cuisine. One of the most spectacular is the Parador de Granada, located in a 15th-century convent inside the Alhambra. City centers have their share of palaces-turned-hotels, too; Madrid's Hotel Orfila retains the opulent air of a 19th-century mansion.

Standard business-style hotels are giving way to smaller and more personalized boutique hotels in Spain. Whether sleek and packed with the latest technology, like Valencia's Chill Art Hotel Jardín Botanico, or humbler family-run affairs like Barcelona's Hostal L'Antic Espai, these character-filled hotels tend to favor central locations over spacious quarters. In the most elite, gastronomy is an essential part of the experience, but many of Spain's smaller hotels skip restaurants entirely. Another popular urban trend is the destination hotel, as in Barcelona's Hotel Omm, which brings locals and tourists together with a see-and-be-seen bar, café, restaurant, nightclub, and spa.

In the Spanish countryside, casas rurales, or rural houses, are the accommodation of choice. The abandonment of many farms and country estates over the past few decades has led to a boom in rural tourism and an increase in cozy bed-and-breakfasts. There's an enormous price and quality range out there, but the best B&Bslike San Joan de Binissaida in Menorcaare small and family-run, with large rooms, inviting common areas, sunny patios, and excellent kitchens serving hearty local cuisine.

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Les Cols Pavellones, Olot

This small town in the Garrotxa National Park, two hours north of Barcelona, is home to one of Europe's most unusual accommodations. With only five rooms,...more

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Editors' Pick
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Mandarin Oriental, Barcelona, Barcelona

The pearly queen of Barcelona luxury hotels, the Mandarin Oriental is situated in an early 20th-century bank building that's been completely remodeled by...more

see the Barcelona guide
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Editors' Pick
Market Hotel & Restaurant, Barcelona

Fresh in style and laid-back in atmosphere, this smart newcomer adjoins the modern Sant Antoni market (the local equivalent of the Boqueria) in the...more

see the Barcelona guide
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Editors' Pick
Meliá Bilbao

Meliá Bilbao is a soaring, rust-hued property designed by Mexican architect Ricardo Legorreta as a tribute to the Basque sculptor Eduardo Chillida. The...more

see the Bilbao + Basque Country guide
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Editors' Pick
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Meliá Inglés Boutique Hotel, Valencia

Once the 18th-century palace of the Duke of Cardona, this grand property sits right next to the González Martí National Ceramics Museum, in the...more

see the Valencia guide
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Editors' Pick
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ME Madrid Reina Victoria, Madrid

Once the hotel of choice among visiting bullfighters, the 192-room ME in Madrid, formerly the Grand Hotel Reina Victoria, could just be the coolest hotel in the...more

see the Madrid guide
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Editors' Pick
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Miró Hotel, Bilbao

Set between the Guggenheim and the Museo de Bellas Artes, this 50-room boutique hotel is both superstylish and a great value. The room interiors, conceived by...more

see the Bilbao + Basque Country guide
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Editors' Pick
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Murmuri, Barcelona

On a pretty boulevard off Las Ramblas, the 53-room Murmuri gives travelers a high-design option that's still sophisticated. Rooms by British interior designer...more

see the Barcelona guide
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Editors' Pick
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Palacio Villapanés

Seville is awash in converted palaces, but Palacio Villapanés is easily the most impressive. The 50-room property—located in the quieter, less...more

see the Seville guide
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Editors' Pick
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Palau de la Mar, Valencia

At long last, Valencia has a real luxury boutique hotel to call its own. The Palau de la Mar occupies two handsome late-19th-century palacetes (town houses)...more

see the Valencia guide
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Editors' Pick
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Information may have changed since date of publication. Please confirm details with individual establishments before planning your trip.

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