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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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Hotel Cardenal, Toledo

Once the 18th-century summer residence of the Cardenal Lorenzana, Archbishop of Toledo, this converted hostel is built on top of the old city and set within...more

see the Madrid guide
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Editors' Pick
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Hotel Carlton, Bilbao

Bilbao's Beaux Arts grande dame sits right on the grand Plaza Moyúa. Ever since 1936, when it was the provisional seat of the regional government...more

see the Bilbao + Basque Country guide
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Editors' Pick
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Hotel Claude Marbella, Marbella

With only seven rooms in a handsome seventeenth-century house in the heart of the Casco Antiguo (Old Town), the intimate and friendly Hotel Claude is one of the...more

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Editors' Pick
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Hotel de las Letras H&R, Madrid

The talented designer Virginia Figueras was behind De Las Letras, located in the center of town on a typical curved-corner city block. Not overgimmicked, the...more

see the Madrid guide
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Editors' Pick
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Hotel Denit

Stylish and compact, the Hotel Denit is a smart low-cost option from the Majestic Group, whose other hotels, such as the Murmuri, tend to be in the luxury...more

see the Barcelona guide
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Editors' Pick
Hotel Diagonal Barcelona, Barcelona

The Hotel Diagonal Barcelona sits at the center of Diagonal Mar, a district within a district that has been transformed from a humble working-class area to a...more

see the Barcelona guide
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Editors' Pick
Hotel Embarcadero, Getxo, Spain

Situated just outside Bilbao in the town of Getxo, where the Nervión River meets the sea, Hotel Embarcadero is a 27-room property housed in a stately 1900...more

see the Bilbao + Basque Country guide
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Editors' Pick
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Hotel España

The Hotel España, a star at the turn of the 19th century, was given some much-needed care and attention in late 2010. Now the property's gloriously...more

see the Barcelona guide
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Editors' Pick
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Hotel Espléndido, Port de Sóller, Mallorca

Swedish hoteliers Johanna and Mikael Landström have bull's-eyed every detail in their reinvention of this 1954 vintage seaside property, with dimmers...more

see the Ibiza + Mallorca guide
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Editors' Pick
Hotel Ferrero, Bocairent

Perhaps as a precursor to life after professional tennis, Juan Carlos Ferrero, the world's top-ranked player in 2003, has opened a hotel with flair in...more

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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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