Hotels which are Castles or Monasteries or Palaces or Mansions……
The Paradors (or Paradores in Spanish) are a state owned hotel chain with hotels throughout Spain. Most of them are historic buildings which have been converted into luxury hotels. Many of them are very luxurious but all of them offer good value for money when you take into account what you are they have to offer. After all its not every day that you get the chance to stay in a medieval castle or palace.
If your budget will stretch to it, it really is worth spoiling yourself and spending at least one night in a Parador. There are often special offers available either from travel agents or from the Paradores website. Admittedly the most luxurious ones are quite pricey but the smaller Paradors can start from as little as €50 a night if you visit out of season and book in advance.
The only Parador which we've been fortunate enough to stay in was in Granada. The Parador was originally a Franciscan Monastery built buy the Catholic Monarchs just after the reconquest of Granada from the Moors in the 15th Century. The hotel is very beautiful and the setting, right inside the grounds of the Alhambra Palace, is superb.
Other Paradors which have been highly recommended are:
|Alarcón||Parador Marqués de Villena||Set in the impressive 12th Century castle which was built after the village was retaken from the Moors.|
|Ávila||Parador Raimundo de Bergoña||A 16th Century palace tucked right inside the medieval city walls.|
|León||Parador de San Marcos||Originally 12th Century Monastery on the Way of St. James (Camino de Santiago)|
|Plasencia||Parador de Santo Domingo||This Gothic building was originally a 15th Century Convent.|
|Santiago de Compostela||Royal Hospital||The Parador was built in the 15th Century by the "Catholic Monarchs" as a hospital for sick pilgrims.|