Hospes Palacio de los Patos

Granada & Sierra Nevada, Spain Book from

Reviewed by Liz Simpson
A restored mansion with a bold alabaster-and-glass wing, offering a choice of romantic or contemporary rooms in downtown Granada
Granada is full of charming Moorish-style hotels set around pretty courtyards in the Albaicin. But if you want something more à la mode, head down busy Calle Recogidas to the Hospes Palacio de los Patos. Away from the tourists but still only 10 minutes from the Cathedral and 15 from Plaza Nueva, this stunning 19th-century mansion looks from the outside like a very grand private residence (which indeed it used to be: the Dutch consul once lived here). But step into the patio, and a dazzlingly contemporary glass-and-alabaster wing sets it off like the Louvre with its pyramid.

Inside, it's the same bold mixture. The Palacio's gracious marble staircase, trompe l'oeil ceilings, rose windows and tall wooden shutters (all beautifully restored) are the backdrop for some sharp 21st-century styling in the bedrooms (monochrome rugs, funky lighting, designer chaise-longues). In the New Wing, created by Catalan design guru Xavier Claramunt, it's so cool, it's almost clinical. Linking it all together is a maze of bright white corridors, while the communal areas are split between the 2 parts: beneath one of them a state-of-the-art spa offers a spoiling range of massages and treatments. All in all, it’s a brave blend of elegant and edgy - and it works.

Highs

  • The bold juxtaposition of architectural styles has won accolades from travel and architecture publications alike
  • Excellent classically Spanish food (try the paella), a buffet extravaganza at breakfast, and utterly charming waiters
  • Underground Bodyna spa with indulgent treatments, a swimming pool, a sauna and a Jacuzzi
  • We revisited in 2016 and loved the high ceilings and enormous bathroom in our Palacio room; that said, the clean cut New Wing rooms also work very well
  • The beautifully lit outdoor terrace is the place to see and be seen on warm Granada nights

Lows

  • It isn’t in the prettiest neighbourhood of Granada, but it is convenient from the motorway and only a 10 minute walk to more interesting areas
  • The street can be noisy, but the clever double-window design ensures a quiet nights’ sleep
  • The subterranean corridors are a bit maze-like, and it's easy to get lost
  • The hotel car park is expensive but this is standard for Granada
  • A colour-coded flag system is used to indicate your in-room privacy preference, and using them is a must

Best time to go

Any time of year. A visit to the Alhambra is extra special during the warmer months when you can also visit the palace complex at night (though not the Generalife). There is excellent walking close to the city in the foothills of the Sierra Nevada and to be here in spring when the flowers are at their best is amazing. But winter visits are always memorable and to see the Alhambra with a snow-capped Sierra Nevada as backdrop is a sight never to be forgotten: even the bitterly cold winds that can blow down from the sierras don't detract from the experience.

Our top tips

The New Wing rooms are neat and bright, and might appeal to business travellers or design aficionados, but if you’re here on a romantic holiday, splash out on a suite in the Palacio. Granada is a hot spot for honeymooners and music lovers.

Great for...

City Style
Foodie
Spa
Wedding
  • = Recommended
  • = Best in region
  • = World favourite
  • Boutique Hotel
  • 42
  • Restaurant and bar
  • All ages welcome
  • Open all year
  • Indoor Pool
  • Spa
  • WiFi
  • Pet Friendly
  • Disabled Access
  • Beach Nearby
  • Off-street Parking
  • Restaurants Nearby
  • Air Conditioning
  • Guest Lounge
  • Terrace
  • Garden
  • Gym
Room: Junior Suite

Rooms

Split between the original Palacio and the New Wing, the rooms and suites range from ornate, high-ceilinged spaces in the former to minimalist modern architecture in the latter - plenty to suit all tastes.

In the Palacio, there's a mix of old-fashioned, opulent rooms and funkier options. One contemporary-style Junior Suite was spacious and light, with a very comfortable kingsize bed and a giant porthole window. Another had intricate ceiling moulds and original silver radiators. Either way, all the requisite luxuries are in place.

The Palacio's other rooms are equally lovely, combining original features (parquet floors, huge bay windows) with cool lighting and chrome basins in all-marble bathrooms. Our Deluxe Room was very comfy, if somewhat compact, but the Suites and Grand Suite were extremely spacious. The pièce de résistance is the Presidential Suite: amazingly romantic, with an intricately woven metal headboard, a trompe l'oeil ceiling, velvet chairs and drapes, and a separate living area.

In stark contrast, the modern New Wing is very slick, with bold angles and walls of glass. Here you’ll find the small, rather functional Dreamers Rooms and a larger Suite. As always, it's a matter of taste - and there's no doubting the vigour and originality of the design. Almost everything is snowy white and the alabaster bedside tables beautifully reflect the sunlight. Best of all are the ‘curtains’. The front of the building is a lattice of metre-squared alabaster blocks, which allow shafts of light to flood in, but provide enough cover that no one can see you. Genius.

Features include:

  • Air conditioning
  • Cd player
  • Central heating
  • Cots Available
  • Dvd player
  • Extra beds
  • Minibar/fridge
  • Phone
  • Radio
  • Safe box
  • Terrace
  • Tv
  • WiFi

Eating

Meals are served in the ground-floor Los Patos restaurant, overlooking the courtyard and fountain; in warm weather the tables spill outside. The Valencian chef is well known on the Spanish culinary scene, and really delivers on hearty Andaluz cuisine. We kicked off with a local white recommended by our knowledgeable waiter and an excellent amuse bouche of tapenade crostini. Then out came a massive bowl of tomato and basil salad, generously topped with creamy mozzarella. Of course, we followed this with that most classic of Spanish dishes: Paella Valenciana (beautifully prepared with crispy rabbit and ample saffron). But the show was stolen by the finale, a massive crème brulee with wonderfully indulgent cinnamon ice cream.

Come morning, table upon table of breakfast treats are laid out, from smoked salmon and capers to countless Spanish jamons and salamis. Fresh juices include peach, pineapple and grapefruit, but it was the Cava that really caught our eye. If you don’t fancy investing in a large breakfast, start the day with croissants and seriously strong coffee in the town's main square.

In fact, there are heaps of good places to eat and drink in this university town. Head up to the Albaicín district for cool cafés or to the Bib-Rambla Square for a mix of European eateries - ask the team for the latest culinary hot spots.

As you would expect in a hotel of this calibre, room service is available 24 hours a day, with sandwiches, paella, and lighter bites.

Features include:

  • Bar
  • Breakfast
  • Minibar/fridge
  • Restaurant
  • Restaurants nearby
  • Room service
  • Vegetarian menu
Eating:
Activity:

Activities

  • Spend a whole day at the Alhambra - the biggest surviving piece of Moorish architecture in the world. The palaces are far too special to be rushed and you can picnic in the Generalife gardens surrounded by beautiful plants and murmuring fountains

  • Wander through the Albaicin quarter, a steep hillside of crumbling houses and narrow alleys, dotted with churches, cafés and (at night) hippy students drinking beer and playing instruments

  • Climb the hill at sunset to the Mirador de San Nicolás for an unforgettable view across the gorge to the Alhambra

  • Visit the tombs of the Ferdinand and Isabela, Los Reyes Catolicos, in the gothic Capilla Real

  • Stroll around the university quarter; the old hospital is especially pretty, with murals lining its courtyard walls

  • Watch the street artists - Granada is full of musicians and actors giving impromptu performances, and some are brilliant

  • Relax after a day of sightseeing in the hotel's Bodyna spa: swim in the pool, have a sauna, or treat yourself to a facial. We spent a whole evening relaxing in the hotel and enjoying the warm hospitality...

Activities on site or nearby include:

  • Historical sites
  • Nightlife
  • Shopping / markets
  • Well being

Kids

Children are welcome, but the hotel wouldn't be our first choice for families in Granada. Most guests are romantic couples or business travelers, plus you might find yourself worrying about the the kids putting jam handprints on the wall.

Family friendly accommodation:

In the Palacio, 2 of the Deluxe Rooms can be linked to create a family suite, as can one of the Suites with another Deluxe Room. Extra beds can also be squeezed into the Dreamer Rooms in the New Wing though you won't be left with much lebensraum if you go for this option. All rooms can hold a baby cot, most have space for an extra bed.

Babysitting:

Babysitting is available by arrangement.

Baby equipment:

Baby cots are available on request.

Remember  baby and child equipment may be limited or need pre-booking

Kid Friendly:

Our guests' ratings...

8/
Rooms
10/
Food
8/
Service
8/
Value
9/
Overall

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