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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 Viura, Villabuena de Alava

It lacks the shimmering (and steeply priced) splendor of the Frank Gehry–designed Marqués de Riscal hotel down the road, but the Hotel Viura is a fine...more

see the Bilbao + Basque Country guide
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Editors' Pick
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Hotel Villa Real, Madrid

This classically designed hotel garners three perfect scores—for "spacious and comfortable" rooms decorated in soft colors and antiques, "accommodating...more

see the Madrid guide
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Editors' Pick
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Hotel Urban, Madrid

Aptly named, this 21st-century crystal palace is all iron pillars, wall upon wall of glass, and remarkable art on loan from the Clos Archaeological Foundation....more

see the Madrid guide
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Editors' Pick
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Hotel Tres, Palma de Mallorca, Mallorca

As the Casco Antiguo (Palma's old quarter) continues its gentrification, so the sleeping options become ever better. The Tres offers slick, high-quality, and...more

see the Ibiza + Mallorca guide
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Editors' Pick
Hotel Sant Ignasi, Ciutadella, Menorca

Located down a long, secluded lane at the rugged northern tip of Menorca, this mansion nestles in a vast swath of ancient woodland. Dating back to 1777, the...more

see the Ibiza + Mallorca guide
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Editors' Pick
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Hotel Ritz, Madrid

An easy distance from museums and shopping, this 100-year-old Belle Époque hotel in Retiro has "an excellent location." "Facilities were wonderfully...more

see the Madrid guide
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Editors' Pick
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Hotel Puerta América, Madrid

This hugely ambitious project, in which 19 of the most prestigious names in architecture and design collaborated on a Jean Nouvel building, finally opened in...more

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

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

see the Valencia guide
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Editors' Pick
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Hotel Palacio de Aiete, San Sebastián

If you crave peace and quiet and don't mind renting a car, head for this hotel in a sedate hillside neighborhood of San Sebastián. Opened in 2002, the...more

see the Bilbao + Basque Country guide
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Editors' Pick
Hotel Orfila, Madrid

This classically styled Relais & Châteaux boutique hotel in an 1880s mansion, located in a quiet residential area near Colon Square, has a relentless...more

see the Madrid 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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