“A fabulous mix of 21st-century style and 16th-century architecture offering chic rooms, ancient frescoes, great food and Roman baths”
The bedrooms tick all the boutique boxes and then some. Marble bathrooms with double sinks, fluffy robes, rain showers and Korres products; kingsize beds with velvet headboards and crisp white linen; trompe l'oeil murals and soaring arches - they’re gorgeous. But it’s the dining area that really blew us away, set in an indoor courtyard, with a glass roof... you’re wowed even before you look down to see floodlit Roman ruins peeking through the glass floor. As for the food, it's equally divine. And the fact you've got a UNESCO-listed Roman Moorish city on your doorstep is the icing on the cake.
- There’s a glorious blend of old and new in the décor: cool lighting and stylish flower displays contrasted by arched architecture, keyhole doorways and the Roman ruins below
- There are tranquil outdoor courtyards filled with orange and lemon trees, and a small swimming pool
- The food is fabulously experimental (both dinner and breakfast were excellent), plus there's a tapas bar on-site
- The Bodyna Spa has Roman baths where you can wallow in thermal waters, and guests booking through i-escape get a free 15-minute massage
- It's within walking distance of the Mezquita, one of the world's most stunning examples of Moorish-Christian architecture
- Although our room was very quiet, the street-facing rooms can be noisy
- It's hard to find, even with a map. Consider parking on the outskirts of town and taking a taxi to the hotel, especially because...
- ...charges for hotel parking are hefty; a bit of a shock when you check out
- Córdoba can get very busy - and very hot - but the hotel's courtyards are a godsend
- Space by the pool is limited - get there early if you want a lounger
Best time to go
Our top tips
- Boutique Hotel
- Restaurant and bar (open daily)
- All ages welcome
- Open all year
- Outdoor Pool
- Pet Friendly
- Disabled Access
- Beach Nearby
- Off-street Parking
- Restaurants Nearby
- Air Conditioning
- Guest Lounge
- Concierge Service
- Bicycles Available
The 53 rooms are spread out over 2 floors, some overlooking one of the tranquil outdoor courtyards, some facing the street, and some with private patios. There are 5 categories of room but even the lowest on the ladder - the Dreamer's - is beautiful, so you don't need to splash out to experience top style. At around 22sqm they're a little small, but i-escape guests will be upgraded to a Deluxe if available.
All rooms have crushed velvet headboards and very comfy kingsize or twin beds clad in Egyptian cotton sheets. The marble bathrooms are equally lovely, with walk-in power showers and heaps of Korres toiletries (most have tubs, too). Fluffy bathrobes, piles of towels, slippers, a hairdryer and a turndown service that brings bath salts and orchids to float in the water make you feel seriously pampered, even if you don't visit the spa.
We stayed in a Junior Suite and loved the sense of tranquility and space. Our bed was enormous and there were leather armchairs for us to curl up on, plus a writing desk for old-fashioned correspondence. The full-length wooden shutters opened onto an orange tree-filled courtyard and an exposed stone wall revealed the history of the building. The only criticism would be that the hall lights stay on all night and shone in around the doorway, so bring an eye mask if this sort of thing bothers you. Another Junior Suite has wonderful trompe l'oeil murals and high corniced ceilings.
- Air conditioning
- CD player
- Cots Available
- DVD player
- Extra beds
- Safe box
- Satellite TV
The dining room of the hotel's restaurant, Senzone, is incredible. Tables fill a glass-roofed courtyard set in the centre of the building - a lovely space for a meal. The ceiling is very high, allowing great acoustics, and the walls have an ancient fresco painted on them. Best of all though, the glass floor gives a bird's eye view of Roman ruins below you, floodlit at night for full effect.
The menu is typically Spanish, with lots of meat and fish and a few unusual twists: shellfish gazpacho stew, bone marrow soup with prawns, suckling pig's head. A complimentary cocktail and an amuse-bouche of red-pepper foam with parmesan straws provided an unexpected (and very welcome) start. We followed this with goats' cheese salad, then the adventurous one of us tried stuffed bull's tail and patatas bravas, while I had a succulent red steak. Both were excellent, and really got the juices flowing. Talking of which, there's an extensive wine list, though we found the house red more than a match for our meats: full-bodied and very drinkable.
Breakfast the next morning was equally hearty: a buffet of salamis and chorizo, manchego and brie, mini pastries, freshly baked bread and a choice of cooked dishes (scrambled eggs, omelettes, churros). But what really set this apart from other hotels was its experimental flair. There was a choice of butters - normal, garlic, thyme; the marmalades were either rose or violet (both delicious); and the fruit bowl was filled with fresh kiwis and figs rather than the ubiquitous oranges and pretty-but-tasteless apples.
For lunches and light meals, there's a cool tapas bar on site, serving a mix of Spanish specialities: beef carpaccio with lime vinaigrette, salmorejo with ham and egg, fried anchovies, foie gras with roasted apple, and fried aubergine with honey. Drinks are available all day in the bar, the courtyards and by the pool.
If you'd prefer to eat out, there are plenty of great restaurants and tapas bars within easy strolling distance. Just around the corner is a hectic and friendly tapas restaurant with a big menu and a great atmosphere.
- Restaurants nearby
- Room service
- Vegetarian menu
- Wander the narrow streets of Córdoba - the largest city in Western Europe in the 10th century and now a UNESCO World Heritage site - admiring the tight-packed, white-and-yellow houses, and stopping for a drink at one of the pavement cafés
- Visit La Mezquita, the world's only mosque-cathedral: Córdoba was the capital of the Moorish kingdom of Al-Andalus, and seat of its 'Grand Mosque'. When the city was reconquered by Christians in 1236, Ferdinand III found it so beautiful that he left it standing and built his cathedral in its midst... purists may tut-tut, but the forest of arches and columns, echoing the Patio de los Naranjos outside, is a site to behold
- Check out La Judería (the Jewish quarter), with one of Spain's only synagogues. There are traditional artisan stalls in the Zoco, plus nightly flamenco performances in the summer
- Walk over the Roman Bridge, through Plaza de las Tendillas (the central square) and around the Alcázar, the palace of the Christian kings. Inside are Arabian baths, Roman mosaics and a marble sarcophagus, and it's surrounded by beautiful gardens and ancient fortifications
- For a glimpse of 10th-century Moorish society take a trip to the ruins of Medina Azahara, a sprawling palace and city complex 8km outside Córdoba. Buses run daily to the entrance (buy tickets from the tourist information kiosk in Plaza de las Tendillas)
- Back home, treat yourself in the Bodyna Spa: there are underground thermal baths for an invigorating Roman experience (free for guests, but book a slot in advance). Afterwards, choose from a range of indulgent therapies: Ayurvedic, Shiatsu and Thai massages, natural mud wraps, and hydrating and oxygenating facial masks
- Reception can arrange various activities: golf, horse-riding, yoga classes and guided hikes. Please enquire when booking
Activities on site or nearby include:
- Historical sites
- Horse riding
- Museums / galleries
- Private guided tours
- Shopping / markets
- Traditional cultures
- Well being
Children are welcome, but the whole joy of this hotel is its peacefulness. If you had rowdy or boisterous kids, you might feel self-conscious. However, the hotel does offer extra beds for a supplement, and cots and babysitting can be arranged. Children under 12 stay for free, with half-price meals.
Family friendly accommodation:
Cots Available, Extra Beds Available
Babysitting is available by arrangement.
Baby cots are available on request.
Remember baby and child equipment may be limited or need pre-booking
Hospes Palacio del Bailio is situated in central Córdoba, which is in Andalucia, southern Spain.
Seville (130km away), Málaga (160km away) and Granada (210km away) are the closest airports - click on the links below for a list of airlines serving them.
From the Airport
The hotel can arrange transfers (see Rates), or you can drive or take the train (see below).
If you want a car while you're then see our car rental recommendations. Valet parking is available at the hotel, but it's expensive and the hotel is difficult to find - consider parking on the outskirts of town and getting a taxi for the final hop.
High-speed trains link Córdoba with Seville, Madrid and Málaga, and the train station is only 2km (a 10-minute taxi ride) from the hotel. If you're coming from Málaga airport, local trains link the terminal with Málaga central station, where you can change onto a service to Córdoba. See Seat 61 for detailed information on getting to Córdoba by train, including directions for travelling overland from London.
Detailed directions will be sent to you when you book through i-escape.com.
More on getting to Andalucia and getting around
- Seville San Pablo 130.0 km SVQ
- Málaga Pablo Ruiz Picasso 160.0 km AGP
- Beach 16.0 km
- Shops 0.2 km
- Restaurant 0.2 km