Previous four features:
INSTEAD OF staying in a five-star hotel, try a parador, suggests the 15th edition of the Rough Guide to Spain.
Spain has more than 90 paradores—“often spectacular lodgings converted from castles, monasteries and other Spanish monuments (although some are purpose-built),” says the guidebook, “sited in the most beautiful parts of the country, or in some of the most historic cities.” “The prices are often very good when compared to the five-star hotels with which they compete.”
The guidebook lists 10 it thinks are especially notable, including these three, all in buildings from the 15th century:
• Hostal dos Reis Católicos, Santiago de Compostela. Apparently the world’s oldest hotel, with 136 “irresistibly luxurious rooms...arranged around four separate tranquil courtyards.” At the end of the Camino de Santiago pilgrims’ trail.
• Parador Condes de Alba y Aliste, Zamora. A converted palace in the old town, “still walled and medieval in appearance.” “Princely trappings throughout,” including suits of armour.
• Parador Carlos V, Jarandilla. A “majestic” former imperial palace with “a splendid palm-fringed courtyard.”
There’s also Parador Marqués de Villena, Alarcón, an “atmospheric” one-time Arabic fortress with 14 rooms.
The website for all 90 paradores is www.parador.es.
Printable 4X6-inch card
Copyright©2015 Meridian Writers’ Group