Hospes Palau de la Mar

Valencia & Costa Blanca, Spain Book from Book from £114 per night

Stylish mansion makeover in Valencia's boutique shopping district of L'Example, with lovely restaurant and small spa
The merging of a pair of 19th-century mansions has created one of Valencia’s coolest, most contemporary hotels: the Palau de la Mar is an elegant airy palace, with its own upscale restaurant and spa. Enter the grand doors to opposite sets of gleaming white marble stairs leading to 5 storeys of bedrooms. There's never that pile-up of suitcases at reception (a discreet desk by the sweeping hall stairs) and the lounge areas are calm and uncluttered. Walk through the lofty lobby, lightly fragranced with the scent of Valencian orange blossom, to a new wing with additional rooms facing an interior wooden-decked and plant-filled courtyard. Sail canopies above shade guests from the sun and add to the sophisticated feel.

Set in the swish L'Eixample shopping district (several designer stores are nearby), this is a boutique hotel meant for indulging in retail, gourmet and body therapy (beauty parties for small groups are popular). Not far from the crowded cobblestone plazas of the centro histórico and even closer to the tranquil green of the Turia Gardens, this is a chic base for a break in this upcoming city de la mar.

Highs

  • Excellent central location on the edge of the old town - a 5-minute walk to shops, restaurants and parks
  • Stylish design hotel with good facilities that's bigger than it seems, so it's not always full (and has special romance, babymoon and honeymoon packages)
  • Friendly, professional staff happy to help with local info and restaurant recommendations (although the hotel's own is top-notch)
  • Underground whirlpool and separate Jacuzzi for relaxing after sightseeing; treatment rooms to the rear beside the patio-garden

Lows

  • Given the price tag it's a shame more isn't included in the room rate (breakfast/tea/coffee/water etc)
  • The Dreamer's Rooms facing the internal courtyard can be a little dark and lack privacy
  • We felt the pared-back monochrome decor across all 67 rooms was a little plain on our 2018 revisit
  • The hotel's location means it's a 20-minute metro ride to the beach

Best time to go

Valencia's mild climate and cloud-free days make the city a year-round destination, although the sizzling summer months can be too hot for some. Mid-March brings the exuberant and cacophonous celebrations of Las Fallas; they provide a unique experience, but don't expect to get much sleep as the fiesta lasts all night. The Half-Marathon and Marathon (October and November respectively) are also popular

Our top tips

  • Head to the hotel's bar and sample Valencia's alcoholic speciality Aqua de Valencia - a heady blend of cava, fresh orange juice, vodka and gin
  • Enjoy the lively atmosphere at the Marina of a spring or summer evening with a sundowner
  • Great for...

    Beach
    City Style
    Family
    Foodie
    Spa
    • Boutique Hotel
    • 66
    • Restaurant and bar (open daily)
    • All ages welcome
    • Open all year
    • Plunge 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

    Despite having 48 double rooms in the original mansions and another 18 in a modern garden extension, Palau de la Mar feels like an intimate city hotel. A soothing off-white-and-chocolate theme is consistent throughout, with camel-coloured sofas, gleaming wengué floorboards and double beds piled high with crisp white Egyptian cotton. Rooms face either the street (those come with a balcony) or the quieter garden courtyard.

    The Dreamer's (standard) Rooms and the slightly larger Deluxe Rooms are airy and minimalist in style, with plasma TVs, cordless phones and air conditioning. Those located around the central ground-floor patio are a little darker, and lack some privacy as they open out onto communal areas.

    Some of the 5 spacious Junior Suites have sloping ceilings with skylights above beds and retro free-standing tubs. The impressive Presidential Suite has 2 bedrooms, each with a queensize bed, plus a large living space.

    Nice touches in all include pillow menus, fresh-fruit energy drinks in the minibars and full-length mirrors - very useful when dressing for a night out! Bathrooms have double sinks, baths, showers, and exclusive Olivia toiletries.

    Features include:

    • Air conditioning
    • Bathrobes
    • Central heating
    • Cots Available
    • Extra beds
    • Hairdryer
    • Minibar/fridge
    • Phone
    • Radio
    • Safe box
    • Satellite TV
    • Toiletries
    • WiFi

    Eating

    A buffet breakfast is set up each morning for guests in the hotel's Ampar restaurant on the ground floor - it's a good quality spread of cereals, fruits, pastries, meats and cheeses (and has a gluten-free corner); hot dishes include porridge, smoked salmon and eggs a la carte. Don't miss the signature freshly squeezed orange and clementine juice. You can eat indoors or on the terrace to the front of the building.

    Ampar serves modern Mediterranean cuisine, with an imaginative twist on traditional Spanish fare, and is open to the public for lunch and dinner. Recommended is the 5-course menu degustación; there's an excellent wine list too. Starters include shrimp ceviche and King crab croquettes, and as well as the obligatory (and delicious) Valencian paella, mains could be turbot au gratin or another local speciality fideua (black noodles with seafood).

    Room service is available round the clock, there's daily afternoon tea with pastries and cakes (and champagne too if you like), and the trendy lounge and bar serves cocktails, coffee and tea, and innovative light meals (chilled soups, and open sandwiches of manchego and chorizo).

    Features include:

    • Bar
    • Children's meals
    • Minibar/fridge
    • Restaurant
    • Restaurants nearby
    • Room service
    Eating:
    Activity:

    Activities

    • Pamper yourself in Bodyna Spa - those booking through i-escape get a free 20-minute massage. There’s a long menu of treatments using Valencian orange oils
    • Window-shop along the Calle Colón and environs - look for home-grown fashion gurus like Alex Vidal and Francis Montesinos
    • Meander amongst the city's Modernista architecture – both the vaulted Mercardo Central, the largest covered food market in Europe, and Estación del Norte display the trencadí (broken-tile mosaic) mainstay of this decorative movement
    • People-watch on the pedestrianised Plaza de la Virgen with its cathedral backdrop (a heady mix of Gothic, Baroque and Romanesque styles)
    • Try Valencian speciality horcharta - a sweet, milky drink made from crushed tiger nuts - at tiled Horchartería El Siglo, trading on Plaza de Santa Catarina since 1836
    • Get into the groove at the many music bars in the centro histórico
    • Check out the beautiful and UNESCO-listed La Lonja de la Seda (the Silk Exchange)
    • Walk (or jog) along the now-dry riverbed which makes up the verdant Turia Gardens - the lungs of Valencia
    • Explore the futuristic architecture at the City of Arts and Sciences (a 20-minute walk), or hop on the metro and head to the beach

    Activities on site or nearby include:

    • Hiking
    • Historical sites
    • Museums / galleries
    • Nightlife
    • Shopping / markets
    • Swimming
    • Traditional cultures
    • Well being

    Kids

    Although a smart city hotel, children are welcome and Valencia is a great choice for a city break as historic centre is flat and pedestrianised, the main sights are accessible, and there's a good amount of public transport and cycling making it easy to get about.

    Extra beds, connecting rooms and baby cots are available. Kids get a free breakfast up to 4 years old and are half-price until 12 years old.

    Best for:

    Babies (0-1 years), Children (4-12 years), Teens (over 12)

    Family friendly accommodation:

    The Presidential Suite has 2 double bedrooms, plus 2 sofabeds. The Junior Suite has a double room and a single sofabed. Family Rooms can be created by combining a Dreamer's and a Superior room to make a two-bedroom suite

    Babysitting:

    Available on request, see Rates

    Baby equipment:

    • Baby cots
    • High chairs
    • Bottle warming (kettle in every room)

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

    Children's meals:

    There's a kids menu available in Ampar

    Kids Activities nearby:

    • Playground in the Turia Gardens
    • The City of Arts and Sciences includes Europe's biggest aquarium, an interactive Science Museum, an IMAX cinema and a planetarium
    • Zoo
    • Beach (15 minutes by tram, bus or taxi)
    • Albufeira, 8km outside the city, has wetlands and birding

    Distances:

    • Airport: 20 minutes
    • Hospital: 5 minutes
    • Shops: 2 minutes
    Kid Friendly:

    Our guests' ratings...

    Based on 3 independent reviews from i-escape guests

    8/10
    Room
    8/10
    Food
    8/10
    Service
    8/10
    Value
    8/10
    Overall

    Lovely service, great location and good breakfast although we didn't realise that it was extra. Spacious room and good bathroom too. Enjoyed the stay!

    9/10,

    Good hotel!

    9/10,

    Very nice city hotel.

    8/10,

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    Rates for Hospes Palau de la Mar