It looks amazing that of the over 53 million tourists that visit Spain each year and stay in hotels, so few by percentage visit the Spain hotels that provide the fullest and most complete all-around hotel experience – the wonderful Parador hotels of Spain.
What really defines Spain hotels (or any hotels anywhere in the world) as being of superior quality?
Unlike 99.9% of other Spain hotels, the majority of the Paradors are restored historic monuments. Your hotel will be a former castle – a monastery or convent – maybe a ducal palace. And in every instance – great care has been taken to preserve their former glory and distinct characteristics while upgrading them to the highest quality standards of the best modern Spain hotels.
A few of the Paradors are recently built hotels that still still reflect the region's style and contain unique decor, furnishings, and amenities. The restaurants pride themselves on serving the best of traditional regional cuisine and wine – and always done-up in a fine style to impossible international standards.
Travelers often make their hotel choice based on the star rating. This can be misleading – especially when booking on the internet without any real idea of the actual qualities of the establishment, and without being able to talk with anyone who has actually stayed there and who can offer reliable advice.
Spain hotels, of course, also operate on a star-rating system, but – who rewards these ratings? A government body – on the assessment and recommendation of one government-employed inspector! This employee is not concerned with the ambience of the hotel – he / she is not concerned with the historical relevancy of the building, or whether it is architecturally fascinating. Spain hotels with romantic alcoves, fascinating architecture, or wonderful stories to be told (a king slept here, a famous knight dialed to the death for a lady-fair just outside the front gate, a turning-point battle in the history of the country took place on the grounds just behind the hotel, a queen signed documents that authorized the discovery voyage to the New World in this parlor – etc.) – receives no extra merit.
Spain hotels star-ratings are based on things like; the number of elevators, are the rooms directly accessible from the reception lobby, is there a convention meeting room that holds a minimum of x number of people – etc. etc .. They are based, in-other-words, on an objective pre-established list of facilities and services provided. The star-rating in no way reflects the actual charm or ambience of the hotel.
Then, for Spain hotels, what establishes true quality?
True quality is a combination of not only the standard check-list facilities required by the star-rating system, but also the provision of experiences and sensations unexpected and rare. You will know when you have stayed at a Spain hotel of "true quality" – the experience will have created pleasant emotions which linger long after the stay is over.
There are many 3-star rated Paradors that embody a harmonious combination of history, comfort, and beauty that create just such an experience. These provide a level of class, ambience and impeccable service that far exceeds the majority of 'regular' Spain hotels with 4 star (even some of the 5-star) ratings!
Some of our favorites in this category would be; Parador Sos Del Rey Catolico, Parador Arcos De La Frontera, Parador Olite, and Parador Alcaniz.
Then there are the 4 and 5 star Paradors that, if you really want to experience travel accommodations that are a great step above the usual tourist experience, should not be missed; Parador Leon in Castilla y Leon, Parador Santiago De Compostela in Galicia, Parador Baiona in Galicia, Parador Cangas De Onis in Asturias, Parador Carmona in Andalucia, Parador Cuenca in La Mancha
. . . and so many others!
Traveling to Spain is always nice. It's a fascinating country, and one never tires of returning. The next time you go, do not just stay in so-called quality Spain hotels of a certain star-rating. . . stay in hotels of true quality – the Parador Hotels of Spain.
For more on all of Spain's wonderful Paradors, go to: