If you’re looking to take a short break in Spain for a special occasion such as a birthday or romantic weekend away, you would not (hopefully) book in to a large, all-inclusive, typical tourist monstrosity for the event. Hopefully, you’d be a little more selective with your choice and take the time to find that perfect hidden gem, tucked away somewhere special.
Best hotels in Spain
Spanish newspaper ABC has put together this guide and selected the most charming, quaint and distinctive places to stay just for that special occasion that are the most visited above all others.
The majority are to be found in historical, old buildings, which just add to the magic of staying there, and are located in small villages. The main characteristics that they all have in common are:
• Housed in old historical buildings
• Located in small villages with no more than 2,500 inhabitants
• All have a Jacuzzi – many in each room
• All have a top-quality restaurant on the grounds
According to their research, the provinces of Cantabria, Girona, Segovia, Cuenca, Soria, Málaga and Salamanca were the most visited last year. So, let’s start with the selection of the best hotels in Spain:
La Posada de Somo (Somo, Cantabria)
This little 100-year-old hotel is located in the idyllic setting of the Costa Trasmiera. The landscape is green, full of gushing rivers that flow to the sea and plenty of mountains and valleys further inland – a great place to relax in nature and unwind. There are only 11 rooms to this hotel, and some come with their own Jacuzzi and open fire.
There are plenty of indoor and outdoor activities here, including golf, walking, historical sightseeing and plenty more. The restaurant offers delicious meals with freshly baked bread, eggs from the farmyard and innovative dishes inspired from 200-year-old recipes in an intimate and relaxed atmosphere.
La Calma de Rita (Esponella, Girona)
This exquisite hotel is located in the tiny medieval village of Vilert, which has a grand total of 40 inhabitants. The stone-based building, which has a light and airy feel inside, has been designed to transport the guest back to the olden days with modern fittings made to look like they are 100 years old (which they are not). The swimming pool in the patio is an imitation of the old washing places used out in the countryside in days gone by.
There is also a relaxed and laid-back feel about the place. There are no set times for breakfast. Guests can eat as early or as late as they like and the kitchen doesn’t close until the last one has had their first meal of the day. The evening meal is based on traditional homemade cooking and during the afternoon guests can partake in some tea and cake, or a fresh glass of natural lemonade in the summer.
El Planeta Escondido (Losana de Pirón, Segovia)
The name of the hotel translates to “The Hidden Planet” and it’s a magical hideaway, formerly a hayloft, inspired by nature’s elements of earth, forest, moon, sun and desert located in the town of Losana de Pirón in Segovia.
The rooms are decorated with extraordinary attention to detail and contain double beds, hydro-massage bathtubs or an open fire. There are corners within the hotel where guests can retreat to relax, listen to music, lose themselves to the sound of running water or enjoy a soothing drink.
The kitchen also provides homemade meals, freshly baked bread and cakes and natural juices. There’s nothing artificial about this place that is abound with stunning greenery inside and out.
Hostería El Pomar (Alfoz de Lloredo, Cantabria)
The El Pomar guesthouse can be found amid a picturesque setting of forest and greenery, right in the heart of the region of Cantabria. It has its own micro-climate that is subject to brusque changes throughout the year. During the winter you’ll feel cosy and at home, whilst in the summer you’ll feel at one with nature. The inside of the guesthouse matches the exterior surroundings with imposing, heavy oak furniture and fittings. The building used to be a stately home and was built in the XVII century. It’s grand, proud and you can feel the history emanate through the whole building.
El Racó de Madremanya (Madremanya, Girona)
This stunning hotel is situated in the delightful stone-walled medieval village of Madremanya in the Catalonian province of Girona. The surroundings are to die for with lush green forests, kilometres of sunflower fields, pretty coves and beaches along the Costa Brava and gothic architecture.
The hotel itself is divided into two buildings: a stone XVII century farmhouse and a modern construction made from stone and wood that blend together perfectly. There are 10 rooms in total that offer the best in comfort and luxury – the perfect romantic getaway destination in one of the best hotels in Spain. There are also plenty of activities available including horse-riding, massages and beauty treatments or even a hot-air balloon ride.
La Casa del Canónigo (Caracenilla, Cuenca)
The Casa del Canónigo can be found in the province of Cuenca in Castilla-La Mancha. The atmosphere is relaxed and the building itself has been declared of national heritage by the region. The hotel gives off a relaxed feel and warm welcome. It’s pleasant and happy in the summer, while being inviting and cosy in the winter. Each room is different, offering the guest a variety of smells, sounds, colours and decoration. The décor is simple yet sensual, and guests will really be able to relax, unwind and forget about the rest of the world outside during their stay.
La Antigua Casa de Pedro Chicote (Zafra de Zancara, Cuenca)
This is another fantastic place to stay in the province of Cuenca. Built in the XVI century this hotel is made up of three houses and two lofts, which are ideal for couples that want to getaway and spend some quality time together. It is the former home of the Pedro Chicote, the cousin of the famous cocktail barman who used to work in Madrid’s Gran Vía, who was also born in the village.
The hotel has a warm and inviting atmosphere, smells of cinnamon and is abound with history and charm. The building has been re-developed and brought back to its original splendour and each house is fully equipped right down to the kitchen utensils and bedding. Staying in one of these guesthouses is just like being at home, but better.
El Morendal Spa (Almarza, Soria)
In the town of Almarza, which is a 20-minute drive from the city of Soria, lies the magnificent Morendal Spa Hotel, a stunning building that used to be a flour mill and overlooks the River Teza. Today, the hotel combines modernity with luxury to give the guest all he could possibly wish for in a hotel.
The hotel’s 12 rooms have been individually designed and decorated with as much attention to detail as possible. The mix of stone walls and wood flooring lend to the best of a city hotel one can find, yet the outside surroundings make you lose yourself in nature. The Lobos River canyon, the Laguna Negra and the Natural Park of the Sierra de Cebollera are just a stone’s throw away.
The spa is equipped with sauna, Turkish bath and hydro-massage pools, and afterwards guests can relax and de-stress further with a professional massage.
Diners in the hotel’s own restaurant will be served typical and traditional food from the region accompanied by rich wines from its own wine cellar.
Posada Los Cántaros Spa (Cártama, Málaga)
The next one in our selection of best hotels in Spain, is a charming little spa hotel located in the province of Málaga. There are only 5 rooms, but the whole place takes you to another world and time. The rooms are spacious and made of stone and dark wood. There are four-poster beds, huge chests and heavy wardrobes, but the beds are covered with the softest cotton sheets, fluffy duvets and anti-stress pillows.
The Jasmin Suite has its own private spa and a corner to dine together surrounded by candles – just for that special moment.
Abadía de los Templarios (La Alberca, Salamanca)
The Abadía de los Templarios is a massive building with 61 rooms set right in the heart of the Batuecas Natural Park, 1km from the town of La Alberca. It was built by specialist craftsmen who were skilled in working with granite, wood and glass, common materials in days gone by. The rooms contain natural wood fires and are tastefully decorated.
This is one of the few hotels that welcomes families with young children, providing them with supervised activities run by monitors to give the parents a well-deserved break.
Outside there are three lakes and a pool surrounded by stunning gardens and flowers where guests can just relax, unwind and let the day go by slowly.