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Why you should stay in a Parador Hotel when you visit Spain

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Planning a trip to Spain? When it comes to holidays, your accommodation has the power to make your trip not only comfortable and secure, but memorable, unique, and pleasurable. It’s vital to find a hotel that will best suit your needs. 

Selecting the right hotel for you can occasionally be a trying task. With the sheer range of deals, reviews, and price points, it might even leave you feeling overwhelmed before your holiday has even begun. Rest assured, we can help to narrow it down.

If you’re dreaming of a stay that offers ample opportunities for cultural and historical enrichment, as well as variety (but not overwhelming variety), start your holiday planning with Spanish accommodation group Parador.

Parador Hotels: An introduction

 

You might have already heard it mentioned in passing, but what are Parador hotels? In short, these state-run hotels specialise in giving travellers an authentic experience that won't be forgotten.

These charming hotels occupy some of Spain’s most brilliant historic sites, including castles, convents, manor houses, palaces, monasteries, fortresses, and even towers. Some Paradors are even located in World Heritage Sites, which is certainly something to add to the bucket list. 

While Parador is a hotel management company, the majority of its accommodation sites are owned by Spain's National Heritage Service. Parador was actually founded by Spanish king Alfonso XIII as a means to promote tourism within Spain. The first Parador hotel opened in 1928, so you can ensure you’re booking with a reputable hotel.

 

The types of Parador Hotels in Spain

 

As Parador offers an extensive variety of accommodation, from convents to fortresses, the only real limits are where you’d like to go. Will it be a beach trip? A rural valley escape? A relaxing cottage stay in the mountains? Or an energising city break

To make it easier for guests, Paradores have been broken down into three main categories. There’s 'Esentia’, the monumental and historic accommodation sites, 'Civia’, the more cosmopolitan hotels, and 'Naturia’, hotel offerings situated in natural or coastal settings. 

Some Parador highlights include:

 

  • Parador de Zafra - a hotel that occupies the Palace of the Dukes of Feria. This regal site was built in 1437 and features striking coffered ceilings, ornate ironwork, large chests, and other decor from the original palace. 
  • Parador Santo Estevo - a converted Benedictine Monastery in Nogueira de Ramuin, said to have been founded in the 6th or 7th century. 
  • Parador de Cuenca - a mesmerising hotel in a former monastery atop the Huécar Gorge in the UNESCO-listed walled town of Cuenca. 

 

Whatever site you choose, it’s sure to be a monumental, historic treasure. So, how many Paradors are currently in Spain? Currently, there are 96 Parador hotels in Spain, meaning there is scope for most budgets. 

While there is a certain element of prestige and luxury associated with Parador hotels, given the grandeur of the historic buildings, one of Parador’s goals is to make unique buildings accessible to a variety of travellers, not just those with larger budgets.

 

Activities on offer at Parador

 

You can’t visit Spain without sampling some of the delicious, authentic cuisine for which the country is famous. Tapas, paella, and dazzling varieties of wine - you can try it all at Parador hotels. 

While the buildings are historic and have been maintained to protect much of the original structure, many have been updated to incorporate modern amenities, including high-quality restaurants. Parador offers three categories of dining:

 

  • Especia - classic, authentic dining with traditional offerings
  • Tamizia - multi-purpose restaurants featuring modern Spanish cuisine
  • Marmitia - dining with a focus on local produce and traditional meals


On top of exceptional culinary experiences, Parador also offers sporting and recreational activities, such as golf at Parador de Málaga Golf, and relaxing spa treatments at Parador de Corias.

 

Suggested Parador tours

 

If you fancy spending a night (or seven) at a bed and breakfast Parador, head to Spain with us. Our Historic Paradors of Hidden Spain trip will see you experiencing three four-star Paradors: the Parador de Limpias, Parador de Vilalba, and Parador de Lerma. 

If you haven’t got any grand plans this coming Christmas, you might like to join us on our Christmas in a Historic Spanish Parador tour. This once-in-a-lifetime package involves four magical nights in the Parador de Ávila, a converted 16th-century palace in the UNESCO-protected historic city of Ávila. Of course, you will get all the trimmings, with a special three-course Christmas Day lunch served at your hotel. 

 

For more information about planning your trip to Spain be sure to check out our other travel guides. Happy travels!

 

 

  • 5 excursions included
  • 11 meals included
  • The royal history and elegant atmosphere of your Parador hotels
  • Follow in pilgrims’ footsteps in Santiago de Compostela and León
  • Santillana del Mar – one of Spain’s prettiest villages
    • Flights Included
  • 8 days from: £1346pp
  • Was: £1495pp
  • 3 airports
  • 11 dates available
  • May 2022 - Oct 2022
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