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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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Ibiza Gran Hotel, Ibiza Town, Ibiza

This 157-room fortresslike property opened in 2008 in Ibiza Town's new Marina Botafoch neighborhood. It looks a little corporate at first, but step inside and...more

see the Ibiza + Mallorca 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 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
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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Hotel Marqués de Riscal, Elciego

In the heart of the Rioja wine region (about an hour south of Bilbao) this 2006 Frank Gehry-designed hotel has titanium curves that echo those of Bilbao's...more

see the Bilbao + Basque Country guide
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Editors' Pick
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Hotel Maricel, Calvià, Mallorca

Reopened in summer 2002 after architect Xavier Claramunt's rethink, this once-famous resort is a good compromise for those who can't quite decide whether...more

see the Ibiza + Mallorca guide
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Editors' Pick
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Hotel Maria Cristina, San Sebastián

Designed in 1912 by the same architect as the Ritz hotels in London and Paris, this ornate hotel caters to those that love old-school pomp and...more

see the Bilbao + Basque Country guide
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Editors' Pick
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Hotel Hacienda Na Xemena, San Miguel, Ibiza

In the north, perched far above the sea, is this self-consciously Zen deluxe haven. Its 65 rooms are incongruously handsome, with Balinese and Indonesian...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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